Some people think that the only good game is a game with good graphics... I've gotta tell you, they're horribly mistaken. Codename: Eagle, by Digital Illusions CE is the predecessor to the highly-anticipated Battlefield: 1942 coming later this summer to PC and the Microsoft XBox. Codename: Eagle is an FPS based in the very early 1900's - probably WW1. The reason that it's still fun to play this long after it was released is due to it's addictive multiplayer game. Imagine this, an FPS with up to 16 players on a huge map with more than 15 different vehicles to play with (including boats, planes, and tanks). Sounds a little bit like Tribes doesn't it? They were both released at about the same time in '98/'99, but I must say - the Biplane fighters and bombers are about 10x easier to steer than the scout was. Back to business...
Okay, okay... It's kinda hard to make a fair judgement of the graphics for a game this old. But all I can say is that they were very good for it's time. The explosions and weapon effects are pretty nice, exhibiting dynamic lighting and volumetric smoke. It's also pretty cool when you can watch the water's waves rise and fall as you drive along the coast in an APC.
There are, however, a few glitches in the collision detection and I've found a couple of holes in some of the maps (where you get stuck, and have to open the console and commit suicide to get out). One of them is inside an ammo shed and another was near a hangar. Also, I happened to drive a destroyer through a carrier..
Vehicle physics, though not ultra-realistic, are a lot of fun to play with. The cargo truck bounces around, the motorcycle will drift through turn after turn, and you can do barrel rolls and loops in the planes.
Gameplay: Single Player Campaign
Not much to be said here, other than it pretty much sucks. The levels are unrelated and can get misleading. But single player campaigns arent what CE is about
Definitely where the game shines, the multiplayer gameplay is unbeatable
. Nothing is better than getting into a Zepplin with 7 of your buddies to raid an enemy base, or duking it out in battleships in the middle of a rainstorm while planes dogfight above you. The possibilities are endless when you get creative with the vehicles: mid-air bombings during dogfights, switching planes, parachuting (yes.. I said Parachuting
), and jumping into an enemy's sidecar as he tries to get away - see the gallery. While a 16 player maximum isn't huge, it's still creates plenty of mayhem to keep your senses sharpened.
One thing you've got to worry about is the small community of remaining hardcore CE fans. They're ready and willing to accept new players to the community, but beware as they seem to break every law of physics with their mad 'skillZ'. A few dedicated sites still offer everything you'd need to complete your CE setup: news, patches, maps and more.
Digital Illusions CE
- Hella-fun multiplayer action with mediocre graphics and superb gameplay.
- The single player campaign could use some work.
- Graphics are alright, good for it's time and they still do the job.
- If you can get your hands on this game, do so! It's well worth the bargin-bin price you'll find it at.
Codename: Eagle Nation
tJY's Battlefield: 1942 preview (coming soon)