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Delta Force: Land Warrior Review

November 28th, 2000
By John "JCal" Callaham

Developer and Publisher Novalogic

Review computer specs

  • Pentium II 450
  • 128 megs of RAM
  • GeForce 32 meg DDR video card
  • Windows 98
  • Aureal 1.0 audio card

    The Delta Force series of games by Novalogic have proven to be, in some ways, the Tomb Raider of the first person shooter genre. Like the popular third person action-adventure game from Eidos, a new Delta Force game has come out every year since it began in 1998 and while the titles have not gotten a lot of attention from hard core gamers, they have proven very popular with the mass market and casual gaming fan. Indeed, the previous game in the series, Delta Force 2, released in late 1999, was on the top 20 best-selling list of games in the U.S. just a few weeks ago.

    The folks at Novalogic realize, however, that they can't keep repeating themselves with the Delta Force games, like Eidos has with their Tomb Raider series, and so for their third outing, Delta Force: Land Warrior, they set out to put in a few changes to their formula that, they hope, will keep their fans while bringing in new ones as well.

    The name of their new game reflects some of the changes the developer and publisher wanted to bring to their title. The game uses the U.S. Army's Land Warrior project as its base. The Army is trying to bring the foot soldier into the 21st century by giving him or her more advanced weapons and access to computer and electronic intelligence through their helmet to improve navigation on the battlefield and gain more intel on the enemy.

    The new game also has more advanced features than its predecessors. In the first two Delta Force games, Novalogic used the Voxel Space engine to create the huge outdoor landscapes they wants. Unfortunately, the engine looked highly pixilated and dropped frame rates heavily on even high powered computers. The first game was software-only but Delta Force 2 used 3D acceleration as an option for polygon-based objects (people, buildings and the like).

    Land Warrior still uses voxels, but this time the engine abandons software mode entirely and uses 3D acceleration to draw the landscapes as well as the objects. It makes all the difference in the world. Gone are the pixels and in their place are smooth, rolling hills that don't bring a computer to its knees. Frame rates were very respectable on my test bed at 1024x768. (The new game, however, eliminates the tall grass one could crawl and hide in that was one of the few cool things about Delta Force 2)

    The single player mode includes a training level, as well as 10 quick missions and a campaign that encompasses 19 missions. From fighting inside and outside an Egyptian pyramid to taking out a drug lord in a U.S. western town to fighting off terrorists in Southeast Asia, the game provides a wide variety of settings. The new engine handles indoor settings pretty well in single player and the textures for buildings and objects are handled well.
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