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Battlefield 1942: Road to Rome

Grizzled veteran Starfury gives his take on the new Road To Rome expansion pack to the acclaimed Battlefield 1942!

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Introduction

“The war is far from over…”

All roads lead to Rome in this expansion pack to Battlefield 1942. Fight your way to victory on the Italian front in some of the fiercest battles of World War II. From the shores of Sicily to the hills of Monte Cassino, wage war online with up to 64 players with an all-new assortment of WWII firepower.

Gameplay

Road to Rome is an expansion pack to the highly successful Battlefield 1942. With this expansion, you get 6 new maps, 2 new armies, and a multitude of new weapons to play with. The maps themselves are larger than the typical BF42 maps, allowing multiple strategies to win. Operation Husky, for example, is similar to the Omaha beach map, yet it is 3 times bigger. The new maps make use of the new troops and weapons nicely. However, only on the new maps can you use these weapons. The new weapons include 4 new tanks, 3 types of anti-tank guns, and two new planes. The Free-French get a Sten SMG, and the Italian forces get a Breda SMG. All of the engineers get a bayonet for their rifle. Reload times for bolt-action rifles has been decreased.

The gameplay remains the same as the original BF42. To recap, 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. Granted, things are a bit better with the bot AI this patch, but only use this mode to learn how to control the vehicles. Besides, 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.
There is little or no slowdown based on the actual machine performance. Lag is still an issue on some servers. The 1.3 patch, necessary for RtR, has helped to alleviate the lag and load times.

Graphics

The graphics look very good, still flowing nicely at 1024x768x32. Setup options allow you to control various graphic capabilities such as resolution, shadows, model detail, etc. The player models and vehicles look good, especially the new models. The maps have been designed to represent the Italian landscape, with lush greenery mixed in with jagged mountains. Bombed out buildings and structures smoke and smoulder. The fog issues are still there, not allowing you to snipe or bombard far points without the aid of spotters. There have been subtle additions to light sourcing, especially on the Monte Cassino map, where the fighting takes place under the darkened sky of rain.


Sound

Standard sound setup options are still available. Since the 1.3 patch, some weapon sounds have been altered and background sounds added. RtR take advantage of these environmental sounds, so you can hear the water flowing by, thunder in the distance, and the gong of the church-tower bell. The 1.3 patch also fixed a sound issue with Win XP and the SB Live series of cards.

Summary

This expansion adds quite a bit to the game, from maps to weapons. Unfortunately, only those maps added with RtR can use the new items or armies. Still, not a bad addition for $20, unlike the full-priced MOH: Spearhead. I give the game a 7.5 out of 10 rating.

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