Join the militia!
Ok, who's ever had the daydream of centering the sights of a military sniper rifle on the head of a particular person? Your boss? Your brother-in-law? If you answered yes and have a basement full of military weapons please move to Montana and away from me! But if you answered yes and wish to stay out of prison, have I got a game for you.
Delta Force 2 lets you play out all your military fantasies. In this First Person Shooter-type game you are a member of the elite Delta Force. Your mission is to take down the bad guys no matter what. No negotiations, no limits on lethal force, no pussy footing around. When a target appears, you take it down using every means available to you.
As such, the missions within the game are fairly straightforward and boil down to the essential order: Kill 'em all! The methods by which do this are realistic and devastating. From the puny .45 to the SAW to the awesome .50 cal sniper rifle, your personal weapons are fearsome and realistic. While you can take the top of someone's head off with the .50 at 1000 meters (or through the wall of a tent), the .45 is good for only scooting around corners at close range. As for some of the more non-personal weapons, you've got grenades, LAW's, demolition packs, claymore mines, and a Laser designator for calling down precision-guided munitions on hard targets. All told, the weapons lend themselves to a rich environment that doesn't distract from gameplay at all. I have used my .50 to pop an enemy soldier 500 meters away hunkering down behind an APC by hitting his shin from under the fender. Fun!
The campaign missions are fun to play if a bit farfetched at times, in a Tom Clancy sort of way. In one case my commandos met with a Russian Ballistic Missile sub for extraction from Antarctica. I have trouble believing that the Russians would task a SSBN to pick up some cowboys from America. On the other hand, paraglide insertions, underwater approaches, and pungi stake booby traps more than make up for the occasional incongruity.
The missions themselves are rather ingeniously designed. You are a part of a team of commandos, but instead of attempting to code in a detailed AI or command interface for you to control your teammates, your character is given the 'point' position and your fellows are tasked to give you cover and provide a diversion to mask your activities. You hit waypoints that correspond to your mission orders and that will trigger their actions. Some people will cry foul, but it is perfect military logic.
This is where my major complaint of the game comes in, though. You can choose your personal weapons and equipment, but your teammates stuff is hardcoded into the script and even worse, a bug in the game prevents you from seeing what tools of mayhem they are carrying.
The other complaint that I have is that the enemy AI is pretty weak and sporadic. There were times that I would kill one guy on peripheral guard duty and the entire base would wake up and be on alert for me, but other times I could shoot a guy standing next to 3 others and they wouldn't react when their buddy went down in a spray of blood. Maybe they owed him money of something.
The biggest stretch of unreality that is pervasive during the game (or it might be some super-secret delta force toy) is that you can see every enemy on the mini-map at all times, as long as one of your team can see them.
On the other hand, in what I hope will become standard for all such games, DF2 comes with a headset/microphone combination to facilitate two-way communication with other players during multi-player games accessible through NovaLogic's web site. This works surprisingly well, and allows you to quickly coordinate actions with your teammates. Goddamn if it isn't fun quietly surrounding the enemy, counting down from 3, then massacring them in a crossfire barrage.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to book a flight to Montana.