A few days ago I bought a copy of Battlefield 2, an online multiplayer first person shooter set in contemporary times. Its the third installment in Electronic Arts' (EA) highly successful Battlefield series, which started with Battlefield 1942, then was followed by Battlefield Vietnam. You play either as a soldier in the United States Marine Corps, the fictional Middle Eastern Coalition (MEC) or the People's Liberation Army of China, with authentic weapons, equipment, and vehicles to match.
I first learned about this game after I started playing the free downloadable demo (you can download the demo from EA's download page here). The demo only provided one map, and had a time limit for matches, but nonetheless, it was extremely fun. The Battlefield series still sets the bar when it comes to combined arms multiplayer shooters, and Battlefield 2 is no exception by any means.
You can carry a variety of kits (equipment packages giving you different capabilities) representing different skills and jobs in the battlefield, with varying strengths and weaknesses. Such kits include special forces, sniper, assault, support, engineer, medic, and anti-tank. Despite such variety, all of the kits are balanced enough, and each successfully fills a unique niche in the battlefield. Teamwork and cooperation is often rewarded with victory as no specific kit has all the skills necessary to accomplish a specific objective by itself. Working together is made easier by built-in squad organization allowing you the capability the coordinate missions with the individual members of your squad. On a higher level, each army also has a commander with the capability of providing leadership for the entire battle. A commander can issue orders, determine objectives, provide supply airdrops, and direct artillery strikes. Don't like your commander? The game has an option for you to stage a mutiny if you're not happy with the performance of your commander.
When you play on ranked servers, there is also a persistent scoring feature which tracks your statistics. Not only can you increase your rank, you can also unlock other weapons and equipment.
With so many kits, equipment, and vehicles at your disposal, there are almost limitless ways to accomplish an objective. You can attack by sea, by air, or by land, on foot, inside a tank, or inside a helicopter or plane. With so much firepower, a characteristic shared by all of the armies in the game, the only way to ensure success is to cooperate with your teammates. Typically, the team which practices better teamwork almost always wins. I can go on describing the gameplay, but its better if you experience it yourself.
Here are some screenshots:
Of course, all of these new features and awesome graphics as seen above don't come without a price. That is, the price of admission is a fairly powerful PC. As a bare minimum, it should have a 1.7 GHz processor, 512 MB of memory, and an AGP video card with at least an NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 or ATI Radeon 8500 chipset with 128 MB of video memory. The GeForce 4 Ti, which was the most powerful video card in the world a few years back, is not supported. In addition, Battlefield 2 will only run on systems using Windows XP. Other versions of Windows are not supported. For optimum gameplay, Electronic Arts recommends a 2.4 GHz processor and 1 GB of memory.
If your PC meets the system requirements, you have a broadband connection to the internet, and you like first person shooters, this game is definitely for you. If there is a downside to this game, sometimes it can be difficult to find official ranked servers with a latency (ping) low enough to support fast gameplay. But considering that it has only been less than a week since the game was released, this problem will probably solve itself as the game increases in popularity.
Battlefield 2 is available from DataBlitz at a price of P1,395.00 for both DVD-ROM and PC CD-ROM editions. If you have a DVD-ROM drive, get the DVD edition. It makes installation a breeze.
I'll see you on the battlefield.