PC REVIEW: BATTLEFIELD 2: EURO FORCE

This download-only booster pack is worth sitting in a foxhole for. by Cole Smith

March 25, 2006 - Battlefield 2: Euro Force is not an expansion pack to Battlefield 2 but a booster pack that can only be purchased online. It adds new content while retaining the same gameplay formula without treading old ground.

New maps, new vehicles and a new army, the Europeans, have all been added. Compared to a regular expansion pack, the new content is a little thin but this is called a booster pack and it's sure to give Battlefield II's gameplay a boost. At less than ten bucks it's a lot cheaper than a night out at the movies, and it will last a hell of a lot longer. Servers are already incorporating these three new maps into the game which means that if you don't have this booster pack to act as an upgrade, you're going to have to find another server that doesn't use the new maps. While this is a great booster pack it doesn't set out to fix all of the main game's glitches. You'll experience some flaws, crashes, bugs and some new balance issues that favor specific classes.

The warring factions now include the U.S., China, the Middle Eastern Coalition and the European Army. Out of the three maps there is only one in which the Europeans can take on the Chinese. This is the Great Wall map which takes place in, on, and around the Great Wall of China. The Wall itself figures prominently into the game as it can be used as a barrier, vantage point and even as a form or urban combat when troops take to the interior of the walls. Troops can fight it out on top of the walls without worry about what's going on below. Inside the wall there are very few exits and entrances which makes for perfect places to plant mines.

Operation Smoke Screen takes place in the burning oil fields. The thick smoke obliterates sections of the map depending on wind conditions. This map is relatively big and really widens the scope of combat to include vehicles such as tanks, jeeps and aircraft. The Taraba Quarry is the most open of all maps but it takes place in a large canyon which teams can exploit for tactical advantages if they travel its perimeter. You can think of this map as a desert map where armored vehicles and aircraft rule. Infantry can still deal with armored vehicles by using anti-armor weapons which are very effective. Choppers can really turn the tide of battle by targeting the spawn points and firing continually at them. These attack helicopters are virtually impossible to shoot down with a machinegun and the antitank missiles are not available for use in this booster pack. Before you can get the chopper to show any signs of damage you'll be at the mercy of its cannons. This gives the choppers an unfair advantage over the infantry. I hope the developers patch the antiaircraft missiles back in.

Jet fighters are also virtually invulnerable. They can make mincemeat out of tanks. The only way to stop these hellions of the sky is to fight fire with fire. Let your infantry deal with the enemy's armored division on their own and send your pilots into dogfights with the enemy aircraft. Not only will this help to preserve some of your tanks but the aerial combat is cool to watch.

The Europeans bring new weapons to the game including the Benelli M4, HK 21 light machine gun, FAMAS, P90 rifles and the Super 90 shotgun. New vehicles include the Leopard 2A6 and Challenger 2 mini-battle tanks, the Tiger HAP attack chopper and the Typhoon T1 fighter. The weapons are a nice diversion and add some variety but there's not one weapon that is superior to anything found in the main game. Maybe you will prefer the Super 90 shotgun for it's destructive capabilities, but for my money, I want my hands wrapped around a machinegun. I don't even care which model.

The game suffers from occasional bugs such as automatically being labeled as Private upon entering the game. Then there's the red color-coded bug that display players in red instead of blue. I also experienced a crash in the second day of play. Talking to other players they said that was common. And speaking of speaking to other players, it's imperative that you team up with players that use microphones to communicate with each other instead of the keyboard. This game is fast-paced and it's a lot more convenient to keep your trigger finger on your firing mechanism than on the keyboard. You also won't find a buddy list online. If you want to keep track of your favorite players you're going to have to access a different program which is a pain in the butt since it should be standard issue in a game such as this.

From a production standpoint, the game is nearly flawless. The environments are rich, the character models are realistic and they display fluid animation. The weapons are very easy to control and they really pack a sonic punch.

Battlefield is definitely one of the best action games in the market. You can play it alone or with more than 60 other people online. It's intense and a lot of fun, yet you don't have to slog though repeat missions to level-up your character's attributes. There is literally hundreds of hour of gameplay here. The fact that many servers are now integrating these maps almost forces you to have to purchase this upgrade especially if you've found a favorite server and don't want to switch. You can expect more of these booster packs in the future in an attempt to get you to spend more money. But if all of them provide this amount of content for less than ten bucks, then it's money well spent.

Features:

  • The battle expands in this first booster pack to 2005's hit game Battlefield 2™. Take the powerful new Euro Force into action as you battle for control of all-new Asian locations.
  • The all-new Euro Force Army, with a full arsenal of the latest technology.
  • 3 new maps, from battles in the Taraba Quarry and Operation Smoke Screen to close-quarters mayhem around the Great Wall of China.
  • 4 new vehicles including the Leopard battle tank, Eurofighter Typhoon, and Tiger attack chopper.
  • 7 new weapons including FAMAS and P90 rifles.

By Cole Smith
CCC Senior Writer

Rating out of 5
Battlefield 2: Euro Force (PC)
4.3
Graphics
Using the same Battlefield II engine, what could be wrong?
4.2
Control
Basically the controls work fine but the unfair advantages of the aircraft class diminish the abilities of the infantry rendering them virtually impotent on two of three maps.
4.3
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The sound effects are sharp and clear but the whine of the aircraft are beginning to get on my nerves.
4.5
Play Value
Expect lots of replay value from the single and multi-player modes. The gameplay is incredibly addicting.
4.2
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
System: PC (original box shown)
Dev: Digital Illusions
Pub: EA
Release: Mar 2006
Players: 1 - multi online
Review by Cole

Review Rating Legend
1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor
2.5 - 2.9 = Average
3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
3.5 - 3.9 = Good
4.0 - 4.4 = Great
4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
5.0 = The Best