Battlefield 1942 - game review

Date: 2002-10-17 05:36:00
The review was based on the PC version.

Have you ever read the adventure book referring to World War II for a moment did you desire to take part in even one of the battle scenes played then? Did you not want to feel what soldiers felt when they stormed heavily fortified enemy fire stations? Or maybe while watching another Oscar-showered Hollywood movie production, lifted up by adrenaline-fueled emotions, did you want to grab a weapon, jump into a heavily armored vehicle or soar one of the first flying killing machines? We had to wait a long time for such (thankfully virtual) privilege - whether it was worth it, you will see, I hope, on your own skin.

This is a computer game released a few weeks ago in the west and recently available in our country, whose name clearly and clearly defines the subject we will face - that is, close encounters with enemy Allied and German forces on real battlefields in 1942. Battlefield 1942, in free translation just "the battlefield of 1942", was created thanks to the intense work of programmers from Digital Illusions, previously known even from the work on Codename: Eagle. While the previous project already offered the use of several means of transport (mainly vehicles and planes) and huge maps for those times, the latest production develops and diversifies even more by adding to what we were dealing with over two years ago. Unfortunately, few players remember the "eagle", mainly because of poor promotional campaign. Developed on their own mistakes, developers have been fueling the atmosphere around Battlefiled for a long time, giving the press some screenshots, and providing very interesting, albeit rudimentary information. In this way it was easy to conclude that BF would be doomed to success. What exactly distinguishes it from its predecessor and why I admire this innovative game so much? Because, in my humble opinion, it is really brilliant in several areas.

First of all, you should first be aware of what BF1942 really is - and what not. We are dealing here with a very playable shooter, propagating the first-person view. But while the perspective (thanks to the possibility of any camera configuration) can be treated with a grain of salt, the genre glued to this title is an absolute fact - BF is only a shooter. It is true that it stands out far beyond the standards beaten by Medal of Honor: Allied Assault or Return to Castle Wolfenstein, but in truth it does not offer or offer the reality of a real battlefield.

The gameplay is, nevertheless, very lively, the fierce battle is fought for every meter of the map: hundreds of missiles fly around, aircraft sounds can be heard in the air, bombs explode in the distance, echoes shots heard - and you, put in the middle of this turmoil, you must as long as possible stay alive while eliminating hordes of enemies. It seems like a simple and long-known task, but this time improved with a few not innovative - thanks to Codename: Eagle - solutions.

A soldier alone won't do much on the battlefield, especially if he is not properly prepared for battle. Leaping with a sniper rifle on a tank (you probably remember Broniewski: They walked with a bayonet on iron tanks, but they passed, trampled on the pulp ...) can be safely compared with throwing "with a hoe to the sun", similarly you can treat fighting with a walker armed with machine gun with only bazookas at its disposal. To these three classes of available characters there are two more - an engineer who can plant mines and a medic who heals injured companions. The standard team, already found in the abovementioned titles, will be supported here with a whole arsenal of means of destruction of World War II. You can drive a fast, but not armored jeep, medium or heavily protected by armor tank, light transport vehicle, fly a fighter plane or in some battles - a large bomber, swim a destroyer, aircraft carrier, operate large, medium and small caliber, both anti-tank guns - and anti-aircraft. So no one will say that he will not feel like a real war.

Let's take a closer look at the figure of an engineer and trace his fate. Well, our delinquent, after placing the mines on the road, which moves enemy units, gets on the plane. He starts the engine, then goes up into the air, then directs the machine's bow towards an oncoming column of enemy vehicles, dropping a deadly bomb somewhere along the way. While the survivors will end their lives on the mines set up just now, our brave hero will jump out of the bomber damaged by anti-aircraft fire and fall calmly around the control point, which is the point to be taken over and maintained with the help of units stationed in the vicinity. Our delicacy will now get into the light tank, because the heavy one unfortunately requires two people to operate, and there is no living soul in the area. With a cry on his lips, he sets out towards the enemy checkpoint, defended by anti-tank infantry and one heavy tank. At this point, his fate is already decided - despite the constant maneuvering from side to side and the exchange of fire lasting several dozen seconds, he will be crushed by more opponents. What will happen next?

Well, the map of the battlefield will turn on, where the player will be able to choose one of the control points gained and after waiting a few, several or several dozen - depending on the progress - seconds to continue annihilating the opponent with the same or changed profession during the rest. And so by no means endlessly. The number of "respawns", i.e. returns from the "beyond world" is limited in advance and most importantly - applies to the whole group of warring parties - the Allies and Germans. That is why cooperation with other team members is so important here, because you cannot do much in BF1942 alone. Lack of cooperation in the team results in the loss of all respawn opportunities and, as a consequence, losing in the battle.

This roughly defines the essence of fun with BF, which is intended mainly for multi-player mode. All maps available in 2 single-player campaigns that can be played are also available in multiplayer. Unfortunately, I have to disappoint you - playing with a computer is very addictive at first, but it quickly gets boring and becomes secondary. The machine always applies the same rules of attack or defense, which, if the battle is played properly in the first seconds, allows it to achieve unconditional victory even on normal difficulty, not to mention low. In addition, computer-controlled soldiers show an amazing tendency of the "falcon eye", even hitting a missile from a rocket launcher at a soldier lying on the ground. Not only that, they are so mentally limited that, apart from a few programmed routes, they can not find another way, pushing under our barrel (a good example is Stalingrad, where the occupation of the central checkpoint and staying with the ammo crates allows the enemy to be covered with an endless series of grenades) . If this does not frustrate you, I recommend looking at the warriors from your own team, who, for example, unable to bypass an obstacle, can stand in place all the battle, if someone does not accidentally eliminate them earlier.

But as soon as we start playing on one of the multiplayer servers available to anyone with a Battlefield game, this title completely changes its face. Interaction with colleagues, centralized and harmonious assault actions - you won't even notice when the next hours start to pass after connecting to the fast server. Yes! BF in the multi-player version pulls very quickly, without releasing the poor player from their clutches until the eyeballs refuse to obey, and the alarm clock standing next to announces the wake-up time and the need to go to work, or school.

Unfortunately, to be able to at least partly feel the pleasure of communing with BF1942, you must have a connection with parameters that are tolerable for the program. For a pleasant and lag-free game, SDI is peacefully popular in our country. Owners of modems will have big problems when playing on large maps, which rather will not lead to their delight.

Hardware requirements are another problem, especially when it comes to graphics quality. A good processor, even if not the highest Duron or Celeron flights, must have the support of a strong graphics card - never move without it. Otherwise, we have to reduce the horizon line and details, while the latter do not have a major impact on the game. Reducing the horizon strongly limits the field of view, which in most cases limits us to using only ground-based destruction means. To fly a plane, we need to know where we are going and whether we are dropping the bomb on enemy troops or maybe free-standing vehicles. An auxiliary map is of little use here, because we will not notice enemy troops on it. Owners of strong machines will be delighted - graphics in high resolution and with maximum details look great, you can see the details in the uniforms of the opponent or on vehicles. The whole looks much better than, for example, the aforementioned MOHAA.

The product's sound quality is also at a very high level. One could even risk that it is one of the best elements of BF1942. The authors were able to brilliantly combine innovative graphics with spatial sound, creating a really amazing envelope for the game. Standing in the middle of the burning hell, we hear where the shots are coming from, where the war just erupted, after the shouting of soldiers we will calmly recognize where a potential attack may come from. This is another example of how important sound becomes in the latest games.

A large number of players complain about problems with their sound cards, but in most cases it helps to install the latest drivers or turn off acceleration for 3D sound in the DirectX control panel. Also known refreshing error under WindowsXP, where the game does not start if we chose a screen refresh other than 60hz was not corrected by the last available pack 1.1 when writing this review. Fortunately, solving this problem comes down to changing the entry in the configuration files - like a simple task, but many may have problems with it. It is a pity that the authors have not yet corrected this unnecessarily annoying error.

I would like to clearly summarize the entire review and say that Battlefield is simply a good or bad product. However, the world is not just black and white. I can not say that the game will be liked by all fans of fast entertainment. Fans of combat equipment of a bygone era will certainly be delighted with the diversity of the arsenal, players who enjoy multiplayer games will be fascinated by the limitless possibilities offered by team battle planning. In contrast, those cut off from fast connections, will be condemned to go through frustrating battles, played with both not too clever computer opponents and similar helpers. However, between the new addition to MOHAA, postponed more and more Hidden & Dangerous II and the simulators in the style of America's Army: Operations, Battlefild 1942 will certainly be an excellent interlude and nothing to be tested for group skills. If you prefer Rambo-style actions, I warn you: it is not the best game for such practices. You can quickly and painfully find out that you can't do much here alone.

Piotr "Zodiac" Szczerbowski