PC REVIEW: BATTLEFIELD 2

I've only played this game for a few days and I've barely scratched the surface. What I've encountered so far is one of the best persistent online action games that I've ever played. I'll be playing this game long after I've completed the review.

Battlefield 2 is a very ambitious project that succeeds in virtually every level. You can play with up to 64 people and have access to more than 30 vehicles such as tanks, jeeps, choppers and jets. The situations are realistic yet you don't need a pilot's license to operate a helicopter. Modern warfare weapons are included in this version and depending on what class of soldier that you choose you will have greater control over class-specific weapons and vehicles.

Classes include sniper, assault, special ops, engineer, medic and anti aircraft. They are all upgradeable. An incredible stat system keeps tabs on just about everything you do including the number of kills, favourite weapons, medals awarded and missions accomplished. Ultimately you could rise to the rank or squad leader or commander. The inclusion of real-time voice chat is the single most important addition to this series. The ability to communicate directly adds another dimension to this game. You'll wonder how you ever did without it.

With 64 players all chatting at the same time you can only imagine the cacophony. Fortunately you can divide your group into several smaller squads that can only communicate within that unit. The squad leader will also have direct contact with the omnipotent commander whom oversees the entire mission. The commander has the most responsibility. He's not necessarily the best player but he's one of the most important. He's got to scan the map for enemies and then issue orders that best neutralize the threat. It's the others' job to carry those orders out and win the battle.

All of the commander's work will be for not if you don't have a fully cooperative team on your side. For this reason the game contains a buddy list so that you can always keep track of your favourite players. If you have a killer in your midst, (some loser that shoots at his own teammates) you can have him or her kicked off the server. All players must register when they choose a side (American, Chinese or a Middle East Coalition) and class. This not only allows the server to keep track of your stats and status but it also keeps track of unscrupulous players and can bar them from the game.

Map locations and sizes vary. The more players on a map the bigger it is. You can enter games with 16, 32 or 64 players. You'll fight in areas all around the world, in locations that range from city streets to the great outdoors where you'll encounter mountains, forests, swamps, valleys, rivers and plains. There is an extraordinary amount of detail to these environments - and they are totally destructible. It's possible to use parts of the environment for cover but if the enemy is aiming some huge artillery in your direction you may no be safe for long.

Tanks and aircraft can really do some damage to the enemy. Tanks can shoot smoke bombs which can confuse incoming missiles while choppers and fighter planes can launch guided missiles. Anti tank and anti aircraft units are at the ready to defend against these attacks.

Collecting medals for a job well done can get addicting. It even makes supporting roles such as medics and engineers more exciting. With so much intense action taking place the supporting roles are more important than ever. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of war and want to see your team win. By healing players, repairing vehicles and weapons and blowing up key installation and bridges you realize these roles are integral to your team's success.

If multi-player isn't your main interest the single player mode has been improved significantly with much more intelligent bots. Both the enemy and your teammates act with more savvy. They are aggressive and will also take measures to protect themselves from attacks. There are some pathfinding issues that get them confused when the map becomes too complex.

With tons of detail from the destructible environments to the animated mechanized gears on background machinery you're going to need a fairly robust computer with a new 3D card if you want to see everything. The animation is smooth and the sound effects are top shelf. Bullets whiz by, explosions echo in the valley and the screams of the enemy play like a sadistic symphony across the bloody fields. War has never been this much fun.

Preview By Chris

Battlefield 2 could be called the official sequel to the popular series even though 3 other games were released since the first game Battlefield 1942. It looks like EA along with Digital Illusions are pushing the envelope with this one. The game will be set in modern day times. Of course this means the war in the Middle East and the Far East. Along with the new time line it seems they are also adding a ton of new features. It looks like this one may feature the largest online mode with up to 100 players on certain maps. Fans of the series will also see a new "Hud" system and other enhancements in the game.

War games have always been huge sellers on the PC. Now it looks like gamers will get more freedom to do things they were never before able to in a game like this. Gamers can actually jump into moving vehicles take them over and use it against their enemies. New vehicles and new classes will also be added. Graphically the game looks good so far and the sound effects have really impressed those who have seen this one in action. The overall controls have been tweaked and made easier to use. It also will be easier to give orders or assignments to your team. Gamers will have to unlock certain weapons for the first time in Battlefield 2. It was not an issue of making the game more balanced it was just an option they decided to go with. The maps size this will determine how many players will be allowed to play. Some maps will only allow 32 players while others will allow 100 players.

All of these enhancements will certainly make the game more appealing for those who enjoy playing online with a lot of people. Even with a hundred players the game will play smooth. Orders and assignments will be easy to give and see. However, it will test gamer's abilities to play as a team. We will have more on this massive new war game as soon as we can. For now take a look at the screen shots of what could be the next big war title for the PC.

Features:

  • Online multiplayer action with 100+ players on the PC.
  • All-new gameplay engine brings the immense locations to life complete with realistic physics and dynamic lighting.
  • Maps scale to the number of players engaging in battle for a unique and intense experience every time.
  • Take control of over 30 land, sea, and air vehicles, including tanks, helicopters, hovercraft, fast attack vehicles, and fighter jets.
  • Choose to battle as U.S., Chinese, or Middle East Coalition troops, each with their own unique arsenals.
  • A variety of solider classes to choose from, including Assault, Sniper, Special Ops, Combat Engineer, and Anti-tank units.
  • Join a squad or select the new Commander Mode to assume the strategic role of a battlefield commander directing his forces.
  • New state-of-the-art weapon systems, including heat seeking missiles and laser designated bombs.
  • Material penetration feature makes sure players know the difference between cover and concealment.
  • Character Persistence and Growth. With in-game success, players increase their rank and unlock awards, including new weapons, vehicle decals, medals and more.
  • Earn ranks ranging from Recruit all the way to General.
  • Full in-game community support including, buddy lists, stat tracking, live chat rooms, and in-game clan creation.
  • Voice-over IP (VOIP) supported.

Press:

The award-winning Battlefield franchise invades the high tech frontlines of modern warfare in the new sequel, Battlefield 2. The game brings the intensity and excitement of Battlefield 1942 into the modern era with enhanced team play and the latest, most technologically advanced vehicles and weapons systems available to man. An all-new game engine and physics system brings the modern battlefield to life like never before. Armed with the latest modern weaponry, players can take control of any of the game's 30+ vehicles to engage in major conflicts with over 100 players in some of the largest online battles on the PC.

 

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System: PC, X
Dev: LucasArts
Pub: LucasArts
Release: June 2005
Players: 1 - 64
Review By Cole
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
4.5
GRAPHICS
4.5
CONTROL
4.0
MUSIC/FX
5.0
VALUE
4.5