Voice Module








In Memory
Sean Pettibone





PC games based on the actions and adventures of World War II are all the rage for the PC gaming platform. With that in mind, it’s not a surprise that game companies are jumping at the chance to get into the lucrative action. Day of Defeat is the latest such title to hit the shelves of software stores, allowing gamers to take on the role of either an Axis or Allied soldier during the epic European aspect of the historic conflict. For more information on this game, check out our full review here at The Laser. 

What kind of game is Day of Defeat, you might ask? Simply put, it is a team based multi-player first-person shooter based on the currently popular theme of World War II. Set in 1944 Western Europe during the height of the war, players join up with either the Axis or Allied armies, battling it out over the included 15 maps. Standard team based goals such as position capturing and holding make up the majority of the content found within the game, while the occasional ‘steal/protect the objective’ can be found headlining the remaining few maps. Although technically there are only two sides to the conflict (Allied and Axis) Day of Defeat takes an unusual approach to its team base by splitting up the Allied forces into two playable teams, the Americans and the British. 

All three ‘sides’ in the conflict has its own playable ‘classes’ including snipers, heavy support machine gunners, riflemen, and scouts. Unfortunately, these classes have little to do with any real aspect of the gameplay. Instead, each class dictates what type of historically accurate weapon you’ll be using in the game. Some examples of the weapon found on classes on the American team include the automatic firing Tommy Gun, the .30 Caliber machine gun, and the Garand bolt-action rifle. Germans can carry the K-43 semi-automatic rifle, the MP-40 close quarter’s machine gun, the STG-40 automatic rifle, and the MG34 heavy arms machine gun. The last side of the conflict, the British forces, has the ability to use the Enfield rifle, the STEN, and the heavy arms BREN machine gun. Though Day of Defeat can be technically described as a ‘new’ release, the real surprise is that it is not a new game at all. Truth be told, DoD belongs to a new genre of video game publishing that takes independent modifications (or simply ‘mods’ as they’re known in the gaming world) and reworks and repackages them for general consumer use. 

The original game in this case is the now classic Half-Life, which still retains a large fan base some 4 years or so since its initial release. Creative and industrious fans of the game created new character models and costumes, maps, and converted weapons in order to give the original game an almost complete makeover. After that, it was just a matter of placing the conversions on the web so that others could download them for their own use. So, why pay for Day of Defeat when you can get the mods for free on the Internet? For one thing, Valve Software didn’t just take the freebies off of the net and make them their own. What they did was refine the game, improving the graphics, models, and other gameplay to give the overall gameplay some professional polish. Valve also added their own brand of finesse to the map structure of DoD, redesigning some of the existing maps completely, as well as adding a few of their own altogether (publisher Activision plans on releasing all of the maps to the public for free in the near future). Although the game played well when compared to other World War II theme based, team oriented shooters (like Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory and Battlefield 1942 for example) one can’t help notice that Day of Defeat seems slightly dated. That shouldn’t be a complete surprise since the game is essentially Half-Life with upgraded dressings, weapons designs, and map structures. The graphics are a little clunky here and there, and the controls tend to be a little muddled and convoluted when compared to the slick, new titles that have recently hit the market, having years of refinement and improvements behind them.  

Day of Defeat’s overall design structure and engine may be a little long in the tooth, but it still contains the same excellent gameplay mechanics that made Half-Life and its other popular mod version, Counter-Strike, so popular for so long. Some positive aspects of the gameplay that have been passed on to DoD include realistic rapid fire weapon kick-back, limited endurance for jumping and running, bi-pod placements for heavy weapon deployment, and short turn-arounds for re-entry into the game after being killed in battle. With all of this in mind, it really wasn’t a surprise to find countless servers ready and willing to accept new players into the fold no matter what time of day. Although Day of Defeat may not be the most technically advanced WWII online game at the moment, it is a great and low cost alternative for those looking for something different in their team based first-person shooter regiment. If you happened to have missed out on the Half-Life experience, DoD will definitely open your eyes not only to a great game, but also to the countless possibilities that independent mod developers can bring to your gaming world as well as your classic PC game collection.

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