Battlefield 1942: The Road to Rome

Review

posted 2/10/2003 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
One Page Platforms: PC
Expansion packs are detrimental in that they often give us some insight as to what the designers originally intended to accomplish with their original products. Battlefield 1942’s Road to Rome falls in to this trap, providing us with a glimpse of what the original game was supposed to and should have been. It’s nice that the guys at Digital Illusions finally decided to provide us with a stable and functioning game, too bad it’ll cost you an extra $20 to experience it.

This expansion adds a total of six new maps, nine new vehicles (including air and land vehicles), and some new forces in to the fray, including the awesome world power of France. The maps are definitely the highlight of this package, featuring a nice variety of both landscapes and terrains. What’s nice about these maps is that although they’re large in scope, they’re still accessible by those who aren’t fortunate enough to get their hands on a vehicle.

Each level features nice areas for combat, whether they are large and open landscapes or tight and confined corridors, it’s obvious that the maps had both vehicle and infantry combat in mind. Firefights are also much more intense this time around thanks to the new and improved vehicles. Some of them feature enclosed gunner seats, protecting those who want to man the top-mounted machine guns. What this does is provides a bit more cover from snipers who happen to be looming around the area, prolonging your shelf life.

I wish that more would have been done to promote teamwork. Some of the new vehicles (as well as the old) can’t be fired and driven by one person. However, all it takes is a quick press of a button and you’re magically transported from the driver’s seat to the gunner’s seat. This leads to one person hogging a vehicle that could very well accommodate 2, or ever 3 people. Not enough emphasis has been placed on teamwork and to be honest, teamwork really isn’t necessary to succeed. A skilled jeep driver can more than easily overwhelm an entire base and steal the flag from right underneath their noses.

Many of the problems that plagued the original Battlefield 1942 have since been fixed via a series of long-overdue patches. This brings the stability of the expansion pack up to well beyond that of the original’s. However, it doesn’t even ship with the newest available version of the game. Road to Rome ships with version 1.25 while a version 1.3 patch (which features some minor tweaks) is already available for download. It’s not too difficult to find and download the latest version of the game but it’s really disadvantageous to not ship your new product with the most up-to-date materials.
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