Battlefield 1942: The Road to Rome
Review by Joe Momma
"Disappointing. Overrated. Over-hyped. But still incredible."
Battlefield 1942 remains my favorite game of all time. Its pick-up-and-play game play makes it great for anybody to just...well...pick up and play. Unfortunately, one of the best games of 2002 spawns a very disappointing expansion for 2003.
- 6 new maps taking place in the Italian Campaign.
- Almost 8 new ''vehicles'', although most are just variations of something else.
- 2 new armies: The Free French and the Italians.
- Several new weapons.
The biggest thing about any expansion is the features, and this one lacks them. Sure, you can say that it's just $20, but I rather pay $30 for an expansion pack with more features. There are about three actual new vehicles, the rest are just variations of the new ones or variations of old ones (such as a British AA gun...come on, do we really need this trash?). The only vehicle I even care about is the new plane - the Mosquito (or BF110, depending on what side you're on). This plane drops four bombs at once at a faster rate than the B17, making the planes as a whole even more of a threat.
The maps, however, are incredible. Dice software definitely learned the good and the bad of their old design. For example, Omaha Beach, the popular D-Day map in the original BF1942, shows many similarities in Operation Husky, another D-Dayish map where the Allies can paratroop and the Axis have the new BF110 plane. However, Operation Husky allows much more balance and overall more diverse game play than Omaha Beach. I often find that the attackers win this match.
The map design makes for some interesting situations. For example, in one map, there's 7 spawn points all on top of a hill, while both teams are seperated by just a river. Both must race to the hill to capture the flags first, and later into the game, it becomes a very horizontal battle. All the fighting takes place on one large hill.
The new armies and weapons are nothing to blow your money on, but I guess they're a welcome addition. I absolutely love the Sten SMG, the medic kit for the Free French. Most of the weapons used in the new armies are just the weapons used for armies of the same type.
Much more could have been included. The vehicles should be half decent, and a new game mode or something would be nice. More maps would be welcome too, since we are missing a lot of battles...how could they have possibly missed the Battle of Britain? As I said before, I rather have an expansion pack with a lot of features for $30 than one with very little features for $20.
Game play (9/10)- Yeah, same old. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Read my review on the original Battlefield 1942 if you want more detail.
Story (4/10)- Still, the story is only the briefings before the maps. No big deal.
Graphics (9/10)- The new maps look wonderful, excluding Operation Husky, which looks just plain weird. By simply having the Battlefield engine the graphics are just incredible, still.
Sound (7/10)- I should have given the sound my original BF1942 an 8, so I could give this a 7 and it might actually mean something. A 6 is too low, but my point is that the sound has gotten worse. Dice decided to throw in new sounds for many weapons, making them sound weaker. I seriously miss the old sounds.
Still, there is no music during the game. There are little environmental noises, like bells chiming and wind blowing, though.
Singleplayer (3/10)- Oh god, please don't remind me. The bots are still as stupid as they used to be. They need to be set to hard difficulty with a CPU time of about 18% to be challenging, but when they're challenging, they cheat. If you don't know what I mean, go try it in the original BF1942. Go fly a plane over any manned machine gun, and see how much damage they do.
Multiplayer (9/10)- As players get better at the game, they learn to work more as a team. Team play is not huge in BF1942, although it is certainly encouraged. If you call for reinforcements in a typical EA server, you will most likely get them. The best way to experience multiplayer is by playing an EA official server. There is no team-killing or any of the many things people complain about when they talk about online play.
Replayability (10/10)- Of course there's a high replayability. It's a multiplayer World War II game where you can sail ships, fly planes, and drive tanks with up to 63 other people...what do you expect?
So...do I like the Road to Rome? I guess so. If you are a big fan of Battlefield 1942, then you should pick this one up. You may or may not be disapointed...it all lies in your opinion.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 02/08/03, Updated 02/08/03
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