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|29th July 2004, 15:24||#1|
Join Date: May 2002
Battlefield 2 Preview
(The original version of this preview can be found here in Dutch)
Nobody had anticipated the enormous success of Battlefield 1942 when it was first released late summer 2002. Thanks to a great playable demo and EA's vast marketing campaign gamers rushed to the stores, at this point in time over 3 million copies have been sold, a number most publishers can only dream about!
To further cash in on their success EA released 2 expansion packs which were received with mixed emotions, but sold well nonetheless. In March this year they released a spin-off with their "Battlefield: Vietnam (review)" title, which seemed to have been rushed onto the market, causing frustration to a lot of gamers and fans due to the numerous bugs which are still being patched Patch 1.1 has just been released!). In the meanwhile DICE and EA have been working on a fully fledged sequel. Can Battlefield 2 offer more then its predecessor and its competitors?
(click for full-size)
"We see the return of Helicopters in Battlefield 2 which should be easier to control"
With Battlefield 2 they have abandoned the WO II/Vietnam settings and have gone for modern day warfare just like S÷ldner and Joint Operations. Something you will notice right away is the use of a new 3D engine, so you can expect some spicy in-game graphics with dynamic lighting, realistic shadows and other fancy effects. The detail of the environment, various vehicles and game characters has been bumped up quite a bit, making it look all very life-like!
Next to the inevitable graphical advances of Battlefield 2 you'll also get to play with a whole new physics engine. This time around they will actually be useful and not just serve the occasional "man gets catapulted by rocket" scenes. For example, you will no longer be safe when you are ducked away behind a wooden construction, bullets will penetrate thin wood and metal plates so you'll have to be pay more attention when choosing your hideout!
Next to the impressive physics engine they've also added a damage model for some structures in the game. Most are strategic like bridges which can be destroyed. Unfortunately these damages are all "pre-programmed" making it a less dynamic battlefield, maybe we'll see this in the next release? Once a structure has been destroyed an engineer can fix it up, just so you can shoot it in the pieces once more .
The arcade gameplay level has been increased with this follow-up, making the handling of vehicles less difficult. The helicopter has become easier to maneuver with, a nice improvement as it has been proven with Joint Operations that it can be done better. One of the new additions is the "missile lock", if you enter a vehicle which comes equipped with heat seeking missile you'll see a circle over enemy targets which enables you to lock on to them and firing away you're lethal missile, to make it "hit home" you need to keep the circle over your target, making it a worthy challenge. Of course when you are in a plane or heli you'll be able to drop flares to try and detour the rocket. The gameplay has been kept simple but intuitive.
Teamwork is essential in games like this, to encourage the players it is now possible to go to work as Squad Leader. He can provide his companions with waypoints and tasks with the help of a nifty screen. The addition of Squad Leader might prove to be a good move since the maximum amount of players in a round of Battlefield has been increased double-fold. With a predicted maximum of 128 players let's hope the network code is up to it!
Good communication is vital for good team play; this aspect has also been improved in Battlefield 2. Imagine yourself ducted in a small alley and you see an enemy tank passing by, just place your crosshair on the tank, hit a button and a message will be send (text & audio) to all your comrades and their map will be updated with the location of the spotted enemy. If you like to relive your best gaming sessions you will be able to thanks to the in-game demo recorder!
Battlefield 2 is looking very promising, although you don't have to expect large changes, it will mainly build on the excellent game play of the first installment with the addition of a new graphics and physics engine. This new large scale online battle will start in spring 2005, let's hope that EA's creation can conquer gamer's harts once again, with some tough competition coming up this might not be so easy.
Written by Kermit@shrimps.be for www.spelletjesgarnaal.be , thanks and credits go out to him!
Translated for Madshrimps by email@example.com
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