Battleground Europe Reader Review
World War II Online: Battleground Europe. It's what all WWII gamers could ever want, and yet more. What is likely to be most striking the the gamer about it is the incredible potential of the game. This is THE WWII Online. The ONLY massively-multiplayer FPS on the market.
Battleground Europe is home to the largest online game world that exists. Eve Online could be considered larger if you include all the empty space, but WWII Online is one continuous world with no loading zones whatsoever. There are over 700 cities and towns in the game with terrain that is unique to each one. You'll cross rivers, hills, and forests as you traverse through a 1/2 scale version of Europe: all of Belgium and Luxembourg, along with parts of France, Holland, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Granted, graphics are quite ugly in the game. This is a combination of an 11-man development team coupled with the staggering 3 kilometer viewable distance. Compared to other 'shoebox' FPS games, the textures and geometry are considerably aged, as is the graphics and terrain engine.
Fortunately, the game more than compensates. After a good two or three hours of gameplay, the graphics soon become irrelevant when you're fighting for your life on the virtual battlefield, utilizing the unique terrain and working as a team to destroy the enemy. The game's physics engine truly shows the dedication of the dev team's desire for historical accuracy in their work.
Il-2 Sturmovik fans will definitely want to check this game out, as its flight sim capabilities exceed expectations. You'll fly combat air patrols with your Spitfire IXc, dogfighting 5 kilometers over the English Channel, and fly with JU-87b Stukas in combat air support missions, pummeling enemy tank columns behind enemy lines. You can even join one of the numerous bomber squadrons, flying deep into enemy territory to bomb the enemy's factories, which has a very real effect on the war. Factories act as an in-game entity to research new equipment, such as the Churchill Mk.VII, P-38J Lightning, and Panzer VIE Tiger tank.
Epic tank battles take place in the game. With realistic damage models (no hitpoints), the player will multi-crew tanks with other players, exploiting weak points in the defensive positions created by others. WWII Online is 99% Player vs. Player, with the occasional AT, AA, or Anti infantry AI emplacement.
The community is unrivaled, with excellent and willing player support, both tech and gameplay. The off-topic forum is completely unique...it's something else. Special Events occur, designed by the players in a 'Special Event Team'. Past events include the Battle of Stonne, 1940; Red vs. Blue events; the ever-popular Realism Events; and Operation Sealion, the planned German invasion of Britain.
Overall, the game does have shortcomings. However, it is a never-ending project that keeps on going. Originally launching in 2001 and suffering a horrible first year, the developers went through a year and a half of bankruptcy, before coming out of the dark two years ago with incredible updates for the game. Despite the naysayers, the 'Rats' continue to develop the game, adding more towns and cities every patch, graphics, UI updates, and more equipment: Anti-Tank and Anti-Aircraft guns, Tanks, Trucks, Armored Cars and Personnel Carriers, Infantry weapons, Ships, and Aircraft.
This game is obviously not for everyone. If you're partial to the Battlefield 'twitch' type of FPS, it's likely Battleground Europe is not for you. It is, however, for the patient gamer, willing to sit and snipe enemies for longer amounts of time.
Personally, the virtual battlefield is for me.
10 / 10