Delta Force by Al Giovetti
By Al Giovetti
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Novalogic is not known for its first-person 3D shooters. In fact Novalogic is a flight simulator company. Novalogic became a player in the computer game industry with its Comanche Maximum Overkill game in 1993.
Since 1993 Novalogic has done many titles but up to this time they were rotary and fixed wing flight simulators Commanche, Comanche 2 and Commanche 3, F-22 Lightning II combat simulator, Wolfpack, a submarine combat simulator game, and Iron Fist, their combat simulator based upon the remarkable M1A2 Abrams tanks. These are award winning games, but they are not 3D shooters.
In reality, there is a lot of similarity between a flight simulator and a 3D shooter. Betrayal at Krondor was based upon an upside down version of the Red Baron flight simulator engine. Your first person perspective character was actually flying just above the ground. We suspect that Novalogic has done something similar here.
As a member of Delta Force- The Army's top secret elite Special Forces unit - you will conduct missions swiftly and silently, in every possible terrain, under every imaginable condition and through any means necessary.
The game is a first person shooter. You can play the game in third person, but it does not work as well. The interface allows you to use a scope to long range snipe the enemy. The voxel engine allows you to portray accurately, vast areas of terrain to explore. This is impossable for the current rage of three dimensional shooters that are based on accelerated polygons. The polygons limit the size of the area that is portrayed.
Both Delta Force and Rainbow Six are first person shooters that have missions that deal with neutralizing terrorist activities, but the similarity ends there. Rainbow Six has a mission planner that allows you to assign your team to certain tasks, Delta Force is fully scripted with no variations permitted. Rainbow Six puts you in the role of team leader where you can command up to four teams in addition to your own with as many as 20 strike force members. Delta Force has three teams, but you cannot command them, and the team that you are in is yours alone with no teammates to support or defend. Most of the kills in Rainbow Six are up close and personal while most of the kills in Delta Force are long range. Delta Force Missions are all outside while Rainbow Six missions are conducted within buildings, kicking doors and using flash bangs to blind your foes.
Delta Force has 40 missions are mostly attack-and-destroy types with a few other missions that require convoy ambush, infiltration and siezure of essential assets, blow up an important target, such as a power generator or missile or assasinate or rescue an important person. My all time favorite is the mission where you get to laser designate targets for naval bombardment. Those big guns do a lot more damage than my assault rifle.
In Delta Force you are usually up against ground troops. In some missions there are special defense features such as bunkers, wire fences, helicopters, and a greater number of troops to deal with.
The artificial intelligence of the enemy appears quite good while that of the other squads appears to be a little retarded to make the game more of a challenge. The teams may not meet their objectives and many times are killed quickly. The enemy seems to zero in on the location that you are firing from requiring you to keep moving in some scenerios to avoid being killed. In one scenerio, I simply kept moving throughout and stayed one step in front of the patrols who were searching for me.
There are five single-player separate campaigns, with a minimum of five missions each: a drug lord in Peru, terrorists in Chad, terrorists in Indonesia, insurgents in Uzbekistan and terrorists on the Russian island of Novay Zemla.
The graphics in Delta Force are based upon the versitile and award winning Voxel Space 3 engine that Novalogic has used successfully for years for their combat simulators. The best settings for the graphics are 640x480 with 16 million colors. Any fewer colors and the Voxels become chunky and obscure the people and buildings that are rendered in polygons.
AnimationAnimation is usually smooth although there are times when the mouse needs more processing power. A 3Dfx patch is expected to accelerate the buildings and people in the game. Animations differ depending on the character all the way down to the death animations. The movements are very realistic and motion captured. The physics engine provides true weapons trajectories.
Voice ActorsVoice acting is generally good. The enemy soldiers speak the language appropriate to where the operation is.
Music ScoreMusic is reserved for out of mission times.
Sound EffectsGood sound effects. Bullets sound like they are whizzing by your ear. Silencers sound like silencers. The H&K MP5 really sounds like the favored machine pistol of federal agents and SWAT teams. Dolby Pro Logic 3D positional sound gives you true three dimensional effects where you really can hear people behind you.
UtilitiesThere is no mission planner, map creator, or commands for other team members. The game would benefit from all three of these enhancements.
Multi-player FeaturesMultiplayer action on the NovaWorld website can support 32 players per game. The warping is bad and the platform is very unstable, but the game is still fun. The sniper is the most important multiplayer factor. Good snipers are essential to winning the multiplayer game. Multiplayer play can be by internet, LAN, or modem. The modem play is limited to two players.
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