Day of Defeat

The Counter-Strike that never caught on.

snap1963Perhaps no other game has had more successful mods programmed for it than Half-Life. The ever popular Counter-Strike was an early one, but other lesser known mods-turned-standalone-games number Team Fortress, FireArms and Day of Defeat, three tactical shooters with a heavy emphasis on the ‘tactical’, especially the last two. It seemed a little odd to release Day of Defeat in 2003 (the original DoD dates way back to late 1999), but with some old bugs ironed out and new features placed in, this World War II themed shooter may yet have a new lease on life.

Players can choose to be on the American, German, or newly included British side. Each is chock full of authentic weaponry and appropriate voice-work, and players are free to choose from several classes. (Strangely, the British only get four classes while the other sides have seven each.) Unlike Counter-Strike, Day of Defeat places ab even heavier emphasis on teamplay. Nearly everyone plays a vital role during a battle, and no one class or side has an enormous advantage over the others. Considering this is a team-based shooter, the balancing system is a tight wire walk, and the developers do an amazing job keeping their footing.

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Advancing to the front with a Kar98.

Day of Defeat has fifteen maps, three exclusive to the purchased game, and the map determines the style of game. There is no deathmatch; rather, you’re either playing a hold and destroy style game (Normandy, for example) or a virtual tug of war involving multiple flags placed throughout the map (like Caen). While the maps are usually well-laid out and fairly believable, they just cannot keep up aesthetically with the likes of Battlefield 1942, Medal of Honor, or Return to Castle Wolfenstein. The character models and weapons are realistic and look nice but the maps are all very angular and rather bland.

Day of Defeat still has good gameplay, and with things like realistic gun recoil and the near requirement to stand still or go prone for any sort of firing accuracy, it’s much more difficult than most WWII games. It’s not 100% realistic by any means, but this style of play is not for the run-and-gun crowd. Teamwork is key to victory, as solo players do not last long. There’s a bot function that can be used in solo matches or LAN play, and a waypoint fix to make the bots usable, though you’re still better off playing against intelligent humans than the so-so bots.

System Requirements: Pentium 90 MHz, 16 MB RAM, Win95

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