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Day of Defeat | review | game | Lollipop

Day of Defeat

(Activision for PC)
by Eric Johnson

Online gaming, in my opinion, is a mixed bag. Human opponents, while infinitely more varied and challenging than any computer-controlled adversary, often conduct themselves deplorably behind the anonymity of the Internet. Boasts, rivalries, and arrogance can make online gaming an inconsistent and at times virtually impossible experience. Most single-player games support some sort of multiplayer mode, while others are exclusively devoted to it. Among these, the most popular online first-person shooter is a user-created modification to Half-Life entitled Counter Strike. Its popularity has a lot to do with trappings of realism, a gritty setting, furious objective-driven firefights, and the fact that it's old enough to be played on even the most humble computer. Each online game has its own character based upon the crowd it attracts. Personally, I've never taken to Counter Strike, for several reasons, predominantly because it draws in the worst of the worst, arrogant outcast teenagers content to bunny-hop around levels and win at any cost, even if the first casualty is fun.

Day of Defeat is also a user-created mod, but one which has heavily modified Counter Strike, setting it in World War II, jacking up the realism, and single-handedly fixing everything I dislike about the original game. Two teams are placed in a map with conflicting mission objectives, such as take this square, blow this up, blah blah blah, and combat commences. Depending on what country you play as (Americans, Limeys, or Krauts) you get to choose from a variety of ballistically accurate weapons, each with its own limitations and advantages, none of which can be fired on the run. Ammunition is plentiful, sprinting and jumping are extremely limited and can not be used as a cheap trick like they are in Counter Strike. The graphics are not pretty, because the game engine is extremely old, but the price is reasonable, the game well-balanced, and its online community content to play the game rather than piss each other off. Day of Defeat is not really a game for newcomers, it's best suited for WWII buffs, people who like their shooters with a heavy dose of entertaining realism, and Counter Strike junkies looking for a new fix. Since its online-only you may not be able to dig up a server you like all the time, but that's the nature of the beast.

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