We sometimes forget to put "Delta Force -" when we write "Black Hawk Down". It's an easy mistake to make. After all, before BHD came along, the closest thing Delta Force had to a detailed, high-resolution, Medal of Honor-inspired FPS was Task Force Dagger. And twitchy, voxel terrain is never a nice thing.
Having settled on a more up-to-date, polygon-based engine and built a thoroughly detailed campaign bustling with single player variety, any conceivable expansion pack would need to look elsewhere for its setting - and, judging by the latest word from Delta Force commanders NovaLogic, its developer.
Delta Force - Black Hawk Down: Team Sabre, as you may already be aware, is that expansion pack, comprising two single player campaigns - a drug lord hunt through the jungles of Colombia, and terrorist surprise around Iran's oilfields - and various other new features. One of which is the new developer, plucked from Dallas, Texas' enduring clutch of FPS studios - Ritual Entertainment.
Apart from the single player aspect, Ritual will also be working to expand Black Hawk Down's multiplayer offering, squeezing 30 new maps onto the disc and introducing more controllable vehicles, from choppers and hovercraft to Warthog-style attack vehicles.
However, exciting though this seemed when we read it this morning, the next email in our 'box announced the latest Desert Combat mod for Battlefield 1942, something that Team Sabre, an expansion pack that requires BHD to play will have difficulty competing. We reckon NovaLogic has a better chance with its multiplayer-focused Joint Operations.
Ritual will also need to find some form coming off the back of the rather by-the-numbers Star Trek: Elite Force II, not to mention Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, which has met with an icy reception amongst those who played it (over-excited exclusives aside).
As fans of Black Hawk Down, we'll be watching closely when Team Sabre crawls out of the jungle during Q1 2004.