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Review: Battlefield 2

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the like-the-army-but-with-less-work dept.

First Person Shooters (Games) 565

PC Gaming has been getting a lot of flak lately. As the consoles edge ever more into what has traditionally been PC space developers will have to take steps to re-imagine what makes PC Gaming special. Battlefield 2 is a title that hard-core enthusiasts can point to if they want a great example of what separates console gaming from PC gaming. Pitched, high tension battles fought street to street and house-to-house are experiences that consoles just can't offer up yet. Read on for my impressions of Battlefield 1942's sibling.

  • Title: Battlefield 2
  • Developer: Digital Illusions
  • Publisher: Electronic Arts
  • System: PC (only)
  • Reviewer: Zonk
  • Score: 8
Battlefield 1942 has been one of the most popular First Person Shooters on the market since it was released three years ago. The solid graphics and wide open gameplay field of that title ensured that it was regularly in the mix with Counter-Strike and Unreal Tournament on lists of most played online titles. Combining the vehicular combat of Tribes and the team play of Halo, wrapped up inside a WWII packaging that had yet to lose its luster, Digital Illusions scored a sales coup. Their latest title, Battlefield 2, takes place in the near future. Instead of a historical setting, modern weaponry and level design is the order of the day. Helicopters, Jet Fighters, and sidearms familiar to anyone who has watched CNN make the battlefield an exciting place to be. CNN coverage, in fact, was likely an inspiration for the developers during the game's creation. The game pits American forces against vaguely terrorist middle-eastern stereotypes, in a topical tie-in to today's headlines.

So how do you improve on an already great title? The sequel to Battlefield 1942 and Battlefield Vietnam stays very close to the source material. So close, in fact, that it's hard to point to any fundamental change in the gameplay mechanics. The changes, instead, are quality of life improvements. The game's engine allows for lagless infantry combat and accurate vehicular strikes. A fantastic audio environment places you directly in the action, raising the heart rate as bullets whiz by your head. Graphical improvements allow for a beautiful setting to slay your enemies, and tight level design makes for surprisingly tense house-to-house fighting. Stripping away options in favor of enjoyment, BF2 only ships with the Conquest game type, which pits armies of varying size against each other in a bid to control a set of nodes scattered across a map. Though there aren't that many maps each of them scales from 16 to 64 players. This allows for each map to evoke a different feel, from squad on squad to army vs. army, depending on the battle's size.

The additions they've made to the Battlefield series instead changes the framework of the tried and true gameplay they're offering up. Players have several different kits they can outfit themselves with, as in the original titles, but new kits such as the special forces soldier add in some variety. Support characters, like medics and engineers, can also increase their effectiveness by entering vehicles. These vehicles become mobile support bases, with medics inside vehicles healing fellow players that stand near the unit. Players can form themselves into small squads, each of which has a dedicated voice chat channel. Squad leaders can issue orders via a push-button system or voice, and have their group act in unison. The squads on a particular side are in turn directed by a commander. The commander of a side has a very different perspective on the game, a top down map interface giving him a birds-eye view of the proceedings. The commander has several tools at his disposal, including a kind of enemy detecting radar and the ability to call down artillery strikes. When the entire system is working in unison, players acting in concert within their squads and in league with other units directed by a commander, the experience is something akin to poetry in motion.

Unfortunately, that frission of so many different players working together rarely happens. While gamers have adopted voice chat for everything from Massive games to UT Tourneys, they generally do so with people they already know. In playing online, very few individuals seemed willing to make their voices heard to strangers. The in-game text commands are easy to access and informative, but they're still no match up for a quickly uttered statement. While cohesion within squads does seem to be generally good, as there are only a few people to coordinate, the level of effectiveness is entirely dictated by the squad leader. One suicidal or absent-minded guy at the reins can meant that you and your comrades are in for one messy death after another. In the overall picture, the commander's role ends up less utilized than it could be. Armchair generals abound in the FPS world, but in practice few are anything approaching a virtual Colin Powell. The experiences I've had lead me to believe that overwhelming force will almost always win the day. Beyond the game itself, the frustration involved in getting into combat is often off-putting. It may seem like picking nits, but the glacial slowness and murky obscurity of the server browser is extremely frustrating to have to deal with when compared to the user interfaces offered by other games.

Battlefield 2, then, is an extremely competent first person shooter with a strong pedigree and a vision to improve the way in which the genre is played. It is hampered by the vagaries of online play with strangers, poor user interface decisions. On top of these issues, bugs have been a problem since the game was released. Numerous patches, some even more devastating than the bugs they were meant to fix, have not endeared the game to players. Despite all these problems, when a group of players clicks in a Battlefield 2 game it is unlike any other team-based FPS on the market. Fans of the previous games will be happy to get back into the game they love, no questions asked. Veteran FPS players should definitely consider picking up a copy, as it's highly likely that you're going to run across this title at your next LAN party ... but you'll probably want to save it for LAN parties. Players new to the PC FPS experience will find things to enjoy here, but may be intimidated by the amount of knowledge the game assumes on the part of the player. Overall, while not a disappointment, Battlefield 2 falls short of a dramatic reprisal of the Battlefield series.

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Frost Pist (-1, Offtopic)

spacemky (236551) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115409)

ahhhhhh bf2 blew me up!

Re:Frost Pist (-1, Offtopic)

spacemky (236551) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115475)

holy crap! forgot to check anonymous.

numerous patches?? (2, Insightful)

Capt. Caneyebus (883802) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115410)

umm when has 2 patches been numerous? Aside from no favorites list this game is great. it is all 1942 is and more.

Re:numerous patches?? (1)

drpimp (900837) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115482)

Well when you have 2 patches in the first 2 weeks with still outstanding issues, gamers tend to get pissed. Myself included.

I love this game, don't get me wrong. But a patch every few months is not as bad as every week.

I am still waiting for the Map creator they are telling us they will release. Not holding my breath.

Re:numerous patches?? (1)

TobyWong (168498) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115522)

2 patches in first 2 weeks?

Exaggerate much? It's been a hell of a lot longer than 2 weeks.

Hell people were begging for a patch for quite a while after release and EA/Dice were playing it tight lipped.

Re:numerous patches?? (1)

drpimp (900837) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115553)

Ok. Exaggerated a little. And yes I was begging to, but you figure, they spend enough time developing and testing (2000 beta testers), the way it was out of the box, it was almost still beta status.

Re:numerous patches?? (1)

TobyWong (168498) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115604)

That's EA for you...

Any time I pick up a new EA game I just assume it's a beta product.

Re:numerous patches?? (1)

sp3tt (856121) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115736)

Server browser laggy, pisses me off somewhat.
What pisses me off even more is that the game has to "verify client data" everytime a map is loaded. I have no idea what that means, but judging from the speed of it, I think it is running the entire game through md5. Horrible loading times.

Re:numerous patches?? (1)

sosume (680416) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115622)

The game is really great but.. veryy very unstable.

I need to restart the game every time i host a multiplayer game, for instance. Then there are there frequent crashes to the desktop. Or the sudden extreme lags (on very recent GFX cards). And before you start screaming that I should patch my windows box: everyone in our 'clan' has the same trobles and we all have the original game (no warez bugs).

The first patch had huge memory leaks and was quickly retracted. The second patch came weeks after but hasn't changed the stability issue for me. And getting tech support from EA? Impossible.

But its still a great game, though.

Re:numerous patches?? (1)

Capt. Caneyebus (883802) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115660)

The game works great for me, havent really had any bugs, or crashes.

But it *is* a console game! (4, Interesting)

Gavin Scott (15916) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115413)

It amazes me that people keep suggesting that BF2 is this great example of what makes PC gaming better than console gaming.

I am a PC gamer and while I own most of the consoles, I never turn them on because I prefer the PC experience and my high-resolution cutting-edge graphics to playing on a "tee vee".

But Battlefield 2 was clearly designed from day one TO BE A CONSOLE GAME! Just look at the user interface. It's designed to be operated by a console-style game controller without any need for a keyboard, mouse, or any of the rest of the PC user interface.

The primary communication interface consists of a button-triggered popup menu of canned messages, and keyboard-based chat looks like an afterthought.

The user experience for this game will be identical in its console ports, and not because the consoles will be made to behave like PCs, but because the designers of this game went to a fair amount of trouble to make the PC behave just like a console.

The game may look better on today's PCs when compared to today's consoles, but this is simply due to the more modern (and several times more expensive) hardware in a current gaming PC. There may be other reasons why PC gaming is better than console gaming, but BF2 presents no examples (that I can see) of why this might be the case.

BF2 *is* a great game though, and is the first game of its type that actually convinced me to buy it.

G.

Re:But it *is* a console game! (2, Insightful)

creativity (885623) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115491)

I agree, BF2 is nothing compared Medal of Honor Allied Assault or Pacific Front. For that matter if you want to know what a real PC game is I would look at Diablo II.

Re:But it *is* a console game! (1)

TheViffer (128272) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115564)

what a real PC game is I would look at Diablo II

Buggy, exploitable, virtual items sellable on Ebay, rampant pking, and no longer supported by the creating company?

Even so, I do know where you are coming from. How many times should the "best game of the year" be nothing more then the "best game of last year" with a new paint job.

Re:But it *is* a console game! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13115693)

You're speaking of Diablo II as if it is just an online game. But taken as just a local network or single player game, it is fantastic, and the problems you mention dissapear.

Re:But it *is* a console game! (5, Funny)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115517)

I am a PC gamer and while I own most of the consoles, I never turn them on because I prefer the PC experience and my high-resolution cutting-edge graphics to playing on a "tee vee".

Wow, you are a savvy customer.

Re:But it *is* a console game! (1)

DeathFlame (839265) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115518)

I think the 'rose style' canned message system is better than the original use of the f-keys (1942 and vietnam), if only because it leaves my hands in the postion they need to be in to move, run, jump, strafe, etc. While using the f-keys means moving the hand away the keyboard...

OR...! (3, Insightful)

quakeroatz (242632) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115519)

PC Game makers are trying to lure in more of the console crowd?

"but this is simply due to the more modern (and several times more expensive) hardware in a current gaming PC. "

One word. Monitor.

Computers are not turning into consoles. Consoles are turning into computers.

Re:But it *is* a console game! (1)

ribo-bailey (724061) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115586)

hmm I believe the 'canned messages' is for people who don't want to / can't use the VoIP feature.

And how is the keyboard chat an 'afterthought'? Press a button, type, press enter; this seems pretty standard...

As far as not presenting any examples for PC over console; (Whatever that really means...) I still think playing an FPS game with a gamepad is just silly.

Re:But it *is* a console game! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13115593)

Maybe because if you could play against a PC player it would kick your ass with the PC controller (mouse and keyboard). Also, it's kind of unusual a lpb's lan with 20 or more consoles playing togheter in the same map.

What's up with buggy games lately? (1)

IcyNeko (891749) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115691)

Need I remind everyone of KNIGHTS OF TEH OLD REPUBLIC 2? Whose graphics and gameplay failures were so bad it prompted me to make this webcomic [nekobox.org] for my friend..
Indeed, it is dark times.

Re:But it *is* a console game! (1)

Donniedarkness (895066) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115709)

While I agree that the interface looks very much like it was designed to be a console game, we've already seen in Star Wars: Battlefield that this kind of gameplay cannot be achieved on a console.

In Battlefront, the enemy AI is dumb as dirt, The controls feel...wrong, the graphics are mediocre AT BEST, and you could tell that, had it been made for a machine with more power than an X-Box, it could have been a decent game.

But seeing as how BF2 has great AI, beautiful graphics, etc., I disapprove of it being called a "console game".

haha (-1, Flamebait)

magicchex (898936) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115414)

first post?

FP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13115415)

God bless tyhe radio people making the mioney.

BF2 sucks (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13115427)

My video card isn't _that_ old. I have no trouble playing everything from ... WoW, Doom 3, Half-life 2, etc.

However, this damn game wont even work. $50 down the tube, cuz they won't accept the return.

Re:BF2 sucks (1)

Ubergrendle (531719) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115597)

I'm using a 9700pro which is a 2 1/2 year old card. Its one generation, soon to be two generations, behind in terms of graphics chipset.

I get 50+ FPS playing at 1024x768 with all settings set to medium. As with most people who complain a game sucks because it doesnt' work on their hardware, you probably have a system tweaking issue or are running 3+ year old equipment. BF2 is made to sell as a popular game for 18-24 months. Its designed to have eye-candy that will appeal to an NVidia 7800 user, not a Voodoo3 user.

That said, most users find it necessary to have 1gb RAM due to the heavy caching of textures. Its seems to be the consensus on best bang-for-buck h/w upgrade to improve performance.

Re:BF2 sucks (1)

RonnyJ (651856) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115728)

Just to clarify this, BF2 requires at least a NVidia GeforceFX card, or an ATi Radeon 8500 card.

This mainly means that people with Geforce4 cards (quite a lot of people) are unable to play BF2.

Re:BF2 sucks (1)

kabloie (4638) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115733)

Dittos here. The game simply won't play, patches or no.

My Experience (1)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115431)

BF2 is a fun game which bears a striking resemblance in feel to Star Wars battle front.

It is nice, that in this game, a sniper can actually do his thing and there is a chance (but not a 100% gaurantee) if the enemies noticing you the moment you poke your head out of the building.

Great game...keep up the good job!

Side note (1)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115471)

Another poster brought up something I forgot to mention. The controls have much to be desired. There are so many different control types, you can easily spend 20-30 minutes setting up just SOME of them. That and changing them is difficult. I would get a message telling me the desired control key is utilized in another section - but not which part of the section. I have the basics setup - but just barely.

Re:My Experience (2, Insightful)

DeathFlame (839265) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115544)

I believe you're making the Battlefront creators seem like the ones innovating.

BF2 is like BF 1942.

SW Battlefront is like BF 1942.

Re:My Experience (1)

Donniedarkness (895066) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115636)

Very true. As a matter of fact, SW: Battlefront was BUILT off of BF 1942's engine. EA licensed it to them.

"frission" (1, Flamebait)

mnemonic_ (164550) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115436)

From the review:

Unfortunately, that frission of so many different players working together rarely happens.

From http://www.m-w.com/ [m-w.com] :

The word you've entered isn't in the dictionary.

Re:"frission" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13115488)

It baffels me how one can believe "friction" is spelled like that.
It doesn't even sound like the word...

Re:"frission" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13115526)

It's a French word [larissaione.com] .

OB Simpsons: (2, Funny)

IInventedTheInternet (818590) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115550)

It's a perfectly cromulent word!

Re:"frission" (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115559)

"frisson" is French, meaning a surge of excited fear.

Re:"frission" (1)

33degrees (683256) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115723)

a more accurate (and literal) translation would be 'shiver', as in sending a shiver down your spine.

Re:"frission" (1)

zev1983 (792397) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115653)

It looks like a combination of fusion, fission and friction... I can only speculate.

PC Gaming... (2, Insightful)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115439)

PC Gaming excels at strategy games. Games like Battlefield 2 can easily be done on consoles, while a game like Civilization or even Warcraft are much more difficult (yes, I know they've made warcraft for consoles, but it basically sucks).

The problem is not the console itself, but the control mechanism. Joysticks (or pads) suck for strategy games.

Re:PC Gaming... (1)

mnemonic_ (164550) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115514)

I'd like to see a console gamer take out a PC mouse-user with his analog stick.

Re:PC Gaming... (1)

TobyWong (168498) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115575)

Not nearly as much as they suck for FPS games.

Re:PC Gaming... (2, Insightful)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115588)

Well, aiming is a limitation. Consoles lack pointing devices, which keeps them both out of strat and fps titles. The fps console titles have compensated by being lethargicly slow, or providing heavy auto-aim, in comparison to their PC counterparts. Remember the complaints about the sluggish pace in the PC port of Halo? That's because that's as fast as you can aim with a gamepad.

BF2 can work on both because vehicles work fine with analog sticks, and BF2 infantry aren't as blazingly fast as, say, ut2k4 infantry.

Re:PC Gaming... (3, Insightful)

daniel.figueira (901323) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115591)

Which brings me to my most important discovery.

Why do strategy games suck on consoles?
- Mouse.

Okay, then why not use a "console mouse"?
- It's difficult to use a mouse when you're not in a 90 degree angle (siting on a chair with a table in front of you).

In conclusion, strategy games suck on consoles because it sucks to use a mouse while lying down on the couch.

One of my Favorite Changes.. (5, Informative)

th1ckasabr1ck (752151) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115448)

One of my favorite things that they changed from BF1942 is that after being killed you no longer get a view of where the fatal bullet came from.

It's much more satifying to play as a sniper now that the game doesn't give away your hiding spot everytime you successfully take someone down.

Also the spawn times of the vehicles should scale based on how many players are on the map. On maps with fewer players there are far too many vehicles to go around.

Re:One of my Favorite Changes.. (1)

trompete (651953) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115481)

That's unfair to say. Revealing the killer's location was an option that a lot of admins had disabled in BF1942.

I love this game... (4, Funny)

Tebriel (192168) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115451)

But VGCats said it best. [vgcats.com]

BF series=dumbness (0, Flamebait)

rbanzai (596355) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115456)

The BF series is great if you like thing like dropping a 120mm tank shell at the feet of an infantryman without effect. Over and over and over.

Do the same with a .50 cal and then watch as the soldier runs up and stabs you to death with a hairbrush.

Marvel as pointblank machine gun bursts miraculously do nothing at all.

BF2 looks lovely and has some great maps but just like all the BF before it there are the same old dumb problems with either:

1. cursor on target = nothing
2. heavy weapons vs. infantry = nothing

After days of this and flashbacks to BF:1942 I had to give up and go back to games that do not suffer from this very basic flaw.

Re:BF series=dumbness (1)

OneFix at Work (684397) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115493)

BF2 is just like BF1942...an OK game that will be the basis for many mods. BF2 is almost an exact copy of Desert Combat for BF1942...I assume that BF2 will have a mod that comes to the top and BF3 will be based on that one.

Re:BF series=dumbness (1)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115609)

Play UT2k4. While most of the vehicular weaponry in UT2k4 is similarly underpowered, the tank shells are a violent exception. Being attacked by a tank from long range is pretty much certain death for even a large group on foot in ONS.

Re:BF series=dumbness (3, Insightful)

SB5 (165464) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115672)

I have played BF2, and it is ridiciously easy to take out infantry with a 120 shell. Or a 50 cal. Crouch or going prone gives better aim, so does, stopping and aiming... Running in with guns blazing like the movies doesn't work. If you have played Call of Duty or Counterstrike this should be second nature to you. Sorry, its not Quake or RtCW.

Re:BF series=dumbness (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115735)

You do realise you have to lead the target a little, right? Putting the cursor on the target will only kill them if they are running straight at you or stationary.

The tank shell thing is annoying, though. At least you can stun them with it now.

Not to knock Battlefield 2 or anything... (1)

ProudClod (752352) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115457)

...because it is a great game, and all, but there's really not a lot here that's not possible on consoles. Indeed, the fact that the consoles don't offer a similar experience is entirely down to a dearth of similar games - and god knows Xbox Live could really do with a game that bridges the gap between traditional small, userhosted deathmatches (like Halo 2) and the large MMO style as well as Battlefield 2 does.

Re:Not to knock Battlefield 2 or anything... (1)

ProudClod (752352) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115490)

And just to cover my rather sweeping statement - I know Star Wars: Battlefront had an Xbox release, but with a maximum of 16 players over Live, it's more like "Star Wars: Skirmish", really :)

Huh? (5, Insightful)

Golias (176380) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115468)

Pitched, high tension battles fought street to street and house-to-house are experiences that consoles just can't offer up yet.

1. Take HALO engine.
2. Apply city-scape graphics.
3. There's no step three.

There are three things I can think of which set PC gaming apart, and none of them are "pitched, high tension battles fought street to street and house to house," which sounds to me like something that consoles would be great at.

What sets PC gaming apart is:

1. Mouse-driven FPS.

2. Keyboard-driven text chat.

3. Mods.

Pretty much everything else a PC game can do could also be done on a console.

Re:Huh? (1)

rk_cr (901227) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115612)

1. Take HALO engine. 2. ??? 3. Profit!

Don't knock #3 (1)

foreverdisillusioned (763799) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115674)

Take a look at Morrowind for the Xbox and Morrowind for the PC--there's really no comparison. For the PC, a few choice mods yields far superior character models, new races to play and new monsters to fight, companions to aid you, pack animals to haul your lewt, new weapons and clothes, atmospheric sounds and music, new quests and storylines, etc.

A game that embraces the mod community can rise above its flaws (and believe me, Morrowind has plenty of those) and prolong its life for many years to come. If you need more proof of this, just look at the StarCraft UMS (Use Map Settings) crowd.

Oh yeah--you also forgot:

4. Better Graphics (for those of us willing to pay for them)

Re:Huh? (2, Insightful)

toad3k (882007) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115695)

Simulations that have more than 8 buttons worth of control. (mechwarrior and space sims like x-btf)

And don't forget rtses. They may be played out on the pc, but it amazes me to think there may be a whole generation of gamers out there that have never had the joy of playing a starcraft-like game.

I've never understood why xbox doesn't have keyboard and mouse input jacks on their new system. People could provide the keyboards/mice they already have on their computers and it would essentially open their console up to games that could never exist on the other systems.

The real step 3... (1)

SeekerDarksteel (896422) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115754)

Err, no, I think step 3 is watch the XBox choke trying to load environments 5-10 times larger and more complex than what it's able to. Level size and complexity is a huge limitation on consoles FPS's at the moment.

Please.. (1)

quakeroatz (242632) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115470)

"but you'll probably want to save it for LAN parties."

Ah, with this ridiculous statment you dissolved all 10 small bits of credible information in your transparent review. If BF2 is anything, it is a online multiplayer FPS and calling it a LAN game shows that you've missed the plot completely.

Battlefield 2? (2, Funny)

matt me (850665) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115472)

Isn't 1940 versions prior to Battlefield 1942?

Still better name than

Re:Battlefield 2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13115701)

Perhaps you should stick to posting in forums in your native tongue. Your english is not very good.

Terrain/building damage? (1, Interesting)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115487)

Does Battlefield 2 include improved terrain/building damage? Indeed, such things will be the hallmark of future games.

If you bump a tank into a building, the building should suffer from some sort of damage. Games like those in the GTA series do at least include rudimentary support for broken lamp posts, trees, fire hydrants, etc. But besides shattering some glass windows, you can't really cause true damage to your surroundings.

Today's games lack such realism. But perhaps we will see such things in the very near future.

Re:Terrain/building damage? (1)

Gavin Scott (15916) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115577)

Does Battlefield 2 include improved terrain/building damage? Indeed, such things will be the hallmark of future games.

No, unfortunately not.

You can put a tank round into a gas station and get nothing.

<marvin>
Where's the kaboom? THERE OUGHT TO BE AN EARTH SHATTERING KABOOM!
</marvin>

Anyway, the expansion which has already been announced is supposed to improve this somewhat, but in BF2 today there are only a handful of small items that you can actually damage.

G.

Re:Terrain/building damage? (1)

TobyWong (168498) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115718)

They are getting there... you can bomb/C4 bridges in BF2 which offers you some tactical control over the map, blocking off vechicles from certain areas.

They haven't reached the level of complexity where you can level any building. That would certainly be cool though.

Yes, but the question IS.... (0, Offtopic)

d2_m_viant (811261) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115494)

Has anyone hacked it yet so we can play on our PSP...using that amazingly useful full size keyboard [slashdot.org] .

Dangerously good game! (2, Insightful)

soma_0806 (893202) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115498)

Battlefield is just one of those games that you should never even open if you have a personality that allows you to get even slightly addicted to games. Hours can go by without even registering with me.

Personally, I like that there are few frills in this game. Simplicity is key in games like this. The depth and dimension comes from playing with other people.

The only thing I disagree with is that people are reluctant to use voicechat with strangers. Maybe this is more the reviewer's phobia coming through than an actual phenomenon. Sure, the first couple times you play with someone you only met through the game may be less conversational, but people remember good players and end up playing with the same "strangers," which erases this effect, if it ever existed in the first place.

A.D.2 ? (4, Funny)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115512)

If Battlefield 1942 was fought in IIWW realia, shouldn't Battlefield 2 be located, say, in Roman Empire, the unrests caused by king Herod, barbarians' attacks from the north, this kind of stuff, when Jesus was a 2-year-old child?

Re:A.D.2 ? (1)

Doc_NH (898298) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115694)

Best comment so far! BTW. The game is pretty good, but mainly because they have stolen the best aspects of "Return to Castle Wolfenstein"'s multiplayer classes. RTCW Enemy Territory is still one of the best team games and is still free.

Re:A.D.2 ? (1)

SB5 (165464) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115717)

And RtCW stole them from Half-Life's Team Fortress...

Re:A.D.2 ? (1)

SB5 (165464) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115739)

Which took it from Quake's Team Fortress mod... almost left that important tidbit out.... I should preview more often

Battlefield 2 (2, Insightful)

cl0secall (449952) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115521)

I wrote my own review of BF2 [thelonegamer.info] on my offline-gaming centered website, which I named "The Lone Gamer [thelonegamer.info] ". In addition to the experience I wrote down there, I also had the opportunity to try and get a co-op mode running at a LAN party last weekend.

Battlefield 2 is a great concept, but the reality of it is that it is a step towards a FPS game built on a MMORPG-style business plan. There are a lot of factors pushing users towards using the "ranked" servers -- it is the only way to "unlock" additional weapons. The licensing is scary as well, as you are agreeing to not use the game with third-party game locating software, forcing you to use the built-in gamespy browser, and thus agreeing to the GameSpy agreement.

All in all, you are paying much more than $50 for this game. It is a reasonably enjoyable experience, if you play by EA's rules. If not, it is going to be a giant mound of frustration.

Only in the world of computers... (1)

SpryGuy (206254) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115542)

Only in the world of computers can a sequel to "BattleField 1942" be called "Battlefield 2" without anyone blinking an eye. Or is it just me that sees this and interprets the 'sequel' as being 1940 versions behind the original, or at the very least, set 1940 years prior? :-)

Colin Powell!? (2, Funny)

d474 (695126) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115554)

FTFA:
"Armchair generals abound in the FPS world, but in practice few are anything approaching a virtual Colin Powell."
True, not many Armchair generals in FPS world are liars. Cheaters, maybe. But liars? No. Good analogy.

BF2 and stability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13115565)

I think the real problem with PC games is stability. Consoles have a known configuration, whereas PCs do not necessarily.

For instance, I have an Alienware Aurora 7500...it runs every game I've tried to play just fine. I can't get BattleField 2 to run for more than 2 minutes without crashing, and EA tech support has been no help. Therefore, I paid $60 for a game I can't even play.

Things like this keep pushing people back to consoles. PC games are higher quality and more enjoyable, when they work.

For older systems? (1)

ponds (728911) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115566)

How does this do on last gen systems? I have a 1800mhz duron and a Geforce FX5950, and don't really care to upgrade. What are my chances of being able to play this successfully?

Re:For older systems? (1)

prgrmr (568806) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115666)

If the requirements are the same as B1942, you should be fine. I have a 1.2GHZ system with a 2+ year old Radeon card and I've not seen any problems.

Re:For older systems? (1)

Jarnis (266190) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115751)

They are definitely not the same as BF1942.

And if you don't see problems with an 1.2Ghz CPU, you are running it at 640x480, or enjoy your games at 10fps.

Needs patching.. badly. (5, Informative)

delus10n0 (524126) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115583)

I've been playing since the game came out, and have the following hardware:

P4 3Ghz with HT
1 Gigabyte of RAM
ATI X800 SE PCIE
160gig Western Digital 8meg SATA Drive
Soundblaster Audigy 2 (in 4 channel mode)

The game runs like a dog in anything higher than 1024x786 resolution on that hardware. You have to leave all the settings at "medium", otherwise stuttering will occur (I've heard this is because higher settings require 256+ megs of video RAM, which I don't have.)

The game easily consumes my gig of RAM, and starts forcing Windows to swap to disk. It gets so bad, that after exiting the game, I have to wait approximately a minute before I can use the PC again (from it swapping all the memory out of the disk.) This PC just has Windows XP installed on it, nothing else running in memory.

The game will also randomly "crash" while loading a level. I'll complete a map online, and it will appear to start loading the next map, a black screen will appear, and then my desktop. Yay!

There are also issues with the "aiming"-- I think it's a case of the server/client prediction being different. I can unload an entire clip of an MP5 at short range (5-10 feet), with crosshairs on someone, and somehow 90% of my bullets miss, and the guy goes into "prone" mode and stabs me up close. Huh? There's also this funky "jump and go prone" manuever, as well as the "jump from a building and fire accurately while falling" manuever. Things that shouldn't be happening, essentially.

It's still an enjoyable game, it just has flaws and needs patching..

Re:Needs patching.. badly. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13115686)

here are some tips for optimizing your system for bf2.

http://gear.ign.com/articles/626/626714p1.html [ign.com]

Wow, what console-phobia! (3, Insightful)

Junks Jerzey (54586) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115596)

There's nothing about BF2 that wouldn't work just as well on a console. It doesn't push any kind of graphical limits. It would work great with a typical console controller. It's a great game, yes, but that has nothing to do with it being a PC title.

I don't understand why some people are so anti-console. Look at it this way: a console typically costs less than a flashy PC graphics card, so why not just get one and have fun with it? That doesn't mean you can't also play PC games. If you've been completely blowing off consoles, then you've been missing out on some wonderful gaming experiences.

BF2: not bad.. (2, Informative)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115599)

... Got it with my EVGA 7800GTX board (got sick of the SLI skitzing all over the place in WoW).

This game is starved of RAM at 1GB if you play on uberhigh settings, you need 2GB. Yes, that's obnoxious.

Also, where's the shooting range so I can practice with the iron sights?

Just one nitpick... (1)

stonedonkey (416096) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115608)

I agree with the general assessment of the review, but I wouldn't characterize it as "numerous patches." There's only been one patch, then a hotfix.

Sooo badly bugged (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115610)

The game is bugged beyond belief.

Ignoring the fact that it won't run on Anything older than a 9x00 series ATI card or GF5x00 series nVidia card. It repeatedly drops to desktop on my old 9800 machine - the ATI support is terrible, presumably because nVidia is the way it's meant to be played.

Then there's the problem that if the game ever crashes, I then can't start a single player game without deleting all my user config files from the game folder, otherwise it just loops on the "Start Server" screen.

Then there's the fact that you can't play on the 32 and 64 player maps in single player mode without a mod. And there aren't any bots for LAN play.

This game stinks of EA forcing the developers to rush it out to suit their schedule rather than waiting until it was actually finished.

Awesome stat tracking (1)

The employee can cho (857896) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115624)

Yes, there have been some shortcomings with the this game. I feel that the positives outweigh them by far.

I love the stat tracking in this game. In addition to tracking your progress through the ranks for promotion, there are countless medals, ribbons and awards that you can earn by performing certain tasks. Some are trivial, like surviving a very high parachute jump. Others are impossible - check out http://ubar.phusion9.com/ [phusion9.com] for some examples.

The games tracks tons of useful/useless information about everyone -
- Time spent with each map/kit/army
- kills and deaths with each map/kit/army
- proficiency with all of the various vehicles/weapons

This game has been a blast, consuming tons of my free time over the past few weeks. There is nothing like hovering in a blackhawk with 5 teammates, waiting to capture an enemy flag while mowing fools down with a chaingun. Fun stuff.

The small bugs, like the crappy in game browser (improved with the 1.01 patch) and the flawed teamkill punishment system are nothing compared the favorible gameplay I have experience.

It's a good game, but... (4, Insightful)

Tassleman (66753) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115628)

...I don't think DICE/EA QA'd this at all. At least with the 1.02 patch out it's a bit more playable.

This post could go on forever and I don't want that - so here's a list of the embarassing problems this game has. Not all of these are directly DICE/EA's fault, but they're all things DICE/EA could fix:

The Server Browser in the game has no "Favorites" functionality
Copy-Paste doesn't work, so if you want to play on a friend's server get your notepad out
Broken Tabstops all over the User Interface
Teamkill tracking issues too abundant to list
Ranked Servers not uploading their numbers to EAs master servers
Ranked Server Providers cramming so many hosts on single systems that VOIP functionality for in-game voice is non-functional
No anti-Bunnyhopping in the game
Jump-To-Prone is an exploit and should be removed from the game

XBox BF2 demo? (1)

sbirnie (717828) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115631)

Didn't the latest XBox Magazine have a demo version of this?

I hope they improved the AI (1)

prgrmr (568806) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115639)

In B1942, even at the "hard" settings, all you have to do is get in a tank and sit outside an enemy spawn point at an ammo dump and blast away. It's even more effective if your an engineer and can fix your own vehicle. It's like shooting fish in a barrel, with 150+ kills possible on almost every map. The Berlin and Stalingrad maps are the most egregious offenders in this regard, I think.

Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13115654)

When's the Linux port comin out?

Did the reviewer bother to PLAY the game? (1)

MSFanBoi (695480) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115663)

The MEC (Middle Eastern Coillion)is only ONE of the two opposing forces. It seems someone only played the demo and failed to see the whole other army.

My Impressions (5, Informative)

jgoemat (565882) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115665)

Good:
  1. Fierce firefights - great gameplay
  2. Good maps
  3. Well balanced classes - Medics and Engineers are of more use than before, anti-tank is actually useful now that it takes less than 3 hits to kill a tank
  4. Online play works well and is fun
  5. Graphics and sound are much improved over BF1942
  6. Quick commands is a great idea. Now you can point at an enemy and quickly mark them as spotted to your teamates, as well as call for a pickup, repair, healing, or ammo.
  7. New commander and squad abilities are neat, if you can figure them out
Bad:
  1. The manual just plain SUCKS. There's not really anything in it to show you how to use the new Squad and Commander capabilities, and I couldn't find them on the web.
  2. No multiplayer coop - playing against a few friends at a lan party with bots for backup was one of my favorite things to do in BF 1942.
  3. Finding a server and getting on with my friends isn't as easy as it could be, why not connect with friends and be able to find servers that will let you join as a group?
  4. Creating an online account involved starting BF2 three times and exiting three times when clicking to view the agreements and privacy policies. Each took about 15 minutes to read.
  5. You need a new video card, not because you couldn't play without but because the designers just decided to use the new shader model. If you don't have an acceptable video card, the game just quits to the desktop with no information. There's a hack out there to enable play with older cards and they play fine but might not look quite as good, why didn't they include the capability at least in the game?
  6. Loading maps takes too long - there's a 'Client data validation' that takes over a minute on one of my computers (3gz P4) every time I connect to a map.
  7. You need the CD/DVD in the drive to play. I know this is standard, but I fail to see the reason when you have each install attached to a KEY too that I'm sure is checked when you play multiplayer. I like playing on my work computer and my home computer, why do I have to lug the DVD around? There's a NOCD hack already or I wouldn't have bought the game.

What an awesome review. (1)

hexghost (444585) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115681)

Since did a "review" constitute repeating the publisher's marketing brochure and then adding a small paragraph about what problems the game has? If I wanted to read glowing fanboy type crap, I'd go look at what IGN has to say about the game.

Unnecessarily different controls? (1)

UserChrisCanter4 (464072) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115698)

One thing that really bothered me about this game was the seemingly random difference in controls when compared to Battlefield: Vietnam.

I can understand some of the motivation for removing the F1-8 chat, as it forces you to move your hand away from the actual game controls. The buttons to switch seats in a vehicle, though, are different for reasons that appear to be pointless. Other buttons for lesser commands are also different, again, seemingly at random.

My biggest complaint: air vehicles, especially helicopters, control very differently. It is immensely frustrating.

When I jump from one game to the other, I find myself pressing incorrect buttons and (worst of all) randomly crashing helicopters into trees. It's not as though the BF:2 helicopters control better, they're just... different.

Other than that, BF:2 is an entertaining game, but I just can't help but be angry about the totally random control differences.

Um, dude (4, Funny)

brotherscrim (617899) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115731)

Armchair generals abound in the FPS world, but in practice few are anything approaching a virtual Colin Powell. The experiences I've had lead me to believe that overwhelming force will almost always win the day.

Uh...the "Powell Doctrine" is one of overwhelming force. Maybe there's a few more eColins out there than you think ;)

Why I Prefer PC Gaming (1)

jgbishop (861610) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115732)

I prefer PC gaming mostly because of the difficult time I have in using the console controllers. My Nintendo 64 controllers are fairly difficult to use, and the XBox controllers are gargantuan! The mouse + keyboard combination just feels better to me. Plus, it's a much better setup to use in FPS games.

One other reason I prefer the PC is the available resolutions. IIRC, most conventional TV's can only do 640x480, which results in clunky looking textures and geometry (although consoles are definitely improving on this). There's not much on a console, if anything, that beats Far Cry or Half Life 2 at 1280 x 1024 (or higher) on a PC. Just my $0.02.

Review: Zonk (0)

rylin (688457) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115737)

Title: Zonk
Publisher: Slashdot
System: malfunctioning (always)
Reviewer: rylin
Score: -1, useless


Slashdot has been getting a lot of flak lately.
As slashdot edges ever more into what has traditionally been Mainstream Media, readers will have to take steps to re-imagine what makes Slashdot special.
Zonk is an "editor" that hard-core enthusiasts can point to if they want a great example of what separates Mainstream Media from Slashdot.
Pitched, high tension battles fought thread to thread and post-to-post about who can flame Zonk in the most creative manner are experiences that mainstream media just can't offer up yet.
Keep reading slashdot to gain your own impression of what Slashdot's most incompetent "editor" contributes.

BUGS! (2, Insightful)

Dunkirk (238653) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115741)

Look through any of the several forums dedicated to this game, and you will see many messages about the bugs. I can't play for any longer than about 30-45 minutes without a crash. That may seem short, but this has been after HOURS of trying all sorts of "fixes" that have extended this from 30-60 seconds. In fact, I *just* got finished trying the latest beta (77.76) of the nVidia drivers before seeing this article. The only things that have really helped have been "dumbing down" the video and audio settings. So much so, I MIGHT AS WELL BE PLAYING A CONSOLE!

Just for reference: MSI-based dual Athlon 2800+ MP, 1 GB buffered DDR RAM, GeForce 6600 GT, Sound Blaster Live! (note that this game does NOT support "hardware" audio for this card), and a 3ware SATA RAID card with striped 75 GB Raptors. It ain't the best these days, but it doesn't have much problem playing any of the other dozen A-list titles that I have loaded on it right now, and with a fair amount of eye candy.

I really want to play this game. In fact, my friends and I are thinking about a LAN party this weekend solely using this game. (At this point, I'm sort of resigned to just crashing every half hour or so.) The problem I see with a LAN party based on this game is that we don't have the bandwidth (either cable or DSL) for 6 of us to go outside a single residence to play on a server, but 6 isn't enough to make a LAN-only game interesting. This would be fine if there were bots in the dedicated server , but there aren't. At least, if there are, *I* can't find how to turn them on.

Score 8 (2, Funny)

Xaroth (67516) | more than 9 years ago | (#13115745)

With a score of 8/100, he must really hate this game.

Or maybe, it's a score of 8/5, and he really, really, over-enthusiastically likes this game.

Perhaps it's 8/Green, and it's abstract.

(*cough* Attention editors: Do not give an arbitrary rating for a review without some indication of what the relationship is. Yes, we're all smart kids and can determine that you probably like the game from your review, so it should be 8/10, with 10 being the best, but it's considered shoddy work to omit the scale.)
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