Usually a single map is not enough to write a news about but this one is very special. It introduces several new vehicles and has amazing visuals you haven't seen before in Battlefield 1942.
It's a naval map with no spawns available on land, the objective is to sink all enemy capital ships. On the map you can choose between a huge variety of units: Submarines, destroyers, cruisers, aircraft carriers, battleships and hybrid carriers are available.
The historical background for the map is the battle of Leyte Gulf in 1944 which was the largest naval battle in World War 2. It resulted with a major Allied win and crippled the Japanese fleet to a point where it effectively ceased to exist.
Several new vehicles are introduced to the mod on this map. For each one I'll start with a very brief historical overview followed by the gameplay pros and cons in FHSW.
The Ise was a Japanese battleship which saw little action during the first few years of World War II. After the battle of Midway she was converted to a hybrid battleship/carrier: Her rear turrets were replaced by a flight deck and increased air defence.
In FHSW the Ise is a well-rounded battleship with massive firepower against enemy sea and air units. The E16A1 "Zuiun" seaplanes are armed with bombs and offer great help in spotting enemy ships and weakening them long before they get in view distance. But you always have to be aware that, because of the flight deck, you can't fight ships that are directly behind you.
The Zuihō was a light aircraft carrier which fought in several battles. In the Battle of Leyte though she only served as a decoy for the main striking forces and was sunk by American aircraft fulfilling her task.
This carrier has a flush deck with no island superstructure which makes it great for take-offs and rearming especially when the ship is moving. The Zuihō has formidable AA defence consisting of 12.7 cm guns, several 25 mm guns and also six AA rocket launchers.
USS Pensacola/USS Louisville
With the USS Pensacola (Pensacola-class) and USS Louisville (Northampton-class) the US Navy receives their first heavy cruisers in FHSW. The Northampton class is the successor of the Pensacola and a bit better armoured in exchange for one rear turret, otherwise they feel very similar in-game. You will immediately notice the superior firepower of the 203 mm guns as the US only had the Atlanta- and Juneau-class cruisers (127 mm guns) as their biggest ships after the battleships.
USS Gambier Bay
The USS Gambier Bay was an escort carrier and is mainly known for her fate during the Battle of Leyte where she was sunk by gunfire. She has quite a lot of 20 mm and 40 mm guns but with only one 130 mm gun it can be difficult taking down twin-engined bombers. Thanks to her small size she's a bit harder to hit than the big fleet carriers.
The US also have a new airplane, the SB2C Helldiver. Although thought as replacement for the SBD Dauntless it was not as popular by the crews mainly due to difficult handling characteristics.
Battlefield 1942 is not a simulation so these things are not noticeable in the game, instead it's a great plane with a higher speed and bomb load than the SBD. A very nice detail is the complex retracting mechanism of the tail gunner's cockpit.
- The map has a very long view distance, to also be able to hit something the tracers have been modded to be visible over a great distance. A huge and new splash effect indicates to the player where the shell hit making it easier to calculate the next shot.
- Torpedoes are visible on the minimap to have a better chance of evading them.
- Explosion and burning effects are a real eye-candy for Battlefield 1942 standards and some ships even break in half and sink when destroyed!
- Destroyers can deploy a smoke screen which gives them a chance to escape from an unfavourable fight.