Every week, Retro Game Wednesday reviews a well-aged game available for digital download on Steam.
Title: Day of Defeat
Genre: Multiplayer FPS
Release Date: May 1, 2003
Price (at time of review): $4.99
I’ve never done a properly multiplayer game on Retro Game Wednesday, so this week I’ve decided that’s what I’m going to do.
But which one? There are quite a lot of multiplayer games on Steam. Some of them are worth paying for, some of them aren’t. Eventually, I decided that since last week we talked about the merits of maiming Nazis, there was no reason to break with that theme.
Plus, in this one you can BE the Nazis, since there need to be two teams. Even though they’re not necessarily Nazis just by being in the German army. But it’s not fun to shoot moral ambiguities, is it?
In the midst of a little known conflict called ‘the Second World War’, take the role of either an all-American GI or their German equivalents. And, on some maps, you can be the British.
- Fight the war in Europe across a variety of different maps of various sizes.
- I don’t think that one that looks like the house from the Simpsons was actually from a real place, though.
- Pick whatever class you want based on which primary weapon you want to use – assault classes have submachine guns, mid-ranged classes get battle rifles, machine gunners get overpowered death sprayers.
- Oh, who are we kidding. Just like Counter Strike, everyone is going to use the sniper rifle.
- The graphics are showing their age, especially next to the Source version of the game.
- There really aren’t too many good low ping servers around anymore.
- Most of the official maps are fun to play, but as always, there are some terrible ones in the mix as well.
- Also as always, there are a variety of custom maps, but they are sorted into the amazing ones and the ones that will drive you to suicide. There is no middle ground.
- You are afforded absolutely no opportunities to shoot a mech-driving Hitler.
As usual, this one is for if you like older games. Or if you have a really bad computer, or if you’re one of those people who like having a wider variety of period firearms, this one’s worth picking up. For those of you who want something a little more modern, however, Day of Defeat: Source is the same thing, but shinier and more streamlined. 7/10
The original Half Life spawned a vast number of mods – it was a new engine and it was a good engine, especially for 1998. Even the famous Counter Strike initially began as a mere modification. Half Life was a game that everybody was modding.
There’s a reason for that – Half Life was one of the biggest games ever. Making a mod for it guaranteed you a large and immediate audience that few other games at the time could even come close to matching. There were sci-fi game mods, tactical game mods, mods that emulated other, earlier mods for Quake (like the original Team Fortress) and even a that emulated a certain game from Tron.
So of course there needed to be a World War II mod. It was over ten years ago, and the Call of Duty franchise hadn’t beaten the era to death yet. We were young, innocent, naive.
As World War II games go, this one is actually pretty good – actually, it’s always been my favourite. Maybe it doesn’t hold up to other, more modern muliplayer shooters, but the slower, more realistic pace this game sets always made it appeal to me.
There’s a wide variety of more or less period-accurate weapons, covering even the more obscure weapons of the war that most games ignore (the British anti-tank weapon, the PIAT, comes to mind. It’s a spring loaded tube that shoots bombs. Doesn’t that make you want one?) The maps aren’t bad either – most of the official ones aren’t too grossly unbalanced for or against either team. My favourites are Avalanche and Caen, but you can draw your own conclusions.
Of course, I have to say you are by no means required to play this game if you want a more modern experience. Day of Defeat: Source is by all means a worthy successor, if a little more lacking in the obscure guns department. But that doesn’t matter from a gameplay perspective, except to weird people.
Honestly, I don’t care which one you try. But they’re both worth playing. And they’re relatively cheap, and isn’t that all you really care about if you’re reading a column telling you what out of date games you should buy?
If Half Life runs, this will too. If Half Life doesn’t run, check if you are using a Mac.day of defeat