The game was followed by the Road to Rome expansion pack earlier this year, which added larger maps and more-balanced vehicles. Now Battlefield 1942 has been supplemented, yet again, by another expansion pack, Secret Weapons of WWII. The latest expansion adds a lot of interesting new features and an additional eight maps. What it offers should be enough to keep Battlefield 1942 fans playing, though it could have offered more.
As its title suggests, the expansion pack focuses on experimental secret weapons that saw little or no use in the actual war. Some of these additions–especially the new personal rocket pack that lets you take high-flying leaps–might seem pretty far-fetched, but they work out well in the game and seem surprisingly balanced. The personal rocket pack can’t be used to fly indefinitely, and it saddles you with an unimpressive MP40 assault rifle. In addition, its volatile fuel reserves explode instantly if you take a solid hit, thus killing you. Likewise, the game’s new heavy-duty tanks, such as the German Sturmtiger and the US T-95 Supertank are exceedingly powerful, but they are limited by such factors as a lack of ammo, speed, and turret-turning radius. The same can be said for the expansion’s new aircraft, such as the incredibly speedy F-85 Goblin and the Natter rocket jet. Both have so much forward speed that they can be difficult to shoot down, but both are also relatively fragile and not heavily armed. Just controlling these jets is a challenging task and should prove to be entertaining for ace Battlefield 1942 pilots.
While the expansion does introduce plenty of new aircraft, it also introduces plenty of new countermeasures, such as the antiair Flakpanzer tank and the Wasserfall guided missile–the latter of which is controlled from a first-person perspective (similarly to the redeemer weapon from Unreal Tournament 2003). Several of these vehicles actually give you brand-new options on the battlefield. For instance, the C-47 cargo plane acts as a mobile spawn point that lets you parachute behind enemy lines, while the LVT-2 Water Buffalo and Schwimmwagen are amphibious vehicles that can be used to cross bodies of water you might otherwise have not bothered swimming across–since swimming remains exceedingly slow. The expansion also adds a few modified weapons for infantry soldiers on its eight maps, such as the new shotgun weapon for Allied engineers and the grenade launcher for Axis engineers. Though some may take getting used to (especially the shotgun), these weapons represent a good change of pace for on-foot battle, and none is horribly overpowered or underpowered. So, if you were concerned that the game’s outlandish weapons and vehicles might somehow destroy its balance, you needn’t worry.
Secret Weapons of WWII also introduces eight new maps that, interestingly enough, seem to be designed around the vehicles they feature. The Essen weapon factory level, for instance, puts the Allies and Axis on opposite ends of the map and equips the Allies with plenty of powerful aircraft, including the C-47 transport plane (which can carry a whole host of Allied infantry across enemy lines). The Axis control a weapon factory on the opposite side of the map, complete with antiaircraft Flakpanzer tanks and a Wasserfall missile silo. The maps seem extremely well designed, for the most part. Maps that do feature lots of aircraft also feature numerous stationary antiair turrets so that airstrikes aren’t as overwhelming as they could sometimes be in the original game’s maps. The expansion also introduces a new objective-based gameplay mode that generally tasks one team with completing a specific goal–such as destroying fuel silos or key documents–while the opposing team must prevent it. The objective mode can, in the best cases, make matches considerably shorter (at least shorter than the constant back-and-forth of the game’s basic conquest mode, anyway). In the best possible cases, objective mode is a focused and enjoyable gameplay mode–if you have skilled and coordinated teammates. However, it can often become frustrating and tedious if you end up with a team full of goof-offs who don’t bother trying to complete the goal.
Requirements : 500MHz or faster CPU, 500MB of free hd space, 128MB RAM
DirectX 8.1 compatible 32MB video card
DirectX 8.1 compatible 32MB video card