Battlefield 1942 is a game developed by DICE and published by Electronic Arts. It is a first-person arcade-style shooter, which means that it is not 100% realistic (the Americans use the No 4 rifle instead of the M3 Garand). Despite its historical inconsistiencies, it is a very fun game.
While a variety of modes can be played (team deathmatch, deathmatch, capture the flag), the most popular mode by far is Conquest. In Conquest, each team starts out at a predetermined spawn point (represented by a flag for that respective country), with a set number of "tickets" (points). Then, they battle it out over several other flags placed around the map. Capturing an opponent's flag will cause their tickets to go down. The objective of Conquest is to make your opponent's tickets reach zero.
Of special note are the game's physics, which are outstanding. Indeed, several servers are dedicated to performing stunts with the vehicles included with the game (mostly the Jeep). Some hilarious tactics result from this; for example, a good way to quickly destroy an enemy tank is to drive a Jeep top speed into it. In real life, this would prove fatal for the jeep's driver with nary a scratch to the tank driver, but in Battlefield 1942, both the jeep and tank explode
There are several different classes in Battlefield 1942:
- The Scout is, of course, a sniper. He can use binoculars to help aid artillery (a source of consternation for many players); properly guided, an artillery can shell the enemy base from far across the map. Currently, it is difficult to snipe with the Scout due to the game's lousy netcode.
- The Assault guy is the default choice when first entering a game, and consequently the most popular. The rifle (a StG44 or a BAR, depending on what side you're playing) has the unique property of having an extremely accurate first shot; as a result, the Assault guy can also play sniper as well.
- The Anti-Tank soldier is the most useless class in the game as of 1.1. A grenade does far more damage than a Panserscheck or bazooka, so most people just toss grenades at approaching enemy tanks. The rocket does little to no damage against infantry unless it's a direct hit.
- A medic can be the most valuable asset to a team. While it can't revive fallen units a la RtCW, a medic can heal anyone within a certain radius of him (provided he has his medpack out and is spreading magical fairy dust. The medic is also a surprisingly decent assault unit as well; with 30 rounds to the clip, he has more ammo than an Allied assault soldier does!
- The engineer is the most versatile class in the game. He comes equipped with a stripped down version of the sniper rifle (no scope), yet he comes with more ammo than a Scout does! He can fix any vehicle in the game - from battleships to jeeps, no task is too big for him! He also can lay (and defuse the enemy's) anti-tank mines, which will destroy any vehicle in the game, provided they're going fast enough. But perhaps the most useful feature of the Engineer is the dynamite he carries.
If friendly fire is off, an Engineer can propel himself to ridiculous distances if he detonates a batch of dynamite under his feet. This proves to be extremely useful going up maps like Omaha Beach, but it can also be considered a form of cheating
EA claims more than 30 different vehicles are in the game; from ships to planes to tanks, the game revolves around the vehicles.
- Americans and the British have the Sherman and the M10 for tanks, and the Priest for artillery.
- The Russians have the T34-85 and the T34 for tanks. It is worth noting that the T34 is the most powerful tank in the game; one can go on a rampage with the T34 provided he is an engineer. The Russians also have the most powerful artillery unit in the game - the Katyusha - capable of launching 6 rockets sequentially
- The Germans have the Panzer IV and the Tiger at their disposal. For artillery, they use the Wespe; they also use a different APC (obviously) that is smaller, faster, and more "stable" than the Allies' M3 Half track (but less armor)
- The Japanese use the Chi-ha, a ridiculously ineffective tank; in a tank battle, the Sherman nearly always comes out on top.
Only the Americans and the Japanese command navy units, and both ships are evenly matched in firepower. The destroyer has two machine guns mounted on each side to fend off incoming planes, while the battleship has a very effective AA system - just point and shoot. The carrier has no defenses, save for 4 standard AA guns found on land. The submarine is totally helpless against incoming plane attacks (unless it's submerged)
Air units are more or less the same, with the notable exception of the Stuka, which is more maneuverable than the other planes. One of the biggest problems in the game is plane camping: many players will sit and wait for a plane to spawn (with the 'Enter Vehicle' key held down). If friendly fire is on, many players will shoot (and destroy) their teammates' planes if they don't get there first. Even when the opposite team holds all the flags, many players will remain oblivious to the fact that their team is losing
The game also holds the title of most obnoxious copy protection to date. Aside from being protected with the latest version of SafeDisc 2.6, the game will perform a CD check not only at the game's startup, but between EVERY SINGLE MAP. Should you decide to quit a server and join another one, the game will also perform a CD check, often keeping you from joining the server because it's already full. On top of that, the check itself is buggy, often causing the game to crash.
All in all a fun game. Just wait for the 1.2 patch