Way back in 2009, a strange little third-person shooter was released, called Foreign Legion: Buckets of Blood. I’m sure that the real foreign legion, the branch of the French army open to civilians of other countries (thanks Wikipedia), was thrilled to have their name on a game in which you attempt to defend a number of objectives (bus full of civilians, house full of civilians) from wave after wave of terrorists in as gory a manner as possible. Indeed, the more grizzly your method of dispatching your foes, be them soldiers or chickens, the more buckets of blood (or, score) you accumulated throughout the level.
While a moderate amount of mindless fun, the first Foreign Legion game suffered from one major setback – it wasn’t very long. The entire campaign could be taken down in just an hour or two, but you’d be in the minority if the monotonous gameplay didn’t destroy your motivation for getting through more than half an hour. Now, Foreign Legion: Multi Massacre - well, just reading the title should be enough for you to catch on to what’s going on here. Despite being billed as the “long awaited follow up to Buckets of Blood“, this lacklustre sequel seems to suffer from having its Achilles’ heel in precisely the same place as its predecessor. But hey – how much can you really expect from a game that boasts the tagline “Kill dolphins by the dozen”?
Multi Massacre can be described, at best, as multiplayer DLC to Buckets of Blood – a game that, for whatever reason, supported only single-player. Everything else – and I mean everything else – is the same. Maps, enemies, and weapons, are copied and pasted directly over from Buckets of Blood, and the fact that there are only 3 maps at the moment doesn’t help in the way of content. The developer seems to think that adding a bunch of animals to kill makes up for the atrocious lack of maps, but no, no it doesn’t. I mean, when you release a multiplayer only game which is supposed to be a standalone product, it’s not an option – you need more than three maps on release. The maps aren’t even that big either. And I feel that I should mention that at least one of the maps is recycled from the first game. I’m not sure about the other two (I didn’t play far enough through Buckets), but Village definitely existed before this multiplayer addition to the game.
Your character is carried over from Buckets, or, if you haven’t played it, a new, fresh character will be provided. As you play more games and collect more buckets of blood, you’ll earn experience to unlock weapons and accessories and cash with which to buy these weapons and accessories. One mistake in design, in my opinion, is the fact that you need to either purchase your ammunition or grab some on the field from a supply drop, as it doesn’t replenish itself when you begin a level. As far as I can work out, there is a level cap of 20, and it will only take you about an hour of play to make it half that distance. The challenge comes from the number of foes swarming at either you or your objective at any one time, as well as the lack of any sort of voice communication. The only method to converse with your fellow gung-ho soldiers is typed chat, and due to the fast-paced, frantic action which rarely lets you lift your finger off the left mouse button for more than a second at a time, you seldom get a chance to talk. Due to this, Multi Massacre boils down to, essentially, the same thing as Buckets of Blood, only with companions that might as well be artificial intelligence, even less overall content, and explosive dolphins.
As with its predecessor, Foreign Legion: Multi Massacre will provide an hour or two of rather mindlessly enjoyable, if low-quality, third-person shooting action. The graphics are smooth yet sparse, balancing out the gory head-splosions with a strange, almost Lego-like charm, however the pure lack of content, even compared its singleplayer predecessor, bottlenecks the amount of gametime you’ll be able to take out of it. Nothing has really changed since the game that Multi Massacre is billed as the sequel to, save the transition from a singleplayer-only game to a multiplayer-only game, with recycled maps, models, and just about everything else. If you enjoyed Buckets of Blood, then you’ll likely enjoy Multi Massacre – if you haven’t played it, then try to consider the now-available double pack consisting of a copy of each game as one game called Foreign Legion. That’s essentially what it is. With the addition of some more content here, particularly more maps (which I’m hugely hoping for myself), Multi Massacre would definitely be worth picking up. At the moment, the huge lack of content means that it’s fun for an hour at best, and only if you bring friends.
Select Start Media was provided with a review copy of Foreign Legion: Multi Massacre by Sakari Games.