Battlefield 2 Preview

In just one week, Battlefield 2 will be in retail stores everywhere. However, a week is an eternity, and who could wait that long for one of the biggest shooters of the year? Thankfully EA has come to the rescue by releasing the official Battlefield 2 demo at a hefty 550MB. The demo features just one map named the ‘Gulf of Oman’ and both single and multiplayer gameplay. It may not be a whole lot, but it should be enough to keep us going through the next week with our itchy trigger fingers. It’s also why we’re here to now give you our first impressions on this multiplayer behemoth.

After hours and hours spent blowing up enemy soldiers in the Battlefield 2 demo, we can’t help but to go back in and do it over and over again. That’s a lot to say considering that the demo only has one map, but it’s the gameplay that makes it so exciting. The multiplayer mode can handle up to 64 players total. That’s nothing new as it has been like that in previous Battlefield titles. The new thing here is that the map can scale to how many players you have on. So if you have 16 players going at it, the map will scale down and will be more like a small close-quarters area. Playing with 32 players will scale the map up to cover much more area, and playing with 64 players will scale the map up even more. This feature is really looking great at this point as changing the map size drastically changes the gameplay.

Gulf of Oman, the particular map featured in this demo, is more of a desert terrain area with a small river flowing through its center, and an ocean to the south. There are plenty of places to hide and even some high areas to reach via ladders such as a giant crane that overlooks the whole map. The map is filled with a number of outposts that need to be taken over by either opposing team which is handled in the Conquest mode of the game much like previous titles. On this map, when you play with 16 players you receive a very small area with only about four outposts that can be taken over. With such a small size it really feels like close house-to-house combat. Placing it on the 32 player setting opens up more outposts that can be taken over as well as both a friendly and enemy base that can’t be ceased by the opposing team. The USMC forces get an aircraft carrier positioned right off the coast as their base. This base contains anything from apache helicopters and black hawks to what looks to be a modified harrier jet and boats. The enemy base serves as an airport on land that contains different helicopters and jets. Unfortunately the 64 player option is not available in the demo.

The weapon loadouts that you can choose at any given time have a much larger purpose now. For example, choosing the special forces loadout will give you special explosives used to destroy anything from enemy tanks and jeeps to radar dishes and artillery cannons. Also medics can more easily heal friendly soldiers by dropping med packs, and support gunners can do the same with ammo. Choosing the right loadout can really help you work together as a team and helping other players out by either healing them or giving them ammo can score you extra points. In fact, the point system is so much more in depth here that you can score points for doing many different things such as helping to take over an outpost, assisting in enemy kills, and even being a good pilot while your onboard gunner racks in the kills.

Probably the biggest feature in this new sequel would be the squad-based gameplay. You can actually create a squad at any time during the game which can have up to six squad members. The leader of the squad can order his members to attack or defend certain areas which then shows up on his members’ maps, so that they can easily see the objectives being given to them. Completing an objective will also give you teamwork points. Besides having separate squads there can also be a commander who has the ability to issue orders to the leaders of the individual squads. He’s the supreme commander of the entire side and can call in artillery strikes, place UAV beacons to detect enemy movement, and also scan for enemy threats in any area on the map. There have been so many cases during our playing of the demo where we saw that teamwork was essential. The key to winning in Battlefield 2 is the teamwork, but the problem is that most players are still used to the lone wolf atmosphere of the previous titles. You can go out on your own and not join any squads, but this usually leads to some confusion and plenty of team killings due to the lack of communication between members.

On the visual front, Battlefield 2 looks absolutely stunning. The dynamic shadows, highly detailed character models, and plenty of smooth textures are all new advances to the series and look to make this one of the best looking multiplayer titles ever. It’s also great to see how smooth it runs on the highest settings with virtually no stuttering or hitching at all.

At this point, Battlefield 2 looks like it’ll definitely be one multiplayer experience to win us over this year. There are so many things in this new sequel that we just couldn’t mention them all here. You’ll have to wait to see our full detailed review to see how more of the gameplay pans out with such features as how the vehicles handle, whether the single-player is finally more advanced or not, and a much more detailed description on the point and new ranking system. Battlefield 2’s release is only one week away. You can wait can’t you?


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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