Battlefield 1942: Road to Rome
Some Day all wars will be fought like this: virtual troops battling it out in a gruelling arena, taking control of powerful tanks on the ground, ships at sea and planes in the air, as well as yomping on foot with other online combatants. Digital Illusions' Battlefield 1942 may have suffered in single-player due to poor Al and hurriedly assembled missions, but in multiplayer it delivered an incredibly immersing theatre of war with up to 64 PC gamers being able to join in the action.
The Road To Rome is an expansion pack for Battlefield 1942 that concentrates on making the multiplayer WWII experience even better, conscripting players into the fierce fighting that took place during the Allies' Italian campaign. When we looked at where we wanted to go with the expansion pack we finally came upon Italy, because some really heavy battles took place there," says producer Anders Hoh. The war in Italy is not that widely known, which added some novelty value. Plus, it was also an appealing thought to add new landscape scenery to the Battlefield 1942 universe as well." You'll notice this immediately from playing the add-on pack, which shows beautifully-lit Mediterranean olive groves and distinctive architecture, which is used as cover for troops that now include the Italian infantry and French legionnaires.
Fields Of War
However, the biggest addition are the six new maps, which include the Sicily-based Operation Husky, and each area includes new rules of engagement that encourages gamers to play the existing multiplayer modes - such as CTF - very differently. For instance, explains Hoh, one of the maps is kind of a traditional King of the Hill level. When you reach the top, the teams can't spawn again, which will make this area very important to defend. If you lose it, you'll have to fight your way up the hill again to retake it. This also works well for single-player. Talking of which, Hoh and his team have been busy giving the computer-controlled soldiers in The Road To Rome a right royal boot up the arse, which will hopefully improve the single-player experience, effectively creating unscripted battles that you can enjoy offline again and again.
Digital Illusions has also jemmied in eight more vehicles, ships and aircraft such as the British Mosquito twin-engine fighter bomber and an Italian torpedo boat. Almost all of the new vehicles work differently," says Hoh. The new British and German tanks have protected turret gunners, the aeroplanes are nice mixes between a bomber and a fighter and we've included new stationary anti-tank guns. Although there aren't any new infantry classes in The Road To Rome, many have been given new weapons, such as a Sten-gun for the British and French medics, and deadly bayonets for all the engineers' rifles, meaning there'll be close combat with a new twist - so to speak. I'm especially fond of the Italian assault gun, the Breda. It has a nice sound and feel to it when it blazes off, adds Hoh. We'll find out whether Battlefield 1942: The Road To Rome is worth invading once the fog of war has cleared in a future PC.
Download Battlefield 1942: Road to Rome
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
After focusing on the encounters with the Germans and Japanese in Battlefield 1942, the Italians make their appearance in the expansion pack, Road to Rome. With a number of new additions including new vehicles, weapons, and six new maps, the $20 price tag is easily justified. Although there are a few minor issues, the overall experience from Battlefield 1942 was retained and in many ways, improved.
It can be difficult to decide if an expansion pack is going to have enough new features to breathe life back into a game that's become exhausted. Often an insufficient amount of new features or improvements are added, giving more of the same gameplay that you're already tired of playing. Road to Rome however, does include new features that require strategy changes and the addition of certain vehicles and weapons that help freshen up the game.
The six new maps in particular stand out as the layouts were obviously designed to maximize combat and strategy. The large size of the maps, at first glance, appears to be too open but the bridges and other obstacles focus the combat and create key areas to control. Teamwork has also been increased as taking bridges or other strongholds will require a calculated assault to have success.
Other new additions like the vehicles also encourage teamwork, as many of them require at least two soldiers to operate. In addition, the gunner on top is more protected, allowing for the driver to focus on keeping the tank or truck alive instead of worrying about losing his gunner.
One problem with Battlefield 1942 that still persisted in the expansion pack is the general performance. Even after installing the latest drivers for my ATI Radeon 8500 graphics card, it still was extremely choppy even at low-resolution settings and almost impossible to play. However, when I downloaded the latest patch (v. 1.3) the performance increased dramatically. If you had issues with Battlefield 1942 running in the past, you may want to revisit it with the latest patch. Whatever the problem was, they apparently got a handle on it.
Battlefield 1942: Road to Rome continues the success and balanced gameplay that was found in the original. You'll easily get $20 worth out of this game and if you had trouble running Battlefield 1942 in the past, try the latest patch as it may create a totally new experience.