Battlefield 2

by Wencke Schuncken
author awarded score: 80/100

Battlefield 2 Review
Published By: Electronic Arts
Developed By: Digital Illusions
Format Reviewed: PC
Review by: Wencke Schuncken

“you’re in the army now, oh oh, You’re in the army….now”. Status Quo sang this song in 1993 and twelve years later Electronic Arts gives the gamer the real virtual feeling of being in the army. Are you prepared to join a squad as a commando, medic, engineer, sniper or join to give as much as support as possible? The army has a suitable job for everyone. Team up and go go go! Welcome to duty!

Battlefield 2 is the third edition in the battlefield series after battlefield 1942 and Battlefield: Vietnam. Personally I loved Vietnam, mainly because of the music and not particularly because of the gameplay. It was fun to jump onto a jeep and turning on the radio, driving around as if you were in some kind of vacation resort. Battlefield 2 is a lot more serious and team work is now an essential part of conquering as many of the enemies' flags to win the battle. Besides your team buddies you’ve got heavy tanks, tactical fighters, assault carriers and so on to get the job done. Three factions take part in a modern warfare; the US, the fictional Middle East Coalition and the People’s Liberation Army of China. The question is, which one are you going to join?

Battlefield 2 Review

Recruit for duty
As soon as the game is installed, you need to create an account which stores all your data online. After that it’s action time. The first thing you notice is the battlefield headquarter where you can retrieve your statistics such as performance, earned medals but you also can see how you’re world ranking is in the leader board. That’s something for the hardcore gamers, fighting to get into the top ten list, becoming the best ranked soldier. If your ranking increases, more and better weapons become available. The sniper for example is in the beginning not that effective and you have to shoot several times to kill an enemy, but as your skills / rank increase you can unlock a second sniper gun which is more effective. Besides a sniper, you also can become a commander, a special force soldier, an assault soldier, a medic, an engineer or join as an anti tank member.

Maps / Graphics
Battlefield 2 offers twelve maps and each is good to provide action pleasure for 16, 32 or 64 players in total. The map adapts to the number of players, for example if there are only sixteen players, the map is rather small with not too many flags to conquer and don’t expect any airplanes as the map is simply too small. But the 64 players maps are huge and contain more flags to conquer and of course more vehicles are available to overlap the distances. The maps are richly detailed with destructible environments, never experienced before. My favorite map is the very detailed Kubra Dam with its mountain landscapes, the dried out dam, the camps and so on. Simply amazing. Most of the maps are located in the deserts but there are also maps which contain the swamps of China. The graphics really are improved and brings the immense locations to life complete with realistic physics and dynamic lighting. Well done!

Battlefield 2 Review

Single player
In the single player mode you play in a squad with A.I. soldiers in 16-players maps to conquer all of the enemies’ flags, and this time the A.I. really works fine. No more soldiers who are just sitting in a jeep, simply doing nothing (very frustrating). Oh no, whenever you need a pick-up you can request it and another team soldier is stops right besides you to pick you up. Also team mates stick more together this time to avoid of giving the enemy the chance to shoot your mates one after another. I must admit that that the A.I. works very well until you become a commander who wants to give orders to the soldiers. The problem is not the commanding, but the soldiers won’t listen to me, accepting and following my orders. Come on, I’m not that bad in giving commands so what is the problem? Maybe it was simply to time to switch over to the multiplayer mode.

The multiplayer mode is the main reason why I ordered Battlefield 2, to play online together with friends or other war game fanatics. Single player mode to me was just a practice before going in “the real battles”. As mentioned before the main game goal is to conquer the enemy flags. After gaining all of them it's game over and you can view the statistics but soon after it all starts again either with a new map or the same map again, depending on how the server is programmed. There are two teams who try to conquer the opponents' flags and there's also the possibility to form or join a squad team. The main benefit of joining a squad is that it has its own squad leader and if you die in the battlefield, you're automatically re-spawn right beside him/her. But note that the squad leader is lower ranked as the commander and the squad leader has to obey the commanders' orders. Anyway either commander or squad mode is very suitable for clans or bunch of friends who often play together. But on the public servers it's kind of saving your own butt as it is very hard to motivate people to work together. How many times didn't I scream for help, to pick me up from a certain spot, but no one came. Or when you're running towards a jeep to jump in and another soldier is quicker and drives away without waiting for you. It's a tough life sometimes…but the joy really increases when the gamers team up and work to fulfil their common goal: conquering the enemies' flags.

Battlefield 2 Review

The controls are quite simple, especially when you already have some battlefield experience. The WASD keys on your keyboard are the most common keys to use during the game, but it's another story when you're trying to steer a helicopter or any other airplane. It's very difficult especially when you only use the keyboard and mouse. If you do have the option to use a joystick, use it! It will make life much easier and pleasurable. If you're not satisfied with the standard controls, you're always free to change them. A big change is the possibility to run for a certain time (decreases the energy level which needs to refill again, before you can run off again). The running is easy to activate, just double click on the W-key and off you go. Another new feature is that you can talk via microphone with your team mates, again with a single click on a key. Don't forget to say "over" when you're said your message.

“Welcome to duty” is one of the first things you hear when you start the game. The intro music isn’t quite spectacular, rather boring. Simple tunes combines with samples of talking soldiers. While loading a map or searching for a server there are a couple of tunes to listen to, but they also get disturbed, gets a little bit crunchy as if my PC cannot handle loading data and playing tunes at the same time. In the game itself, there’s no music at all. You only hear the sounds of the environment: shooting machineguns, exploding tanks, low flying jets and of course your team mates. They warn you if they have spotted the enemy, need back up or medical help. Not only are they saying it but the text will also be displayed on screen. If you have hearing disabilities it’s recommendable not to join a server which has the possibility to communicate via microphone with other online gamers.

Battlefield 2 Review

Female point of view
You can scream for a nurse when you need medical support, but no nice female nurse in a white short is going to help you. Also don't expect to see a female soldier visualized on screen. Forget it! Battlefield 2 is a visualized men's world. But not strictly for men to play, oh no. There are lots of female gamers who love shooters and were patiently waiting on a new battlefield sequel. Also there are lots of girls who play in clan format and binding strengths to achieve the clans goal: victory! And as you can drive in several tanks, jeeps and so on, the old statement that girls can’t drive is again untrue. I played with some girls online and some definitely drove better than some male soldiers who were driving fast, but without taken notice of the environment and the enemy. Ah well, there are always exceptions.

Battlefield 2 is a great war shooter game, especially for gamer who like to battle online. If you don’t like to play online or are just not capable of playing online, you easily get bored. The single player game is just too easy and there aren’t enough maps available to keep you a happy gamer for many hours. Nope, it’s all about online entertainment. Ideally for clans or friends to combine their strengths, join as one squad, communicate via microphone, battle for life and go for the victory. As a lone ranger it can be pretty tough to play with strangers, without certain team tactics. But there are enough servers available to choose from, so if one isn’t working out for you, just switch to another server to check what kind of gamers there are. This brings me though to a very big minus aspect of the game, as the server loading times are very long! You’ll need to have some patience as it can take up to a couple of minutes! As an impatient gamer, the rating for battlefield 2 went a little bit down to an eight. Over and out!