Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I Don't Care Much For Forgotten Hope.

There's this Battlefield 1942 Mod that's been out for years called Forgotten Hope. Recently, there has even been an expansion for this mod called Forgotten Honor. So I decided to grab it and see what all the fuss is about. After all, it's one of the most "critically acclaimed" BF1942 mods.

I must admit, it looked tantalizing to me. It's an ambitious work, which will bloat your BF1942 folder by a good 2 gigs of new content. With over 200 vehicles, new classes, new weapons, and as many new maps as base BF and all the Expansions put together, it was easy to get excited about. And I'd still be excited if not for one thing... It's also a "realism" patch.

The entire thing tries to make the game less "game" and more "simulation." This means only "pilot" classes get parachutes (but just a pistol and knife), medical attention is few and far between, weapons are wildly inaccurate (yes, even moreso than the base BF weaponry), and so on. I could take all those, but there were two major "reality" themed alterations to the game that absolutely killed the fun for me.

The first, and lesser complaint, the Tiger tank is now the same ungodly Juggernaut of world-destroying invincibility it actually was in WW2. The T-34, the Sherman, even the previously mis-cast M10 (which original BF cast as some kind of heavily armored single seat heavy-tank, when it was really a rather fragile mobile gun plaform) stand absolutely no chance against it. Bazooka rounds thud impotently against it. Allegedly it now has a big weak spot directly on top of the turret, but that's rarely a help. I literally got in 10 hits in the sides (which allegedly have the least armor, even less than the rear) of a tiger with my T-34, actually managing to
dodge his terrible barrel of annihilation, and he was barely even smoking when he finally got the timing right and sent my tank to molten slag with a single shot. And yes, just about everything dies from a single shot from a Tiger in this mod.

Second, and what really was the big killjoy for me is that infantry are now all subject to one-hit kills. This means a shot from just about any firearm hitting center mass will be instantly fatal for a soldier on foot. That's realistic. It's not fun. Especially when online servers are full of munchkins who reek of cat ass and murdered time, and bots are never fooled by clever contrivances such as "hiding behind a bush that doesn't stop bullets." I've been killed by shots that came from beyond the fog/clip plane. Over. And Over. And Over. Spawn. Die. Spawn. Die. Spawn. Die. Quit. Uninstall.

I honestly can't understand how this thing is so (allegedly) wildly popular. Unless you're playing with blind, fingerless people you're going to spend most of your time dead. And maybe that's realism and accuracy when it comes to WW2 simulation, but you know what else would be part of an authentic WWII experience? Fear, torment, a lifetime of flashbacks of dead buddies on bloody beaches, hours upon hours of boredom punctuated by 20 minute intervals of absolute, pure terror... not a good gaming experience. It went too far. It's unbalanced and ruins the fun of the game. I give it a D. Which is too bad, it'd be an A if it gave me the option to selectively turn that crap off.


PPMcBiggs said...

Thank you for an honest review. Although I would probably never have played this game, especially with the sudden deluge in pure awesomeness that is the 11/07 PC gaming scene. I too have had many arguments with people over the "virtues" of "realism". Realism is a great idea but it just cant work when you have the safety net of sitting at a desk. I am sure a paintball match would be more "realistic" if it were played with actual lead bullets but nobody would want to play because it wouldnt be any fun. I applaud all the work that goes into a mod like this but there needs to be a way to turn the fun up and the realism down.

Anonymous said...

Dude been missing your "actual" game reviews. The stuff you link is cool and all, but I prefer the 'personal' view stuff, 'cause like I know you personally and stuff, and I figure that helps me determine how much I'd enjoy.

Cool review!