Battlefield 2 in the test - the best multiplayer shooter

Author: Fabian Siegismund
Date: 2005-07-21 17:03:00
The mother of all multiplayer shooters from developer DICE has splendid offspring: Battlefield 2! It not only looks stunning, but also has outstanding inner values in the test for PC: exemplary balance and perfect team play.

An outstanding leader needs intelligence, credibility, humanity, courage and rigor. Says Sun Tzu from China. He wrote The Art of War. In the past two millennia, countless generals have tested his theories and come to the conclusion: »Right! The book is brilliant! «.

A good leader also needs artillery, unmanned reconnaissance threats, radar scans, and relief supplies. My digital illusions from Sweden. They developed Battlefield 2 . In the past two weeks, countless GameStar editors have tested their theories and come to the conclusion: »That's right! The game is brilliant! ”Sun Tzu managed to convey his collected theories about the war in only around 60,000 German characters. We can top that: We squeeze our concentrated knowledge of Battlefield 2 into just 12,400 letters and explain to you what makes the game our new action reference.

First row, middle

High-ranking military leaders are valuable and therefore sit in comfortable radio vehicles far from the front. Certainly pleasant for generals, but boring for shooter fans.

This was also what Digital Illusions (Dice) thought, and rejected their first concept of the new Commander mode. A few weeks ago it was said that the commander-in-chief would not take part in the battle as a fighter, but would act as a pure strategist. In the finished Battlefield 2 , however, things look different: As a commander, you now storm across the battlefield with the normal soldiers! However, only you have access to the ingenious additional options: At the push of a button, a map overview opens in which all the friendly troops are drawn. With a practical menu, you can use radar scanning at regular intervals to uncover all enemy units in the combat area, send out espionage threats, drop relief supplies with ammunition and medi-packs and order devastating artillery strikes. This is all done easily and quickly with just a few clicks. That's a good thing, because in commander mode the commander-in-chief doesn't notice his surroundings and is an easy target for enemy fighters.

Black Hawk up

If light wagons appear first and occupy the flanks, the enemy stands up to fight, says Sun Tzu. Battlefield 2 offers much more than just light cars: inflatables, tanks, helicopters and even jet fighters. Because instead of historical battles you experience fictitious modern battles between the USA, China and the Arab coalition MEC in the tried and tested Conquest mode.

The fleet and weapon systems are state-of-the-art in military technology: jets hunt for helicopters with heat-seeking missiles, helicopters take tanks with camera-guided projectiles under fire, and troop carriers hide behind opaque clouds of smoke. Controls and driving physics could have come from a simulation: The suspensions of the jeeps give way realistically springy when you chase across sunny beaches with a rattling engine.

The helicopters represent the ideal mix of easy operation and playful challenges. With the WASD buttons you control lift and rudder, with the mouse you tilt the helicopter in the direction you want to fly. This is easier than in Battlefield Vietnam, but much more difficult than in joint operations. But the sense of achievement is all the greater if, after a few minutes of practice with the Black Hawk helicopter, you make steep turns through Arabian canyons.

Rank and name

Who becomes a commander depends on the rank: battles in which you participate are evaluated by an online ranking system. For each enemy that a player kills, he receives one point. So far, nothing new.

Battlefield 2 also has teamwork rewards. This is where Dice copied from the competitor Joint Operations : If, for example, as a helicopter pilot you are driving around teammates or rushing to the aid of a troubled comrade, there are assistance points. The values are added, entered in an online ranking list and translated into military ranks. If two players apply for the Commander post at the same time, the higher ranking person will be given priority. However, this is by no means a job for life: every player can call for mutiny once every two minutes. When half of the team rebels against the commander, he is off the window. He can only apply for the post again after five minutes.

»Watch the test video for Battlefield 2 in the large player

The glory seven

Before you choose to become a commander, choose a soldier class. There are seven of them in Battlefield 2 : The assault soldier forms the backbone of the three armies. With his grenade launcher, he preferred to target enemy infantry. The anti-tank gunner is responsible for vehicles. Although his submachine gun is weaker than his colleagues' assault rifles, his steerable rockets make tank drivers fear for this: if a vehicle is aimed at the bazooka, a threatening chirp sounds.

However, the Special Forces soldier strikes unexpectedly. The attaches highly explosive C4 to vehicles and ignites it from a safe distance by radio. When we are lying in wait next to a bridge, the commander warns us of approaching tanks. We whiz on the flyover, lay out five explosive charges and hide under the bridge with the remote detonator. When we hear chains crunching above us, we press the trigger. Bad surprise: the bridges in Battlefield 2 are destructible! Two burning tanks and tons of rubble fall on our squad ...

shock therapy

Not only bridges, but also the Commander's toys are the target of the Special Forces: radar, artillery and drone control station are on the cards. If they are blown up, the respective aid fails - until a pioneer comes by. It brings vehicles and installations back on track.

The paramedic takes care of injured soldiers. Probably the most important fighter from Battlefield 1942 was missing from Battlefield Vietnam , but learned something while on vacation: With his defibrillator, he brought comrades back to life. The Sani also distributes first aid packages - medicine cabinets like those in Battlefield 1942 no longer exist. You won't find ammunition boxes either. Instead, supply soldiers provide supplies: they put cartridge belts on their comrades. The sniper cannot get enough ammunition, because there are plenty of isolated places with a free field of fire in Battlefield 2: high-rise buildings, chimneys, even construction cranes serve as perfect sniper positions.

Brothers in Arms

A good general commands a group that can be controlled like a single individual who has no other choice, says Sun Tzu.

In Battlefield 2 , every soldier has a specialty, but everyone is dependent on one another: a sniper without ammunition is just as useless as a foot-injured grenadier or a broken tank. Therefore, the players organize themselves in groups. With just a click of the mouse, you create such a »squad«, which five comrades can join. The Squad founder automatically becomes the group leader. He serves as a mobile starting point for his subordinates and makes inquiries to the commander-in-chief via a menu that is similar to Commander mode. So he requests espionage threats, artillery strikes or relief supplies. In the same way, the commander gives the squads orders such as "attack here!" Or "lay mines there!" If the group leader accepts his assignment at the push of a button, an on-screen symbol and a colored smoke grenade guide him to the mission. If the commander agrees to an inquiry, a drone is sent on the spot, a fire command is issued or a care package is dropped. This is how Battlefield 2 creates a perfect team game.

Funkemariechen

Forget annoying F-key picking - in Battlefield 2 , the spoken radio messages you send to teammates are organized in a ring-shaped menu that opens in the middle of the screen at the touch of a button. You can send warnings or calls for help in a fraction of a second.

If the pre-prepared messages are not meaningful enough, use the built-in Voice-over-IP system and talk to your comrades without interference. Clan players in particular are celebrating such good opportunities for cooperation. But this also works on public servers, because the ranking system that rewards teamwork not only brings advantages when choosing a Commander: those who have collected enough points get smart orders and unlock additional weapons - one per class. The pioneer then runs over the battlefield with a fully automatic boom instead of a repeating shotgun. This ensures enormous long-term motivation.

Foreign tongues

To know your enemy, you have to become your enemy, says Sun Tzu. This is not a problem in Battlefield 2 : the perfect balance of the three parties and the classes with each other means that you can switch jobs and sides without any worries.

There is no privileged nation like that in Battlefield Vietnam , in which the planes of the Americans are superior to those of the Vietnamese. Nevertheless, not all fighters play the same thing: The Chinese sniper, for example, uses a semi-automatic rifle that shoots faster but does less damage than the bolt action rifle of the American. Unlike in the predecessors, in which Allied / American troops were marked in blue and German / Vietnamese soldiers in red, the opposing team in Battlefield 2 always has red names, and their own team always blue. Absolutely logical and, after a short familiarization period, much easier than the old system.

Bot Squad

According to the rules of the art of war, there are nine types of terrain, says Sun Tzu. In Battlefield 2 there are even twelve - twelve battlefields, from a dam construction site in the Arabian desert to the foggy swamps of Mongolia.

Each card is available in three versions, for 16, 32 or 64 players. In single player mode, you move into the field with seven bots. The AI opponents are unusually keen on hopeless hand-to-hand combat, but otherwise behave cleverly and listen to their word when you give orders. The Commander post is open to you at any time, but if you prefer to go alone as a lone fighter, a bot will take command. Battlefield 2's solo mode does not come with a single-player campaign, but is sufficient for a small war in between. It is even ideal as a training ground for the "real" battles on the Internet or local network.

Kamerakind

Not only the weapon selection, but also the graphics of Battlefield 2 are state of the art. There are special details in the player models: every piece of equipment that the realistic animated soldiers use is actually visible on the fighter.

If you can't get enough of it, Battlefield 2 offers an exciting tool: the Battle Recorder. For each match you host online, a file with all game information is saved on the respective server. You can download them and watch the battle as a repeat in freely selectable camera perspectives. You can admire particularly spectacular scenes in slow motion or as a three-dimensional still image. If desired, Battlefield 2 exports game scenes as an AVI video clip for archiving on your hard drive. However, there is no rewind function and an easy-to-use graphical user interface in the Battle Recorder.

arms race

The sound of Battlefield 2 is just as breathtaking as the graphics: artillery strikes vibrate the boxes, never before have there been such realistic shot noises. Each weapon differs significantly from the others: you can hear exactly whether friend or enemy is shooting - not only because of the excellent positioning. But to enjoy Battlefield 2 in all its glory, you need strong hardware. But this investment is definitely worth it for multiplayer fans. Sun Tzu says: "Truly whoever does not fight wins." But he didn't know this game either.