|Release date:||October 9, 2002|
|Developer:||Digital Illusions CE|
Battlefield 1942 is a 3D World War II first-person shooter (FPS) computer game developed by Digital Illusions CE and published by Electronic Arts for Microsoft Windows (2002) and Apple Macintosh (2004). The game can be played in singleplayer mode against computer game bots or in multiplayer mode against players on the Internet. It is also a popular platform for mod developers, with a large number of released modifications that alter the gameplay and theme.
In-game, players assume the role of one of five classes of infantry: Scout, Assault, Anti-Tank, Medic, and Engineer. Players also have the ability to fly various World War II fighter aircraft and bombers, navigate capital ships and aircraft carriers, man coastal artillery defenses, drive tanks, APCs and jeeps, and take control of anti-aircraft guns and mounted machine guns.
Each battle takes place on one of several maps located in a variety of places and famous battlefields in all of the major theaters of World War II: the Pacific, European, North African, and Eastern Fronts. Combat is always fought between the Axis Powers and the Allies. The location determines which nation-specific armies are used (for example, on the Wake Island map, it is Japan versus the United States, while on the Battle of Britain map, it is Germany versus the United Kingdom). The maps in Battlefield 1942 are based on real battles and are somewhat realistically portrayed.
The gameplay of Battlefield 1942 generally has a more cooperative focus than previous games of this nature, as it is not only important to kill the opposition but to also hold certain "control points" around the map. Capturing control points allow the team to reinforce themselves by enabling players and vehicles to spawn in the certain area. Consequently, capturing and controlling control points also would reduce enemy reinforcements. Unfortunately, the gameplay suffered from some serious issues such as lack of spawn protection, team killers/grievers, various map and engine exploits, as well as a lack of team-play mentality from players on public servers. Despite these setbacks, Battlefield 1942 was one of the first mainstream games to represent a dramatic shift in FPS gameplay mentality, decreasing individualism in favor of teamwork and coordination.
The default gameplay mode, Conquest, centers on the capture and control of control points; once a team captures a control point, its members can respawn from it. When a team loses control of all their control points, they cannot respawn. And if no one is alive, the team with no "spawn" points loses.
Games are composed of rounds. A team wins the round when the other team runs out of tickets. A team loses tickets when its members are killed, but also when the other team holds a majority of the capture points on a map. Therefore, sometimes the winning team must hunt down straggling or hiding enemy forces at the end of a round. On rare occasions, with one team holding all of the available spawn points on a map and with a few enemy forces left loose, the spawnless team can manage to re-capture a spawn point and give their team another slim chance for a round victory. However, this is unlikely because the newly recovered forces will probably have fewer tickets remaining and will definitely have fewer resources available than the 'winning' team; typically in this scenario the stronger team's victory is merely delayed as the sheer weight of their tickets, team and available equipment (air power, extra tanks from all the owned spawn points, etc) is no match for the 'losing' team which probably has little or no resources. On some maps, controlling all available spawn points is impossible because it is configured to be a defensive map. In such a map, one team tries to defend as many spawn points as possible, and the other tries to capture all of the defending team's spawn points. The attacking team can also try to slowly drain the defending team's tickets by holding certain spawn points and not attacking in full force. This however, is less likely to result in a victory. Another map configuration that prevents total ownership of all spawn points is where both teams possess a permanent, uncapturable base (Battleaxe, for example); unfortunately these maps easily lead to spawn camping (the map Kursk is especially prone to this), especially after one team captures all the points that are capturable and the other team is confined to their base.
Spawn tickets also play a vital role in the success of both teams. Every time a player on a team dies and respawns, his team loses one ticket. Every team starts each round with between 150 and 300 tickets, depending on the team's role (e.g., defense). Teams also gradually lose tickets depending on how many spawn points they control. As a general rule, the less spawn points controlled by a team, the more tickets they lose. For a team of 32 on a 64 player map, with 150 tickets, this means a little less than 5 respawns or deaths on average for every player if they hold their starting spawn points.
The player can choose to play as either the Axis powers or the Allied powers. The Axis consists of Germany and Japan, while the Allies consist of the USSR, Britain and America. Regardless of which nation is chosen by the player, there are five different roles of infantry that the player can assume the role of: Scout, Assault, Medic, Anti-tank, and Engineer.
Each role has its own strength and weakness. For example, the scout role has long-range surveillance, high stopping power and the ability to provide spotting for artillery shelling against an enemy position (unlike other games with a similar feature, other player characters must also supply the artillery fire); however, the sniper rifle is not efficient in close-quarter combat and players frequently treat this role as just a plain sniper role by not providing spotting for artillery. Assault is the standard role, and provides both aggressive firepower and some ability to combat vehicles. The Anti-tank role specializes against vehicles and tanks, but is almost useless against enemy infantry. The Medic role has the ability to heal (himself and other players), but his sub-machine gun has less stopping power than an assault rifle. The Engineer has the ability to repair damaged vehicles and stationary weapons, and they also have the ability to deploy explosives, which are moderately effective against both enemy infantry and vehicles, and land mines, which completely destroy enemy vehicles.
The creators of Battlefield 1942 have released expansion packs entitled Battlefield 1942: The Road To Rome (which added the Italian Front) and Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons Of WWII. Both add various new gameplay modes and design concepts. The Road To Rome features a focus on the Italian battles and allows players to play as the French army. Secret Weapons Of WWII focuses on prototype, experimental, and rarely used weapons. It adds downloadable patches, fixes bugs in the game, and it adds some extra content (such as the aforementioned Battle of Britain map).
Battlefield 1942 includes original game and Battlefield 1942: The Road To Rome. Battlefield 1942: World War II Anthology added Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons Of WWII expansion pack. Battlefield 1942: The Complete Collection added Battlefield Vietnam and Battlefield Vietnam WWII Mod.
Game Rankings, the game has an average score of 89% based on 46 reviews. On Metacritic, the game has an average score of 89 out of 100, based on 27 reviews.
Scott Osborne of GameSpot gave the game a rating of 8.8 out of 10, calling it a "comic book version of WWII."
Steve Butts of IGN gave the game a rating of 9.3 out of 10, praising the multiplayer, but saying "the single player game leaves much to be desired."
|Battlefield 1942, Battlefield Vietnam, Battlefield 2, Battlefield 2142, Battlefield: Bad Company, Battlefield Heroes, Battlefield 3, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Battlefield 1943|