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Have You Played... Delta Force?

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Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I hadn’t thought about Delta Force for a long time until I played Ghost Recon: Wildlands at E3 a few weeks ago. It was strange that a new, shiny game conjured up such vivid images of a game almost two decades old, but Delta Force is good company. For years, the series defined military shooters for me.

Voxels. That’s the important thing here. NovaLogic built Delta Force using their proprietary Voxel Space engine, which allowed them to construct enormous outdoor spaces, with rolling hills and these beautifully blurry indistinct landscapes. The browns, yellows and greens painted a clear picture of the natural features, but they also served to disguise camouflaged soldiers.

I spent far too much time during those last months of the nineties staring at smudges on a screen, trying to figure out if I was aiming my rifle at a piece of foliage or a sniper. Delta Force used technology that served the game rather than having a game that served whatever cutting edge technology was available, and it was splendid, even if too many of the missions required me to memorise enemy placements like some kind of psychic super-soldier.

The series hasn’t appealed to me for a long time, and even though the latest releases apparently return to “the old series’ gameplay” (yes, I’m quoting Wikipedia), they look like every other military shooter of recent times to me. And they’re called Delta Force: Xtreme and Delta Force: Xtreme 2. I can only assume the Delta Force operatives are riding skateboards.

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Adam Smith

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