copyright © Jedo Dre 2011

Battlefield 2

Rati ng:

Impact: Memorable

Finally, I have the time and possibility to review Battlefield 2 so let's get to work. Battlefield 2 is the result of the stunning success of Desert Combat, a modification for the previous game in series: Battlefield 1942. The modification was, most probably, the result of the hype around the current wars in the Middle East, so B2 follows suit and adds a little. So what is it all about?


Battlefield 2 is a team-based shooter set in the modern era with three playable parties: the US, the Arabic alliance and China. Before a match, the player chooses the team and a soldier class. Allied and enemy troops then spawn on one of the relatively large maps where they have to fight for the control of strategic spots using different weapon and vehicle types. The objective is captured by coming close enough to the designated location and staying there long enough for the allied flag to be raised on that location. If a soldier dies, the team loses a "ticket" and he then respawns at the nearest spawn point. Once the tickets are up, or all the players are dead while there are no spawn points left, the team loses. That is the exact same system that was used in Battlefield 1942 and there are no other game types. However, this simplistic gameplay gets compensated for by a relatively complex system of military organization and simply by all the strategic variety possible on such a large map with so many men, guns and vehicles. One can run behind the enemy lines to destroy the annoying artillery or get into a fighter jet to dog-fight with the enemy or ambush enemy vehicles.

B2 is a multi-player centered game. There is a single-player part, but the non-modified version of B2 only has the small 16-player versions of the map, there's no campaign or any central storyline, and more importantly, the AI is really bad. The AI is capable of running from one objective to the other (by foot or in a vehicle), of shooting the player and each other, throwing a grenade if the enemy is behind the cover, and running away from one. That's it.

On-line, on the other hand, up to 64 players can come together on large maps, set in the urban areas, jungle, desert, etc. Battlefield 2 requires and rewards teamwork. One player can become the commander. The commander can give orders to team leaders, parachute supplies and vehicles, send out unmanned aerial vehicles (for reconnaissance) and rain down artillery fire. Team leaders can then give commands to their followers through an easy-to-operate interface. Voice Over IP is an integrated communication system that exists so that anyone with a microphone can talk to members of the same team. VOIP increases teamwork by far because it doesn’t put the pressure of choice on the player to get third party voice software. Every player has to make an Electronic Arts account to play on-line. Different actions earn the player points. Points will eventually result in the increasing rank, and that will allow the player to unlock new weapons. The popularity of B2 and its game editor support caused a few modifications to pop-up within the community. The two most famous ones are Project Reality and Point of Existence. These mods have created some serious changes and prolonged the life of the game. In fact, the writer of this review only returned to playing Battlefield 2 because one of the modifications provided the type of gameplay that the original version could not.


Since the release of the game, EA has tried to work the metal while it is still red-hot and released a total of 3 expansion packs. Only one of those brought any interesting changes introducing several new parties, tools and maps.


For the year it was released in, B2 more than possessed the credentials. There is a lot of detail in the design of each map. Moreover, the graphics are well balanced. Dynamic shadows are there in sufficient amount and the developers also managed to stay away from the light bloom hype (that is the tendency to give all things a pretty glow, which is a pretty effect that got over-exaggerated in the last few years).


No missing sounds here. There is a lot to do in B2 and it all has sound support. There's a renewed soundtrack, modified from the familiar music of Battlefield 1942, but that is where the music ends. That's fine, since music doesn't add much in on-line gameplay but takes away quite a lot in terms of the precious attention.


Battlefield 2 is notorious for its system hunger. If one wishes to play this baby with graphic options on maximum, one must have at least two gigabytes of RAM and a high-end video card. In particular, one lighting option caused a lot of slowdown. On-line forums give recommendations on the optimal video settings. Also, the shadows caused ugly artifacts with quite a few people. Shadows themselves, in fact, do not seem to have any anti-aliasing. One would think that it is the fault of the operating system, but once you see the same ugly pixels in the screenshots on a gaming website, you start to wonder. The sound didn’t escape flaws either. Certain sound setting caused all sounds in the game to be played on full blast even if you stood on the other side of the map.

In short, Battlefield 2 is not perfect, so make sure your PC meets the recommended (yes, not minimum) requirements and be prepared to run into some trouble with it. To be fair though, it should be noted that, at the time of this review, a few patches already came out.


Battlefield 2 has been made for the market's demand. Its gameplay is trusty but rather aging. A lack of single player, only one game type and performance issues brought the game down a bit. Nonetheless, the endless strategic possibilities and the ranking system brought it back up. While the modern run-and-gun gameplay doesn’t suit everyone, devoted players succeeded releasing a few modifications to suit different tastes.