Normally, when I see a game like Shining Sword 2 with its mediocre graphics and People's Liberation Army-inspired characters, I immediately snub it and walk away. This is especially true now that I've started Diablo III. Alas, it is my job to play games, even ones that turn me off like Shining Sword 2 did.
Shining Sword 2 has been in the Chinese news a lot recently for two reasons: it is one of the bigger red games to come out in recent times, and it was given support by a major game hater turned hypocrite. Unfortunately for Shining Sword 2 and other purveyors of these type of mediocre "red games", the extra attention given to Shining Sword 2 only shows how much of a rusted piece of crud the game really is.
Set during the second Sino-Japanese war, Shining Sword 2 lets you take the place of a Chinese soldier. This period of Chinese history was rife with turmoil, and it was during this time that the Communist Party really took off.
There are five available classes to choose from, including the super sniper that never misses, the incredible soldier with a big sword, regular soldier, super medic and captain of the guard. Shining Sword 2 has a little something for everyone. Personally, I went with the sniper because what really baffled me was that more than half the characters to choose from carried swords. This is a World War II game where the weapon of choice is swords... Granted, of course, that Chinese soldiers at that point in time were undersupplied and may have used swords. But a war game with swords doesn't really make sense.
Getting into the game, the story starts off with the player thrown right into the middle of the war against the Japanese. There are battles going on, people are dying, and people are getting shot. And then you notice that the Chinese NPCs all look very peaceful, and that the people dying and getting shot are the Japanese soldiers.
Upon venturing out into the field to test out combat, I noticed that the enemies don't come towards you like they do in traditional games. In fact, they wouldn't start attacking until I started attacking. The combat is a very simple point-and-click system, but like many red games, simple equates to boring. For every hit I landed on the Japanese soldier, I did about 10 to 15 times more damage than I received. If I hit the enemy, I would do 15 damage. But when I was hit, which was around one out of every five hits, I only lost two health points. This quasi super-mode made the battle boring really quickly. Changing my weapon from a rifle to a sword helped kill the monotony of battle, but it could only go so far.
After my dreadful attempt at killing Japanese invaders, I nearly gave up playing, but I could not. Seeing how some players were able to ride horses and motorcycles, I decided to keep playing until I could get my own mount.
After another hour of fiddling around, searching for NPCs and trying to read Chinese really fast, I gave up and tried the in-game store. Interestingly, the in-game store was free. For the most part, the items cost in-game currency, but it was close to impossible to purchase anything as the store functioned like an auction house — items would appear and then disappear.
The makers of Shining Sword 2 tried to emphasise three F's: fun, fair and free. After spending most of my weekend playing this game, I can say that Shining Sword 2 is a free and fair game, but it's not a fun game. The whole thing just felt lazy and boring. Sure, there may be some people who are interested in the skewed history lesson that the game provides, but overall I do not recommend this game.