I recently tried a few hours of the first one and I have to admit I barely remember anything about it. It was nice to be able to pick the guns before the mission, but lack of variety in enemy types and everything dying so extremely quickly did somehow leave me cold about it. Similar to Red Ocean or Return to Castle Wolfenstein at some point I just couldn’t see any reason to continue anymore. RtCW did have some fantasy-elements in there, but all in all the story and setting were still not really interesting. Not as bad as RC or SoF, but not good enough either.
Chaser, which I have been putting some hours into the last two weeks or so, has similar issues. Both the player and the enemy soldiers are extremely fragile, there is little variety in enemy types and the guns are your typical run of the mill 20th- to 21st-century stuff. The performance differences are significant enough that the latter are somewhat interesting, but it’s still supposed to be a near-future setting with space flight and Mars having been colonized. Yet, what one gets are FAMAS’, Mac 10s, M4s and such. The HK G11 is only a slight exception to the rule so far.
The story is told in in-game graphics sequences and generally competently exectuted. Most of the voice-acting and writing are ok and the story mostly makes sense so far, but the player character has horrible voice-acting which is quite detrimental.
Another big issue concerns the bad pacing. Most levels are quite big and either confusing or simply forcing the player to follow an unnecessarily stretched out path. This wouldn’t be a problem if there was any world-building, but I think it’s fair to say that the environments are a bit bland. The lighting can be great for such an old game and I personally don’t mind the soundtrack, but I never felt as if I was travelling/fighting through inhabited environments that tell any kind of story.
Oh, and I have finished the so-called Dawn of Magic 2, which is really the stand-alone expansion Blood Magic - Time of Shadows, but I will make a separate post for that.