Delta Force: Land Warrior
|a game by||NovaLogic|
|Editor Rating:||7.8/10, based on 2 reviews|
|User Rating:||7.6/10 - 5 votes|
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With realistic combat currently taking over from multicoloured sci-fi shooters (think Counter-Strike, the game we're playing, breathing and sleeping at the moment), the news of a sequel to Delta Force I and 2 is very welcome indeed.
Even better is the news that Land Warrior is going to ditch the outdated and crusty voxel engine of old and replace it with a brand spanking new, singing and dancing, fully accelerated 3D engine. Even fans would have to admit that the old voxel effort looked pretty terrible, although the developers are promising that while the new engine is going to banish the pixellated look, it's still going to retain the huge outdoor landscapes, with the massive line-of-sight opportunities that made the original games so successful. One slight side-effect is that there are no plans to implement tall grass. And no tall grass means no sneaking up on someone on your belly and killing them before they've had a chance to register you're there. Too processorintensive without the voxels ysee. As well as the massive multiplayer options, including Voice-Over-Net, Land Warrior is going to provide a character-driven single-player game that gives you the chance to step into the boots of a veteran soldier as part of a five-man team who spend their time chewing cigars, rescuing hostages and killing nasty terrorists. And, of course, you can expect the usual splattering of new weapons and equipment, including a PSG-I and a handheld MMI ,40mm semiautomatic grenade launcher. Which sounds pretty nifty.
More than this, the game is actually going to provide you with a glimpse into the future of infantry combat. A subsidiary of NovaLogic has been involved with a contract to modify Delta Force for use in the US Army's next-generation Land Warrior program, which provides foot soldiers with the sort of technology usually reserved for vehicles: integrated video sights, head-mounted displays, laser range-finders and GPS navigation.
The future is here. Well nearly. You can expect to see the Delta Force version of Land Warrior early next year, maybe before if the coders pull their collective fingers out.
Download Delta Force: Land Warrior
You’re about to join the most advanced strike team ever assembled. Where there is terror, you will bring retribution. You are joining Delta Force. Whether you prefer brute force or covert infiltration, Delta Force: Land Warrior has got your ticket. Go with all guns blazing into the heat of action, flank the opposition, or make use of cover for maximum stealth, protection and speed. How you reach your goal is unimportant, as long as you get there.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
Land Warrior’s single player game takes you through about thirty missions against several terrorist factions with fairly vague goals. Ranging from a hostage rescue to infiltrating catacombs underneath an Egyptian pyramid to destroy a weapons cache, there are missions that are designed to require all five types of warrior you can select. However, when all is said and done, you can really just play any mission due to the biggest disappointment in the game: the artificial intelligence (AI). Your teammates aren’t too bad; they have a decent awareness of what is going on around them and will take basic advantage of cover. They do follow mission waypoints too strictly, not reacting to changes based on what the enemy does. Not that the enemy will vary much at all -- their actions are all too predictable.
I like playing as a sniper best and the enemy had no clue how to react to anything I did. Maybe it’s just me, but if I heard a loud gunshot and the guy standing next to me dropped to the ground, I would do more that stand there staring straight ahead. Unfortunately, that is often exactly what the enemy did -- countless times I would drop one of two guards in a watch tower and the other would act as if nothing had happened. At other times one shot would cause everyone to turn and return fire with uncanny accuracy. The terrorists you fight in most missions are lousy shots and have reaction times slower than many sloths.
There's plenty of equipment in Land Warrior -- with three sniper rifles, a series of assault rifles ranging from light to heavy, portable missile launchers, grenades, satchel charges, and land mines you’re all set to become a walking tank. There’s even a selection of underwater weaponry and a laser sight for calling in air strikes. Add the weaponry to the less than intelligent AI and you’ve got missions that are often a cakewalk, even at the hardest setting. The missions do become more challenging as the game progresses, but overall they remain fairly easy to complete if you keep your eyes open.
The best part of the game is the multiplayer support. With the array of weapons and mix of terrains there’s plenty of room for just about any style of play. My favorite scenarios involve some players dropping in on parachutes while others are trying to defend an installation. There’s nothing quite like the rush of watching the ground come up below you, knowing that you’re hanging out in the middle of the air as a giant target. The levels are huge -- there’s plenty of room to set up on a hill overlooking the enemy as a sniper or, if a frontal assault is more your style, there are countless gullies for you to use as cover as you move in. The best part about the multiplayer gameplay is that with all your opponents carrying a similar arsenal and with an intelligent opponent behind every character in the game, you will find it a challenge to reach your objectives and complete a mission.
Like all Novalogic games, Land Warrior is built using their proprietary voxel-based rendering engine. This proprietary 3D-pixel engine that can create stunning environments with smooth, organic-looking landscapes that are just not possible in most standard polygon engines. The only problem is that 3D accelerators aren’t built to enhance voxel graphics, which means that systems that can run Quake III with smooth frame rates will stutter while running Delta Force: Land Warrior. The latest voxel engine does take some advantage of 3D cards, but not as much as games based on polygon engines can. If your system can pump the pixels then you’ll be impressed by the quality of the environment, but on many systems the choppy frame rate will disappoint you.
Also disappointing are the character models -- they’re fairly detailed, but the animation is often jerky. Even in the first person view your own movements while changing between prone and standing positions aren’t smooth. Don’t get me wrong -- the graphics aren’t that bad, they just don’t measure up to the smooth eye candy that other games offer.
The effects in Land Warrior are done well: gun shots ring out across the landscape, echoing around canyons and chattering off walls. The "thup" of bullets hitting the snow as the enemy fires on your position can raise the hair on the back of your neck. Novalogic paid a lot of attention to the details of the weaponry sounds and it shows.
Windows 95, 98, ME, or 2000, Pentium II 400, Celeron 400 or faster, 64 MB RAM, 4X CD-ROM, and a Direct 3D Compatible Video Card
Land Warrior doesn’t measure up to the accurate simulation of Rainbow Six nor is it the free-for-all shooting gallery you find in Quake III. Rather, it falls somewhere in the middle of the two. With its varied array of weapons and the huge landscapes to move around in there’s a little something for fans of either type of game. The single-player missions are fairly well done, although they aren't challenging enough in most cases. The multiplayer is frantic and fun, with faster play than true Special Forces simulators, but more realism than a straight frag-fest game. Even with its less than intelligent AI, the game offers more than enough high powered fun -- especially for those of us who favor playing the sniper. Watch for me on the multiplayer servers, I’ll have you my crosshairs.