Oh, boy! I still remember the joy of playing the first Delta Force games on my old PC, teaming up with my friends and spending hours crawling on the ground, exploring the huge maps and sniping down enemy after enemy… I still consider Delta Force as one of the best military simulation games I have ever played, not too “simulation” to become a turn-off and not too “arcade” to make you feel like blowing up cuckoo heads.
However, the Delta Franchise started to go down with every recent release and, even though the franchise was “revived” by NovaLogic with a modern, action-packed type of gameplay, it never managed to impress anymore. What about the recently released Delta Force: Xtreme 2? Does it offer the feeling the first titles managed to offer? Read on my review and find out!
The first thing that jumps into one’s eye after starting Xtreme 2 is the archaic look of the game. That is a major turn down and one could be tempted to close the game, uninstall it and go back to the shop screaming to get their money back. However, the real gamers shouldn’t do that: just give Delta Force: Xtreme 2 another chance and try playing it. You might be up for a pleasant surprise!
Because this latest first person shooter is exactly what the old games were: not too “simulation, nor too “arcade,” as I was saying in the intro. However, the maps are huge and you can approach the missions any way you want to, even though you’ll be all alone, since your team will follow the preset paths. But since you’re teammates are not helping you too much in the first place, you won’t cry for their absence either.
Instead, you’ll have to walk miles and miles through open ground, deserts and snowy ares, swimming or climbing up the hills, hiding behind trees and taking the enemies down one by one: just as in the original games, where you had more exploring to do and less “jump in the middle of the action and blast everything away”. And that, for me at least, is great: it’s back to the basics and I really enjoyed having the same feeling as I did years ago when playing the first DF games.
Apart from the single player campaigns (there’s two of them, not connected and not too much of a story), there is also the series’ amazing multiplayer which, given the perfect timing and the right servers, can become a real blast, with tens of players fighting on the same huge map.
The multiplayer, even though exciting and very balanced (at least in theory), starts to become a bit frustrating when players start to take advantage of some exploits: you will either have your share of snipers, hidden behind the trees, taking everybody down, or you’ll have the “invincible drivers” speeding to the enemy base, ready to raze quite a few re-spawning players. But similar things probably happen in each and every game…
The biggest disappointment, however, comes from the visual and audio in Delta Force: Xtreme 2. The graphics are simply archaic – probably still in the early 2000’s, and that will certainly be a turn-off for most players. I personally am not too picky when it comes to a game’s graphics, but even I felt a bit awkward realizing that DFX2 looks so terribly outdated. Add to that some very basic and unimpressive sound effects and you’ll have some solid reasons to put on your favorite soundtrack in the headphones and simply ignore these aspects. Because the gameplay, well… that’s as charming as it ever was in a Delta Force game.
Almost all my friends complained about Delta Force: Xtreme 2, but I kind of disagree with this view. Indeed, the visuals are outdated (up to the point of “plain ugly”) and the enemy AI is incredibly stupid every now and then, but you will still get your fair share of excitement from Delta Force: Xtreme 2. You will still get the same amazing feeling you had when playing the first games in the franchise, you’ll still feel like the lone ranger, hunting down enemies, exploring huge maps and accomplishing missions your way. You will still play a quality game, even though not as charming as today’s shooters. You will still spend hours in the single player campaigns and even more time in the multiplaer mode, even though you will be aware that you’re not playing the best game ever. But if you loved the previous Delta Force games, you’ll certainly love Delta Force: Xtreme 2 as well!
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