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Posted on Jan 4, 2008 in Electronic Games, Front Page Features

Battleground Europe, Revisited

By Larry Levandowski

At long and medium range, the terrain is lush and varied. Tanks, on hill, surveying a valley below, might easily forget that what they are looking at is just virtual reality. Up close, the terrain is less impressive, but very functional. Infantrymen are rarely stuck completely in the open, as there is always a bush, tree or ditch nearby. Vehicle and troop graphics are dated, but they are good enough for that suspension of disbelief factor that is so important in an FPS.

Another great trick that BE pulls off, is that the same map is very different based on how the player is fighting. When a player is down in the mud, his world is measured by the range of his bolt action rifle. Running from one town to another, might take half an hour. But to his buddy, flying in a Spitfire above, a quick blink and the entire desperate ground battle is missed as it flashes by at 250 miles per hour.

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All of these features, make the experience of BE very unique. The game is not so much WWII, but more like a grand complex game of paint-ball with tanks and aircraft. This is not a bad thing, and the game as is, is quite fun. Still for purists, the game rarely feels like a true WWII battle. This is because, combat seems to occur with 20 to 40 players in a particular battle area, and not hundreds as would be realistic. Also, most players don’t train as a unit, so attacks and defensive actions are usually somewhat disjointed. A robust chat system helps players coordinate the action, and veteran players almost never play as lone wolves. But you will never see an entire platoon of infantry fighting and maneuvering as they did in real life. Still, some players do train in squads, and sometimes you will see a coordinated tank platoon coming to roll over your position. As long as the player isn’t too picky however, the game is as close as you can get to the actual experience of the War.

BE is not a twitch-fest, and rarely offers non-stop action. The game takes much more patience to play than other FPS’, and combat is often more hunt than frag-fest. An hour in defensive positions outside a town, may only yield two or three kills. Like real war, long periods of waiting, driving or walking, are punctuated by seconds of adrenaline pumping action. Because of this, the online community is more patient, friendly, and mature than many other online games.

So with the sun setting over Bastogne, and the Germans licking their wounds in the woods to the east, we close our visit to this game where 1942 never ends. Gamers looking for more realism and less twitch in their FPS, should definitely take a look at what Cornered Rat has concocted for you. The best advice is to keep your eyes sharp, and weapon loaded, because those Germans in the woods are coming back.

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4 Comments

  1. Battleground Europe has come along way since its release in 01. Multiple new aircraft, mortars, and wide variety of paratroopers have increased the fun. There is a new update arriving soon, v1.30.

    For best results remember that there is a steep learning curve, looking at the map is the best way to find a battle, and try squad play. Lone wolf may be fun, but 20 friends on a coordinated attack is very exciting, fun and can have some favorable results.

  2. the game is shit dont play it. Graphics are horrible. The mods in the forums are babies they ban you for no reason. The CRS staff is horrible. Horrible game bad experience dont give them your money

  3. A very unquie and enjoyable game … but… Recently , this game has become unstable and for alot of players ‘un-playable’ with very frequent ctd and cthl issues.. Play at your own risk but would be better to wait until the next patch.

  4. Firstly, I’ve played this game on and off for many years.
    If the year was 1995, this game would be EPIC.
    The only reason this game still exists, is it’s the only MMOFPS with a 1/2 scale map of Europe in a WW2 setting.
    That’s why I come back to it every now and then when they patch it.
    And every time I come back, the game reminds me how bad it is.
    The overall feel of the game is unacceptable by today’s standards.
    The company doesn’t show the current server population, which would be useful in gauging whether or not to login. I suspect the reason is ~50 player population. The large map MMO capability does not make up for outdated, clunky, underpopulated, unrealistic.

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