|Battlefield 2 (2005) |
June 22, 2005
Battle Field 2
|by: squeegie ( July 05, 2005 )
Experience: 1 Week - 1 Month
- Superb Team oriented battle
|» Pros|| |
- Massive, realistic battle locations
- Immersive game play that feels authentic yet fun
- Brilliant implementation of a usable voice com
- Scalable graphics that look great on high end machines
- Well-balanced player classes that are all usable
- Good balance of vehicles: both in variety, function and amount
- Game playable on foot
- New commander class adds organisation and choice for squad leaders
- Great balance of realism and fun
- Very buggy multiplayer browser
|» Cons|| |
- No Friends list??
- Several menu problems: The games menu systems are all fairly sluggish to respond, key binding problems
- Questionable system with team killing
- Kicks or map changes require too many votes
- Random irregular buggy performance throughout the game
- Stats updates take too long
- Several stats servers are still suffering from unknown lag issues
- Game is especially resource heavy
- Unknown reason for some key bindings (J for talk?)
Battle Field 2 Modern Combat - You've played the two prequels, this latest instalment is bound to be more of the same? Perhaps a few tweaks here or there, new maps, a modern setting...
|» Review|| |
Well your right! Except your also wrong? Okay well I'm getting a little carried away here early on in the piece, but if you bear with me you'll come to understand what I'm trying to say.
First things first, if you like the other two, this is a no brain purchase. Get the game now, install it, play it for several hours. Call in sick, play it for an additional 3 hours and start drinking. Why? You'll probably find you won't be able to get up from the chair until your arse is unbearably numb, this is your body telling you it's time to move away from the computer and rehydrate. At this stage it's probably time to rejoin the real world and go back to work. It will be hard, but just remember the PC is going to be there when you get home. The game seriously is that fun, "Fun" being the operative word here. As mentioned in the cons list above, your going to run into a few unavoidable problems, this though will not thwart your efforts to quickly load the game back up again and jeep/tank/chopper or jet back into the action.
I think the main reason for this is because the game doesn't try to be more than what it is - a really huge multiplayer war experience. There's no convoluted story line (Splinter Cell did you say?), constant cut scenes or cheesy one-liners, it's pure multiplayer fun and it's done really well.
For anyone who's played the original, or Vietnam, you already know the basic run down. But for those virgins in the field let me run a quick tutorial.
Basically you load up the game, set your controls and jump into a server. Once in you pick your character class and then... Well this is where things start to get interesting.
Old veterans can start reading again, because you no longer just hop onto the map and find the nearest vehicle or place to camp. You join a squad!! Your probably wondering why I'm getting so excited about this, but it is easily the best implementation the boys from Dice have signed their name off on. Players can now join squads (If they so choose. Please so choose, much more fun this way) and run around with anyone else who is part of a squad.
You recognise squad members by their name being displayed in Green, opposed to blue for any other player on your side and red for the opposition. The great part about being in a squad is that your squad leader now becomes a mobile spawn point, and boy does this help keeping the team together. Squad members can now talk directly with each other through the implementation of VoIP - and it's done very well. I've found the only way to play this game is with a mic - forget typing or using the in game coms menu (it's useable when needed though).
Squad leaders also have an added advantage as they can talk directly with the commander. Ha? The commander. Yes, each side can now have a commander if a player applies for it. Commanders can run around just like anyone else, but also have access to a command map with several abilities including artillery strikes and scanning sweeps. Through communication with Squad leaders and the commander objectives can be set and information on the where abouts of the enemy can be communicated. All in all, this adds greatly to the team experience.
Squad leaders also have limited command map options requesting artillery strikes from the commander etc, and placing attack/defend/move points for their squad members to follow. It's implementation, while not perfect, does the job easily enough.
Once you've got your group of lads together in a cohesive "squad", you'll pick your class to spawn as. I'll leave the discovery of your favourite class up to you, but you've got your general array of soldier to pick from. Engineers to fix stuff (plenty of stuff) and drop mines, anti tank too anti tanks, special forces blow shit up etc. Each is balanced very well and it's really up to the individual to discover the ones they are most comfortable playing.
Using the squad menu, you can check out who's in the team and what class they are. It's not a bad idea to do a quick check of this every so often just to ensure the squad isn't filled with 4 medics (There's a maximum of 6 to a squad). It happens from time to time and doesn't make the team very adaptable - pick a class that everyone else hasn't.
As with the other games in the series, BF2 doesn't disappoint in the vehicle department. An armada of your usual automobiles is available, jeeps, APCs, tanks, jets and helicopters. I have to make a special mention of the buggy's because they are extra cool - You can rip up the turf with these baby's, flying along at great speeds with a fair amount of monuverability. The other really beneficial thing about being in a squad, is that if the squad leader happens to be in a vehicle and there are spare seats available you can spawn straight into what ever they are in. There are so many benefits of being in a squad I'll let you explore, but hopefully you get why I love this new feature so much.
The final thing going for this game can only be described in one word - FUN! If your thinking of some "F"ruit attached to an "U"mbrella sitting in a "N"est, the first conclusion you come to is FUN. This, to be technical, is FUNNER!
I know it's hard to believe that BF2 could compete with fruit and umbrellas in the above situation, but the game is just so damn entertaining. The amount of different things happening on a map at once words can't really do justice to. You've got so many little battles happening, planes flying over head dropping bombs, artillery strikes raining down around you as tanks quickly move out and soldiers diver for cover. Mid air collisions, choppers dropping in and squads capturing check points, it's a huge orchestra of war!
I don't know how EA and Dice have done this, but the balance between realism and fun is perfect. You seriously believe you’re in this really big battle, with realistic weapons and vehicles, but because it's not a simulator you can jump into any situation and have a certain confidence that you'll be able to do the job. I don't think I've been captured so much by a game since Half-Life or Quake - and I think this ones going to have the same lasting power as those classics.
Is it possible with all of the above praise for such a brilliant game that it could possibly have any note worth down sides? Hmm, hard to say it is.
This game is a bit of a weird one when delivering the condemnations, because the content of the game, its substance is delivered flawlessly. A good analogy would be road testing a well-built BMW. You love the car, you love sitting in it, you love being seen in it, it's responsive, it's got all the comforts and features you could dream of. Yet you test drive is on a road that has maintenance work being down half way through some of the fastest bends. You run into the occasional traffic jam, find after settling in for 10 minutes of great driving the fuel light comes on. This doesn't take away from the car at all, it's just the conditions the car is exposed to. The infrastructure around the car is failing, making the driver hastily find another route or filling up the tank. It's a pain, but it's worth it.
Battle Field 2 has these very same problems. The biggest easily is the multiplayer browser. For starters it's noticeably unresponsive. Occasionally to the point of frustration. After a couple of hours of game play you'll slowly get the jist of how to handle her, but you'll still notice the problems. Arranging servers by ping is an act of futility, unresponsive servers so conveniently get given a ping of 0! I don't know what bright spark came up with that idea, but it means you have to sift through hundreds of dead servers to eventually reach one you can play on.
For a game of its calibre it's very disappointing that they would leave the browser in this state? The game is purely multiplayer, this function is going to be used 99% of the time (except for those few who have the occasional single player game). A fundamental component should not be left in this shoddy manner.
Annnyway, lets move on. Key binding, everyone uses this, everyone complained last time about issues with rebinding keys that are already in use, Dice has done nothing. Yes, you can imagine the annoyance. If you choose to assign an action with a key that is already bound to another action, you must rebind the other action before making the change. Bad Dice!
Probably the third most controversial issue is Team killing. It's a hard one I admit, you've got to have a fair system in place. Some wanker decides to run wily nilly around the place running over friend and foe - you want him punished. But, on the other side of the coin, you don't want to get punished for an unavoidable mid air collision. I ran into a chopper yesterday, I got kicked from the server.
There is a system in place where everyone has the option of either forgiving or punishing a team killer. If not forgiven for about 5 team kills (could be more) you get kicked from the server. As in the case mentioned above, how I got kicked for running into a chopper, or did the chopper come up from behind a hill in front of me, is a hard one. I was going for a target, I wasn't being stupid and hadn't team killed anyone else. There's a mid air collision between a jet, and a chopper. Chopper is deemed the victim and I get kicked - tough one. The system isn't bad, but it's not brilliant.
There are a few other bugs that could be mentioned. The stats take a while (sometimes a few days) to update, no friends list, several servers suffer from lag issues for reasons unknown, a map change or request to get someone kicked takes like 75% of the players (this is often 45 votes - problem being that if an entire side of 32 wants one of their players kicked, they have to hope half of the opposition wants them kicked too. It doesn't happen.) and still J as talk? Yes, not super duper bad, but enough to annoy from time to time. And reduce my final score below 90.
88% - Why 88 you ask, because Battle Field 2 is Fruit, Umbrella's and Nests combined with a bit of extra spice. It's good, it's damn good! But the plate your eating off is cracked and doesn't match the décor' to well, so it's not perfect. Buy it now, play it for several hours and work through the little bugs you encounter. You will, trust me!
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