Battlefield 2: Special Forces - Battlefield 2: Special Forces



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Of course, as anyone who had SAS action man will know, the real thrill of Special Forces action lies in the cool ways you can grapple, climb and slide your way around. To this end, the Special Forces and Sniper kits come with a handy crossbow that fires zip-lines for quick movement from rooftops to the ground, while the Assault and Anti-Tank kits gain a grappling hook that acts like a portable ladder. Expect these to become the camper’s new best friend…

And finally, we get new vehicles. As at least two of the new maps are heavily water-based, it makes sense to get an amphibious personnel carrier, while the Jet Ski makes for some thrilling beach outpost raids. There are also civilian cars and pickup trucks to be grabbed and driven around, and a thoroughly enjoyable little four-wheel ATV for the Battlefield 2 stuntman crowd. Older BF2 favourites are beefed up with missile launchers and heavy machine guns, and there are even new attack helicopters for the flyboys to hog and harass the troops beneath. In terms of bangs for bucks, you can’t say that Special Forces doesn’t try hard.

But, try as it might, Special Forces fails to do what it really sets out to: give the Battlefield 2 experience a convincing new twist. This is still Battlefield 2, and it’s still all about killing enemies and capturing control points. It hasn’t become a 64-player Counter-Strike or Rainbow Six, and there are times when it’s hard to remember that you’re not just playing the basic game. Of course, a big shift might well have spoilt what makes Battlefield 2 work so effectively, but the fact remains that this isn’t as different a game as you might expect. While the night battles put more emphasis on stealth and visibility, they still work in the same ebb-and-flow, capture-and-loss way as conventional Battlefield 2 maps. The grappling hooks and zip lines don’t seem to get an awful lot of use, and I saw more flash bang and tear gas grenades while practicing with bots than I ever did online. Perhaps the only major tangible change is a readjustment in the favour of infantry, with fewer tanks rumbling around and fewer planes and helicopters raining death from above. This is definitely a good thing, but it’s hardly the stuff of revolution.

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