1942 was released in September 1992 and was a revolutionary first-person
action game, designed by DICE (Digital Interactive) of Sweden and
published by EA Games. Intended to reflect the intensity of the battlefields
of World War 2 in all their variety, with a huge variety of game play
styles encouraged by use of different vehicles and different soldier
roles. The game is principally an online one (single player does exist
but due to poor AI is seen more as a way of getting used to the maps
and vehicles before venturing online), which allows you to travel
across the varied maps on foot, in jeeps, half-tracks, tanks, ships,
fighter or bomber aircraft to attain your goal, in maps that support
up to 64 players.
Each map pits two sides against each other and the sides represent
the fighting forces of different countries involved in the war, currently
including British, American, Canadian, French, Russian, German, Italian
and Japanese. Despite teething problems when it was released which
required a number of patches to resolve, it has continued to receive
support from the developers who have released two expansion packs
for the game (with mixed reactions from the gaming community) and
a number of free official maps which have often included unique content,
including the excellent Battle of Britain, Invasion of the Philippines
and Liberation of Caen maps. The basic game contained 16 maps, divided
into four "theatres" (North Africa, Western Europe, Eastern
Europe and The Pacific), of which only the Eastern European maps were
regarded as almost universally poor.
The game is still highly played and mods (see below) have kept it
popular and fresh.
New official updates are unlikely as DICE appear to have now focused
on Battlefield Vietnam.
Since the original release, two expansion packs have been released:
Road To Rome: (Feb 1993): An
additional 6 maps based around the Invasion of Italy. New sides and
weapons were welcomed but the maps were criticised for being too few
in number and being too focused on having a single bottleneck to the
objective and thus removing a lot of the tactical play.
Secret Weapons of World War II: (Sep 1993):
An additional 9 maps, a new objective game mode and a variety of new
(often experimental) weapons and vehicles. Although many were put
off by the previous expansion and the concept of using equipment that
had never seen active use (or in some cases had never been completed)
during the war, it was extremely well implemented and far superior
to Road To Rome. Another free map has subsequently been released (Raid
on Agheila) which is again of excellent quality.
Battlefield 1942 can be purchased in the original form (2 discs),
as a Deluxe edition (original + Road To Rome) or as an Anthology edition
(original + both expansions).
DESERT COMBAT: This mod changes the basic
game to use modern weapons and equipment, with the battle being mostly
desert-based between the "Coalition" (i.e. the U.S.) against
the "Opposition" (i.e. Iraqi) forces as influenced by the
Desert Storm conflict. This is by far the most popular BF1942 mod.
The quality and detail within this mod is exceptional, although the
vehicles dominate the battlefield much more than in the normal BF1942
FORGOTTEN HOPE: This mod takes the basic
game as its starting point and goes for more realism - adding a vast
array of realistic weapons and equipment for the battles of the time.
The latest incarnation is a joy to
play, although the realism means players have to learn how to use
weapons and change their gameplay style to avoid the frustrations
of endlessly dying at the first sign of combat.
BATTLEFIELD PIRATES: This mod definitely
avoids realism in favour of fun. Cutlasses, muskets, an array of ships
and drivable komodo lizards make this a blast to play, although generally
in short doses.
INTERSTATE 1982: This mod combines the
FPS action of Battlefield with the racing and carnage of Car Wars
or Deathrace 2000. Similar to Pirates, this is a great blast in short
GALACTIC CONQUEST: This mod uses the
Star Wars theme to create maps and settings. Although often basic
a lot of work has gone into it, although since the release of Star
Wars: Battlefront it is unlikely to see much growth in popularity.