Day of Defeat: Source review

dodlogo.gifWell two weekends ago Valve released their updated version of Day of Defeat: Source (DoD). I guess Valve did a major Source engine update and as a result has updated DoD to reflect that, including particle effects (with SMP support), achievements, Steam stats tracking, and a bunch of smaller things like deathcams, etc. Basically they ported the TF2 “user interface” over to DoD, I suppose, to drum up interest in their Steamcloud extensions and to show you can revitalize sales for a slumping product by adding them to your own existing product.

Anyways, as a recent Mac -> PC convert (yes you read that right; that’s a story for another day) I decided to see what this whole DoD deal was about. Unfortunately the weekend sale price of $5 is back to $10, which is still a steal for a game with such an active online community. My first impression, and still, is that it is halfway between Counter Strike and Team Fortress 2.You have the health meter of Counter Strike, but the team/class dynamics of Team Fortress 2, as well as the “respawning in waves” that helps promote teamwork.

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I’ll admit I was playing on public servers, but I noticed some things immediately:

  • You die a lot running around
  • You die a lot, not knowing where the bullet came from
  • Everybody but you lies prone, waiting for someone to run through their cross hairs
  • Lying prone, waiting for someone to run through your cross hairs results in being shot from behind by someone running around.

I’m not sure if I’ve accurately described the gameplay here, as it seems like circular logic, but in linear maps this is pretty much what it amounts to, except by the time you figure out where the prone sniper is at, someone else has killed him, and by the time you get there, you’re gunned down from another location. I blame this largely on not knowing the map. There’s an entire spider’s web worth of side passages through houses and shops, side alleys and parks to get shot at from broken windows you can barely see.

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One thing I do like, is that classes are locked at a certian number, I presume, to keep the whole thing from turning into an awful AWP sniperfest which most Counter Strike servers are.

So coming from a TF2 background, I’m not terribly impressed with the maps. The heavy reliance on semi-sniper classes (thee total including the actual sniper class) is a bit of a let down, visibility is terrible even at high resolution (without using a sniper scope), and interesting gimmicks like the flashlight and being able to toss back unexploded grenades go largely unnoticed due to the speed of gameplay.

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Most magazines rated it at 80%, which is pretty fair. I wouldn’t give it a percentage, but phrase it like this:

Team Fortress 2 > Counter Strike > Day of Defeat

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