Description of Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K. 2 Windows
I first heard about Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2 when I visited the Ritual offices two years ago. I had no idea then that the concept art I was looking at would develop into something so special. I couldn't get much of a description of the game from the guys except "it's gonna be way cool" and that it would be played from the 3rd-person perspective. Being an FPS-only sort of gamer, I generally lost interest, but by the time the game rolled around I had completely forgotten about the fixed perspective and ignorantly requested a copy to review. I am very thankful I did, though -- rarely do I play a game that I absolutely want to play until the very end. This is one of those games. It's just a shame the end is so much closer than you think.
Julie Is A Babe
The header above has nothing to do with what I am about to write, but I just had to get that out now. Actually, it does make a good lead-in to a brief background on the "Heavy Metal" reference in the title -- for those not in the know (and many of us aren't), Heavy Metal is an adult sci-fi/fantasy comic magazine started in the glorious age of the politically incorrect seventies. It became quite a cult hit -- enough to approve funding for the raunchy 1981 animated movie based on stories from the magazines, a sort of westernized anime full of aliens, action and "naked chicks." Roll on the new century, and Heavy Metal has already met a strong revival with its recent home video/DVD release; now a new Heavy Metal movie has just been completed (dubbed "Heavy Metal 2000") based on the F.A.K.K.2 stories and this game is all part of the franchise. Quick fact: The lead character was inspired by B-movie actress/Penthouse playmate, Julie Strain. Is any of this sordid background necessary knowledge to play the game? Well, no, but at least now you know why the heroine chooses to reveal so much flesh.
The game begins with a training session to help non-third-person adventure gamers (like me) get up to speed with running, jumping, crawling, climbing and fighting. Along the way, players learn how to use a variety of weapons, climb walls, skirt narrow cliffs and use attack combinations. The training session is thorough and complete without missing anything.
Once Julie has entered the real world you will find an environment rich in characters, small furry animals and impending peril. Never before have I found a game with such beautiful graphics and design from start to finish. If anything, the guys at Ritual have one claim to fame: they know level design. Though Sin was something of a disappointment (pre-patch), the game sported some of the best art and level design in a first-person shooter. It should come as no surprise that the environment reeks of minor details.
The premise of the game is that evil lurks just around every corner and only Julie can save the planet of Eden. Julie is first dispatched to find a man who knows a man who knows the secret to saving the planet. Along the way, Julie travels through a beautiful paradise city, the requisite sewer system, a steep valley, a swamp, and a magnificent tomb/temple complex. In each case, the levels are of the highest quality in art, design and function.
The village of Eden looks exactly like a medieval village transported though time and space to the future. All is bright and sunny, including the resident's disposition. But all is not well in this pastoral setting. Not long after the game begins, Julie is called upon to save a pregnant cow and something odd is happening to Julie's pregnant sister. This is not as ridiculous as it sounds. The city is by far the best part of the game and presents the most free-form elements of the game.
Friends and Family
Julie meets many friendly characters in the game - most of which display some semblance of personality and identity. I think I saw more human characters than monsters. In fact, I am sure of it. Monsters in this game come in only a few flavors: mosquitoes, birds, hulking beasts, comical little round beasts and mechanical/flesh amalgamations. I was somewhat disappointed with the lack of variety in this respect. If you've seen one mosquito, you've seen them all (and I still haven't recovered from Daikatana). Ritual has also included several monsters that are more or less environmental hazards, such as man-eating plants, poisonous plants and deadly vines. Still, I was left feeling that the game came up short in this department.
As you might expect (though I didn't expect it because I never really got into Tomb Raider), most levels include a number of jumping challenges, climbing challenges, swinging challenges and shooting challenges. Julie is capable of a wide variety of movements and at some point you'll need to utilize almost every movement in her repertoire. Sadly, jumping, above all else, seems to be the flavor of the day. When you are stuck and don't know what to do? Find something to jump on. I think that I speak for every mature adult when I say that I got my fill of jumping with Super Mario Brothers. I haven't jumped this much since Donkey Kong.
The swamp was my least favorite level. I couldn't see far enough ahead to logically pick a direction of travel. The only way to keep your bearings was to leave one or two baddies left alive as a waypoint. But even that wouldn't always work well. In short, I needed a map.
Puzzles make up most of the "adventure" element of this game. Solve this one: you enter a room and find three red buttons. When you press a button it turns green. Hmm. What to do Pushing one button doesn't seem to have done anything. Perhaps I should leave the room and try finding another way out of this place. Well, let's press the second button. Nothing happens?! This puzzle is even harder than I expected. Surely I don't need to press all three buttons!! Wow - the doors unlocked. I'll have to tuck this experience away for future reference.
In every case, save one, this is the type of puzzle you'll face. One puzzle requires the player to line up three flowers of the same color (nothing more than trial and error). The other puzzles almost always require a button, a wheel, a lever or a combination of the three. Sure, there are other challenges along the way, such as executing 26 perfect jumps in a row while following Tinkerbell and her sister, but these are more about keyboard technique than brain power. I thought that this would appeal to a hard-core first-person shooter fan like me since I can't stand any type of challenge that can't be solved by acquiring an even larger gun. But I've learned one thing here: I'd much rather face some kind of logical challenge than a jumping challenge. On the positive side, the game moves in a familiar linear style and adventure-game-hating players like me won't get stuck for hours wondering if we should have done this or that.
The weapons on Eden consist of the standard fare: swords, guns, bigger swords, bigger guns and explosives (sadly, not bigger explosives). Swordplay is one of the more satisfying elements of the game - especially the shrubbery chainsaw sword. Armed with any sword, Julie is able to make combination attacks that look pretty darn cool. Even more interesting is the sword/Uzi combination where she lets him have it with a reverse swipe of the blade and finishes him off with a bullet to the head. It's a lot more personal than you might think.
A unique feature of Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2 is the ability to arm yourself in a variety of manners. Julie is right-handed so she'll always wield her sword in her right hand. This leaves her left to hold a shield or gun. You can switch it around to hold the gun in the right hand and a shield in the left (not a bad combination). Some weapons require two hands to operate, but this freedom is a nice addition to the genre. I am a bit put out that it takes so long to change out weapons, but at the pace of this game, this rarely becomes an issue.
Julie the Robot
I have a few minor complaints and one major complaint. First, though Julie can execute a wild variety of moves, she is rarely called upon to do so. It's great that she can cross monkey bars, but if she only needs to do this once, and she does this only when no other solution is available, why bother doing it? Wouldn't a rope-crossing have achieved the same effect? I suppose that gets to the heart of the problem with this game: the levels are beautiful, but play like first efforts and they rarely take true advantage of the third-person perspective.
Julie can duck, so why not include a few places where she needs to duck? Julie can swing Tarzan-style on ropes and vines, so why not include a few more? More importantly, why not allow the player to decide how a particular challenge should be approached - whether that be running, jumping, climbing, rolling or swinging? Instead, Julie faces not only linear gameplay in the broad sense of the game, but at the most discrete decision level of the game. I often felt like a Pavlovian dog. When they said "jump" I jumped. When they said "duck" -- that one time -- I ducked. Good doggie.
I was more disappointed that the weapons, while very fun to use, aren't really very interesting. A sword is a sword in this game, whether is burns with fire or glistens with electricity it is but a slashing weapon. The guns are nice - especially the akimbo Uzis, but not especially original (a Herculean task these days). Of curious note: Julie is always equipped with a sling and rocks. I am not sure what Ritual had in mind with the rocks and sling but this item is absolutely, positively useless. Rocks barely annoy the enemy and fly an incredibly short distance. They are difficult to aim and not fun to use. So why in the world do I have three types of rocks to use? I'd be much happier if I could tie an extra ammo clip to my thigh using the leather sling.
The major complaint I have about the game is its brevity. As I mentioned earlier, I really wanted to play this game to its very end. I was having a blast, was involved in the storyline and wanted to finish the game. But I was completely blindsided by the pace of the game. Before I knew it (or expected it) the game had come to an end. Surely, I thought, this is a false ending. I'm being tricked. The bad guys aren't really vanquished. I'm just getting started!
Nope. It's over.
Really, It's Over
Initially, Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2 is wonderfully fun and of the highest quality. But it ends far too quickly. Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2 looks like an epic movie but feels more like a television episode. Like a sitcom it is predictable and shallow. For that reason I have a very difficult time recommending this game. I've played demos with more gameplay. Without a multiplayer option or multiple difficulty settings to lengthen the experience, there isn't enough here to warrant a purchase. If you don't expect more than ten to fifteen hours of entertainment for your $40 then you'll be fine with it, but I've come to expect a lot more from my games, and so should you.
After five hours of play I was almost ready to give Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2 a Gold Medal. After 10 hours of play I was finished with the game, never to play it again. That should tell you all you need to know.
Review By GamesDomain
Comments and reviews
AlloyCowboy 2018-09-18 1 point Windows version
I got it to work fine. I didn't bother with the patches yet. I unpacked the download, and converted the bin to ISO with winbin2iso. I didn't have to do anything with the cue file. I used a generic free ISO mounting software to mount the ISO and installed the game. unpacked and ran the nocdfix as administrator just to make sure it would work, and it didn't. lol. but keeping the ISO mounted allows me to play just fine.
Chaos 2018-09-17 0 point Windows version
Tried various ways, continue stoping on the grey screen, then show this message error : GWL_StartOpenGL () - Could not load OpenGL subsystem
F.A.K.Ken hell 2018-08-15 6 points Windows version
Hey I thought I'd share this with everyone here, I was unable to mount the ISO Daemon tools kept giving an error with the .cue file so I found the solution.
You will need to open the "Heavy Metal Fakk2.cue file with a program such as Notepad++ or notepad and change the first line as the link in its broken. Just change the first line so the files reads like this:
FILE "Heavy Metal Fakk 2.bin" BINARY
TRACK 01 MODE1/2352
INDEX 01 00:00:00
Then save and mount with Daemon tools and all should be working for you :)
Hope this helps someone out there!
MofoMan2000 2018-07-28 1 point Windows version
The 1.01 patch is flagged as suspicious by Windows Defender and the nocd crack is straight-up prevented from running. These are false positives. The 1.01 patch installer doesn't work anyway (it says the game is not installed), but the 1.02 patch is an easy manual extraction. The nocd crack does work and does not require administrator privileges (unless you installed the game in C:\Program Files (x86) which why would you do that?). So if you're concerned that it may be dangerous you don't have to run it as admin. After you have applied the patch to the game .exe you can safely delete the crack as well. You'll just have to disable "Real-time protection" in the Windows Defender Security Center under Virus & thread protection settings while you're patching it, just be sure to enable it again when you're done.
Didn't Work 2018-07-06 0 point Windows version
I was unable to mount the game. I even tried to convert the Bin file to ISO
Greven Nazg 2018-03-06 0 point
F.A.K.K. = "Federation-Assigned Ketogenic Killzone to the second level"
jj 2018-02-07 0 point Mac version
Neat underrated game using the quake3 engine. I have the original boxed Mac copy and it needs a powerful PPC to run the Mac version.
gameUser 2017-12-01 0 point
I see this is in the top downloads again. I have downloaded this and 2 anti-virus programs said it had malware in it. Has the malware been removed? Was there ever malware? Was it a false positive? Want to play. Thanks!
DLG 2017-07-18 -1 point
How do you install this? the crack keeps saying that there's malware in it.
CsabaZz 2017-06-23 -1 point
Where is the PC version??? I wanna see Julie Strain's tits and butt on my PC!!!
JORGE 2014-10-05 -1 point Mac version
I remember seeing this game being reviewed on my June 2000 issue of CGW, I can't believe it's an abadonware now...
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