|Delta Force: Black Hawk Down
May 7, 2004 | Michael Yanovich
ObjectivesYou wonít be traveling to Siberia, underwater lairs or fortified German bunkers in this game. Youíre limited to a little slice of Africa, and bring your sunscreen because most of the game takes place outdoors. (Night vision goggles are provided for after dark missions.)
Missions range from riding along in a truck while manning a mounted .50 caliber machine gun to room takedowns. Itís pretty cool piling your men outside a closed door and ordering them to clear the room. The door bursts open, a flashbang is thrown inside, and your team streams into the space, hugging the walls and checking the corners. Rambo tactics donít work in real-world situations, and this game does a decent job of maintaining plausibility without crossing the line into utterly-authentic but not-very-fun. And while team tactics are crucial, theyíre not as detailed as those required by the Rainbow Six series.
Another nice feature is the open-ended map approach. Figure youíve got your start point, your objectives (easily spotted on your HUD radar), and a swatch of city in front of you. The path you take between points is frequently up to you, as opposed to many games that bottleneck you into set patterns.
Graphics and GameplayThe graphics are great, just not on my machine. For that matter, gameplay on my machine is a big no-no. Thereís no way in the world my 4-year old G4 can play this, or for that matter my 16 month old 800mhz iMac. Youíd better have a state-of-the-art machine if you want to turn on all the details, and even low resolution games have a stated minimum requirement in the 1ghz+ range. A nice video card wonít hurt, either.
Which is why I got to drive over to my friendís house and play the game on his delightfully modern G5, where even in the beta stage the gameplay is smooth and the detail level delightfully rich.
Overall, Iím looking forward to the promised G5 speed bump, because if the beta of Black Hawk Down plays this well, Iím really looking forward to the final release. And while the press-kit version of the beta has all the levels unlocked, allowing me to get a sample of the entire game, Iím really looking forward to having to earn the missions, one bullet at a time.
Delta Force: Black Hawk Down is currently scheduled for a spring Ď04 release, so you can be sure IMG will have a review shortly afterwards.