Review by RareMerc
"It doesn't add as much as it should, but for 20 bucks, you can't go wrong with Road to Rome."
Battlefield 1942 is the juggernaut of online war games. It's not the biggest, but it is damn near the best, and it is certainly unique in its attempts to capture all aspects of World War Two, from the infantry and armored combat to the aerial dogfights and naval bombardments. Battlefield was certainly a unique game, and it called for a unique expansion pack. What it got in actuality was a decent expansion pack that improved upon the original, but did not add quite as much to the fray as it should have. Still, you pay 20 bucks, you get some great new features, and a few new maps. The expansion isn't all that it could've been, but you certainly do get a lot of bang for your buck.
There are almost no noticeable changes to the Battlefield 1942 graphics engine introduced in Road to Rome. Which is actually beneficial, considering that Battlefield's graphics were excellent to begin with. The new levels have the expected amount of graphical prowess and detail that they should have, and the new weaponry and character models also look authentic and believable. Graphics receive a 9.
Road to Rome also brings little to the audio portion of the game, which, as was the case in the visual portion, does not really negatively affect game play at all. The same excellent Battlefield sounds are there, and with the newly implemented vehicles and armies (Italian and French, to be precise) comes a good variety of new sound effects. The version 1.3 patch, which is packaged with the game, includes a new assortment of sounds for weaponry, and while some have lamented that the old sound effects have been replaced, the new sounds are just as proficient as the old. Sound also earns a 9.
Ok. Here's where the score comes down a little bit. Before you read this, understand that I am not rating the game play mechanics established by Battlefield 1942. Am I rating Road to Rome based solely on its position as an expansion packs; as an expansion pack, it's supposed to add or change a considerable amount of the game play found within the original product. Road to Rome does not necessarily do that, unfortunately. There are only 6 new maps, and while they offer a good deal of change from the old maps, they do not bring enough to the table to succeed on their own merits. The French and Italian forces are basically the same as the old American and German forces; they use the same weapons and equipment. While new nation specific weapons certainly aren't required, their inclusion would've brightened up the game play good deal, as would've added to the historical accuracy of the game (because the French did not use Enfields, BARs, and Sten guns). The new vehicles are also refreshing, but there are only a few of them, and they do not have enough of an important effect on the game play to really warrant any notice. Game play, based on the merits of the expansion pack, receives a 5.
It's an online game, providing you with an ever-changing atmosphere and fluid battle situations, along with billions of in game possibilities. Basically, replay is endless. It earns a 10.
Buy or Rent: It's 20 bucks. If you like Battlefield 1942, just look under your couch for some spare change and buy it.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 02/26/03, Updated 02/26/03
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