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Video Game / Battlefield 1942

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Battlefield 1942 is a multiplayer First-Person Shooter by DICE and the first game in the Battlefield series. note  It used the Refractor Engine and was released in 2002.

The game is set during World War II, and its maps recreate several famous battles between the Axis and the Allies in Western Europe, USSR, North Africa and the Pacific. Players have to choose one of five classes of infantry: Scout, Assault, Anti-Tank, Medic, and Engineer. A number of vehicles from the era are controllable.

The original game spawned two expansions: Road to Rome, about the Italian campaign of 1943-1945, and Secret Weapons of World War II, which introduced new maps, weapons and vehicles, specifically vehicles that never went beyond the prototype stage... and also jetpacks.


Battlefield 2 moved the setting to 20 Minutes into the Future. The series later returned to World War II with Battlefield 1943, Battlefield Heroes and Battlefield V.

Tropes that apply to Battlefield 1942:

  • Achievement Mockery: The Purple Heart, achieved from a 1:5 kill/death ratio.
  • Alternate History: Whenever a side wins a battle it historically lost.
    • Secret Weapons of World War II features battles with mass produced versions of vehicles that never went beyond the prototype stage such as experimental jet planes, working anti-air missiles and a mass produced American super-heavy tank.
    • Speaking of that expansion, the mountain on which the Eagle's Nestnote  stands has been turned into a fortress by the Germans.
  • Amphibious Automobile: Secret Weapons of World War II introduced amphibious vehicles — the Schwimmwagen for the Germans and the LVT for the Allies.
  • Anachronism Stew: The game featured some weapons and vehicles much earlier than their appearance in real life.
    • Improperly Placed Firearms: German Assault infantrymen using Sturmgewehr 44s in pre-1943 battles (that assault rifle was introduced that year), MG42 machine guns showing up in pre-1942 maps, Panzerschreck anti-tank rocket launchers in pre-1943 maps (also in the hands of Japanese soldiers), Bazookas in pre-1942 maps.
    • Tiger tanks in pre-1943 maps.
    • Wespe self-propelled guns in pre-1943 maps.
    • Sherman tanks in pre-October 1942 maps.
    • Soviet T-34-85 tanks in pre-1944 maps.
  • Anti-Air: 40 mm Bofors gun for the Allies and Flak 38 for the Axis.
    • Machine guns (either mounted on tanks or standing) work pretty well against planes.
    • Secret Weapons of World War II added the Flakpanzer IV "Wirbelwind" for the Germans as well as the Wasserfall, a remote-controlled anti-air missile.
  • Artifact Title: The game is not limited to the year 1942, as it features battles from 1940 to 1945. Particularly true for Road to Rome as the Allied invasion of Italy started in 1943.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The bots are notoriously awful.
  • Artistic License – History: The game lacks of historical realism on many aspects, see the Improperly Placed Firearms and Anachronism Stew entries.
    • A glaring example is the "Market Garden" map. The battle of Arnhem was fought by the British 1st Airborne Division, yet the playable Allied faction of the map is American. For obvious balance reasons, Allies are given tanks and heavy artillery on this map, while in real life the British paratroopers lacked such support and lost the battle as a result.
    • The T-34 tank for some reason serve as both the light and heavy tank for the USSR, even though there are more suitable vehicles such as the IS-2 or KV-1.
    • Similarly, the M10 Wolverine tank destroyer serve as the USA's heavy tank for some reason.
  • Bayonet Ya: Road to Rome added a bayonet to the Engineer's rifle.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Played straight. Sniper rifles are a one-hit kill, and other small arms deal more damage when fired at the noggin.
  • Bottomless Magazines:
    • Played straight for standing machine guns and Anti-Air guns. Machine guns never seem to run low on ammo, they just over-heat.
    • Standing next to an ammunition crate is basically this.
  • Crew of One: Everyone can at least drive or fly any vehicle, though some vehicles require another player to fire their weapons, some vehicles can have more than one gunner, and some vehicles can carry passengers.
  • Car Fu: It's possible to deal massive damage simply by driving into an enemy vehicle at full speed. One common tactic is to drive jeeps straight into tanks, kamikaze style. This can be made deadlier with the use of remote explosive charges.
    • Of course, any player can also man any portion of the vehicle - just hotswap, and you can gun down people pestering your tank. This can also lead to certain planes' (such as Stukas or Junker 88) pilots swapping seats in midair in order to fire the mounted machine guns.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: The "anti-tank" class suffers from this. The ability to attack vehicles from afar comes at the price of being horrible at fighting off infantry.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: Present in the game. The amount of spread largely depends on the size and weight of the gun.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Being the first one in the series, the game lacks squads and ranking, which make it hard to emphasize squadplay in any form, and lacks player voice making it more simplified than maybe even Bad Company. Still, it's a Ur-Example for wide scale combined arms games.
  • Face Plant: The game will automatically put player-characters in a head-down skydiving pose if they fall from a certain height. If you don't deploy the parachute in time, this results in an invariably fatal faceplant.
  • The Greatest History Never Told:
    • World War II started in September 1939, yet the earliest battle available in Battlefield 1942 is the Battle of Britain (which started in July 1940). Battles in Poland, Norway, France and other Western Europe countries before Great Britain ended up alone against Germany were Adapted Out. A number of mods later corrected this.
    • For post-1940 battles, there's no map in Greece, Yugoslavia, Syria (Free French and Commonwealth vs Vichy French), Burma and many other seldom seen battlefields.
  • Improperly Placed Firearms: Some of the weaponry used by various sides gives the impression that developers were kind of lazy and didn't modelize more accurate weapons.
    • All Allied engineers use Lee Enfield rifles, which are further just a reskin of the existing Mauser Kar 98, and only have half their real capacities. The Americans get their famous M1 the early pacific missions.
    • For some reason, Soviet tanks are equipped with either Allied Browning machine guns or German MG42 machine guns.
    • All Axis and Allied handguns are a reskin of the base Walther P38 model, which will be either the P38 or the M1911, depending on whether the kit is from an Allied or Axis nation. This occurs despite only the US and Germany fielding these handguns in significant numbers. In fact, until the Secret Weapons of World War II expansion, which introduced the Bren and the Browning Auto-5 (and a new variant of the Sten, first introduced in Road to Rome), British and Americans carried identical weapons, their voice acting being the only significant difference from a gameplay standpoint.
    • Japanese machine gun nests, tanks and bunkers are also equipped with MG42's, while Japan was certainly not known for buying a lot of them to Germany. Japan and Italy both use almost exclusively German weapons, despite both nations having very distinct weapon sets in Real Life. Though they both have their own unique assault class weapons (the Type 99 for the Japanese and the Italian Breda Modello 30), the non-German Axis armies still borrow most infantry arms from the Germans; Japan in particular use reskinned stick grenades (despite having their own hand grenades), and bizzarely, the MP18, an early German SMG dating back to the tail end of World War I that Germans don't use in this game.
    • The Soviets zig zag between using American, British, and even German weapons in the case of the Medic, simply re-using the MP18 rather than using something like the PPSH SMG. In fact, the only Russian weapon that makes an appearance in the game is the DP LMG for the Assault class.
  • Invisible Wall: The game makes you take damage when leaving the map, while playing a radio message telling you that deserters will be shot. If you are forced to eject from your air vehicle in a no-zone, you're as good as dead.
  • It's Raining Men:
    • That Universal Driver's License comes with a parachute.
    • Some spawn points are set in the air, obviously in the "Market Garden" map.
    • Secret Weapons of World War II adds the Douglas C-47 for the Allies, which is basically a mobile air spawn point.
  • Last Stand: The Berlin map is this for the Germans in the original game, against the Red Army.
    • Secret Weapons of World War II adds some Alternate History with the Eagle's Nest, a mountain fortress built around Adolf Hitler's vacation home. Americans besiege it with super-heavy tanks.
  • Magic Tool: Used by the Engineer class to repair tanks, clear mines, etc. A few turns of the wrench could even rebuild a 200m long bridge if it had been destroyed.
  • No Swastikas: The German flag is the one from Imperial Germany instead of Nazi Germany, only with an Iron Cross inside.
  • One-Man Army: Averted. Pretending to win the war by yourself in multiplayer WILL get you killed in very short order, not to mention pissing off your teammates.
    • It is possible to work effectively while alone, but the key is not to be in this mindset. Skilled players, especially Scouts, can be very effective at harassing enemy spawn points through careful use of hit and run tactics, and can also make themselves useful by spotting enemy vehicles.
    • It's definitely possible to be this when playing in solo mode against bots thanks to well-placed ambush sites (near ammo crates) and the AI's limits.
  • Rare Guns:
    • Patch 1.45 of the original game introduced the Type 5 rifle, a clone of the American M1 Garand, for the Japanese Engineer. In real life, only about 250 of them were produced, and none of them were actually used in combat.
    • The Breda Modello 30 for Italian Assault players in Road to Rome.
    • The Fallschirmjägergewehr 42 (FG 42) for German Assault players in 1942: Secret Weapons of World War II. About 5000 were produced in real life, whereas millions of more common guns such as the MP40 were produced.
  • Rare Vehicles: The whole point of Secret Weapons of World War II.
    • Germans get the Sturmtiger tank. Only 19 of them were produced, and one was a prototype.
    • Allies get the T28 Super Heavy Tank. Only two prototypes were built, and none of them was transported to Europe.
    • The Horten Ho 229 jet plane. Only three test prototypes were built.
    • Only 36 Bachem Ba 349 "Natter" were built.
    • Only two Armstrong Whitworth 52 (flying wing) were ever built, and they didn't fly until 1947.
    • Ditto with the McDonnell XF-85 Goblin (light fighter aircraft). Only two protoypes were built.
  • Soft Water: Sort of. While you'll take less damage falling into water, you'll still die (or go into "critically wounded" mode) if you hit water from a high enough height.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: Secret Weapons of World War II added various German planes that were planned but never saw mass production, such as the Horten 229 flying wing or the Bachem 349 rocket plane. It also featured actual jetpacks. For the sake of balance, this is also inverted with the use of many Allied prototype weapons and vehicles.
  • Urban Warfare: Several maps such as Stalingrad, Berlin and half of Arnhem.
  • Universal Driver's License: Anyone can drive any vehicle.
  • You ALL Look Familiar: The game only had 3 different faces for each side.