by Robert "Bilko" Shaw
Article Type: Beta Preview
Article Date: October 11, 2001
Product Name: Day of Defeat
Category: WWII FPS Mod for Half-Life
Developer: Day of Defeat Mod Group
Release Date: Released
Files & Links: Click Here
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Version used in this preview: 1.3b
Half-Life and World War II?Did you know that by owning whatís been touted as the best PC game of all time, you can get one of the best add-on war games around, for free? If you own a copy of Half-Life, you can download yourself a free copy of the Day of Defeat mod from a vast number of sites which you find linked at the bottom of this review.
Day of Defeat was developed by gamers for gamers. Thereís no companies involved here. Many game add-on ideas are flashed across fan-based web sites and although very good ideas, they will often fade into just a dream of what could have been. There just doesnít seem to be enough developers with the spare time to bring these ideas forward into the game. With the Half-Life community, however, we get a result and a very good result at that. So grab your weapon and let's do battle!
|A step towards hell |
Squad, Move Out!Day of Defeat is currently only available as a multi-player game, but there is talk of single player capabilities being introduced in future updates. Once youíve downloaded the file ofówatch out you 56k modem usersó99 MB, the installation is a breeze. Itís got an installer so it goes straight into your Sierra/Half Life directory. Youíll need to go to the official Day of Defeat site to get your manual and other instructions but itís a superb site which is well put together and full of all the information youíll ever need to play Day of Defeat.
|Intro screen |
I found the interface quite simple and easy to use. To play Day of Defeat just click the shortcut that was placed on your desktop during the install and then click the multiplayer option. This then gives you a few directions to choose. You can either choose Quickstart or Internet Games. Obviously Quickstart will get you there quicker, but youíll not know which map you are about to play. By choosing Internet Games you will get a list of servers, which you can filter according to your connection speed and other preferences, or, you can even even create your own game and have others join. (I would suggest you pre-plan a game with others if youíre going to start your own server otherwise you might get lonely fast)! There are plenty of on-going games available, however, and all you have to do is just choose one from the list and join in.
|Dark streets |
Objective Secured!There are several self-explanatory game play types for Day of Defeat: Destroy an object/objective, capture an object or territorial control. No matter which type of game you choose Day of Defeat is usually fast and furious and a bit of a cavalry charge at times!
The game comes with ten maps: Dam, Caen, Hill, Omaha, Oslo, Seg3, Sicily, Snowtown, Cherbourg and Koln. Each map has itís own good points and bad points and some have difficulty values which may seem more favourable to others, but the method in which the game is played in my mind tries to even this out. The maps are played in a cycle, so each map is played over a time period of about 20 minutes before moving on to the next map. You can vote to stay on the same map before the map changes.
This game is beautifully simple. On death you re-spawn. Once the main objectives are metÖyou start again!
|A word about re-spawning and camping, sometimes called "spawn camping" (sounds like a sick outdoor thing, eh?) A "camper" in an FPS is someone who finds that perfect hiding spot and starts picking off the enemy one after another as they come into his sights. It's usually frowned upon by other players because it can ruin the gameplay. To camp in the enemy team's spawn zone (hence the term "spawn camper"), however, and pick-off player after player as they spawn will really make you unpopular and could get you banned from the server. Spawn campers are generally looked down upon as scum, so, as tempted as you may be to up your tally with some easy kills, don't do it!|
When all your team's objectives have been secured youíll get a blast of uplifting military music. Getting to the objective is not easy, but if your keep moving and avoid the enemy it can be done.
|Is Hitler in? |
Armed to the Teeth?Maybe not but thatís whatís important here. If you last long enough you can run out of ammo. There are four different classes of soldier for each side. They include a Sniper, Light Infantry, Assault Infantry and Heavy Infantry. Soldiers have their own type of weaponry. Also note that while you are in combat you will be under constant shell attack. Itís loud, it hurts and it kills!
If you try to jump around too much you will tire very quickly. Best to just move quickly between your positions and avoid the bullets. You can go into buildings, climb stairs and snipe from windows and roofs. The stampede of other players at the beginning of each session is easy to follow, but try not to do that and you may last a little longer.
|You first, no you |
Graphics & SoundThe graphics are great. They work perfect in this environment. Thereís no need for ultra detailed graphics comprised mostly of buildings which look great as is. The sounds are well done. From the voice commands of the soldiers to shells landing around you and bullets whizzing past create a real nervy atmosphere. They work a treat. I know I mention this a lot, but running among the streets and rubble really does feel uncomfortable and I wonder what on earth must have been going through the soldiers' minds in World War II.
PerformanceWorried about being low on RAM and size of your CPU? Well you shouldnít, as Half-Life isnít a resource hog it can be played on older model CPUís and RAM with practically no lag. Remember thereís no AI so you can be relieved of lag from that aspect. Iíve experienced no slow down or stuttering and I do believe this will be similar on lower spec systems I have seen the odd connection problem with a game, but once again, itís just a matter of leaving that server and joining another. This is a Beta and it works.
|Looking for Germans |
Platoon, Move Out and Stay Low!The Day of Defeat community has a large following with games on all the time. You can download literally hundreds of maps. There are sounds and models to obtain too and this is all thanks to a very resourceful community plus the fact that any user can modify Day of Defeat.
One other file you may need is a programme called Punkbuster. This is an anti-cheat device used by some servers, but not all. Like most online play, cheating is possible and I have seen accusations, not much, but some. Cheating is frowned upon amongst the Day of Defeat community and some servers will attempt to ban anyone caught. (I donít know how successful this is).
What makes Day of Defeat my cup of tea is the ability to just jump out of one game and into another. I say this because Iíve found some rather distasteful players amongst the Day of Defeat servers. Unnecessarily foul language, verbal abuse and unfounded accusations of cheating are amidst the daily intake of Day of Defeat. This is an annoyance at times. If it really does bother you set up a server with your friends or donít play it because thereís no getting away from it. Itís there.
|That wasn't me! |
Fire In the Hole!Overall impression? Itís a WWII ETO multiplayer game which works and thatís enough for me! The ability to just log on and join a game without all having to go through the niceties of the "Hello"'s and "How are you"'s and blast away, letting out a dayís stress, is great. Looking for negative points about this is hard. Iíve already spoke about how bad some of the players can be, other than that, no, itís a free add-on. If you can put up with some immaturity and bad language then I recommend it.
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