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Game Over Online ~ Delta Force 2

GameOver Game Reviews - Delta Force 2 (c) Novalogic, Reviewed by - Colonel Sanders

Game & Publisher Delta Force 2 (c) Novalogic
System Requirements Pentium II 400, 64MB Ram, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 72%
Date Published Monday, November 22nd, 1999 at 09:17 PM

Divider Left By: Colonel Sanders Divider Right

The holiday season is, and has always been, the busiest time of the year in the gaming industry. Between the months of October and December, we bare witness to over 150 new titles. Some of the year’s best and most original titles come out during the holiday season. Unfortunately, the holiday season is also the time of year that publishers and developers take advantage of the all-powerful sequel. Fresh for the holiday season from NovaLogic, Delta Force 2. Let’s see how this sequel turns out.

For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of playing the original Delta Force, let me just run down the gist of the game. Delta Force is a first / third person action game based on the activities of Delta Force, the U.S. Army’s counter-terrorist detachment. As a member of this elite special forces unit, the player and a group of two to three computer-controlled squad-mates will be challenged to covertly infiltrate hostile territory, eliminate or stealthily avoid enemy patrols, accomplish an objective and get out alive.

One of the biggest changes in Delta Force 2 is the new Voxel Space 32 graphics engine that takes advantage of 32-bit 3D cards in the acceleration of polygon rendering. For those of you who don’t speak the language, it basically yields expansive outdoor environments. To explain further, those of you who possess an ATI Rage or TNT card will be able to take advantage of Delta Force 2’s engine. All the 3D polygonal objects in the game will run accelerated, including the characters, vehicles and buildings. Those playing with a Voodoo (3Dfx-based card) will be playing in software mode.

The main advantage of the voxel engine, as mentioned above, is the actual rendering range. Landscapes and environments will seemingly go on forever, providing snipers with an incredible edge. Another environmental advantage of the voxel engine is in the amount of texture used in the landscapes, so much so that players can actually travel in tall grasses or snow and actually hide in the terrain. This provides an excellent edge to the game, making it that much more realistic. The main disadvantage of the voxel engine is the frame rates. Delta Force 2 requires a fast processor and truckload of RAM just to run at a reasonable speed.

The character models feature an impressive range of animations, but they aren’t very clean. While outdoor environments are breathtaking, indoor environments are just the opposite. You’ll find a number of clipping problems in terms of walking through doors and standing next to walls. What results is a lackluster atmosphere that needs improvement. The voxel engine boasts some impressive characteristics, but clearly there’s a lot of work to be done in comparison to polygonal engines.

There are 45 missions enclosed in Delta Force 2. There are 25 missions in two different campaign settings, plus another 20 stand-alone missions. One of the problems with the original Delta Force was the lack of any cohesive story. The campaigns were put together in such a way that it felt like you were playing a bunch of stand-alone missions. NovaLogic has done a fine job with Delta Force 2 in terms of creating missions and campaigns that feel like they belong together. The actual missions take place all over the world, including the Antarctic, Africa and the former Soviet Union. Some of the mission objectives include raiding enemy bases and destroying assets, rescuing hostages, capturing drug lords, and recovering hazardous materials.

The gameplay, while improved in several areas, still lacks in certain other aspects. Most missions involve fighting several dozen enemy troops from a position of cover. The voxel engine obviously caters to this type of gameplay due to the extreme range of environments it allows. Sniping enemies is the name of the game and Delta Force 2 relies heavily on it. One-shot-one-kill means death is a common occurrence, and unfortunately there just isn’t enough tactical elements in the game to avoid getting killed. The lack of a save-game option really causes problems in terms of replaying certain missions over and over again.

The original Delta Force featured horrible enemy AI, and unfortunately Delta Force 2 is no different. If two enemy soldiers are guarding an entranceway, and you pick one of them off from long range, the second will rarely react. There also seems to be many times when enemy troops will just sit in their current location, despite having bullets whiz past them and all around them. At times though, the enemy AI is far too difficult. NovaLogic has yet to balance the gameplay in terms of enemy AI, and it shows.

NovaLogic has worked hard on weapon physics in Delta Force 2. Enhanced weapons ballistics modeling mean that bullet’s trajectories drop off and are affected by wind at long range. Bullets can penetrate many objects and structures such as glass as wood, but concrete walls are in-penetrable. They’ve also expanded the amount of equipment each soldier can carry.

The best element of Delta Force 2 might just be the multiplayer features. There are a myriad of options for mutiplayer including NovaLogic’s Voice-Over-Net, in which players can talk to each other with a push of a button rather than typing messages. A free microphone headset is provided with the game, so you can talk to teammates without taking away from the continual action. Delta Force 2 supports up to 50 players on a single map and it’s free NovaWorld online service makes it easy to find people to play with. Delta Force 2 also features a game called King of the Hill, in which members of a group of players coordinate their roles and weapons on the battlefield.

If anything, Delta Force 2 comes out with guns blazing. It’s an improvement over the original title, that’s for certain, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. Delta Force 2 is at it’s best when it throws you into the middle of a sprawling firefight. In terms of tactical gameplay, it just doesn’t seem to exist on a high enough level. NovaLogic might have been best advised to wait on this particular sequel. However, in all it’s voxel engine glory, Delta Force 2 is here. Love it, or leave it.


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