Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 13
  2. Negative: 7 out of 13
  1. Sometimes gore just is not enough. [Feb 2008]
  2. 59
    Soldier of Fortune: Payback has one thing going for it: excessive dismemberment. Everything else is standard stuff for a shooter. Yet, I must admit, that I get a guilty pleasure playing Payback. Though it's not a good game, it's still fun to see body parts fly.
  3. Soldier of Fortune: Payback is a one-trick pony of blood and guts. And if that’s your thing, you might be able to overlook the generic shooting mechanic, enemy AI that’s cheap and stupid, and dull level design. But we just can’t.
  4. Stock animation generates the same A.I. moves over and over again. This redundant theme is further exacerbated by the gameplay which, despite changing environments, doesn't differ from mission to mission. It's a matter of taking out the bad guys and moving on. The entire game can be played in a day.
  5. What we don’t understand is why someone allowed this to soil the reputation of one of the best FPS series of the last generation.
  6. For some unknown reason Activision took a pretty respectable franchise (I still play SoF2 from time to time to this day, and it is still installed on my PC), and chucked it in the garbage.
  7. If senseless, over-the-top violence can keep you entertained, you'll be done with the single-player portion in several hours, after which you might want to get into the multiplayer. Yet, this is just another mundane aspect of the game, featuring nothing beyond the traditional deathmatch, CTF and so on.
  8. This shooter is a painful exercise in pattern memorization plus frustrating trial-and-error gameplay.
  9. Soldier of Fortune’s damage model is probably its major selling point and, lamentably, the only thing that makes its combat entertaining. [Feb 2008, p.96]
  10. Payback is a disservice to the Soldier of Fortune franchise, and in no way captures the exciting action of its pedigree. [Feb 2008, p.86]
  11. I honestly feel like I should donate some money to charity after having paid for such a nasty little swindle of a game. [Mar 2008, p.76]
  12. While I make it a goal to play every game I review to completion, there’s just no way that I am going to waste more my life playing this game.
  13. An utterly atrocious mess. [Feb 2008, p.78]
User Score

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 74 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 31
  2. Negative: 24 out of 31
  1. Jun 10, 2013
    I actually thought this was going to be a good or at least OK game, boy was I wrong. I do know the graphics and the gore in the game were all right but there were a number of things that made this game fall apart. One of course was the lack of manual saving, which irritated me since both previous SOF titles had this. Another would be the irritating voiceovers for the player that would repeat if it was the beginning of a mission. I believe there were bugs and other issues that also made me facepalm, including crashes if I recalled.

    This game is an atrocity to the SOF series and essentially killed it thanks to this budget knock off with the SOF titled slapped on it.
    Full Review »
  2. Nov 28, 2011
    I don't even know what to say about this game... It got some pretty bad reviews, and I can understand why: the AI was very poorly written, the save system is bad, it starts off not having anything to do with the previous two S.O.F.'s, and the game progresses slowly. However, aside from these flaws is a very okay game. It looks really nice (problem here is you can't change the quality, for lower end PC owners, like me,) and the gore system is returned, adding that nice touch of realism. To wrap everything up: I say, check out this game, but don't bother wasting money buying it, play it at a friend's house or pirate it. Save your money for the much better Soldier of Fortune 1 or 2. Full Review »
  3. Oct 26, 2010
    This game is an abomination to the other games in this awesome franchise.
    I don't know what they were thinking when they brought this game in
    to the world, I've played numerous made mods that are way better and less buggy than this. They have really overdone the gore on this game too, I guess that's because that is the only thing this game has to offer. If there will ever be another Soldier of Fortune game they should call it Soldier of Fortune 3 and just forget this piece of **** Full Review »