Delta Force: Black Hawk Down: Team Sabre

5_1War isn’t fun.

You might expect a solid mission pack with Team Sabre – after all, it only has to ape what Black Hawk Down has already done quite successfully. Eleven new singleplayer missions are split between a Colombian and Iranian campaign, both of which can be played in any order. Both unfortunately feature the same rigid scripting and painful team AI as the original (which you must have installed), but with an extra load of bugs and crap mission design to make it downright infuriating.

There’s naturally a good deal of expansion-related new content to go around – guns, enemies, terrain and all. Perhaps the biggest visual change is offered by the Colombian jungles; it gives the game a completely new look. Beyond that we get a few enemy vehicles that seem coated in high-explosive paint (put a few M4 rounds and off they go), some new set of German weapons – the H&K G3, G36 and PSG – and various skin graphs replacing Somali rebels with drug lord mercenaries and Iranian soldiers.

The level of difficulty has seemingly been increased tenfold; saves have been slashed and enemy soldiers are omnipresent, including RPG infantry and .50 caliber mounted machinegun posts (which, unlike the AK-wielding goons, tend to kill you in one hit). If they sound annoying, wait until you play the game.


Note to devs – stealth isn’t always fun.

AI for both friend and foe are equally horrible, leaving you to do much of the work while your team acts as cannon fodder – assuming of course they don’t get stuck in geometry. You’ll often have to navigate through tight enclosures, face gauntlets of enemies and bypass annoying “gotcha” traps like spawning soldiers or insta-kill machineguns hidden around corners. Granted, not all levels are equally hard, but the ones that are (and they come early on) can be a nightmare. The pacing is garbage as well, so the game will throw an extremely tough mission at you, then have a pitifully easy follow-up.

It’s hard to figure out what the designers were trying to do with Team Sabre. Some of the missions play out like it’s a squad-based tactical shooter, only to end up either extremely frustrating or just boring. The game misses out completely on what made the original fun, replacing fast action with slow, tedious stealth sweeps. In the end you’re much better off replaying the original BHD campaign than wasting time with this mission pack.

System Requirements: P III 733 Mhz, 256 MB RAM, 16 MB Video, Win98/2K/ME/XP

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