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Battlefield 2 (commonly abbreviated to BF2) is a computer game by the Swedishmarker developer Digital Illusions. During development, Trauma Studios contributed to the development of the game after it was acquired by Digital Illusions CE. Battlefield 2 is published by Electronic Arts and is the third full game in the Battlefield series, released on June 21, 2005 in North America for the computer.. The latest version is v1.50, which was released on September 1, 2009 and added the content of the Euroforce and Armored Fury booster packs, as well as the Highway Tampa and Operation Blue Pearl maps.

Players fight in a modern battlefield, using modern weapon systems. Battlefield 2 is a first-person shooter with some strategy and RPG elements. The single player features missions that involve clashes between US Marines, China and the fictional Middle East Coalition. With the newest patch (1.5) players are also allowed to play the EU forces which originally were exclusive to the Euro Force expansion pack. The multiplayer aspect of the game allows players to organize into squads that come under the leadership of a single commander to promote teamwork.

Plot

The story takes place probably in the early 21st century when the United Statesmarker and the European Union (as seen in Battlefield 2 Euro Force) go to war with the Peoples Republic of Chinamarker while at the same time in a conflict with a coalition of anti-American Middle Eastern countries called the Middle Eastern Coalition. It is presumed that the United States is invading China (since most of the missions against the PLA are in China), Iranmarker and Omanmarker (since most of the missions against the MEC is in the Persian Gulfmarker and Oman).

Gameplay

Battlefield 2 screenshot showing an USMC Spec Ops player capturing a MEC control point


Battlefield 2 is essentially a multiplayer game played via the Internet or a Local area network. A single-player mode with three difficulty levels is included. Both player modes use the same maps and use Battlefield's conquest game mode. Single-player mode allows 16 computer controlled players, while Internet mode allows up to 64 players. Players can choose to play 3 factions, the United States Marine Corps, the People's Liberation Army, or the "Middle Eastern Coalition". Additional factions are playable through the expansion packs, such as the European Union. Progress in the game is made via promotions which allow additional weapons to be unlocked. By playing the game on ranked servers, players are able to add to their global player statistics. These statistics are used to award promotions and other achievements.

A console branded version also exists for the Xbox, Xbox 360 and PS2, named Battlefield 2: Modern Combat. Although they both share the same name and setting, they differ considerably in execution, content, and gameplay.

In Battlefield 2, players are divided into two opposing sides (which armies they represent is dependent upon the map). There are two key concepts in Battlefield 2: tickets and control points. Tickets represent an army's ability to reinforce their position on the battlefield; each team has only a limited supply of tickets, and each casualty on the battlefield reduces the number of available tickets. Control points represent key points on the map, and are represented by flags. Control points are Battlefield 2's spawn points, and one side possessing a significant majority of the control points puts pressure on the opposing side, resulting in a steady loss of tickets for the pressured side, regardless of casualties. A round ends when one team's tickets fall to zero, the round's timer ends, or if at any point a side holds no control points, and has no soldiers alive on the battlefield (meaning the side no longer has any effective presence on the battlefield).

Battlefield 2's two game modes are Conquest and Cooperative. The only difference between the two modes is that Cooperative includes computer controlled players, whilst Conquest allows only human players. Results from Cooperative mode do not count toward global player statistics.

Infantry classes

In Battlefield 2, as with previous Battlefield titles, players are able to select from a variety of infantry classes. Each class of soldier is equipped with different weaponry appropriate to their role in the battle. Assault soldiers, for example, are general-purpose infantry with grenade-launcher equipped assault-rifles and extra armor, Medics carry first-aid equipment such as a field defibrillator, and Anti-Tank troopers are equipped with missiles which are effective against heavy armor.

Players are able to choose a class at the start of a match, or between dying and respawn once the match has begun or they have died. Players can also change their class by picking up a "kit" from the body of an incapacitated soldier, friendly or otherwise. Hence, an Assault soldier can become a Medic if they come across a fallen Medic. Possible player classes are Spec Ops, Sniper, Assault, Support, Engineer, Medic and Anti-Tank.

Heavy classes: Assault, Support, Anti-tank. They have heavy armor but lower stamina.

Light classes: Spec Ops, Sniper, Engineer, Medic. These classes have no armor, but are able to run for a long time.

Within the infantry class, there are three support classes with special abilities. The engineer can repair with his wrench, the medic can revive with his defibrillator paddles and heal, the support can resupply ammunition with his ammunition bags. These special abilities are helpful to other players. When one of the these three classes occupies a vehicle, nearby personnel and vehicles can be replenished, repaired or healed by being in close proximity.

Vehicles

The various forces still use the trademark feature of the Battlefield series - the large stable of vehicles that any player can climb into and control. There are many different types of vehicles playable in Battlefield 2. They are all based on real-life vehicles used by the militaries of different countries.

A M1A2 Abrams in-game firing its main cannon
There are about 30 vehicles available for use ranging from main battle tanks such as the M1A2 Abrams to fast transports like the Desert Patrol Vehicle. In contrast to Battlefield 1942, Battlefield 2 has only one purely water-based vehicle, the rigid-inflatable boat, however, the BTR-90, the MEC APC, can travel in water as well as the LAV-25 and the WZ 551, the USMC and PLA equivalents, respectively. The developers tried to design the game so that every vehicle would be weak to another type of vehicle, intending to create a situation similar to a game of rock-paper-scissors. For example, mobile anti-air was intended to effectively destroy helicopters, but are vulnerable against opposing tanks. Included within this relationship are stationary defenses such as light machine guns and anti-aircraft/TOW emplacements. The availability and number of certain vehicles are dependent on the map and its size as well as control points captured. Also, more vehicles become available to be used on the maps of expansion/booster packs. (see Maps). The USS Essex is the only naval ship featured in BF2, featuring two spawn points and aircraft spawn points, and is not drivable or destroyable, except for its Phalanx turrets.

Features

Even though Battlefield 2 is a sequel to Battlefield 1942, there are many changes to the popular gameplay of the original. Many of these new gameplay features were added to the game with teamwork and collaboration in mind. The new game engine includes improved physics, dynamic lighting, and more realistic material penetration.

Squads

Players are able to form squads of up to six soldiers in order to more effectively work as a team. Up to nine squads are permitted per team; each squad has a number (automatically assigned) and name (usually a phonetic alphabet letter) for identification. Members of a squad have the ability to communicate with one another via Battlefield 2's integrated Voice-over IP (VoIP) system.

In-game screen of the squad menu
Squad leaders may assign their squad a variety of objectives (for example, moving to or attacking a specific location). Orders may also be given by the team's commander. Squad leaders are able to issue requests for commander assets (such as artillery fire) and have a direct VoIP channel to the commander.

Members of a squad may spawn near their squad leader, provided that the leader is not dead (or incapacitated), and that the team holds at least one control point. This feature allows squads to more quickly regroup after taking casualties.

Commander

The commander position is an exclusive role played by one member of each team. Any member of a team may apply for the position, but priority is given to players of higher rank.

Screenshot of the commander screen
The commander alone has access to the "commander screen", an interface similar to that of a real-time strategy game. This allows the commander an overview of the battlefield as a whole, or zoom in and view parts of the map in real-time. The commander also has control of the various commander assets, which include artillery strikes, vehicle and supply drops, and UAV's. They can deploy them to assist their team. The commander can communicate with squads either by sending orders, or via VoIP voice communication. These tools allow the commander to strategically coordinate their forces on the battlefield.

A commander may resign at any point, freeing the position for other members of their team; they may also be forcibly removed by a successful mutiny vote conducted by their team (provided the server allows mutiny votes).

Although the commander does not gain points by normal methods (kills, flag captures, etc.), their score is doubled at the end of the round if their team wins.

Awards and unlockable weapons

Players can earn awards (ribbons, badges, and medals) for certain in-game accomplishments. Badges and ribbons are the easiest to obtain, while medals are usually much harder, requiring more extensive play. As players ascend through the ranks they will gain the ability to unlock certain weapons. Each time a player is promoted to an eligible rank, they are given the opportunity to unlock one of seven unlockable weapons, one for each class, which they may subsequently use in place of the standard weapon for the given class. Players with the Special Forces expansion are granted an additional seven unlockable weapons. Unlockable weapons include G36C, SCAR-L, G3, Heckler & Koch MP7 F2000, FN P-90 G36E, L85A1, L96A1, Barrett M95, MG36 etc. The FN P-90 and L96A1 were released in Patch 1.2 to complete the missing Tier Two Sniper and Anti-tank unlocks and also to coincide with the release of the Euro Force Booster Pack which featured them as default weapons of the European Union. Ranks and unlockables apply to all servers which allow them, but only "official" (ranked) servers record and send back stats.

Battlefield recorder

A built-in game recorder records battles for subsequent replay. These files can be downloaded from a server which supports BattleRecorder directly after their respective game. Recorded battle files are around 1 megabytes to 8 megabytes in size and are played within the Battlefield 2 engine. Camera angles can be changed (free roaming & selected player), as well as the speed, though it cannot be rewound. Files can be exported to AVI format. The Battlefield Recorder has facilitated the creation of various machinima.Usage of the PunkBuster service is mandatory for all official ranked Battlefield 2 servers, but optional for unranked servers.

Maps

Battlefield 2 offers 15 maps for the players to play but shipped with 12. These maps are diverse, ranging from swamps such as Songhua Stalemate, to urban areas such as Strike at Karkand, to an unfinished dam known as Kubra Dam. The USMC is present in all maps and faces against either the MEC or the PLA depending on the map. PLA is present in Far East theaters such as Dragon Valley and Daqing Oilfields. MEC is present in Middle East theaters such as Gulf of Omanmarker and Zatar Wetlands. The BF2 series including the expansion and booster packs puts the map count at 29 maps.

3 variations for the Gulf of Oman map
Battlefield 2 maps have 3 variations, each suited for a certain number of players. Each map has 16, 32, and 64 player-suggested variations in which the area of battlefield or playing field is relatively small, medium, and large, respectively. The only exceptions to this are Wake Islandmarker 2007, which is locked at 64-player size and the Euro Force maps, Operation Smokescreen, Great Wall, and Taraba Quarry, which have no 64-player size. 32 and 64 player maps are unavailable to offline players from retailers, but you can download 64 Single player AI bot mods. Other contrasts between these variations other than the size are the number and position of control points and availability of vehicles. As a result, the gameplay of the map is different depending on the variation.

Patch 1.03, released on October 4, 2005, added an updated version of Wake Island, originally from Battlefield 1942. September 5, 2006, Patch 1.4 added the map 'Road to Jalalabad.' June 6, 2007, EA officially released a beta map, Highway Tampa. June 18 2007, the final version was released. Both versions of the map are ranked Battlefield 2 maps. It is a large map with rolling terrain and favors armored warfare. Versions of Highway Tampa and Wake Island also were released for Battlefield 2142.A version of the much anticipated 1.5 patch was released as a beta on 21 April 2009, and then released as a 'final release' on 1 September 2009. It contained a number of fixes for Vista users, including a new map, 'Operation Blue Pearl'. It is rumoured to be the final update for the game - the Armored Fury and Euro Force booster packs are also free to play with this version.

Reception and bugs

Battlefield 2 has sales of over 2,250,000 copies worldwide, as of July 2006.

The game gained widespread approval from critics, receiving an aggregate score of 91% from 55 reviews, including five stars out of five from large reviewing organizations Yahoo! Games, GameSpy, X-play and Computer Gaming World. PC Gamer awarded it 94%, stating, "Its finely tuned maps and balanced gameplay prove that you CAN improve on perfection," and honored it as Game of the Year. GameSpot rated the game 9.3 out of 10 claiming that "when you experience Battlefield 2 like it's meant to be played, with everyone working together and using real-time voice chat, the game quickly becomes unlike anything else that you've played before."

Some of the lower scores were reactions to the large amount of bugs and glitches in the initial release. For example, Gaming Nexus (who awarded the game an 8.7 out of 10) reported, "I’ve had many cool experiences playing it and a lot of 'did I just see that' moments but all of that is crapped on by the bugs and quirks in the game.". Many players have complained that bugs have remained unfixed or were replaced with worse bugs due to poorly tested game patches. For example, patch 1.3 resulted in continuous disconnections with a message of "There is a problem with your connection" (attributed to a problem with leaving the VOIP option on). As of 1.41, most of the fatal errors (crash-to-desktop, "There is a problem with your connection" display) have been fixed, and only a few browser, server and balance problems remain. The official 1.5 patch still has the rank advance and VOIP bugs (controversially, the most of obvious and consistent problems in previous versions).

Games Radar approved of the game, awarding a 90%, but added a disclaimer that the gaming experience is best "if your machine is up to it". GameSpot's review agreed with the high system requirements noting that "the load times are one of the biggest gripes that we have, as you will spend quite a bit of time waiting for a game to start up, even on high-end machines...also a bit demanding in the hardware department."

Demo

A demo is available for download from major game sites featuring a single map (Gulf of Oman) for both single-player and multi-player. If you own the retail version, it is possible to play with unlocked weapons in the demo. Having the retail version will also result in your current rank being shown in the demo. The 16-person version of the map has a time limit of 10 minutes; the 32-person version has a time limit of 12 minutes. The 64-person version is unavailable in the demo, though up to 64 players can still play on the 32-person map. EA Games shut down all of its demo servers on November 28, 2005. However, demo client and demo server software are still available for download from BF2 website should players and server operators wish to host the game themselves. Many players still game on these demo servers, with a community numbering at least 100 at a time, a low peak.

Some aspects of gameplay, such as jet combat, are markedly different in the demo compared with the current game. This is due to changes made in recent patches. The demo does not feature rankings, apart from on a couple of servers.

Official Expansion Pack

Battlefield 2: Special Forces

Battlefield 2's first expansion pack, Special Forces, first began its development sometime during or shortly before the release of the original Battlefield 2 by DICE Canada: Battlefield producer, Mike Doran, commented in August 2005 that "The truth is that work on Battlefield 2: Special Forces began several months ago.". It was officially announced on July 14, 2005 and released on November 21 of the same year.The focus of the development was infantry-based combat as opposed to vehicle-centric combat from the original. As such, most of the additional content in the expansion pack can only be used by or for infantry.

By name, this pack focuses on special warfare with players taking the role of six unconventional forces:

Players play in eight maps (six of which can be played in singleplayer) with ten more vehicles such as the AH-64D Apache and Mi-35 Hind, though all jets have been removed. In addition to these new contents, players have access to new equipment such as night vision goggles, tear gas, gas masks, zip lines and grappling hooks which can alter gameplay. There are eight more small arms weapons available such as the G36C/E and FN SCAR L/H and several weapons from the original are replaced. The expansion offers more awards in the form of badges, ribbons, and medals that players can earn. Finally, many of the weapons from the expansion may be used in the original Battlefield 2.

This expansion pack is available for purchase via EA's content delivery service, known as EA Store, in addition to retail copies and Battlefield 2 Deluxe Edition.

Official Booster Packs

Booster packs are additional content released for Battlefield 2 that are currently available for free download. The booster packs were later available in retail form as the Booster Pack Collection, containing a DVD which features these packs, as well as being included in "The Complete Collection", containing a DVD with both the original game and all of the expansions/booster packs.

Booster packs add a significant amount of content to the game, but are different from expansion packs because they are intended to add to the original gameplay and not stand on their own (such as Special Forces does). The booster packs include new maps, vehicles, and a new European Union faction.

The two booster packs were included free of charge in the 1.50 update released on September 1, 2009.

Euro Force

Battlefield 2: Euro Force is the first booster pack, and was released on March 14, 2006. The booster pack allows players to play as a new European Union army, armed with new weapons and vehicles from the various countries of the EU. It is available for purchase online at the Electronic Arts download service, or as part of the retail Booster Pack Collection. It was scheduled for release in February, but was delayed due to a substantial amount of new bugs caused by the release of patch 1.2. It features a whole new army, 4 new vehicles, 3 new maps, and 7 new weapons such as the L85A2 with AG36 GL, the FAMAS, the HK53, the HK21,and the Benelli M4. Some of the vehicles for the EU military include the Challenger 2, Eurocopter Tiger, Leopard 2A6 and the Eurofighter.The maps include 'The Great Wall of China', against the People's Liberation Army of China, where the EU army is trying to gain a strong foothold in northern China, to reinforce their American allies in the south later on. 'Operation Smoke Screen' features the EU army fighting the MEC in the Middle East for precious oil fields, and the third map, 'Taraba Quarry', where the EU army is trying to reinforce American positions in the south. Mindful of the European plans, the MEC tries to stall the EU, where the Europeans must confront their enemies because that route is the only possible path along that side of the Caspian Sea.

Armored Fury

Battlefield 2: Armored Fury is the second booster pack released for Battlefield 2 and was released on June 6, 2006. It added 3 new maps, as well as two new vehicle classes: attack jets for close air support and reconnaissance helicopters that operate as a mobile UAV. The booster pack has the USMC defending U.S. soil from invasions from the PLA and MEC. Operation Midnight Sun features the Chinese landing at the Alaskan port Valdezmarker where they are trying to secure much needed fuel from the pipeline. Operation Road Rage is a MEC vs. USMC map, where the MEC are using US Highways to transport units to industrial areas. Operation Harvest sees the United States trying to stall the MEC en route to the capital from the northwest, being blocked in a Pennsylvania Dutch farm, while waiting for reinforcements. New vehicles include Attack or Close Air Support aircraft such as the A-10 Thunderbolt II, Su-25 Frogfoot and the Nanchang Q-5 as well as new light utility helicopers such as OH-6 Little Bird, EC-635 and the Z-11. As well as the addition of new helicopters and planes, DICE also added the Muscle Car and Semi Truck. However, the proposed AV-8B Harrier was cut from the addon due to balancing issues.

Mods

Community modders have created a large number of mods since Battlefield 2 was released. Some of the most popular mods are the WWII mod Forgotten Hope 2, Project Reality, Allied Intent Xtended , Nations at War, Sandbox, and Point of Existence.

Sequel

Battlefield 3 is currently being developed by DICE, the creators of the Battlefield series.

See also



References

  1. BF2 patch 1.5 beta is out
  2. http://blogs.battlefield.ea.com/bf2_2142/archive/2009/09/01/battlefield-2-update-v1-50-available.aspx


External links

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