Battlefield 1942: Road to Rome
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.