|Developer(s)||Digital Illusions CE|
|Designer(s)||Romain de Waubert de Genlis|
|Release date(s)||Microsoft Windows
Battlefield 1942 (sometimes known as BF1942) is a first-person shooter video game developed by Swedish company Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts for Microsoft Windows and OS X. The game can be played in single-player mode against the video game AI or in multiplayer mode against players on the Internet or in a Local Area Network. It is also a popular platform for mod developers, with a large number of released modifications that alter the gameplay and theme.
In-game, players assume the role of one of five classes of infantry: Scout, Assault, Anti-Tank, Medic, and Engineer. Players also have the ability to fly various World War II fighter aircraft and bombers, navigate capital ships, submarines and aircraft carriers, man coastal artillery defenses, drive tanks, APCs and jeeps, and take control of anti-aircraft guns and mounted machine guns.
Each battle takes place on one of several maps located in a variety of places and famous battlefields in all of the major theaters of World War II: the Pacific, European, North African, Eastern, and Italian Fronts. Combat is always fought between the Axis Powers and the Allies. The location determines which nation-specific armies are used (for example, on the Wake Island map, it is Japan versus the United States, while on the El Alamein map, it is Germany versus the United Kingdom). The maps in Battlefield 1942 are based on real battles and are somewhat realistically portrayed. On 11 November 2012, EA announced that Battlefield 1942 can be downloaded for free on Origin celebrating Battlefield's 10th Anniversary, naming it the game that started it all. EA has since removed the product from Origin because of the GameSpy shutdown.
The gameplay of Battlefield 1942 generally has a more co-operative focus than previous games of this nature, as it is not only important to kill the opposition but to also hold certain "control points" around the map. Capturing control points allows the team to reinforce itself by enabling players and vehicles to spawn in a given area. Additionally, capturing and controlling control points also reduces enemy reinforcements. Battlefield 1942 was one of the first mainstream games to represent a dramatic shift in FPS game play mentality not only favoring individualism, but simultaneously encouraging teamwork and coordination.
The default game play mode, Conquest, centers on the capture and control of control points; once a team captures a control point, its members can respawn from it. When a team loses control of all their control points, they cannot respawn. And if no one is alive, the team with no "spawn" points loses.
Games are composed of rounds. A team wins the round when the other team runs out of tickets. A team loses tickets when its members are killed, but also when the other team holds a majority of the capture points on the map (typically when a team holds the majority of the capture points). Therefore, sometimes the winning team must hunt down straggling or hiding enemy forces at the end of a round.
Spawn tickets also play a vital role in the success of both teams. Every time a player on a team dies and respawns, his team loses one ticket. Every team starts each round with between 150 and 300 tickets, depending on the team's role (e.g., defense). Teams also gradually lose tickets depending on how many spawn points they control. As a general rule, the fewer spawn points controlled by a team, the more tickets they lose. For a team of 32 on a 64 player map, with 150 tickets, this means a little less than 5 re spawns or deaths on average for every player if they hold their starting spawn points.
The player can choose to play as either the Allied team or the Axis team. The Allies consists of the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, while the Axis consists of Germany and Japan. Regardless of which nation is chosen by the player, there are five different roles of infantry that the player can assume the role: Scout, Assault, Medic, Anti-tank, and Engineer.
Each role has its own strength and weakness. For example, the scout role has long-range surveillance, high stopping power and the ability to provide spotting for artillery shelling against an enemy position (unlike other games with a similar feature, other player characters must also supply the artillery fire); however, the sniper rifle is not designed to be used in close-quarter combat and players frequently treat this role as just a plain sniper role by not providing spotting for artillery. Assault is the standard role, and provides very aggressive firepower. The Anti-tank role specializes against vehicles and tanks, but their main weapon is inaccurate against enemy infantry. The Medic role has the ability to heal (himself and other players), but his sub-machine gun has less stopping power than the Assault's weapons. The Engineer has the ability to repair damaged vehicles and stationary weapons, and they also have the ability to deploy explosives, which are highly effective against both enemy infantry and vehicles, and land mines, which destroy enemy vehicles on contact.
The game was developed by a team of 14 people at Digital Illusions. Battlefield 1942 was built on the formula of the less well-known and successful Codename Eagle video game, set in an alternate history World War I. It featured single and multiplayer modes. The earlier Refractor 1 engine had more arcade-style physics and a less realistic focus than its successor, Refractor 2, which was used in BF2. A Macintosh-compatible version of BF1942 was also made and released by Aspyr Media in mid-2004. An Xbox version of the game was also announced in early 2001 but was cancelled almost two years later so Electronic Arts could more closely work on an expansion pack for the PC. Due to the restriction on use of the swastika in Germany, the Weimar Republic flag is used instead of the WWII era Reichskriegsflagge by the German side.
The creators of Battlefield 1942 have released expansion packs titled Battlefield 1942: The Road to Rome (which adds the Italian Front) and Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of WWII. Both add various new gameplay modes and design concepts. The Road to Rome features a focus on the Italian battles and allows players to play as the Free French forces or as the Italian Army. Secret Weapons of WWII focuses on prototype, experimental, and rarely used weapons and vehicles (such as jet packs), as well as weapons not featured in the previous versions. It adds downloadable patches, fixes bugs in the game, and it adds some extra content (such as the Battle for Hellendoorn map). Battlefield 1942 Deluxe Edition includes original game and Battlefield 1942: The Road To Rome. Battlefield 1942: World War II Anthology added Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of WWII expansion pack. Battlefield 1942: The Complete Collection added Battlefield Vietnam and Battlefield Vietnam WWII Mod.
On the review aggregator GameRankings, the game has an average score of 89% based on 46 reviews. On Metacritic, the game has an average score of 89 out of 100, based on 27 reviews. At 6th annual Interactive Achievement Awards, Battlefield 1942 received awards for Online Gameplay, Innovation in PC Gaming, PC Game of the Year, and Game of the Year. On March 2010 Battlefield 1942 was awarded with "Swedish game of the decade" award at the computer game gala hosted by Swedish Games Industry
Scott Osborne of GameSpot gave the game a rating of 8.8 out of 10, calling it a "comic book version of WWII." Steve Butts of IGN gave the game a rating of 9.3 out of 10, praising the multiplayer, but saying that "the single player game leaves much to be desired."
In March 2004, Battlefield Vietnam was released. In 2005, a sequel set in the modern era, Battlefield 2 was released. In 2006, a sequel set in the future era, Battlefield 2142 was released. On 8 July 2009, Battlefield 1943 was released for Xbox Live Arcade and on PlayStation Network one day later. The Battlefield: Bad Company series was launched in 2008, followed by Battlefield 3, in October 2011 on EA Games' Origin network. Battlefield 4 was released in October 2013. Battlefield Hardline, a cops and robbers style battlefield, launched on 17 March 2015. Battlefield 1, a World War 1 based title, will be released on 21 October 2016.
An October 2004 public release from EA noted the game's modding community. PC Gamer described in October 2005 one particular mod as "the last great mods before the Battlefield 1942 community moved over to Dice's Sequel. It's a fitting end to an era." Other mods have appeared in articles on CNN and The Washington Times, as well as in a variety of industry publications ranging from the Finnish gaming magazine PC Pelaaja to internationally read PC Gamer.
Like Half-Life and some other popular FPS games, Battlefield 1942 spawned a number of mods. Most did not progress very far and were abandoned without ever producing a public release. Some are very limited and just include some gameplay changes or even a different loading screen while others are total conversions that modify content and gameplay extensively. A few mods have become popular and are nearly games in their own right. Early modifications of Battlefield 1942 were produced without a SDK. Later a "Mod Development Kit", Battlefield Mod Development Toolkit, was produced by EA to help development of mods. With the release of the Battlefield 1942 sequel Battlefield Vietnam and Battlefield 2, some mods have released a new version or have continued development with that game. Battlefield Vietnam uses an updated version of the Refractor 2 game engine. Some mods have switched to the computer games Söldner: Secret Wars, Half-Life 2 or others for the same reasons.
- Action Battlefield (ActionBF), placed second in FilePlanet's Best New Mod of 2003 awards. First official mod publicly available after the release of BF1942. Was known for its original new gadgets, classes, weapons and "hollywood-style" gameplay tweaks. (Also beloved by BF1942 stuntmen) Ceased operations in 2005, but many of its features, such as the commander class, the disposable medpacks and the ability to call air strikes, to name a few, were later an inspiration and reborn in successors BF2 and BF2142. Mentioned in 1UP "Free PC Games" December 2003 article and on various gaming web sites around the internet as well as distributed on DVD-Roms with various European and American magazines during the year 2003.
- Battlefield 1918 was noted by Tor Thorsen of GameSpot, and was part of a presentation with the official EA Community Team at GetBoinKed mobility 1.1 in 2005.
- Battlefield 40k was released in the January 2007 issue of PC Format magazine. It is based on Games Workshops Tabletop Game, Warhammer 40,000
- Battlefield Interstate 1982, mentioned in 1UP "Free PC Games" December 2003 article. (Free PC Games "1UP.ORG" December 2003.)
- Battlefield Pirates, a mod which featured pirate ships and even airborne ships similar to balloons. It included unique skins, weapons and maps, all adhering to the pirate theme.
- Battlegroup42 was reviewed by Mark Sutherns in the January 2004 issue of PC Gamer UK Edition.
- Battle G.I. Joe was reviewed on About.com, by Michael Klappenbach. The mod was also contacted by Hasbro for IP issues, as noted in Am I Mod or Not? (Nieborg, 2005)
- Desert Combat, produced by Trauma Studios, was winner of FilePlanet's Best Mod of 2003 Award' and many other reviews and awards, such as the March 2003 PC Magazine. PC Gamer described it as "Desert Combat is set in the white-hot conflict zone of the Middle East and pits the United States against Iraq." Articles noted it was helped by the Iraq War, which increased the number of page views to approximately 15,000 per day, or even between 20,000 to 70,000. Desert combat was pointed out as having two mods of its own, DC Extended and Desert Combat Realism in Am I Mod or Not? (Nieborg, 2005)
- Eve Of Destruction was winner of PC Gamer 2003 Mod of the Year. Dan Morris of PC Gamer noted in the March 2004 issue of PC Gamer, "While Battlefield Vietnam was still a twinkle in its developers' eyes, this standout mod debuted to a rapturous reception from the Battlefield 1942 faithful."
- Experience WWII was described in PC Gamer as having substantial changes to be historically accurate that directly impacts gameplay.
- FinnWars was featured in Pelit magazine in issue 9/2005, and PC Pelaaja in 2007. FinnWars is based in Winter War of Finland and Soviet Union, and it contains new sounds, models and maps.
- Forgotten Hope, a 2003 mod that aimed at a high degree of historical accuracy, was noted for including over 250 new pieces of authentic equipment (at the time more than any other WWII-themed FPS). It was awarded the Macologist Mod of the Year Award by Inside Mac Games in 2006 after the mod was ported to the Mac. It directly preceded the 2006 sequel, Forgotten Hope 2.
- Galactic Conquest was noted for its permission to blatantly use Lucasarts Star Wars universe material in Am I Mod or Not? (Nieborg, 2005). It was mentioned in Edge Magazine in April 2004. Galactic Conquest was reviewed on TechTV's X-Play show in 2004
- HydroRacers was reviewed PC ZONE magazine (UK) in 2004 by Tony Lamb, and also the Madison Courier in June 2004.
- Siege was pointed out in study by Utrecht University, both for its original concept, and its medieval warfare theme. Am I Mod or Not? (Nieborg, 2005)
- SilentHeroes won the PC ACTION-Super Mod Award in edition 07/2006 of the German gaming-magazine PC ACTION. Also, it was featured on many Norwegian and Swedish media websites, including VG, Aftonbladet and IDG.
- Who Dares Wins, was reviewed in the August 2005 UK edition of PC Gamer magazine, and a copy of version 0.2 was distributed with the magazine on DVD-ROM to its readers.
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- "Årtiondets svenska spel är Battlefield 1942". Dataspelsbranschen. Retrieved 25 March 2010.
- Scott Osborne (16 September 2002). "Battlefield 1942 for PC Review". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 7 February 2008. Retrieved 5 February 2008.
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- Chris Morris (25 March 2003). "War games see sales spike". CNN. Retrieved 23 January 2007.
- Phuong Ly (7 April 2003). "In Wartime, Teens Go Back to Their Quarters". The Washington Post. Retrieved 23 January 2007.
- Pc Format Magazine - Content
- Computer Game Cheats, PC Computer Games, PC Game Reviews | GamesRadar
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- G.I. Joe Mod - Planet Battlefield
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- G4 - X-Play - Features
- HydroRacers - Fast Paced HydroPlane Racing Game for Half-Life 2, Bf1942, and Far Cry!
- HydroRacers - Fast Paced HydroPlane Racing Game for Half-Life 2, Bf1942, and Far Cry!
- 04 MC Regatta v4 FINAL-MSC.indd
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