Day of Defeat: Source Review
developer: Valve Software
PIV-1200, 256MB RAM, 64MB video card
|ESRB rating: M
release date: Sep 26, 05 (released)
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Over the years, I've discovered that I really like killing Nazis. I don't know why, but I just get a huge kick out of it. I also like killing Americans too though. Maybe I just like killing people. Occasionally, a game comes out that takes my love of killing people and hearing German to a new level.
Move that piece of junk, will ya?!
Mein Kampf, Mein Kampf!!
Day of Defeat: Source has some god damn powerful weapons. Combined with how much close-quarters and brutal combat the game can involve, it's just a fantastic experience. You're just overwhelmed with how violent this game sounds, and at how it plays. It's really easy to die if you're not very careful/lucky, and it is really easy to kill people by just being quicker than they are.
Sound is what makes this game unique however. You're made very aware of gunshots almost everywhere to varying degrees of loudness. Sometimes the sounds will scare the shit out of you. Having a grenade go off right by you when you're not expecting it will make you jump and your heart will start pounding. It feels great. On another technical note, the game looks great too. The new lighting technique (High Dynamic Range or HDR for short) is awesome, and really adds to the game. Occasionally I get times of where the sunlight changes subtly to add to the realism a bit. Valve is continuing to improve their already fantastic Source engine, and I hope more projects use it, a la Vampires: The Masquerade. I should add here use it properly.
As I said before, the weapons are powerful; fantastically powerful. When you shoot someone with a rifle, they feel it. Of course, you feel it too. Each weapon has superbly powerful recoil. You wouldn't believe how inaccurate most weapons are when firing repeatedly. You have to put the machine gun in a mounted position if you want to hit even the broad side of a barn, so all the weapons are balanced. Of course, once you get that machine gun in a mounted position and you're capable of holding it, you will kill piles of people. And there's nothing quite like blowing someone's brains all across the wall with a BAR either, so be sure to do that. Fire all the guns. This is a game that is best enjoyed with an open mind, not just because of the weapons, but also because of the levels and I'm digressing. When playing this game, be prepared to die a lot. Everything is deadly, and that health bar becomes precious quickly and often.
On top of having a whole variety of class-based weapons, each class also gets access to different side arms. The rocket class gets a nice rifle/machine pistol, which make the class capable of fighting using its secondary weapon, as the rocket itself is only useful at cleaning out places you can't get a grenade into. The Germans also get a shovel that they can use to beat you to death, which is nice because you actually get to beat unwary snipers and machine gunners to death with shovels. As I said before, the game does its best at being as brutal as World War 2 really was. Nothing is forgiven.
There are a large number of gameplay gimmicks piled in as well. Only the rifles can be used with iron sights, which allows for some short range, and less accurate sniping, but someone with a scope will fill the position of sniper better if they can secure a position. Machine guns and rockets (to a lesser extent) have to be secured before they can be fired; this gimmick balances out the class, but also makes you play differently. Grenades can be picked up and tossed back at enemies, and there's nothing quite like handing Jerry back his stick and watching it blow his face off (not that you actually see this in game - Ed). Because of the stamina bar, you are allowed to sprint, and the game also contains the ability to go prone, which is very handy for hiding and becoming much more accurate. Camping is a vital part to playing Day of Defeat successfully, often patience and being the more careful and precise out of the other players will result in having a better score (although that doesn't mean that you'll necessarily be having the most fun).
HDR in action.
You know, I think he's not doing too well.
As I said earlier, the levels encourage creative thinking. There are sniping spots everywhere. I think the level Avalanche might have the most number of sniping spots I've ever seen in one level. The beauty is that you can play that level effectively with any weapon. I've cleared out the buildings time after time with an MP40, and guarded large areas with either a Springfield or a heavy machine gun. All the levels have this open beauty about them. They really put a lot of detail and effort into each level. Unfortunately, this left us with only four levels, which is bad. Really bad. While each level is a classic, with their own merits, subtleness and about a million ways to play, they get old fast. I can only catch someone's head in the sights so many times in each place so many times before I need to try something new. I hope they are quicker to release levels for Day of Defeat than they are with Counter-Strike: Source. Otherwise, this game might just become novel background play, a game that you jump on for just short amounts of time here and there, as new levels are released as opposed to titles that you enjoy and savor like a fine scotch. This is just the beer you drink with your buddies. At least until the game gets some more content. Incidentally, that might be Day of Defeat's biggest disadvantage over a game like Battlefield 2. That is if we don't take into account the huge amount of vehicles available in DICE's game.
Keep in mind that this is a Steam game, so you'll be dealing with the usual assholes from Counter-Strike. If Freud was still around, he would probably tell you that Steam is a way for men to express sexual frustration in the worst possible way. Prepare for twelve-year-old squeaky-time retards who happen to be tactical geniuses and thirty-year-old men without wives or girlfriends, who feel the need to bond by attaching an acronym to their name and shooting at you. Or smartasses who want to ruin your day with team killing. The beautiful part about playing games online is that the people that play as Nazis now are worse than actual Nazis in a social setting.
The game screams to be played in a LAN environment too. I think I could spend days just playing Day of Defeat: Source during a BYOC. I would die if I got the chance to have that happen. I seem to be the only one that ever suffers lag online, but I play on a really shitty school network that has bandwidth dry up quite quickly. When I can play with a steady ping, the game has an amazing flow, and rarely do I see anyone else experience lag. The game is hilarious, and like I said before, much like a good beer to be enjoyed amongst friends. It would be great to just crack out a case of Day of Defeat, and get smashed with your buddies over a few rounds. It might be best to treat the gaming experience as such. Of course, for only twenty bucks, that can amount to the amount of money an alcoholic like myself would spend on the game. It's a good party alternative/additive. Anyone want to host a server?
(Because we feel it would be too difficult to score this remake of a commercial mod release, the score was intentionally left out. - Ed)
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