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Platform

PC

 

Genre

Shooter

 

Publisher

Activision

 

Developer

Valve

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

Q2 2003

 

 

- An online shooter that will run on low-end machines

- Voice changes the experience dramatically

- Familiar menu and load-out choices

- Good maps

 

 

- Any fool with a mic can broadcast

- Aging graphics will be off-putting to some

 

 

Review: Half-Life (PC)

Review: Medal of Honor: Frontline (XB)

Mods: Counter-Strike (PC)

 

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Day of Defeat

Score: 7.7 / 10

 

When voice communication in games was first bandied about I wrote it off as a gimmick, even though I secretly hoped developers would find a way.  There was always the problem of bandwidth and data compression, but with our modern hardware those problems are quickly eroding away.

 

day of defeat pc review          day of defeat pc review

 

Day of Defeat (which started life as a free download like Counter-Strike) was created with Half-Life (HL) technology Ė the original Half-Life, just in case you were getting all excited that it used Half-Life 2 technology.  The upside to using the original HL engine is that it allows Day of Defeat (DoD) to run well even on low-end hardware.  While the aging graphics are sure to put some gamers off, especially when games like Medal of Honor: Allied Assault and Battlefield 1943 (also World War II shooters) have set the bar in terms of presentation.  That said, DoD is still good Ė even with its blockiness, lack of curves, and one-dimensional foliage.

 

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The level design makes up for much of the graphical shortcomings.  Levels range from beachheads to towns to forest and each of the environments is set up to facilitate the action.  Most levels have a few choke points that must be controlled if your teamís objectives hope to be reached.

 

Each map has objectives for the Axis and Allies to fulfill.  For example, one map tasks the Allies with acquiring some secret documents from a 

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downed aircraft then returning to a radio to transmit the information, while the Axis team is working to destroy the remaining two Allied tanks.  The balance works well.  The most important point is that the objectives make sense in the context of the game.  The other main mode is akin to Domination (meaning, capture specific points and keep control of them), which also makes sense.

 

Bringing this all together is voice communication, which I drastically underestimated.   Voice communication makes DoD unlike anything else Iíve ever played.  (DoD is my first experience with voice.)  Finally, the breakthrough to actual teamwork!  Instead of having a short list of canned commands and acknowledgements, youíre freed to just speak your mind.  Itís makes coordinating offense and defense much, much easier.  Of course, youíre left at the mercy of the lowest common denominator.  You can only hear the people on your team, so itís really disheartening when trash talk is spewed.  The other problem I ran into was that I often got kicked from servers simply because I was using a retail copy.  Thereís nothing wrong with the retail DoD but if someone asks you if you bought the game, say no.  After being booted a couple of times by obnoxious admins I caught on.  (And you can bet I spent some time exacting in-game revenge.)  Regardless, if youíve got the hardware for voice communication (you should if youíve bought a PC in the last few years) it makes a fair game a very good one.

 

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But is it worth spending money on?  At $30 itís cheaper than a lot of games on the shelf right now and it has no monthly fee.  But youíre paying for Internet service so why not download DoD for free?  Itís your call, but either way youíre in for some wicked online fun.

 

- Omni

(June 15, 2003)

 

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