|Battlefield 1942: Deluxe Edition|
June 9, 2004 | Gordon Hurd
By now the Mac gaming community is well aware that one of the top PC games of the past couple years is on its way to our Mac OS systems. Avid readers of Inside Mac Games have probably already noticed a sneak preview of this forthcoming hit game, Battlefield 1942: Deluxe Edition. For a game this expansive and enduring, it’s worth taking another, closer look.
At its simplest, Battlefield 1942 is an action-focused war simulation game. Players can assume five different classes of soldiers, drive a large variety of vehicles, and play on 16 different maps from four different fronts. Going a little further below the surface of Battlefield 1942, you will find a game that offers players a seemingly unlimited amount of variety and opportunities for replay. In other words this game is addicting, fun, and well worth any Mac gamers attention.
When PC gamers got their first taste of BF1942 in a single-map beta that circulated before its official release, reaction was strong. One of the benefits of previewing the Mac release is that the game is in shape for more than just a single-sided experience. The game’s beta seems practically complete.
Getting StartedGetting right into the details, Aspyr’s Battlefield 1942: Deluxe Edition comes with the original edition, plus the maps and feature upgrades of the Road to Rome expansion pack. Installation is easy, as Aspyr chose the simple drag-and-drop option. Once the files are copied over to your hard drive and the application started, BF1942 asks for your serial code, and then you’re off. If the beta is any indication, you will need to keep your disc handy, as the application won’t run without it.
I was eager to get right into battlefield action, and have no patience for set-up rigmarole. The game is accommodating to both option tweakers and “let’s go!” type gamers like me. Simply enter in a profile name and it’s easy to get started in a game.
And if you’re interested in checking out all the options available to you, the game utilizes an efficient interface utilizing tabs to navigate through the different menus. There are the typical choices of options and configurations: video, sound, network connection, controls, and so on. What is unique in BF1942’s case is that the developers have tossed aside technical jargon, it seems, for the sake of a more plain-English user experience. For example, in video options there are no labels like “trilinear filtering” or “FSAA shading.” This may not appeal to those who like to have access to the precise technical specifications in their games. But, again, for folks who like to have things broken down in plain English, BF1942 accommodates.
Game playBF1942 is a team-based game. Players join either the Axis or Allies and then select a class of soldier to help push forward the team’s cause. Players can be scouts, medics, engineers, assault troops, or anti-tank soldiers. Each class is outfitted with a unique kit. The pros and cons of each kit and class offer variety in game play and balance in the overall battle. As well, this class-based system offers a great deal toward the cooperation and communication that the game attempts to inspire in its players.
Scouts are the eyes of a team. They are armed with the typical set of grenades and a pistol but also come equipped with a sniper rifle and a pair of binoculars. Players controlling large artillery can target whatever a scout is viewing through the binoculars, a feature called indirect targeting. This is useful for taking out vehicles, enemy troops, ships, boats, and so forth.
Assault troops are armed with machine guns and a healthy stash of ammunition. These are the men who charge full steam ahead and sweep up enemy lines with extra grenades and the automatic barrage of machine guns.
Engineers perform demolition and maintenance functions on teams. Players assuming the role of an engineer are armed with land mines, explosives, a rifle, and a repair kit to fix damaged vehicles and artillery. Engineers can also disarm enemy land mines.