Day of Defeat: Source

I tried posting this last night, but my post didn’t seem to make it to the server. I hate rewriting posts — I always feel like I’m summarizing myself. Oh well, here goes…

Day of Defeat:Source was released yesterday afternoon, so of course, I had to try it out. DoD:S was included in the Half-Life 2 package that I bought last year, so I’ve been waiting a long time for this.

The game play in Day of Defeat really isn’t my style. I like more open and expansive maps, and at least their current ones all feel small and boxed in to me. DoD:S is the first game from Valve to show off their new High Dynamic Range lighting effects. Since my new video card supports these effects, I’m glad I get to try them out.

In short, the effects are cool but a little distracting (at least at first). HDR is designed to give you a better feel for the real lighting that a scene should have even with the contrast limitations of today’s monitors. So, if you come around a corner and find a brightly lit wall or sun steaming through a window, it will look almost over exposed and washed out. Light will bloom around the edges of objects more realistically too (this is truly beautiful). After a few seconds, your virtual eyes adjust and what was once a completely washed out wall resolves to merely a brightly lit wall.

It’s a pretty cool technique, and I’m looking forward to seeing it in more games. The distracting part comes from the HDR not being applied evenly. Some objects (at least in DoD:S) seem to take on much more of a glow than others. It gives them a weird, ethereal, look in a mundane computer generated world.