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SummaryWar is hell, but Battlefield is a slice of gaming heaven!
The GoodWhere to start with this one? Besides the fact that it is one of the best multiplayer titles ever released, and it has completely taken over my life in a short time. And how extremely fun it is...Lets see...
Gameplay: One word describes it perfectly: FUN. The game takes place in a World War 2 setting, placing Allies (British, US, and Russian forces) against Axis (German and Japanese forces) in several different theaters of war, from Europe, to Africa, to the Pacific. Each level is based off of a certain battle of the war (Like Omaha Beach and Iwo Jima for example). From the huge endless deserts of El Alamien to the tense close combat battles among the destroyed buildings of Stalingrad, each map is well designed and enjoyable. There are five different kits available for soldiers: Scouts (Who can target for artillery, and carry sniper rifles), Assault (Your basic grunt with the machine gun), Ant-Tank (Who carry rocket launchers and can take out vehicles), Medics (Who provide health on the field), and Engineers (Who can repair vehicles and set up defenses). Each kit has it's own advantages and disadvantages. Weapons are different for each side, and like the kits, have pros and cons as well. For example, the Allies machine gun, the Bar 1918 has a smaller clip and a slower rate of fire then the Axis StG 44, but unlike the StG, the Bar is very accurate. The game takes a 'rock-paper-scissors' approach to the weapons and kits, and vehicles. And the vehicles! I doubt that this game would've been half as good without them. There are over 35 different vehicles in the game, ranging from jeeps, to tanks, to planes, APCs, to giant battleships and aircraft carriers, even submarines! Each vehicle provides a fun approach to doing things. For example you could get into a plane (A bomber or fighter, your choice) and attack enemy positions from the air, but watch out for anti-aircraft turrets, and other fighters, or else you'll have to parachute out. Get into a tank and wreak all kinds of havoc, but watch out for planes, anti-tank soldiers, or enemy tanks. You could get into a battleship, and shell the land, but watch out for other ships, submarines or planes. Some vehicles also have several slots, so team mates can also get in and join you. There are many different possibilities and many things you can do. It's also hard to describe this game without reminiscing about many different memorable moments encountered when playing this game. I'll always remember the first time I took out my first plane with a rocket launcher, or escaping a sinking ship after an enemy air attack. There are several different gameplay modes in the game, but Conquest (Where your team has to to take over and control several points across the map, right up to the enemy base) is the most common one.
Graphics/Sound: On the graphics side, the game wont challenge Unreal 2 , but they still hold thier own. The scale of the levels are huge! The vehicles also look good, and things like explosions are well done. The sound affects sound very good, from the footsteps of a soldier to the omnious sound of a tank rolling in, everything is solid, right down to soldiers speaking in thier native languages. The music isn't bad too, even though there is a bit of a lack of it: Only to be heard in the menu, or loading a map, or when a game is finished.
The BadThere are only a few things I have found wrong in this game. First, it is a system hog. You'll need at least a 1 Ghz machine with 256MB Ram and a 32/64 MB video card minimum. Also, to get anything out of the game, Broadband is REQUIRED. Don't even THINK about trying to tackle this game with a 56k modem. Not only will your gameplay be laggy, you will also make it bad for every other user on the server. The manual itself states that anyone with a 56k should stick to games with 16 players or less, and in this game, the less players in a game, the less fun it is. And while this game does have a single player campaign, the bots in the game are pretty dumb, and unless you have a top of the line dream system, a large number of bots will bring your system to its knees. But who cares, online is where it's at. Also, I've encountered a few bugs here and there, with the game crashing to the desktop sometimes. Lastly, the game could benefit from some better communications hotkeys, instead of the clunky hotkey bar at the top of the screen, and some better ways of handling the game. For example, you have to go to the console and type in a hard-to-remember line of code in order to start a vote to change the mission or kick a player. I wish it was as smooth as Tribes 2's.
The Bottom LineBattlefield 1942 is quite a game. Easily the best multiplayer title I've ever played. Incredibly fun to play, enjoyable, memorable, and entertaining. This game caters to both the casual and hardcore gamers with the perfect balance between fun and realism. It's easy to get into and play.
So if you have the system to handle it, Get this game. Now!