Review: Day of Defeat: Source

Original Article Here


Several years ago, a mod for the popular FPS “Half Life” was released. Sometimes known as “the other” mod in comparison to the more commonly known Counter Strike, this mod thrust the gamer into WW? combat, mixing the classic “Capture and Hold the Points” scenario with WW2 weapons and well designed maps. For those used to CS, the learning curve was steep – massive recoil, one-hit-kill grenades and a class based system could prove to be difficult to a new player. Soon enough however the world and grew to love the game, and “Day of Defeat” became one the alternative to Counter Strike – and a fantastic game in its own right.

Valve, knowing a Good Thing when they see it, hired up members of the DoD team, and, with its new Source engine, set about making an update to the mod, worthy of the DoD name and becoming a fantastic experience for both Veteran DoD players and newbies alike. And the good news is that Valve appears to have pulled it off. Day of Defeat Source is a fantastic gameplay experience; the game oozes quality from every pixel.

Firstly, the graphics – well, obviously, they are a MASSIVE improvement on the old HL 1.6 engine, the textures are gorgeous to look at, and you can tell the designers have spent a lot of time on the maps, giving them their own individual look and feel. New to DoD, Valve have added the first incarnation of their new HDR (High Definition Range) technology – in our terms this means realistic lighting that changes according to the players perspective. – If you are in a very dark area and move to a very light one, you may be a little blinded as you move into the area. This isn’t as disadvantaging as it sounds, and is worth having a DX9 enabled video card to experience; it looks amazing, and really gives a realistic feel to the areas around you. Having a good system overall will obviously make the game more enjoyable, but as long as you have a DX9 card and at least 512 RAM you’ll be laughing.

The actual maps, although few in number, are also well designed ? four (at the moment) classic maps from DoD have been given the overhaul, Avalanche, Donner, Flash and Anzio – and Valve have done an excellent job – they retain many recognisable features, yet they manage to feel fresh enough to almost be like new maps – at the moment they seem very equal, and neither team has a advantage on any of them.

The gameplay is just like classic DoD – you pick a team, choose a class of which there are six to choose from, Rifleman, Assault, Panzer(Rocket), Sniper, Machine Gunner and Support – each with their own weapons. Each class seems to be well balanced, with each player having their own role on the maps – some may be less used than others (depending on the map) but you can often have a really effective team where everyone seems to have a vital role. -There is one warning for DoD veterans however, in that the gameplay is a LOT faster than the old DoD – the speed being more similar to CS than DoD 1.6 – although this may not be a bad thing, depending on your viewpoint.

Bad points? Well, four maps seems a small amount, even at launch, for this game, but hopefully Valve will take the smart option and not wait too long to provide the fans with many more maps as the months progress. Additionally, if you are a die-hard DoD player who doesn’t like change – this may not be your cup of tea; some of the weapons do work a lot differently in damage and feel to their 1.6 counterparts. There are also some annoying bugs at the moment where players can get stuck on each other, and collision with other players needs a little work on at the moment.

As with all online games, your experience will vary depending on server, people playing and your own style of gameplay, but overall Day of Defeat Source is a fantastic piece of software, with good gameplay, looks and overall experience. What are you waiting for? Get in the fight soldier!

Overall Score: 76%

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