Delta Force: Blackhawk Down
Written by Daniel Westerstal   
Monday, 20 March 2006
Mark Bowden wrote the book, Ridley Scott directed the movie and Novalogic developed the game. Blackhawk Down is perhaps one of the most popular war movies and books of modern time. Based on the events in Mogadishu, Somalia 1993 were a Ranger company were caught deep behind enemy lines.

Novalogic definitely had the pressure to do something good with the rights to Blackhawk Down. The story in the game is the same as in the movie, but here you get to follow the operations before the battle in Mogadishu and afterwards.

You will for example rescue Pakistani soldiers caught by Somalian militia, raid a radio station, free hostages, terminate warlords and so on. Many of the missions are set in urban environments with a lot of civilians that easily can be shot by mistake.

It’s really a much more challenging setting than previous Delta Force games. Here you have to take cover and really think before you shoot. The missions are still scripted, so they will be the same every time you play them, which is a bit disappointing.

There are two units you will follow in the game, the Rangers and Delta Force. The missions connected to Delta Force are mainly about raids, capturing warlords, closing down radio stations and son. The Ranger missions are generally about convoy protection, sometimes the two units will work together.

Blackhawk Down features a number of weapons, both standard ones as the M16 and M249 SAW but also CAR 15 and the MP5. The weapons are modelled correctly but the sounds when firing are quite weak.

The enemies you will encounter are mostly just militia, militia with RPGs and technicals (a pickup with a machine gun). It would be perfectly ok with this limited selection of enemies if they weren’t so stupid. I don’t feel that Novalogic has worked enough on the AI, there are too many glitches. For example some of the enemies don’t react when other enemies are fired upon. Some simply stop and go prone really slow, which is strange. Cranking the AI up to hard does solve some of the problems, but then they shoot to fast to be realistic.

I like the development of the story and the radio chatter during the missions, it contributes to the complete chaos that many battles are. Also the enemies are quite hard to spot since they frequently hide among civilians and are dressed as civilians.

Graphically Delta Force Blackhawk Down is a bit disappointing, at least if you compare it to later games. You simply notice that the game engine is dated, but you get used to it after playing a while. We didn’t have the best video card when testing the game so that might have something to do with it.

Overall Delta Force Blackhawk Down really manages to capture the feeling of chaos like no other game. There are some AI glitches though that makes the game a bit silly, but overall a really good tactical shooter. If you like games like Battlefield and the previous Delta Force games you have to give this one a go.

Related: Battlefield 1942, Rainbow Six: Raven Shield , Spec Ops: Rangers Lead The Way
Developer: Novalogic
Website for Game:
O/S: Windows 98/ME/2000/XP
Cost of Full Game: $29.99, Download Demo Here
Year of Release: 2003

Pentium III 755 MHz, 256 MB RAM, 32 MB VRAM
Tested on:
AMD Athlon 64 2.2 GHz, 2x512 MB RAM, Geforce 4 64 MB

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