Battlefield 1942

Bodybag 01/06/2003 

What? Another fucking WW2 game?

Welcome to Germany, the land of chocolate. And genocide.
But, of course. What with the "other" genre already being represented by their own The Sims and Black & White, gaming giant and big-jew-money tyrant EA Games decided no pile of cash is so massive it would ever dissuade them from adding to its girth another easy cash-in. The genre is fairly crowded, and one of the few titles that has enjoyed success is EA's own Medal of Honor: Allied Assault.  That game put you in the role of a lone soldier, behind enemy lines, who apparently was solely responsible for the fall of the Third Reich. It was also a standard FPS that featured a linear mission structure and ubertarded A.I. that could shoot you dead from great distances using alien geometry. However, one particular mission stood apart from the rest by putting you in control of a German Tiger-II tank and allowing you to dispense some righteous justice upon the tenets of national socialism. It was amusing at first, but it was also brief, and it only seemed weaker the more it was revisited. Gamers griped to EA to kindly stop with the cock-teasing and let them kick it, you know, for real. Faced with having no existing game that could be suitably rehashed with merely an updated roster and shinier, more reflective helmets, EA handed the task to Swedish developer Digital Illusions CE. Their task: create a game set in WW2 that not only allowed players to kill krauts on land, in sea and in air, but to let them kill some gooks there also. Their result: Battlefield 1942.

Back the truck up: Aren't those the same Swedish fuckstains responsible for that Codename:Eagle aneurism I had?

Hand over ze money, Lebowski, or ve cut off your JOHNSON!
Correct again. That game, set in (oddly enough) a psuedo-WW2 alternate reality (why don't more games try this?), featured a linear mission structure (hmm) that let players pilot vehicles on land, in sea, and in air (BINGO!) in addition to allowing them to just kinda walk around aimlessly and hopefully die quickly before they got too lost (massive scale!). The vehicle interaction flirted with not badness; however some twitchy controls, coupled with retarded physics and a completely lame FPS engine forged a game so gay it leaped ass-first out of the cock tree and wiggled on every branch the way down. So obviously Digital Illusions CE was a logical first choice for the developer of EA's next whorey franchise. To be fair, the pieces were all in place, though buried beneath a mountain of sucktitude. So it comes as a bit of a surprise that those same Swedish fuckstains, who had made a prior attempt on my sanity, deliver a game that is way more fun that it should have been in Battlefield 1942 (BF1942). Don't get me wrong, between your average Swede's lack of common sense and EA's lack of QA, every attempt was made to sabotage this game's kickassity. And a few very important areas were successfully afflicted, not the least of which being SINGLE PLAYER.

 What's wrong with single player, you may ask? Well, aside from it not existing in any practical fucking manner, nothing at all. Imagine the "multiplayer with bots" feature that many other games incorporate, only the A.I. of the bots is controlled by a slider that, according to the, is inversely proportional to your system's performance. What that may mean to the individual rests squarely on by how much his or her rig beats out Mr. Recommended. In this case, 800mhz CPU, 256 MB RAM, 64 MB 3d card. Recommended amount of bots based on those specs: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA four. So if you're not in the market for an exclusively-online game, your review has officially ended, you introverted fucktard.

So what exactly is Battlefield 1942 anyway?

Horry sheet! Dilect heet!
It's a game, stupid. Next question. Oh, you mean what type of game is it? That's actually a tricky categorization. It dabbles in first-person shooting, much like C:E, and even more similarly allows players to jump in an assortment of vehicles (35 according to the box) and stomp a mudhole in the ass of oppression. The usual suite of team-based scenarios (CTF,TDM, ect.) pits two teams against one another on any one of sixteen locations spanning 4 theaters of battle. The theaters are based loosely on most of the major battles of least the ones which occurred in 1942. Omaha Beach, the Battle of the Bulge, Wake Island - the shining pinnacles of the American fighting spirit - all history that's ready to be rewritten by a host of frothing subnormal teammates hellbent on sabotaging freedom, but more on that later. The main game mode is Conquest. This is the standard King of the Hill type match where two teams compete for a limited number of bases (flags) spread about a map. The team that controls the most bases for the longest amount of time is essentially the winner. Essentially. The particular map actually dictates the specific rules for each match, and the round time may be set to a clock or alternatively to a countdown of a resource called "tickets". The number of tickets each team possesses represents the total amount of instances they may respawn players. Kill a gook, the axis are charged one ticket  (you have to kill any combination of 4 gook women and/or children to get the same bonus). Once one team controls a majority of the bases the other team begins to lose tickets (1 ticket every few seconds) until either the losing team recaptures enough bases or runs out of tickets. This tug-of-war aspect not only leads to hours of frustration, but occasionally to some intense battles.

Ok, skip to the part where shit blows up and I get interested.

And boy howdy, does shit blow up. But first you have to wade through a bit of the not-so-well-done FPS aspect of the game to get there. As I mentioned earlier, this game is based on the successor to the Refractor engine (which "powered" C:E): the creatively-titled Refractor II engine. But this newer engine is to the older one what America is to the rest of the world: Better. The sense of movement, while not as tight as one is accustomed to in traditional FPS games, is responsive, and appears to observe the laws of gravity. Typical move forward/backward and strafe left/right schemes are default; and the added ability to go "prone" is certainly welcome, which even doubles as a "dive for cover" type of maneuver if you hit the prone key while running. The F1-F8 keys represent your inconvenient radio, which utters chatter in the native tongue of your current army. So If you've ever wondered as I often have what "fire in the hole!" is in Japanese, well it's just a bunch of fucking gibberish. There are 5 classes of soldier available to the player: scout, assault, anti-armor, medic and engineer. And no matter which class you choose, killing people is difficult and ultimately unsatisfying. The feeling of raw firepower being wielded by the infantry isn't quite achieved in BF1942, due in part to some dodgy hit detection, which makes it feel as if you are directing harm at the baddies rather than mowing them down. Once again, this review would have to be cut short if BF1942 was to be weighed solely as a FPS game.
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