Many years ago I had played the demo version of this game on Playstation 2, which included most of the second level. Having played the first game on the same console, I had a higher expectation of this one.
The game feels and looks basically the same as the console version. There are a few subtle good things worth mentioning upfront. It would have been one of the first games to move towards some proper dual-wielded weapons- in which left-click fires one and right-click fires the other. It has an interesting way of introducing each (admittedly bland) character upon your first encounter with them. It has fancy animations on the edge of the screen when putting on your nightvision goggles (rather than just instantaneously switching like most games) or getting into a "Battle Armour"- unlike most games of the time, in which the player was simply in a vehicle right after pressing the button to enter it. One weapon- the NICW- even has a digital ammo count on the side of it, reminiscent of the Assault Rifle from the original game.
Unlike the PC version of the original, this includes a Bot Match mode against AI-controlled players- something which was in the console version of the original. This is a typical Quake-style deathmatch which strangely has a different HUD- and the weapons behave differently. For example, the Rail Driver in single-player has 3 rounds and a reload between each. In Bot Matches, this same weapon has 6 rounds and only requires a reload after firing all 6...
The story is almost cringeworthy at times. It goes on a semi-political bent and basically has all the characters betray you shortly after first meeting them. It has almost no connection whatsoever to the story of the original game. It reuses some music assets from the first game in Bot Matches- some of the techno-style tracks from the first game, some of which are quite impressive.
The game is basically linear and very poorly designed in some parts. The sewer level's beginning is one of the better examples of this. Everything is maze-like and you'll probably just get through it guessing where to go- having to shoot at the same constantly respawning enemies along the way. Once you're at the end of the level, you probably won't be able to think about the map design in your head. Trying to understand the maps... your thoughts will be about as murky as the sewer water.
The game's difficulty is also really inconsistent. You will find some shockingly easy parts and then run into a boss battle with an enemy possessing a ridiculous amount of health and respawning minions to assist them. Boss battles should have been toned down, standard gameplay should have toughened up. You can't leave a vehicle that you have entered unless you are in a certain area. You can't skip cut-scenes- prepare to rewatch the same one before a boss battle several times if you die in it. The game includes a fairly rudimentary health regeneration- where you essentially have one small health bar and you automatically use a health kit once that health bar runs out. You don't manually use your health kits- nor does it take time to use them. You will finish it in 3-4 hours (maybe less) if you don't die much through it.
As many other reviewers have stated, this is something of a downgrade on the first game. For something from a professional studio- Volition- it is almost unforgiveable. I think most players will find this game to be extremely generic and short- a 5/10 at best. Spend your money on the first game instead.