Of the few games that have influenced my gaming habits today, one has colored my childhood with a couple more fond memories than others, and that is Battlefield 1942.
This first-person shooter was published by Electronic Arts (EA) and developed by the Swedish Digital Illusions CE in 2002.
A little later, my father ordered a new Dell desktop for work, and was given two games to compliment his purchase.
Battlefield was one of them, and after a while my dad let me try my hand at it.
I had played first-person shooters before, but never on a PC.
The game was nothing like I had played before. It had huge maps, I’m talking maps designed to accommodate aircraft which you flew about.
The game was centered around the World War II time period, with the vehicles, weapons, cities and atmosphere designed after it.
The five classes offer a welcome variety of gameplay styles for players to chose from.
For those of you who like to stand back and pick people off, you have the scout, outfitted with a long range sniper rifle and binoculars to direct artillery.
For the more rocketry-inclined, the anti-tank class has either a bazooka or Panzershreck (depending on which team you’re on) that you use to take out any kind of vehicles.
If a support position suits you more, the medic is outfitted with medical packs to heal teammates while using a submachine gun to fight off enemies.
The assault class totes a large light machine gun or assault rifle which dishes out gallons of damage at medium range.
Finally, the engineer has a more tactical use, using both land mines and explosives with tools to repair vehicles or fixed weapons.
With the frequency of vehicles in the game, antitank and engineer classes were in highest use.
While not incredibly realistic gameplay wise, it allowed just about anyone a chance to jump into a tank and start mowing down enemies without much complexity.
The playable nations — The United States, United Kingdom, Russia, Germany and Japan — had some individuality, but the axis powers tended to use some of the same stuff.
One of the unique things about 1942 was the use of tickets.
Each team had a starting amount of tickets, and when those were gone, the other team won.
Tickets were lost by not capturing enough points or having more people people die than the other team.
This was an interesting difference to other styles, which encouraged objectives and points to be more important than racking up the highest score.
Another was the melding of tank, fighter, bomber, battleship and ground combat without either being incredibly overpowered.
Tanks could be taken out easily by a smart player with a bazooka or by laying mines or explosives.
Planes, while fun, were hard to fly with a mouse and keyboard and couldn’t take much damage because of weak fuselage.
With historical battles that allowed you to follow the paths of famous generals, and campaigns to add variety, you didn’t grow tired of playing.
Unlike other games that I grow bored of, like the shoddy newer releases, I still play the Battlefield franchise and in fact have many hours in the newest version, Battlefield 4.
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