PC games: Day of Defeat

On a first-look basis there are several reasons why you shouldn’t buy Day of Defeat. It’s yet another action shooter set during World War II, it’s based on a graphics engine that’s four years old and, lastly, you can download it for free online. However, look beyond this cursory inspection and you’ll notice Day of Defeat offers some of the best gameplay you’ve seen for a long time.

Like the hugely popular CounterStrike, Day of Defeat started life as a home-brew modification of Half-Life. It became such an online success that Activision decided to knock it out as a separate retail game. It’s worth buying because you don’t need the original Half-Life and there are some additional professional touches such as better skins, volumetric fogging and a brilliant array of sound effects.

The game is an online-only experience that pits Axis against Allied with heavy emphasis on team-based play, and here it really shines against its newer peers. Day of Defeat simply oozes gripping gameplay.

Playing couldn’t be easier. There are several classes of soldier to pick from, each with a different set of weapons, and this affects your tactics in the game. Running around like a headless chicken with a gun will get you nowhere.

When you jump or run not only do you get tired but you also can’t use your gun, which leads to more strategic gameplay. If you have a microphone you’ll see built-in support for voice communication, which becomes an essential requirement once you’ve mastered the basics.

Sure, it looks a little dated. But you don’t need a powerful system to play Day of Defeat in its full glory and it only requires 535MB of hard disk space.

Developer: Valve
Publisher: Activision
URL: www.activision.com.au