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Contract J.A.C.K. Review

Brian_Gee By:
Brian_Gee
03/10/04
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE  
PLAYERS 1- 16 
PUBLISHER Vivendi 
DEVELOPER Monolith 
RELEASE DATE  
MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
M What do these ratings mean?

You Don't Wanna Know J.A.C.K.


The name's Jack…John Jack. I'm no smooth talking, pretty boy secret agent; I'm Just Another Contract Killer (J.A.C.K.). Get it? Can you stand the wit?

I'm working for a guy named Volkov from this gang called H.A.R.M. I don't really know what they're all about, but I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place with too many guns pointed in my direction. All I need to do is take out these no-talent goons from an outfit called Danger! Danger! with big plans to do who knows what. That Volkov character doesn't tell me much about my missions and the rat has me running around doing his dirty work. Can't say I'm surprised. I guess that's the life for Contract J.A.C.K.

Unlike other secret agents you might be familiar with, I'm a down and dirty player that isn't afraid to spray some blood on the wall. In fact, that's about all I do. None of that "searching for stuff" or "sneaking around" crap for me! No getting side-tracked with secondary objectives, no looting bodies for ammo - just wave after wave of bad guys to mow down. All I need is my trusty steel and it's on like Donkey Kong.

Considering that I'm stuck in the same universe as that hottie Cate Archer (remember? The chick who tried to Live Forever?), you'd expect plenty of tongue-in-cheek comic relief. Well, I'm not much into comedies, so don't think you'll be laughing much. I never could understand the whole wacko warlord scenario anyway. Whacking people is pretty serious business for me.

And speaking of serious business, let's talk about guns. My arsenal isn't fancy; it just gets the job done. Some of my toys include the trusty Desert Eagle, the Gordon 9mm submachine gun and the ever-popular Vindicator crossbow that shoots explosive rounds. Nothing here you haven't seen before. I've also got some flashbangs, frag grenades and C4, but it's all icing on the same old vanilla cake.

My job is simple: shoot first and don't ask any questions later. It's just too bad that these chumps are such pushovers; this Volkov gig is easier than shooting fish in a barrel. Goons and guards alike show very little in the way of brain cells as they run toward me with reckless abandon. I can't believe these guys. One minute they're ducking behind nearby crates and the next they're rushing at me like a bunch of lemmings toward a fifty-foot cliff. Someone call my secretary and book a massage - I'll be done with this deal in a couple hours or so.

For a bunch of idiots, though, the buggers sure are resilient. If I had a nickel for every time one of these uber-soldiers survived a cap in the cranium, I'd be a very rich man. They also seem to have dog ears; even the Invisible Man would have a tough time sneaking up on them. It seems as though they've put up motion sensors or something because the second I move in a little close, the guys sound the alarm and come running. Oh well, that's just another fire I'll put out with a 9mm hose.

My missions see me traveling to all kinds of "exotic" locales, from 'Mysterious Building A' to 'Generic Gray Complex B'. Not exactly the most interesting of vacations. The only highlight is a quick trip to the Moon where I get a little practice in zero G, but otherwise, it's one boring industrial romp.

I do get to mess around with a few vehicles, including an experimental snowmobile and a scooter with a bad attitude, but none of them are very exciting. They're surprisingly tough to control and despite years of experience behind the wheel, I usually wind up skidding all over the place. That won't stop me from blasting the bad guys with the front-mounted weapons, but constantly banging into obstacles takes the fun out of driving.

Playing with other J.A.C.K. operatives isn't much of an improvement from the solo H.A.R.M. campaign, probably because I never really get to do anything new or interesting. Besides the standard Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch games, there's a bomb planting Demolition excursion and a WMD building Doomsday experience. Blah, blah, blah.

I've got to say, I feel more than a little gypped here. Cate Archer had a great time on her missions, fighting off smart enemies and having a laugh or two along the way, while I get stuck with just about the most boring thing since a cheese sandwich. A short, bland shoot 'em up against a bunch of talentless goons? Consider this contract cancelled.

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