When Novalogic released the first part of the Delta Force series in the end of 1998 they were hoping the game would be as successful as the Comanche series and secure large shares in the segment of First Person Shooters as Comanche did in the genre of flightsimulations.
Only a short time after the release of the game, first reviews showed that Novalogic’s plan would fail. Especially the graphics engine was massively criticised, because instead of using a modern polygonal engine the development team sticked to the Voxel-based engine they already used for the Comanche series. Because the engine was not really optimized for a game like Delta Force most people had problems running it fluently on their system and playing the game felt more like watching a dia show than being in the middle of a war.
Only one year later Delta Force 2 was released. The game was only slightly better than itÃ‚Â´s predecessor even though some annoying parts of the first game were eliminated.
In February 2001 the up-to-then best title of the series, Delta Force – Land Warrior was released.
Delta Force – Task Force Dagger which is developed by Zombie is another title of the Delta Force series which was just released and once again Novalogic spared with innovative features and new game ideas.
The game is set in Afghanistan and includes numerous realistic locations like Kandahar or Mazar-e-Sharif. Inspired by “Enduring Freedom”, a military operation in Afghanistan the player has to destroy bunkers or set ambushes on support convoys. The realistic background of the game will most likely increase sales numbers, especially in the USA.
Delta Force is a military combat simulation first person shooter mainly focusing on transporting the battle on the screen as realistic as possible. Due to its realistic content and strategic elements the game targets at an experienced mature gaming audience even though the Delta Force – Task Force Dagger is more action orietated than prior parts of the series.
For less experienced players Project IGI may be more recommendable, pro players should rather pick a game in Redstorm’s Rainbow Six series.
Compared to the over one year old Delta Force – Land Warrior, the graphics is only slightly improved. It lacks of details and the monotonous map design creates a certain atmosphere of drowsiness. The character models are a bit too lifeless, actually a poisoned five time bitten snake charmer seems more lively than an enemy soldier in DF - Task Force Dagger.
Solely the wide range of sight may impress the gamer even though it does not compensate the already mentioned flaws.
Novalogic has to be happy about the fact that the American campaign against the terrorism starts in a country like Afghanistan as I doubt that the graphics engine would have been able to illustrate a more populated region or even a jungle.
The level design equals the chosen scenario, it really looks like a desert wasteland even though this may bore the player after some time.
Sounds / Music:
The audio part of the game is very retentive and cannot increase the general mood of the game. The modified firing noises sound quite realistically even though they are not outstanding. Unfortunately DF – Task Force Dagger lacks of support for modern sound standards like EAX. Novalogic has to improve this sector in upcoming games of the Delta-Force-series (itÃ‚Â´s pretty sure there will be more). Perhaps good background music would have been able to improve the overall appearance of the game.
The controls of the game are well done and only in some situations they were a bit imprecise.
The artificial intelligence is more like an artificial stupidity, as it seems to please opposing units to watch you killing some of their comrades. This is an inexcusable flaw for a realistic first person shooter and an old problem of the Delta Force series that Novalogic has not yet been able to eliminate.
The weapon balancing is well done, only the sniper rifle with the precision of a laser-controlled rocket is probably too strong as you can easily shoot other players across a whole map and especially the soloplayer mode is quite easy if you use the sniper.
The missions themselves are quite boring, as they all seem to be the same. At no point of time I felt like this war is interesting or diversified in any way.
The strong point of Delta Force – Task Force Dagger is the multiplayer mode. Again players can fight each others in 8 different modes (including Flagball, DM, King of the Hill...) using Novalogics own multiplayer portal “Novaworld”. New maps should always be available due to the included map editor.
17 new weapons, a realistic scenario and an improved graphics engine may sound promising but in case of DF – Task Force Dagger it is not. The triste scenery, the weak graphics and the brainless enemies didnÃ‚Â´t make me enjoy playing the game, only the multiplayer mode may be worth a play.
In times of Operation Flashpoint a game needs to be better than DF – Task Force Dagger to be worth itÃ‚Â´s money.
Maybe absolute hardcore fans of the series will enjoy the title, others most likely wonÃ‚Â´t and should better pick Operation Flashpoint or Rainbow Six.