the first in the Delta Force series came out in
late 1998 it quickly became a success, there followed
the inevitable sequel, Delta Force 2 which still
enjoys a huge following particularly with the online
community. Now Novalogic have just released the
third instalment in the UK, Delta Force: land Warrior,
which unlike its predecessors has dropped the rather
scruffy old Voxel graphics in favour of a brand
new 3D engine.
is this that is most apparent when you load the
game, that said the graphics are hardly jaw dropping
but it is a real improvement on the previous games.
It runs smoothly at higher resolutions and the locations
are nicely detailed and quite varied. The character
and weapon models
still retain the same blocky appearance which considering
this is part 3 is slightly disappointing.
terrain looks much smoother and weather effects
improved, wandering through a swamp in fog and rain
creates a very
tense atmosphere. Some nice effects have been added
such as a shot hitting the water will create a small
waterspout and ripples, shooting through trees will
result in falling leaves. The same tracer effects
with ejecting cartridges from weapons are present
along with the familiar radar and map screens.
gameplay basically remains the same, you play the
part of a special forces soldier taking out terrorists
in a variety of locations ranging from oil rigs
to snow covered mountains. Instead of landing straight
on your feet
the action often begins with transport by boat,
Blackhawk helicopter or parachute drops, 17 quick
missions are included along with a story driven
time there are five characters to choose from, each
has their own special abilities which effect how
your character moves and shoots as
well as the amount of hits taken before you die.
It is possible to complete missions with any of
them but as you progress their abilities become
is the sniper expert, choose him over another character
and your view through the riflescope is steadier.
Sniping has been modelled to near perfection in
Land Warrior, not only is ability specific to a
character your shooting position also effects your
aim. Shoot standing up and your aim wobbles, kneel
down and the wobble is reduced, lie down and its
steadier still. You also have to take wind direction
and distance into account when taking long shots.
There are three rifles to choose from, the Barrett
.50 cal and M40 Remington from the previous games
and a new silenced PSG1.
is the stealth/covert ops character, special abilities
allow you to move quietly and make silenced weapons
more effective, light and fast with an extended
reach using the knife.
is the underwater demolition specialist so is the
fastest and most manoeuvrable swimmer, can also
hold her breath for longer.
(In multiplayer games also acts as a medic, can
restore health if team-mate is reached within a
is the all rounder, proficient at most tasks and
the best bet
when running head long into enemy territory, accurate
with most weapons.
is the heavy weapons character, more accurate with
the SAW and FN-MAG but increased firepower leads
to a slower running but has more armour so can take
weapons are similar to Delta Force 2, with some
a new anti tank rocket (AT-4), more side arms (Socom
and Glock 18)
and several new machine guns such as Steyr Aug;
H&K G11; AK47 and OCIW Land Warrior to name but
a few. Most weapons in the game have firing modes
for Auto, Semi and Burst; all have distinctive sounds,
in general are far better than the DF1 and 2. Many
of the light machine guns have a fully adjustable
scope easily toggled with the right mouse button.
You have the option of dropping your primary weapon
in Land Warrior and picking up any that happen to
be lying around next to dead guards, very handy
when you find yourself low on ammo.
enemy AI is in general pretty bad, even on the hard
setting the game
is not particularly challenging. Come face to face
with a guard pointing a loaded Jackhammer shotgun
at you and nine times out of ten you will get the
drop on him. Most missions are however action packed
and crawling with enemies, in open country and hiding
in buildings so there are enough of them to make
life difficult. You also have to contend with paratroop
drops and vehicles loaded with bad guys arriving
in areas you thought were clear. Team mates as in
the previous two games are prone to dying quickly,
in most missions you will be returning to the extraction
point by yourself so it is just as well they can
be carried over in campaign missions regardless
of their fate.
Delta Force series has built its success on its
multiplay features and Land Warrior is no exception.
According to the manual anything up to 50 players
can wage war on each although 32 is the standard
in most games. All the standard team games are included
(Co-op, Capture the flag, king
of the hill, etc) and you have the choice of playing
on LAN(IPX) or Novaworld where stats are recorded
so you gain promotion and medals,
or on public servers. The latter are where the hardest
games can be
found, staying alive long enough to work out what
is going on is not easy
so for newcomers to DF I would recommend Novaworld.
busy periods it can be difficult to log on to Novaworld,
to help a fan has released a utility called "IP4LW"
which is a clever little application that allows
you to connect to Land Warrior games using IP addresses
rather than NovaWorld. This feature is especially
useful for squad games when the servers can become
extremely busy preventing all participants from
joining the game. (I have not tested this on the
UK version but it is supposed to be compatible).
very good feature is the mission editor, complete
with a reasonably detailed manual on the CD it is
fairly easy to create you own maps placing everything
from chairs in buildings to trees. You have complete
control over virtually every aspect of the game,
even deciding whether people you place on the maps
are afraid of water and will only go in so far (I'm
not kidding!) With such a huge fan base there are
already plenty of multi and single player maps available
to download (one site alone had 160). In many ways
some of these maps are far better than those included
with the game, (shame on Novalogic) with time and
patience it is possible to create some excellent
missions. There are also some mods in the pipeline
including a WW2 version of the game (at the time
of writing this appears to have been put on hold).
Land Warrior is a fairly good game let down by appalling
AI; it has plenty of replay value thanks to the
editor and is a fast paced multiplayer game. The
lack of command over team-mates is frustrating and
is something that all the games are missing (You
are limited to a few commands made on the commander's
screen). There are already rumours of a fourth game,
and it is understandable Novalogic have stuck to
a tried and tested formula, however with current
hardware pushing graphics to the limit the series
is starting to look dated.
fast paced and action packed but seriously flawed,
on a plus side Delta Force fans who in the past
have had to put up with bad frame rates on low resolutions
will no doubt be pleased to see a more polished