"Special" but not in that bad kind of "special"
way. by Cole
5 , 2005 - If
it weren't for the word "Battlefield" at
the front of this title, most gamers, including myself,
would probably pass on this game just because of the
generic title. How many games contain the phrase,
"Special Forces" in their title? It's so
overused that the word "special" now has
the same connotations as when it's placed in front
of the work "Olympics." Fortunately for
this game, the old-school definition of "special"
There are some stability issues with the game. It
suffers from excessive slowdown and occasionally it
will freeze. You will want to download the various
patches available online and you might want to check
into a different server if you're still having problems.
Otherwise it's a great expansion pack to an excellent
core game. Just be prepared to experience some trouble.
in Special Forces are more discreet and intense than
they were in the original sequel. These wars are fought
not by large armies but by squads of specially trained
infantry using the latest in weapons and military
technology. There is less focus on vehicles as most
of the skirmishes take place in closed urban environments.
Some of the battles take place at night utilizing
night-vision technology. Ranging from stealth missions
to full-blown assaults the dynamics of the gameplay
are sure to keep players glued to their screens to
see what happens next. Once you learn everything,
it's off to the online modes where you can have a
can choose from any of six different factions including
the Middle Eastern Coalition, Marines and of course
the Russians and British forces. There really isn't
much difference playing as either the good guy or
the bad guy. Although there are a few basic fundamental
differences, such as weapons, all of the factions
that are paired together are very equally matched.
Not all of the factions are equally matched however
and that's why you can't mix them in with different
maps. There are eight new maps, and while there are
a variety of locations including an airfield, space
port, island and aircraft carrier, you are guaranteed
to encounter and experience all of the different factions.
The only downside is that you're forced to play different
factions and you can't adopt one or two of your favorite
to take into the various battles.
the vehicles are downplayed, especially the tanks,
there are a few new ones available including a four-wheeler,
a converted truck, jet skis and a chopper. These vehicles
are used for transport and not necessarily as mobile
armored weapons. You can see that even with the new
gadgets there is some element of risk to using this
equipment which makes it more realistic. Grapples
allow you to climb buildings and reach rooftops that
are otherwise inaccessible but this is a slow process
and leaves you open to enemy fire should you be spotted.
The zip line is must faster but it requires that you
also remain in the open, often directly overhead of
new weapons such as the flashbang and the tear gas
grenade are in danger of being overused. Online you
can expect to see a lot of these things going off.
The tear gas grenade temporarily blinds you with a
thick cloud of smoke. It can be used for stealth operations
but only in instances where you can make a quick getaway
since all the enemy has to do is fire into the cloud.
A gas mask can be used to alleviate the effects of
the chemicals but it comes at the expense of stamina.
The flashbangs are not as devastating. Their effective
radius is smaller which means you have to hit an enemy
dead on. Aiming them precisely requires a lot of practice
and you have to make sure you time them well. Perhaps
I shouldn't mention this but a handful of them can
take a chopper out of the sky very efficiently. This
will result in a suicide score for the opposite team
unless you shoot at it while it's coming down.
will be fought on water, in the air and on the ground
where you will encounter a variety of terrain from
forest to burned out cities. The SEALS have night
maps which are challenging in more than a few ways.
You have to sneak around using night-vision goggles.
They bathe everything in a sickly green glow and since
they run on batteries they will eventually drain requiring
you to sit around and wait until they recharge. You
also won't be able to see when you come into a lighted
area since it amplifies light to such a degree that
it's blinding. You'll constantly be toggling them
on and off.
one mission you'll be playing as the Middle Eastern
Coalition where you will attempt to take over an aircraft
carrier from the American Navy SEALS. To say this
thing is huge would be an understatement. It's like
a damn airport, warehouse and shopping mall all built
into one. You can expect the same for all maps, as
they are also very large but it's easy to take them
for granted since you expect a city to be massive.
Something you might notice is that some of the buildings
and portions of the city are taken directly from Battlefield
2. If you don't notice, disregard that last sentence
- but now that you already know that, I don't know
how you're going to forget you know it.
single-player and multi-player modes share the same
maps, although you can only access six in the single-player
mode as opposed to eight in the multi-player. The
single-player mode uses AI characters in place of
human-controlled ones. The AI is a mixed bag with
bot of varying levels of intelligence. It only prepares
you for the online experience by familiarizing you
with the environments and getting some experience
with the weapons and vehicles. The chopper is a lot
more user-friendly this time around but as I mentioned,
it can be taken down quite easily if you're buzzing
around the enemy like an annoying mosquito.
expect much in the way of improved graphics or audio.
What you can expect is that the more stuff that appears
onscreen, the slower the framerate. To play this game
without bugs will require some work on your part.
If you're a fan of Battlefield 2 then you know it's
worth the effort. The load times can be horrendous
and even exiting the game can be a gut-wrenching experience
since the music continues to play and you may find
your PC unresponsive for a couple of minutes as the
game doesn't seem to want to let you go. Could be
a sign of desperation. Hopefully by the time you read
this most of the bugs will be worked out.
Elite Forces - Join the world's most elite and deadly
forces: SEAL, SAS, Russian Spetsnaz, MEC Special
Forces, Rebel, or Insurgent, each with its own arsenal
War Widens - Adapt your strategy to the terrain
as you vie for control of eight all-new locations.
Into Battle - Take control of a variety of new vehicles
including the Desert Raider, Combat ATV, Jet Ski,
and Apache Longbow.
of the Trade - Special Forces weapons and gadgets
include zip lines, grappling hooks, tear gas, and
Cover of Dark - Dynamic lighting and low light vision
bring stealth and tactics to the battlefield, allowing
you to hide in the dark or get the drop on enemies
with night vision goggles.
Your Environment - Capture key tactical points and
then use the new 'trigger system' to strategically
open and close gates, doors, and more.