[page=Infiltration 2.9 MOTM for December!]
Infiltration began its life as a weapons mod for the original Unreal, but has since expanded hugely, with an incredible amount of features to its name. A large array of weapons, equipment, maps, and a huge amount of features make it nearly more than a total conversion, more like a brand new game. Now I'll get in-depth with Infiltration 2.9, which is quite a step above the other versions, and explains why it had nearly a years worth of delay behind it.
Although Infiltration is running on the slowly aging Unreal Tournament engine, it manages to squeeze every little polygon into a model it can. Fine detail is presented on each one, making the realism factor a step above the rest. There is a huge amount of skins for the player models, letting you as the soldier to present yourself as how you would want to be out in the battlefield. It is more than just different camouflage however; there is an array of different face skins, from a plain blank face, to sun glasses, and even balaclavas. It gives a nice sense of personality to playing. Most of the maps are visually stunning, with the exception of a few from the old map packs, that have some rather bad textures. The Stalingrad map has some of the best textures I have seen on any engine, including Half Life 2. The animations in Infiltration are very nice, and replicate what a real person would do. For instance, while standing there reloading a gun, the model actually throws the empty clip as fast as they can. On the first person view you would see the hand slam it home. The Infiltration team really did their homework while making this. One of the most graphical things in Infiltration, something most people would overlook, even with the amount of work that would have gone into it, coding and graphics, was the menu. It truly represents a small part of a command console. There is a cover, and switch to start a bot match, a key lock to exit (Though no key is needed to exit ;) ), a switch to change from a local match to a net match, and drop down menus. It was good of the Infiltration team to create this GUI to help ease the playing of Infiltration.
The Sound FX
If you are used to mods with a fair bit of action, and some realism mods too, you will find the sounds of Infiltration, the weapon firing ones in particular very strange and boring. This is because they are the real thing; they have been recorded straight from the weapons. There are a couple of different sounds for each weapon, and not to give it a bit of variety, but for different sounds depending how far away you are from the shot. As I said, Infiltration is an immersion into realism, and they have done as much as they can to actually get it to that state. The voices are extremely good; they have applied a distinct radio crackle to them as if they were actually coming from a radio.
This is the crunch. A lot of people think that if you get too realistic, the mod will fail in game play. Fortunately, this is Infiltration's strongest point. With the large variety in skins, faces, weapons, and maps, Infiltration doesn't fail. Although you won't be in a tight dual circle strafing an enemy player blasting
bullets in their face, you will be peering over the corner of a building, firing off a couple of shots and making a bolt for the corner of the building up ahead. The maps are large, but you'll be able to just cope with 16 players. Too fewer players, and you could be wondering around for the whole round wondering were the guy with the secret plans ran off too. Some of the maps are very event driven and this is a good thing. For instance, in the Stalingrad map I mentioned earlier, once the plans have been picked up, a helicopter comes out from the horizon to a red flare which has been set off. It hovers there until the round is finished, or the plans are captured. Its a lot of fun to be sprinting through rubble and see a helicopter, with moving rotors sweeping across the field. What would have been very nice spawning at the helicopters and parachuting down into the battlefield, or firing off the helicopters. Still, you can't have everything, and with the amount of stuff in Infiltration its hard to believe that. The maps are very detailed, with humveys parked along the street, and you can use the guns sitting on top them to boot. You can't do better than firing rounds into the approaching enemy waiting for backup to help you. One very important and innovative feature that's been in Infiltration for a while is the free zone around your weapon. As in all First Person Shooters, you gun is centered to aim at the exact middle of your screen. In Infiltration, you can move your gun around a little to aim in different spots without actually changing your view. Infiltrations iron sights are nice, being a little further from the screen than some other mods. Infiltration has a similar thing to Counter Strike with the 1 life, your out, but is adjustable to the users/server admins liking.
After reading this review, you have most likely realized that Infiltration IS an immersion into realism. The Infiltration Team has put a huge amount of effort into this, and I congratulate them on winning the Mod of the Month for December here at modDatabase. They really deserve it.