Battlefield 2 is simple: a frantic race to capture check points without losing the ones you already have. You and your team have a full arsenal of military might to help you; tanks, fighter jets and helicopters (with really big guns). The rub? So will the other side.
The teamwork that BF2 inspires is its own greatest reward and it achieves this with more than a virtual pat on the back. You'll get electronic carrots; points for doing what a good team should, like capturing flags and healing teammates. Persistent scoring will bring you awards, medals, and a higher rank. But you'll also get the stick; a Commander who constantly calls on you to be all that you can be. And in this case, we mean that literally: BF2 features built in voice comm.
If you're a fresh recruit to the Battlefield series, don't worry: the Commander mode is brand new for BF2. Being the Commander offers one player on each team a real-time strategy-style overhead view of the wargrounds. As a result, sneaky players will find it harder to stay hidden due to the Commander’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and satellite sweeps. You are always being watched.
The level design borders on pure genius. Maps now scale in size to match the amount of players allowed on the server. This means it's easier to be in the thick of the action instead of searching for a fight. Strategy changes too; small 16-player maps have simple Counter-Strike-esque elegance, while bullet-ridden 64-player games are glorious meat-grinding expletive factories.
Perhaps the most important change is the addition of the Squad System. Squad Leaders act as a mobile spawn point for up to five other squad members, so if one can penetrate deep behind enemy lines, they become the biggest threat to capturing Check Points. Working together as a squad pays off big time: you and your squad-mates will complement each other in unending ways that make this the most heavily armed game of rock/paper/scissors ever. For example, if your squad gets wiped out by an enemy armor unit, respawn on your Squad Leader as an Anti-Tank team. Sweet revenge is built right into Battlefield 2.
Riding shotgun with crackerjack helicopter pilots or as part of an armored cav rush through the gritty and amazingly-detailed cityscapes, deliver awesome cinematic moments. You'll bounce from boat to jeep to jet and back with ease thanks to tunable controls for each vehicle type.
Battlefield 2 is an advanced game for an advanced PC. The ultra-realistic graphics and sound will push your rig to the limit and redefines the meaning of "high-end." You’ll be wise to arm your PC with a current video card and at least 1GB of RAM, but grab 2GB to completely avoid poor frame rate and stuttering.
If your machine is up to it, you won’t find a better team game than Battlefield 2, period. Beginners will find getting into the action is quick and easy, but veterans will find incredible value in the deep and varied gameplay that make this a must-have shooter. Squad up.