Battlefield 2

Review

posted 8/8/2005 by Charles Husemann
other articles by Charles Husemann
One Page Platforms: PC
My squad slowly sneakes into the village toward the capture point. We have already taken out the tank guarding the road. Thanks to the UAV in orbit around the village we are able to sneak up on the tank and plant a little C4 surprise for the driver and gunner without taking any casualties from the 12 ton behemoth. Sprinting across the street we take up position around the command point and wait for the flag to switch over to our team. We endure sporadic fire from some straggling MEC soldiers but it is quickly silenced by the squad. As soon as the flag is ours, we begin to heal each other and re-supply. In the distance, we hear the roar of distant thunder followed by a loud whistling noise. The squad leader can barely get out the words “INCOMING” before the artillery lands on our team. We try to sprint for cover but it’s too late. The opposing commander has placed the strike perfectly and wiped out our entire squad. “At least we captured the point and won’t have to walk all the way back” comes over the communications link. Fifteen seconds later the squad re-spawns at the point and we quickly make haste for the artillery guns that have so surreptitiously wiped us out.

Battlefield 1942 was a bit of a surprise hit a few years ago. It wasn’t the first game in the series but Swedish developer D.I.C.E. managed to develop a fantastic multiplayer online game that allowed you to do about everything you’d want to do in a war game. In addition to having six different infantry kits, you could fly fighter planes and bombers, drive tanks and jeeps, and man anti-aircraft guns and anti-ship batteries. It was far from perfect as the game was riddled with bugs (which were eventually ironed out after several patches). The single player mode was a complete joke and featured AI that seemed to have two settings, n00b and l33t with nothing in the middle.

About a year after the game was released, a mod called Desert Combat was released. Desert Combat updated the original game to include modern weapons and vehicles and it quickly became one of the more popular ways to play the game online. In what seemed like one of the feel good mod stories, the team behind the mod was hired by D.I.C.E. to work on an unnamed project. D.I.C.E then released Battlefield: Vietnam which was a solid title but also plagued by bugs and balance issues. It didn’t play as well as 1942 and, to be honest, I only logged about 10 to 15 hours of the game before shelving it for Unreal Tournament 2004.

I was anxious to get my hands on the game to see if the Trauma guys could really make Battlefield 2 as much fun as Desert Combat. After logging a ton of hours with the game, I’m happy to say that the play is exactly what I was looking for but, once again, the game is riddled with a host of bugs and small design issues.

The series has come a long way since I played my first round of Battlefield 1942 but, if you’ve played the previous games, you’ll still feel right at home. The object of the game is to reduce the others team’s tickets to zero. This is done by killing them or by controlling the majority of the control points on a map (which causes their tickets to slowly drain away). It’s a simple concept but what makes it interesting is the number of ways for you to play the game. Capturing a control point means standing next to the flag until the flag switches to your side. The more people you have around the flag the quicker it switches over. It’s a nice concept and helps to encourage some form of team work.
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