You’ve probably heard of a little thing called World War II--especially if you play videogames. The 20th century’s massive global conflict is the star of countless blockbuster games and series, from Call of Duty to Battlefield to Brothers in Arms to Medal of Honor and many, many more. While Valve’s Day of Defeat: Source debuted on Windows in 2005, it only recently came to the Mac thanks to the Steam digital storefront, where it costs just $9.99. Luckily, first-person shooters based on WWII never go out of style, and DOD: Source still holds up five years later.
When in doubt, hang around the dude with the bigger gun.
A multiplayer-only experience, DOD: Source has you choose either the Allied or German side and fight to either take and hold certain capture points or destroy your opponent’s equipment while defending your own. After you log in to an available server or create your own, you’ll choose one of six classes, each with unique weapons--standard infantry, sniper, machine gunner, rocket, and so on. You’ll immediately notice the realistic damage system, which means players are killed by two to three bullet hits or a single head shot. Weapons are accurate too; you’ll experience less recoil when firing from a crouching or prone position, for example, and occasionally firearms even overheat.
The gameplay style is similar to the legendary Counter-Strike: Source, going for a more strategic experience by forcing the player to sit out for several seconds before respawning. The game has aged well thanks to consistent updates, and it’s fleshed out with detailed models, realistic sounds, a good physics engine, clever use of smoke effects, and a Saving Private Ryan-esque temporary distorted view when a round hits too close, throwing your perception off-kilter for a few seconds.
Even if you’ve played your fair share of WWII shooters, DOD: Source is surprisingly easy to get into and enjoy. A well-developed voice-support system makes it easy to use a USB mic or headset to communicate with other players on the server. The fast-paced matches have a fun, frantic tension that stems from knowing just how fragile your character is as you dive to the ground to avoid fire or defend a capture point.
Although DOD: Source ran perfectly under Mac OS 10.6.4, it presently supports only 17 Valve-blessed maps and two game modes--and those limitations are frustrating. The game has a die-hard fan base that’s helpful and encouraging to new players, and we’re sure they’d love a little more content from Valve. We’d also like to see a team-only voice chat feature to boost the game’s cooperative element.
Even with its short-comings, Day of Defeat: Source is still a great time with the Greatest Generation. Its amazing pace and action make it well worth the $9.99 price.
Day of Defeat: Source
REQUIREMENTS: Intel processor, Mac OS 10.5.8 or later, 1GB free disk space
Good graphics and sound. Capable physics engine. Terrific environments. Low price. Die-hard player base is encouraging, and it’s easy to lose a few late-night hours chatting, shooting, dying, and trying to win bragging rights.
Limited number of maps and game modes. Game is showing its age despite a steady stream of updates. Lacks team-only voice communication.