Posted on 31-10-2007
Filed Under (Game Stories) by NightCrawler on 31-10-2007

This weeks focus will be on a series that appears “dead in the water”, so to speak.  The game that I am referring to here is the Delta Force series.  This majestic first-person shooter (FPS) game holds a very unique place in my “gaming” heart in that this game was my 1st venture into online gaming.  I have to say that this game has made me what I am today, because if it was not for this game, I may have not started online gaming probably for another year later.  And just to let you know I personally own and have played each and every one of the games described below and there are a couple that I still play today.  But without further upheaval, I present to you the story of Delta Force.

df_box.gifThe original Delta Force is a FPS game by developer and publisher NovaLogic. It was released for the PC on November 1, 1998 and was designed to be a military simulation loosely based on the Delta Force special operations force.  It also had a very “different” type of graphics engine that rendered terrain, objects, and vegetation in detailed form if being looked at from a distance.  The engine was referred to as the “Voxel” engine, in that; it would render details in voxels, other than in “pixel” form, as used in most games.  Voxels is a combination of the words volumetric and pixel which is used primarily used in visualizations for medical and scientific data by definition.  The engine did a good job in rendering screens that consisted of long distant shots, but when you got close up, there was a huge distortion that prevented too many renders from inside of buildings and such close in areas.  However, the game was truly enjoyable and since about the whole game took place outdoors, it made for a quite pleasurable multi-player experience in that snipers had the upper hand most of the time within the environments.

df2.gifThe second game of the series was named; you guessed it, Delta Force 2.  It was put on the store shelves, on October 31, 1999.  Delta Force 2 improved over its predecessor in graphics quality, and by improving game balance.  The game is in many ways was more realistic than the first-person shooters of its time. Very often, one shot is fatal, although occasionally the player would survive.  However, no weapons, even the M249 SAW machine gun, had any recoil or spray. This allowed players to play as a sniper and at medium-to-long ranges even with a heavy machinegun, when in real life it would be terribly inaccurate.  Delta Force 2 had an “improved” voxel graphics engine that rendered graphics a little better than its predecessor did, but was still a little grainy for some people. 

dflwboxus.gif Delta Force: Land Warrior was the third inception of this series and was published on December 1, 2000.  Nova was known for chronically poor AI in the previous 2 titles, and it still showed in this game as well. Some enemies would continue walking while you shoot at them; others may do nothing while you stand almost straight in front of them; some seem to have ESP and begin shooting at the player character even though you are out of sight.  This title also introduced into the DF game “classes” of its operatives, over playing as primarily a “rogue” element which had all of the weapons at their disposal.  It was a good title and had a very much improved graphics engine over the past 2 releases of this series.

dftfdboxus.jpgDelta-Force: Task Force Dagger is the fourth PC game, but to me it was not a true sequel to DF: Land Warrior, but when it was published on June 10, 2002, I believe it was as a direct gaming result and response to the 9/11/2001 tragedy.  Why do I say that?  Because Task Force Dagger had a different storyline when it was under development, and after that terrible event, the storyline changed to the front lines of Afghanistan, playing as Special Forces units deployed in the real, and today’s still ongoing, Operation Enduring Freedom.  You play any one of 10 Special Operations Groups from Seal Team 6, to Green Berets, to CIA snipers.  While playing the game each group has preferred weapons, but you can outfit yourself with whatever weapons you choose or want.  This was not a very popular game within the Delta Force community, for whatever reasons.

dfbhdcover.jpgDelta Force: Black Hawk Down (BHD) was the 5th and possibly the best game of the Delta Force series and was published on March 24, 2003. It takes place in Somalia during 1993 and was produced primarily in response to the popularity of a Hollywood movie named “Black Hawk Down”. The game uses a more realistic engine compared to the previous Delta Force games and does render the graphics in a way more realistic manner. The player starts out as a 10th Mountain Division soldier or an Army Ranger. For the majority of the Single-Player missions you have this option, however, it might also be noted that along the later missions, you play almost exclusively as Delta Force operators. 

dfbhdts.jpgDelta Force: Black Hawk Down: Team Sabre is the official expansion pack to Black Hawk Down and was published on January 21, 2004. Team Sabre added more weapons which could be used in servers that only had the Black Hawk Down game installed.  That was a first, I do think.  The Team Sabre expansion also gave the player a new operative to choose from, the British elite commando unit SAS. Team Sabre as well added a few more terrains which are mostly jungle and desert ones. The expansion pack also gives the player two more campaigns which are in fictional based areas in Iran fighting the renegade General Kalb and a drug lord named Antonio Paulo in Colombia, South America.

dfxtremeboxus.gifWhich leads me to the last of the Delta Force series of games and it was actually not a NEW game, but a remake of the original game if this series.  Delta Force Xtreme was published in April 2005 to bring together the so-called old timers of Delta Force 1, and welcome the newcomers to the DF community to Novalogic’s Joint Operations game.  DF Xtreme had three single player campaigns with a total of 20 single-player missions “similar” to those of the original game.  And it should be noted that when I played the Xtreme game, the maps were close to the original, but they were not made “exact” in any means, and what was stated above as “similar”.  However the main focus of the Xtreme game is its online feature which was very popular when it first came out, but currently is declining in player attendance.

It appears that the remake addressed above will probably be the last in the line of the outstanding Delta Force series.  It is very sad for me to think that a series had to “die” after a remake, after a very good “run” on the store shelves for 7 years plus.  And as I stated in the first paragraph, I still play the Black Hawk Down game, both single-player and online, on a weekly basis.  The BHD games are still heavily played on the internet, so that game may possibly “hold them over” IF they ever decide to make another one in the foreseeable future.  But along them same lines I can see that within the Joint Operations games, maybe NovaLogic “meant” that these games were to be considered as castoffs of the once great Delta Force series.  But as usual, who knows…

Next Up: My Half-Life Story…

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