It started as a buzz and grew to a roar. When Digital Illusions' Battlefield 1942 was first announced, it looked pretty much like just another in a seemingly endless supply of World War II-based games. But thanks to leaked and official demos, Battlefield 1942 soon became one of the most highly anticipated games of the year. That's hardly surprising, given its ambitious design. Here's a game where dozens of players can fight online together on expansive World War II-inspired battlefields while controlling planes, tanks, and even aircraft carriers with ease. Other than some frustrating technical problems and bugs that should have been fixed before the game shipped, Battlefield 1942 is one of those games that actually lives up to most of the hype surrounding it.
Battlefield 1942 can be a lot of fun things to a lot of people, but first it's important to tell you what it's not: The game definitely isn't a realistic WWII combat simulator. This is a pick-up-and-play action extravaganza, a comic book version of WWII. The fact that any player can casually hop into a tank, drive around, hop out and pick off an enemy soldier with a sniper rifle, hop into a plane, parachute out, and then call in artillery fire (within the span of a few minutes) should tell you a lot about the game--and a lot about what makes it so much fun.