By guest reviewer: Sie
In recent years gamers have been swamped by war-based games, so much so that it's difficult to tell one from the other. Battlefield 2 is the latest instalment of the popular franchise, and is yet another addition to this overcrowded genre - but does it do enough to stand out?
Veterans of previous Battlefield titles will feel at home with this new offering from DICE/EA as the premise of this game is pretty much the same as its predecessors. Players are thrown into a team based sandbox experience with their goal to capture control points in order to choke the opposing army's resources. To aid their objective a variety of vehicles such as jeeps, boats, tanks, helicopters and fighter jets are provided. A simple premise but one that opens the floodgates to some of the greatest gaming moments you're likely to experience for some time.
The game features a total of 12 maps, all of which come in three flavours based on player numbers. Whilst 16 player variations offer close combat action, 64 player variations provide the full blown Battlefield 2 experience with the remaining 32 player variations serving up a mixture of both.
Unfortunately the single player aspect of the game only features the 16 player variations and it's no secret that Battlefield 2 is clearly aimed at online gamers, but the included single player aspect feels like it only exists to make the game more marketable. Granted it has some fantastic AI controlled bots but they're no match for the cunning actions that you'd get from a human opponent.
Action is set on the modern day battlefield and with that comes an assortment of new gameplay enhancements, the biggest of which being the new squad system - players can now assign themselves into a squad and take part in co-ordinated manoeuvres governed by their leader, all aided beautifully by Battlefield 2's in-built VoIP functionality.
Additionally, a player per army can be assigned commander and it is their job to govern the entire battlefield, with everything from calling in artillery strikes to re-supplying troops and tracking the enemy. This newly introduced chain of command makes playing Battlefield 2 online an experience unmatched by any of its competition and when it all clicks, the sense of camaraderie is something special.
As with all online games, the people who play it ultimately make or break the experience. The original Battlefield 1942 was rife with selfish players and as a result, the game frequently suffered. DICE have seen fit to implement various deterrents to counter this behaviour, the most obvious being the new punishment system - should a player on your team kill you deliberately, you have the chance to punish them which depletes their score and if they receive too many punishments they are kicked from the game.
Visually the game is gorgeous and makes its predecessors look decidedly ugly in comparison. Wonderfully realistic water, rich textures and gigantic maps are all here but it comes at the cost of some serious processing power. An impressive soundtrack accompanies the action as you're dropped right into the middle of the battle, both thrilling and harrowing you in equal measure.
However, the real star of the show is the fantastic gameplay and it's here where the magic of EA's Battlefield 2 is most obvious, and anyone with broadband and a high-spec PC that can run the game should not hesitate in picking up a copy and joining the fight. Quite simply Battlefield 2 is an un-missable title.Overall score: 9 out of 10
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Recommended Price: £39.99
Available: NowBuy Battlefield 2 for the PC from Amazon