Have You Played… Söldner?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Söldner.

Tempting though it is to just write “Söldner” again and again, perhaps it’s more fun to explain why so more can enjoy the joke.

Söldner came out in 2004, and was, at launch, one of the most fantastically broken games of all time. Aiming to be a soldiery sim, primarily multiplayer, it featured tanks, helicopters, the works. Apart from the “works” part. It was spectacular every time I played. Giant barrels would explode leaving confusing armoured cars in their place, buildings would blow up if you shot a window, objects would disappear and reappear, enemy AI was dangerously unwell. It was one of those rare games that never disappointed to provide something hilarious every time I loaded it.

This was because the publishers apparently forced the game to be released entirely unfinished. Some very silly people have tried to fix it over the years, but the game never really got to a place where it was functional. But the very worst thing that occurred was removing the bored sounding man who said “Söldner” in an uninterested voice every time you loaded it up. That was what made it. If you can find an original copy (I have one installed that I’ll never delete), it’s worth it. It’s guaranteed to entertain.

Söldner.

17 Comments

  1. Da5e says:

    Söldner.

  2. SamfisherAnD says:

    I remember the review in PCG UK, and the subsequent articles and features of the also broken patch notes and shared with Boiling Point the best patch notes and broken game of all time!

  3. Greg Wild says:

    Söldner.

  4. Casparas says:

    You can play it for free now: link to soldnersecretwars.de

  5. lowprices says:

    Söldner.

  6. Barberetti says:

    Söldner.

  7. Troubletcat says:

    Söldner: Secret Wars.

    Me and one of my buddies played the beta of this for quite a few hours and wanted to get it (we had fun!) but neither of us could find a copy here in Australia (remember when you had to actually be able to physically locate a copy of a game to play it? seems so long ago now) but that’s probably for the best.

    We still joke about the bored voice…

    I seem to recall the game being super super ambitious in what it was trying to do. Too bad it didn’t do those things. And game developers never made that mistake again.

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    G-Lord says:

    You bring up a lot of memories…
    The friend who hyped the game for months, being absolutely sure it would be much better than BF Vietnam. The endless tries to actually play the demo over LAN. The hilarious fun the broken mechanics provided.

  9. Anthile says:

    I experienced it, yes. Söldner.

  10. GernauMorat says:

    Is it possible to find an unpatched version? I yearn to experience the weirder bugs

  11. BattleXer says:

    Söldner!

  12. Nice Save says:

    I have played it once. I have never laughed so much in my life. If you haven’t played it, play it. Or at least look up some youtube videos.

  13. DrMcCoy says:

    No, the worst part is that they didn’t even pronounce “Söldner” correctly. That boring voice says “Soldner” (which isn’t a word), not “Söldner” (which is German for “mercenary”). There’s a difference.

  14. a very affectionate parrot says:

    The only time i played soldner i just watched in awe as a tank span around my objective like a ballerina crushing things and firing randomly and eventually leveled the objective itself without any of my intervention.
    Some of the best emergent gameplay ever.

  15. Xander77 says:

    For some reason I have a peculiar hankering to hear a bored man say a highly specific word (or non-word, if the post above is to be believed). Anyone got a link to the actual sound?