Day of Defeat is one of those many Half-Life mods that flew under my radar. Just as I was getting sick of Counter-Strike, I stumbled on Enemy Territory and those that read this site regularly know well my long love affair with grand piece of gaming. Enemy Territory is free, stable, the graphics have aged well and the gameplay was unique and innovative while familiar and gripping at the same time. Day of Defeat, with its advertised “CTF” mode, just couldn’t capture my attention.
So I’m wondering why I paid $20 for Day of Defeat: Source, which is apparently Day of Defeat with nice graphics, some gameplay updates, and four maps. That’s right, you count them: four maps. Enemy Territory had six maps. I don’t even know how many the original Day of Defeat had, but I’m willing to bet my right nut it had more than four. Also, I’ve been told that there are fewer weapons now; apparently the original Day of Defeat gave some choice to certain classes about which weapons they could use. From the deep and thoughtful discussions that occur on Half-Life mod servers, I managed to gather between the “wtfpwn”s and “u closet h0m0 n*****”s that the weapons that have been modeled for DoD: Source are the more popular ones from DoD.
So again, this brings us to the $20 issue. On the one hand, Enemy Territory is quite exceptional – after all, no one releases games for free on the internet. On the other hand, even high quality mods are usually free. Whether your flavor is Counter-Strike, Red Orchestra, or Desert Combat, you didn’t actually pay for those. Mod developers have their own incentive for toiling away at their creations – to gain experience and gather the attention of actual development teams who will hire them. If there’s an actual market for these, all the better, right? How many of us would have paid for Counter-Strike back even before 1.0, knowing how good a game it was at the time? Of course, that brings us to the other issue, how good Day of Defeat: Source actually is.
DoD: Source is a team-based multiplayer World War II shooter. Though community lingo describes it as capture the flag, DoD is more like Domination from Unreal Tournament; players move in on flag points to capture them. There are five per map and the team with more points under its control gains points. Capturing the entire map is instant victory, otherwise the team with the most points wins when the timer runs out. To seize a flag, one or sometimes two teammates must be in close proximity of it without any enemies nearby to block the capture. Like Enemy Territory or the Battlefield series, once you die you wait for the next wave of reinforcements. Unlike Enemy Territory and Battlefield, spawn areas are fixed and do not change.