Battlefield 1942 Deluxe Edition
There’s certainly no shortage of World War II-themed first-person shooters on the Mac. But if you crave online multiplayer action, none of them holds a candle to Aspyr’s Battlefield 1942 Deluxe Edition.
If you’ve played Halo or Unreal Tournament 2004, you’ve already had a taste of what Battlefield 1942 offers. In fact, when it was originally released for Windows in 2002, Battlefield 1942 introduced many of the features that have since made these games such hits – including vehicle control and expansive outdoor maps.
Battlefield 1942 lets you play as either Axis (Japanese) or Allied (American, German, British or Russian) soldiers in 16 different battles from World War II. However, your nationality is largely window dressing; each side’s weapons and vehicles are more or less evenly matched. At the beginning of the game, you choose a speciality – for example Medic, Engineer or Sniper. But Battlefield 1942 doesn’t lock you in – you can switch careers after being killed. So if your team needs another sniper instead of a medic, you can oblige.
You can command almost three-dozen different vehicles, including a B-17 bomber and armoured tanks. Many vehicles also support multiple positions – you can be the gunner or the driver, for example. Manoeuvring an M3 half-track armored vehicle filled with troops around the battlefield is certainly fun – but it’s also surprisingly challenging. And since each vehicle handles differently, it’s important to match the vehicle to the mission; you may fill up a personnel carrier with troops only to find that you’re the target of an air strike.
The game supports as many as 64 cross-platform combatants, making for some fierce online play. There are several multiplayer modes, including Deathmatch, Capture The Flag, and Conquest. If you’re looking for a single-person World War II-era shooter with a very strong storyline, I’d recommend Aspyr’s Call of Duty.
To compensate for the fact that Battlefield 1942 is so late in coming to the Mac, Aspyr has packaged the game as a Deluxe Edition. The game includes The Road to Rome expansion pack, which was originally sold separately for the PC version. While the theatres of war in Battlefield 1942 cover locations throughout the world, The Road to Rome specifically covers events in Italy, as Allied forces made their way through Sicily and up the boot through Anzio and Monte Cassino. The expansion pack adds new vehicles and weapons, as well as other changes to the original game.
To play Battlefield 1942, you’ll need an 867MHz G4 or faster with a DVD player, and an ATI Radeon 7500 or NVidia GeForce 2 graphics card or better.
Battlefield 1942 has taken a very long time to come to the Mac. But for online gamers looking for something they can really sink their teeth into, the game has proved to be worth the wait.