Set in the midst of the Second World War, the action plays out as a satisfying hybrid of the tactical, slow build-up of Ghost Recon, mixed in with the more action-based Medal of Honor: Allied Assault. Kicking off with an overall map of the area, each game requires some strategic planning before you get down to business, and with 35 vehicles on offer, as well as five classes of character to step into the shoes of, there's much to consider. To the developers' credit, it's quite an easy game to get to grips with, and it positively reeks of polish. The stylised graphics and sound convey the action well, and do contribute to the nice, slow build-up of tension before the skirmishes kick off. Even though you only control one character at a time, you are left feeling part of a team fighting against a common enemy.
As a one player experience, the game's not too bad, thanks to an unscripted approach to each level. It does leave you without a real long-term goal to aim at though. However, in multiplayer mode, Battlefield 1942 really comes into its own, as no matter how strong the artificial intelligence of the computer opponent--and here it isn't bad at all--it's scant compensation for a real, unpredictable human opponent.
At its maximum capacity, up to 64 humans can take part in any single game and, even with smaller numbers, the online nature of the game is completely compelling. It's an easy recommendation for those who like to fight their battles over the net, and a reasonable, if limited single challenge too. --Simon Brew
However if you have a broadband connection and enjoy an open-ended multiplayer game then buy 1942. The sprawling landscape, the tanks, the jeeps, the planes and the battleships all filled with online soldiers co-operating to defeat the enemy. How you defeat the enemy is up to you and your comrades - there are no flashing red targets for you to attach bombs to...
The gameplay is so varied that it has to be filled by human players who don't rely on basic AI to instruct them to drive tanks or landing craft. Each game can be different in that you can hold the fort, attack the enemy base, co-ordinate a devastating bombardment or just have a sniper shootout with another player - it's your decision.
The graphics are fantastic and with so much happening you do need to have a very good spec. PC and internet connection. If you have these don't worry about finding servers to play on as it seems that the whole world is playing this online.
Battlefield 1942 is what you make of it and it has to be the future of gaming.
When you play Omaha beach as Axis and see an army of allied troops come rushing out of player driven landing craft, heading for your position, you feel such a sense of urgency its mad! I take so many screenshots of the action, then just soak up the atmosphere, its amazing.
Playing the Battle of Midway and controlling a Battleship! Driving a Tiger tank up the Arnheim bridge on market garden, sniping axis troops as they storm Stalingrad! Holding the line at the battle of the Bulge! Its all here. One time it was so much like the film Saving Private Ryan it felt scary, I was lying on a bridge with a tiger tank coming up about to run me down, i was shooting it with a pistol then bang! Like the film, a p51 mustang (player driven like everything!) blew it up, wow.
If you have a high spec pc with good internet connection (512k upwards) buy this game! NOW, if not, get that stuff for it, its worth it.
The game states to have a single player campaign mode, but this pretty much just the same maps as used in online games, but populated by bots.
The game is quite a system hog. I've got a 1200 Athlon, with 512mb RAM, and a Radeon 7200. I'd say this was the minimum spec. With less RAM the loading times are rediculous, and the game runs slowly. Also, the game isn't 100% compatible with all drivers. After my second week of owning this game it rufused to start up at all, and when it did it caused a device failure after seconds of play. It took quite a bit of fiddling to fix this problem, but its fine now.
Excellent game, if you have a fairly meaty PC to run it on, and broadband internet to play it online. There are some bugs (that will probably be fixed in the next patch due out sometime before the end of November) but its worth persevering as its an excellent game.