Delta Force is a series of Tactical Shooters focused on the US Army's Delta Force, developed by NovaLogic. An early example of a first person shooter on the realistic side of the Fackler Scale of FPS Realism, it allowed players to choose from a number of campaigns and even smaller self-contained missions.
Unlike many shooters of its day, Delta Force had large open spaces, rather than have the player always fight in close quarters. Players and enemies alike were capable of taking a lot less damage, forcing the player to tread carefully and think tactically. Due to these factors, sniping is a viable game strategy, especially since the gameplay mechanics allow the player to go prone. In many ways, Delta Force was a precursor to Operation Flashpoint.
Games in the series include:
- Delta Force (1998)
- Delta Force 2 (1999)
- Delta Force: Land Warrior (2000)
- Delta Force: Task Force Dagger (2002)
- Delta Force: Black Hawk Down (2003)
- Delta Force: Black Hawk Down - Team Sabre (2004)
- Delta Force: Xtreme (2005)
- Delta Force: Xtreme 2 (2009)
These games contain examples of:
- Artificial Stupidity: The AI of the squadmates is rather primitive, given the era. In the earliest version of the original game, they never even seemed to be armed.
- Awesome, but Impractical:
- The M249 comes with a 200 round clip to put down just about anything in front of the barrel, and has enough firepower to take down armored vehicles. However, it doesn't come with a scope, and considering that most gunfights take place at ranges of about half a kilometer, you'll generally need one to actually hit something without getting shot down yourself; as such, it's rather situational.
- The M4's three round burst fire setting. Since most enemies will go down with a single shot and most combat takes place at a fairly long distance semi auto is by far the better option, especially since it can actually give the player a faster rate of fire if the player can shoot quickly enough.
- BFG: The Barrett .50 anti-material rifle appears in most of the games as a choice of Sniper Rifle. If dakka is more your thing, you can chose an M249 SAW as your primary weapon also.
- Body Armor as Hit Points: Opting to take body armour in lieu of a supplementary weapon allows the player to take one or two extra hits. Literally.
- Boring, but Practical: In the earlier games, you can bring along additional ammo for your primary weapon at the cost of forgoing a secondary weapon. As the only ammo you get in these games tends to be whatever you have on you at the beginning, this can go quite a long way. Not to mention, the M4 is versatile enough that 90% of the time you won't need a secondary weapon anyway.
- Checkpoint Starvation: There are no checkpoints, and saving mid-mission is not allowed in some of the games. Die or get a Non-Standard Game Over and you have to start the mission all over again.
- Concealment Equals Cover: An Averted Trope as the series went on. One of Delta Force 2's selling points was that players could shoot enemies hiding in certain buildings by firing through thin walls.
- Co-Op Multiplayer: Other human players could take the place of the AI squadmates.
- Death from Above: The Laser Designator allows the player to call in artillery missions to destroy targets. In some missions, this is actually a requirement for completion.
- Emergency Weapon: The earlier games give a knife to the player, allowing for stealth kills if necessary. Of course, charging in with it towards an alert enemy is tantamount to suicide.
- Escort Mission: Some of the missions involve escorting vehicles or rescuing prisoners. Due to the limited AI of the day, these can be downright frustrating.
- Every Bullet Is a Tracer: And they're Color-Coded for Your Convenience; Your own shots have blue tracers, while enemies fire red.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: The M4 carbine is one of the most versatile weapons in the game due to its scope, thirty round magazine, large number of spare magazines and attached secondary weapon (a Grenade Launcher in the first game, but the Masterkey shotgun is provided as an alternative in later games).
- Limited Loadout: Before embarking on a mission, the player is required to choose a loadout. A knife is always available and the player must choose one pistol, one rifle and a couple of extra supplementary weapons.
- Little Useless Gun: Averted by the Ruger Mark II in the first game; it's just as effective as the 1911 in terms of stopping power, despite being chambered in .22 and comes with a larger magazine and inbuilt suppressor to boot. This is probably why later games just offered a standard sidearm (usually the H&K Mark 23) with an optional suppressor.
- No "Arc" in "Archery": Averted. Bullet drop occurs in these games and the player must compensate for this if firing outside a weapon's effective range.
- One Bullet Clips: Averted. Your reserve ammo is counted in magazines, as opposed to individual rounds. The caveat about chambered rounds is usually taken to an extreme, however, with Land Warrior and Task Force Dagger at least even applying it with weapons that it shouldn't, such as open-bolt weapons (the machine guns) and ones with multiple barrels (the P11 underwater pistol) or chambers (the Jackhammer shotgun, the MM-1 grenade launcher).
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: Most enemies will go down with a single shot. The Player Character doesn't fare much better in this regard. Even taking body armour only allows for a couple of extra hits.
- Optional Stealth: Enemies are initially unaware of your presence, allowing you to get the drop on them. One they spot you, though, their comrades are alerted. The game provides a number of silenced weapons, such as the Ruger Mark II and the MP5SD, to allow for stealth kills.
- Ranged Emergency Weapon: The pistol, due to its small magazine, small amount of spare mags and short range, is not really a good choice for protracted combat. Although, if you choose a silenced pistol, it makes a decent stealth weapon for close range kills.
- Rare Guns: Land Warrior adds some pretty obscure guns, like the Pancor Jackhammer, the H&K P11, the APS Underwater Assault Rifle and the H&K G11 to its arsenal. The H&K Mark 23 SOCOM appears regularly throughout the series as a standard sidearm from the second game onwards.
- Sequel Difficulty Drop: The Xtreme series, which were generous of checkpoints, players can take multiple hits, and Death Is a Slap on the Wrist.
- Sniping Mission: The not-quite-sandbox nature of the games provides lots of wide open spaces which makes sniping a viable tactic for many missions. In fact, due to the player's relative fragility, it's pretty much encouraged.
- Swiss Army Weapon: The M4 Carbine in the earlier games can be used as a close quarters weapon and to pick off enemies at a distance with its scope, comes with either a Masterkey or a Grenade Launcher depending on which game you're playing, and has semi auto and three round burst options. About the only thing it doesn't have is a silenced option. In Land Warrior and Task Force Dagger, the OICW fills this role, having a decent rate of fire in bursts for close-quarters, a 6x scope for long range, and its integrated multi-shot grenade launcher to take care of heavier threats.
- Unusable Enemy Equipment: Depending on the game, you cannot take weapons or restock ammo from fallen enemies, though sometimes you can find ammo caches for your own weapons within enemy bases.
- Vapor Ware: Delta Force: Angel Falls was announced in 2008. As of 2017, there's still no sign of it.