Everything about Contract J.A.C.K. feels recycled.

If I'm not mistaken, most of the music has been lifted from the last game. Recycled. And is it just me, or does the soundtrack seem more repetitive than usual? There is also the all encompassing issue of there being less interactivity throughout the game: cupboards don't open; locks can't be picked; there is no longer surveillance to steal, or merely read through, or hilarious conversations to eavesdrop on; stealth is no longer a necessity, which in turn strips the 'walk' button of its use and value. In fact, it doesn't even matter if you walk or run, because each group of baddies will emerge like clockwork whenever your movement/interaction within the game triggers the enemy respawn. To the untrained eye (and my eye is certainly untrained), this seems like a very unsophisticated system. Recycled.

Now, I don't want to give off the wrong impression. I don't dislike the NOLF series. On the contrary, I am a huge fan of the series! the first game was amazing. It had so much style, so much to add to the genre. And then the second game came along and, as far as I am concerned, blew away any expectations I had beforehand. The second game is by far my favorite, with that whole first section taking place in Japan, fighting in the dark with guns and a katana. So badass.

Anyway, the worst part is that I am pretty certain the given personality of John Jack is just an excuse to fudge through the shortcomings of the game. I mean, it's comical to make the American spy louder, more brash; you know, more "American." But is this just meant to mask the fact that there is no longer any sort of stealth element to the game? Are we supposed to just forget the magic of the first two titles? Are we supposed to just pretend that it's okay that there is no intuitive element at work within Contract J.A.C.K., and furthermore, no skill-system? I mean, what is that about? That was the best part about NOLF2 (right beside being able to hide in the shadows).

platform utilized: pc
genre: action, first-person shooter
where to find: The official site for Contract J.A.C.K. seems out of commission at the moment, however you can pick up a copy of the game here, playable on Windows.

Redheaded Stepchild: Contract J.A.C.K., 2003

Posted on

Jan 21, 2012

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