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Battlefield 1942

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Introduction

“In the air…In the deep…On the battlefield”
Fight your way to victory in the most intense battles of World War II.  Choose your weapon, and then jump into a raging fire fight.  From bazookas to battleships, a massive arsenal is at your disposal.
Wage war with up to 64 players.  Command over 35 devastating vehicles.  Wield 20 authentic weapons.  Combat in 4 Theaters:  South Pacific, North Africa, Eastern and Western Europe.

 

Gameplay

BF1942 is a WW2 based FPS, with action stressed over realism.  There is a single player element to the game.  Do you want bots or do you want humans as your opponents?  In this game, humans, because the bots can be dumb as hell sometimes.  They will stand still, run off in the wrong direction, run in circles, waste valuable vehicles, and forget to fight.  Seriously, this game is not about the single player element.  Sure, use it to learn how to control the vehicles, but besides that, the single player scenarios pale in comparison to the fun and excitement of the multiplayer battle. 

This game is all about Axis vs Allied forces.  Each force consists of multiple classes and vehicle sets, with some being reused based on the nationality.  The ground soldier has 5 classes:  Sniper, Assault, Medic, Anti-Tank, and Engineer.  The ground vehicles are: Jeep, APC, Tank, and Artillery.  The ships are: Battleship, Destroyer, Aircraft Carrier, and Submarine.  The planes include: Fighters, Fighter/Bombers, Torpedo, and Bombers.  Other items on the battlefield are:  AA emplacements, medical and ammo crates, MG emplacements, and naval guns. 

 

This is where the realism in the game takes a departure in order to keep balance.  Russian assault troops use the BAR 1918.  Japanese snipers use the K98 sniper rifle.  American engineers have an Enfield .303.  Japanese Artillery is a German Wespe.  The U.S. battleship is the Prince Howe.  Um, okay.  Points off for no Garand!  However, the balance kept is surprisingly good.  Snipers are great at long range, but have to pick their target wisely and are real weak at CQB.  Anti-Tank forces are great against vehicles, but their AP rounds do little to no damage against troops unless it is a direct hit.  Battleships rule the sea and make great bombardment platforms, but they are weak against subs, so they need a destroyer to screen them.  Most vehicles have multiple positions in which many people can crew.  Another realism hit here, because anyone can use or drive just about anything.  But, makes for good strategy if you can sneak away with an enemy tank, or take out a carrier based plane with the carrier’s own AA.  You can also use a killed player’s weapon set if it is still on the battlefield.

Controls are like other FPS’s, using a combination of keyboard and mouse for moving and aiming.  An unusual aspect is that this control scheme is the default for the airplanes as well, so if you have a joystick (it worked great with my Microsoft Precision Pro USB), redefine the Air controls to your stick.  It takes a bit to get used to, but it’s not that bad.  The vehicles move with the keyboard, but turrets are moved with the mouse.  The soldiers can jump, crouch, crawl, swim, and even parachute if necessary. 

 

Unlike other multiplayer FPS’s, team work and overall game balance make the game fun for all levels of experience.  Most of the servers run what is known as conquest mode.  Other modes, like team deathmatch and CTF are available.  In conquest mode, you have a set number of tickets.  It costs tickets to spawn players, vehicles, planes, and ships.  Depending on the rules of the map, you have to control a certain amount of spawn points to avoid losing tickets automatically.  If you lose all spawn points, your tickets quickly drain until one is captured, or you lose.  A spawn point is contested and captured by standing near it for a certain amount of time. Server access is easy, without having to use an external browser or service.  EA runs many servers, here and abroad, with good ping rates and large player capacity.  The maps and rankings are not static, nor are they progressive.  However, jumping into a frantic battle takes less than 5 minutes, and there is no monthly fee to play online.

Graphics

The graphics look very good, flowing nicely at 1024x768x32.  Setup options allow you to control various graphic abilities, such as resolution, shadows, model detail, etc.  The player models and vehicles look good.  The maps range from desert to ocean, city to forest.  There is little or no slowdown based on the actual machine performance.  Lag, however, is still an issue on some servers.  Also, I have experienced some tearing while flying, but this is usually lag based as well.  There are large maps with fog issues, not allowing you to snipe or bombard far points without the aid of spotters.  There are some issues with ships, because the units on the ships tend to react sluggishly compared to the actual ships movements.

 

Sound

Standard sound setup options are available.  Sound cues are key in the game, allowing you to quickly call out an enemy spotting call for backup or offer assistance.  When you gain, lose one, or lose all spawn points, you are automatically alerted to the event.  Weapon sounds are distinct and crisp.  Everyone is defaulted to talk in English.  However, unclick that setting to here all the combatants in their native tongue.

Summary

While not stressing realism, like WW2 Online or MOH, this game is about quick entry to intense action with no lulls.  Classes and vehicles are balanced nicely, with almost a rock-paper-scissors effect.  While the single player bot mess, along with the lack of certain realism elements, hurts the final score, this game is extremely quick to get into, and very enjoyable when played multiplayer. 

 

Final Score
8 out of 10

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