Code of Honor 2: Conspiracy Island

Written by Joe Martin

August 14, 2008 | 08:27

Tags: #coh #joe #worst

Companies: #city-interactive


As we've already touched on, Code of Honor 2: Conspiracy Island makes use of the Jupiter-EX game engine originally developed by Monolith for the original F.E.A.R game.

The Jupiter-EX engine does a few things very well and although the engine is looking dated nowadays, it still has a few tricks up its sleeve like the ability to do cool and fairly cinematic animations of grunts rolling through windows, slow-motion explosions and complex enemy AI. There’s some decent physics support in the use of the Havok API too.

And yet Code of Honor 2 doesn’t seem to capitalise on any of these technical strengths, to the point that although the graphical tweaking options and fiddlery (it is a word, Tim) are exactly the same as in F.E.A.R, they don’t seem to have any effect.

Thus, rather than do the full-on graphical breakdown as we might do with other games, we’ve instead got screenshots of the Maximum, Medium and Minimum quality presets. We did try fiddling with individual settings, but the difference was often so minimal it didn’t warrant discussion.

There are a lot of settings to fiddle with in Code of Honor 2 – you can tweak everything from corpse detail to whether bullet casings have shadows or not... but it doesn’t matter. Regardless of what you fiddle with you’ll still find that the game looks awful – just on the lower detail settings you won’t be able to find it as easily.

Code of Honour 2: Conspiracy Island Code of Honor 2: Conspiracy Island - Graphics Code of Honour 2: Conspiracy Island Code of Honor 2: Conspiracy Island - Graphics
Code of Honor 2 on Low Graphics (left) and Medium Graphics (right), click to enlarge

This does have some good sides of course – you won’t need to have a super machine to run the game and Code of Honor 2 is ideally suited to running on underpowered notebooks of yesteryear. The flip side though is that there are better games out there which do the same thing or which just look better.

Why play Code of Honor 2: Conspiracy Island on your really old laptop or desktop machine when you could pick up something like Deus Ex, Unreal Tournament or Quake 3 for a fraction of the price?

The graphics in Code of Honor 2 are awfully low end at the best of times. Even when the game is running in the most demanding preset available, the game still looks about as attractive a proposition as trying to unblock a dirty toilet with a pair of tweezers and no rubber gloves.

Of course, it doesn’t help that the game doesn’t even support many of the most common gaming resolutions either. Using the maximum preset pushes the game to a whopping 1,080 x 1,024 (that sounds wrong - Ed) and while the game ran fine for us at 1,920 x 1,200, warnings popped up declaring it to be an unsupported resolution. Not a good sign for a modern game.

Even on maximum detail the graphics are still pretty bad though and it reminds me of that old geek saying that ‘just because your mum says you have Brad Pitt’s jawline doesn’t mean that the rest of your face doesn’t look like Bill Cosby’s leftover elbow scrag, fatty.’

Code of Honour 2: Conspiracy Island Code of Honor 2: Conspiracy Island - Graphics
Code of Honor 2 on High Graphics settings, click to enlarge

What? Is it just me they used to say that to at school? Damn teachers.

What I mean though is that it doesn’t matter that the Jupiter-EX provides dynamic lighting and parallax mapping and so on because at the end of the day the textures are so low res and the models are all so sharply angled and badly lit that these features just don’t matter.

It’s a shame. In a perfect world or a Hollywood movie then Code of Honor 2 would be the leading lady who would be perfectly nice and affable, but she wears glasses and is ignored by the popular clique. Then, after completing her in under five hours and getting our analogies all mixed up, we’d take off her glasses and realise that she’s actually quite pretty in some respects and that we’ve grown enough as mature human beings to look past appearances.

This isn’t a Hollywood movie though. So, what happens is that after spending some time with her/it/the game we find out that actually the reason nobody talks to her is because she makes all her clothes out of dead beetles and can’t stop dribbling all over herself, punctuating every sentence with a passing of gas.

It’s then that you realise it probably isn’t best to pin all your hopes on just one dribbling girl. Maybe you should play the field instead? Maybe you should just drop this elaborate and tiresome comparison to a Hollywood Romcom and just start looking at the multiplayer?
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