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Game Review of:
Deadly Dozen

 

Larry Grosskopf is a Clinical Psychologist at the San Antonio State Hospital, with a strong interest in computers. He and Marta, his wife, are the parents of two children, Zoë, age 8 and Jackson, age 6.

From the January, 2002 issue of PC Alamode Magazine

Aiiiieeee! We are in the thick of it now. Someone has let loose the dogs of war. If you are the type of person who enjoys playing war games on the computer, then you should enjoy Deadly Dozen, An Infogrames World War II simulation game. 

This game is a first person shooter type of game which assigns specific missions for you and your men to accomplish. In this game, you play from the standpoint of World War II foot soldiers. The premise is that twelve commandos have been assigned to go behind enemy lines and carry out missions of reconnaissance, subterfuge and disruption. Since there are twelve characters and only four are assigned to teach mission, there are ample opportunities to mix and match the characteristics of your men in the game according to their strengths and weaknesses and depending on the purpose of the mission you’re assigned. The settings for the game and the missions occurred and France, North Africa, Norway, Belgium, Holland, and Germany during the years between 1942 and 1945. The tutorial allows you to practice and learn some of the basics that are required to play the game. 

Let’s break this game down somewhat. First of all, you control the game appearance, feel and sound by utilizing the Options menu. There are four primary options Game Play, Graphics, Sound and Controls. For example, with the Game Play Option, you can set the difficulty level, making it easy, moderate or difficult. With Damage Realism, you can make the game an arcade-like scenario or you can have it be more realistic with more damage occurring each time the player or character is struck by a bullet. When playing arcade level, many more shots have to be on target for a “kill” to be registered. Another useful option, and there are several which I will not mention, was the ability to switch from first person view to third person view as you are playing the game. The Camera Mode gives a different perspective in each view.

Graphics was the second primary option which allows you to control the resolution from low (640 x 480) to high (1,600 x 1,200). With this option, you may also select 16 bit or 32 bit graphics, control the brightness of the screen, how distances are portrayed and how much object detail is shown. Finally, shadows and fog are optional and may be included or excluded. These options are very helpful because when I first loaded the game, it was very dark on my screen and difficult for me to see or read. Adjusting the brightness solve this problem and made the game much more enjoyable.

Sound is integral part of the game. There is music playing in the background, striking certain keys a list it’s not only an action that also speech from the game characters. Not only do you have the master volume control, but you also have separate volume controls for a game character speech and background music. To be clear, there are three separate and independent ways to control the volume of sound emanating from the game.

Last but certainly not least, is the Controls option. The sensitivity of the mouse can be adjusted here. Keys on the keyboard may be configured or reassigned for each of the following submenus covering action, movement, game play speed and miscellaneous game details. Once the game has been installed, you simply double click the icon on your desktop to begin the game, but keep the CD handy because you will need it when you play. 

There is an introduction to the game which includes vintage video of World War II personnel and events. The introduction explains some of the background, purpose and makeup of the soldiers known as the Deadly Dozen. There is also at a tutorial which, although skimpy, allows you to practice and become familiar with the commands, movement, and actions required to play the game. Prior to starting the game, you select the four soldiers from among your twelve possibilities and that is the makeup of your squad. But the fun is just beginning, and it starts, when you select a New Game to play with a Mission Briefing . This briefing consists of intelligence that has been gathered and detailing the objectives of the mission. If the enemy soldiers see you while you are carrying out your mission they will fire on you. Your task is to complete the objectives of your mission and to return your men safely. There are a variety of missions in the game which will provide many hours of nostalgic fun.

Minimum system requirements include the Pentium II 300 MHZ processor, Windows 95/98, 64 MB RAM, 500 MB hard drive space, Direct3D, 7.0 compatible video card with 8MB VRAM, DirectSound 7.0 compatible sound card, 8X CD-ROM. Recommended system requirements are for a Pentium II 800 MHZ processor, Windows 95/98, 256 MB RAM, 600 MB hard drive space, Direct3D, 8.0 compatible video card with 32MB VRAM, DirectSound 8.0 compatible sound card with 3D Sound acceleration, 16X CD-ROM. I tried this game on my new operating system Windows XP and I got an error message telling me that the game was not supported by Windows XP. However, it did work and it has continued to work on this computer.

Infogrames, Inc. markets the game, which was designed by n-Fusion Interactive with Ron Shelhamer as the Lead Artist, Jason Zisk as the Programming Director and Jeff Birns as the Art Director. Game music was done by Kochun Hu. Overall, this is an interesting game, which I rather enjoyed. The tutorial was too simplistic and doesn’t really prepare you for competing in the game itself. However, a real strength of the game was its flexibility and control options. The list price of the game on the Internet was $19.99 on both the Best Buy and CompUSAWebsites.


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