For fans of large-scale team-based first-person shooters, Battlefield 1942 scratches precisely where we itch. The game comes with sprawling maps, massive teams, and a huge assortment of player-controllable vehicles up to and including battleships, tanks, and fighter planes--all wrapped up in a World War II setting with authentic voices, phrases, and uniforms. To be honest, I didn't think that Battlefield 1942 could get much better. Being wrong has never felt so good.
The Road To Rome is virtually a Platonic example of what an expansion pack should be. The six new maps are set in Italy, and include the Battle of Anzio, Operation Husky (in Sicily), as well as conflicts at Monte Cassino and Monte Santa Croce. Most of the maps tend to be hilly, which makes for exciting play and presents great opportunities for surprise attacks. There are eight new vehicles, including a tank with two turrets, a large bomber, and a new APC with a heavy gun turret. The expansion pack includes a single-player mode with nonscripted AI, which is useful to practice against when you're learning the new maps and vehicles before heading online--but there's no question that multiplayer is where Road To Rome shines.
It's hard to identify any weak points in this expansion pack. If I had to nitpick though, the multiplayer network code, though improved, still remains a little flakier than it should be. And there are one or two maps that have capture points that one side or the other will be mysteriously unable to recapture once they've been lost. It would help if there was some word from EA on whether those points are set to remain uncapturable by design or are the result of a bug.
There's no excuse for any self-respecting Battlefield 1942 owner to not pick up The Road To Rome. It has more of the elements you enjoyed in the original, conveniently condensed into solid, CD-shaped form. RTR is a shining example of what an expansion pack should be. --Jon "Safety Monkey" Grover
- Great new maps are both a hoot and a holler
- Tons of cool new vehicles
- Really, really fun
- Net code could still use a little work
- A few capture points on some maps inexplicably seem to be unable to be recaptured once one side has them