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Friday, August 27, 2004

Desert Combat

I've been playing a game recently called Battlefield: 1942, but with a modification called Desert Combat that modifies the WW2 game for modern combat.
What is Desert Combat?

Desert Combat is a modern day military modification to the popular war game BattleField:1942 from EA Games. It is focused on conflicts in the middle-east within the last decade between the various nations, from Desert Storm to Somalia. Currently, only the Desert Storm campaign - featuring Coalition and Iraqi forces - is available. This war game is a total conversion for Battlefield:1942 and is based on the same principles of a FPS (first person shooter) and arcade style vehicle sim. It will be focused around multiplayer online gameplay...
So why am I telling you about it? Mainly to share my enjoyment of it. Here's what I like about it:

1. Multiplayer game. Up to 60 players get online onto a server (where a game is hosted - and there's hundreds of game servers out there), and they join American or Iraqi teams and go to war against each other. If it moves in the game, it's being controlled by another person, somewhere in the world. And they're either trying to kill you (and you're trying to kill them) or they're on your side and you're working together to kill the other team.

2. All vehicles can be controlled. There's a seamless integration between running around as a soldier and jumping into a vehicle and driving it around. Vehicles can be jeeps, trucks, armoured personnel carriers, Humvees, tanks, rocket batteries, anti-aircraft vehicles, planes, jets, helicopters, boats, ships, submarines, etc, etc. Each of them carries one or more players, and apart from the driver, other players can also fill gun positions in a vehicle.

For example, one player can jump into a tank and act as the driver and gunner, and so he drives the tank around and uses his mouse to aim and fire the turret cannon. A second player jumps into the tank and fills the remaining position of machine gunner, sticking his head out of the top of the tank and manning the machine gun. (Usually a target for snipers...)

In an AC-130 plane, there can be a pilot, and other players can take other gun positions. The AC-130 has a number of machine guns and cannons on it, all of which can be manned by players. They're shooting at players flying other planes or helicopters, or at the ground, where even more players are running around or driving tanks or other vehicles. Remember, if it's moving, it's being controlled by a player.

3. There are a number of 'character classes' that allow you to do different things. You can be a sniper, which also acts as a scout and can call in artillery strikes on enemy positions. You can be an assault trooper, who runs around with a machine gun and grenades. You can be a medic, who can heal injured players. You can be an engineer, who can go around placing landmines and explosives, and repairing vehicles. And you can be an anti-tank soldier, who obviously runs around with a big anti-tank weapon. Anyone can use any vehicle (but obviously with varying degrees of skill, according to the experience of the player).

4. It's hard to play, and that's where the exciting challenge is.

It's a game I played last year as well, but ended up drifting away from. I've now drifted back into it, and have forgotten how to be good at it, so I'm learning all over again.

Millions of people play this game all over the world. Many of them are very good at it. Then along comes me, who can spend most of a game running around trying not to be killed and trying to kill others. At the moment, I'm averaging about 10 deaths of myself to every kill I make. My goal is to average 1 death of myself to every 10 kills I make. It's a long, hard struggle, but I'm sure I'll get there, 'cause it's so much fun along the way!

Here's some examples of what happens in the game. I'll use last night for the example. Each game probably lasts half an hour, approximately, before one team beats the other.

Example 1: This game was based around an Iraqi oil field. I was an Iraqi sniper choosing to hang around and look after the oil field. Most of my other team members were somewhere else around the map, hunting down Americans or attacking the American base/s. So I was laying down on top of a catwalk about 30 feet above the ground. I was laying there, turning circles, scanning the oil field and huge tanks. I saw the flash of desert coloured combat fatigues running in between the large oil tanks, and knew the Americans had arrived. I zoomed in on the area with my sniper scope, and was looking for someone to shoot. I couldn't see anyone, so I zoomed back out. I turned around again and... whoah! Where'd he come from! 10 feet in front of me, on the catwalk, was an American with his back to me, scanning the oil field as well. I quickly zoomed in on his head and pulled the trigger. The crack of the rifle echoed through the oil field, and he fell over the edge. Phew! I looked around again, seeing if anyone else was around. I couldn't see anyone, so I crawled to a different area of the catwalk. I waited some more. Then an American tank arrived, and I tried to stay hidden. It was going up and down the rows of oil tanks, looking for people like me. Maybe even looking for me? Then I heard the roar of a jet from behind me (yes, I was wearing stereo headphones) and I looked around. There was an Iraqi jet coming down the valley and it fired a volley of missiles and machine gun cannons at the tank, which exploded in a huge fireball. Woohoo! But then I died, as the American who came up behind me in the excitement stabbed me to death. *sigh*

Example 2: I was an American sniper, and I jumped into a helicopter that someone was piloting as it took off from the aircraft carrier we were on. It rose slightly and then began falling again. Doh! We got us a useless pilot! I jumped out onto the flight deck of the carrier and watched the helicopter go over the side, exploding as it tried to regain height but flew into the side of the ship instead. Tosser. I don't know how to fly, so I don't. Others should do the same. Another helicopter appeared, and I jumped into that and we had a competent pilot this time, who flew a bunch of us to the oil rig we were to attack. The helicopter pad was under Iraqi control though, so the pilot ordered us to bail out, so there's 4 of us parachuting down onto this oil rig. I zoom in to scan for Iraqis, and see one firing at us as we're parachuting down, so I shoot him. I miss the head and hit him in the chest, and he stumbles and then runs around behind some cover. (2 shots in the body killes, while one injures, and 1 shot in the head kills.) We reach the oil rig and I drop to the ground and crawl to the edge, scanning for anyone to shoot. I can't see anyone, so I jump up and run to a ladder, to climb higher and get a better range. I get to the top of what I was climbing, and an Iraqi is crouching there - he shoots me with his pistol as I climb over the edge. *sigh*

That'll do with the examples. But basically I find it a great distraction at the moment after a day's work, to compete in something like this with a bunch of other people who are doing exactly the same as me.

Posted on 8/27/2004 08:04:00 PM Backlinks


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