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Q3 2003



- Adds to the Battlefield experience with new maps, weapons, and planes

- Nicely themed maps and themes

- Enough new stuff for hardened 1942 players to learn



- Not as good as some of the free total conversions available (e.g. Desert Combat)

- Will tax your hardware

- Extras are only in the new levels



Mod Review: Desert Combat (PC)

Review: Day of Defeat (PC)

Review: Medal of Honor - Allied Assault Spearhead (PC) 



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Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of WWII

Score: 7.5 / 10


Following Road to Rome, Secret Weapons of World War II is the latest add-on for Battlefield 1942 designed to quench our collective thirsts until Battlefield Vietnam is released. Like Road to Rome, Secret Weapons doesn't change the addictive first person shooter/strategy action that put Battlefield on the map, rather just alters it with some new eye candy, a couple of new maps and enough fun stuff to make it worthwhile.


battlefield 1942 secret weapons of wwii pc review          battlefield 1942 secret weapons of wwii pc review


I'm not a historian, so I don't care about the general plot. Apparently towards the end of WWII, the Nazis had developed some secret weapons or something, etc. etc., I don't care. What I do care about is the gameplay, and Secret Weapons offers plenty in the way of new stuff to keep us interested. New weapons, maps, vehicles and planes are in order, as are a couple of gameplay additions to spice things up.


The most impressive additions are the new maps. Some make small variations on the gameplay, like the new Battle of Britain, which involves one side defending a base while the other makes a full-on air attack on several landmarks. These are fun, but minor diversions - the better maps revolve around new additions to the Battlefield armory. The Kelby Airfield involves the takeover of an airfield by night, 




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and includes new bomber planes, armed motorbikes and my personal favorite, Rocket Packs, to fly around infantry in combat. Another new map is the Telemark Research Base, in which new watercraft come into play; the armed inflatable rafts prove no match for the Schwimmwagen, a multi-use vehicle that drives on land and in sea. There are also new tanks and weapons, including one-hit-kill throwing knives, shotguns and grenade launchers.



Each map is based around the new vehicles and features, most of which are featured only on that particular map.


The new aircraft are an intriguing mix; the smaller planes seat one and zoom around the map quickly, armed with either machine guns or rockets, they prove deadly in the hands of a skilled pilot (and suicide in the hands of everyone else). Also included are larger bombers, and several anti-aircraft weaponry, including a first-person, line-of-sight controlled missile that fires from the ground. There's a steep learning curve getting used to all of this, and fortunately there's a new single player campaign to get some practice in before hitting the servers.


battlefield 1942 secret weapons of wwii pc review          battlefield 1942 secret weapons of wwii pc review


All of the new extras are sure to get players back into BF gaming (especially the new motorbikes), but it's not a perfect package. For one, all the original levels are left unchanged, which is disappointing; none of the new features are present. Desert Combat has proven that even the most played levels can become fresh with a few vehicle alterations, but SWWWII misses out completely. It would have been awesome to have pitted the new speedy Natter Rocket Plane on the older, slower planes in El Alamein, or used the Rocket Pack to jump across the bridge in Market Garden, but these will have to be left to the imagination, or until someone customizes them into a modded game. What really would have been nice would have been to see some levels with lots and lots of Rocket Packs, so we could have entire armies in airborn combat. Alas, it remains only a dream.


Another drawback is that while the graphics haven't been changed much from the original BF1942, the processing power required to drive the beast is much more demanding. While Doom III and Half-Life 2 are still in the pipeline, Secret Weapons of WWII is the current best reason to get that new upgrade - you'll probably need it. Finally, the whole package is a little expensive, especially considering the amount of free mods out there to play, such as Desert Combat and the upcoming Stars Wars total conversion.


Overall, Secret Weapons of WWII is an expansion pack done right; it breathes some new life into the game with various extras and will have players heading back to the servers. It isn't flawless, but it's definitely a lot of fun and far better than Road to Rome.


- Shocka

(November 16, 2003)


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