Although you can play a basic capture the flag scenario, it’s the conquest battles that you really want to get your teeth into. Just like the PC version, the point of game is to capture various points on the map and hold them – the longer your team holds these points, the more the enemy’s score is depleted, once either side’s score drops down to zero, the game is over. Individual points are scored for neutralising flag points and for capturing flags, while nailing enemy troops will also rack you up a score.
The beauty of the Battlefield games is that your score is continuously updated each time you play, allowing you to work your way up through the military ranks, thus giving you the means to lord it over all those noobs. But you need to do more than just rack up a score to get promoted, you also need to win the odd medal along the way by performing specific tasks – get four kills with one sniper rifle magazine (there’s only five shots in a mag), get 10 kills using the assault weapons kit without dying etc.
The graphics are a step up from the previous versions on the PS2 and Xbox. There are some good lighting effects with battles staged as the sun is going down – you really do find yourself squinting to try to pick out targets when looking into the sun. The lighting isn’t jaw dropping like in Ghost Recon, but it definitely adds to the atmosphere. Sound is good, but not astounding – because you’re unlikely to be playing a console game with headphones on, you’re not going to get the kind of positional effects that help you pinpoint enemies like you do on the PC.
The control method is fairly standard console FPS fare and as always it can’t compare with the speed an accuracy that a keyboard and mouse will afford you. I often argue with PC gamers who refuse to play FPS games on consoles because of the inferior control method. To a certain degree they’re right – using a mouse, especially a high-dpi model, gives you supreme accuracy and speed when in the thick of battle, but you have to completely separate PC and console games, even if they are essentially the same title. Battlefield 2 on a console is a different game to Battlefield 2 on a PC and it has to be treated that way. Don’t whinge about how you can’t be as accurate or fast with the controller, just get to grips with it and enjoy a different gaming environment – after all, everyone else is in the same boat.