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Battlefield 2: Complete Collection

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PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to Old Battlefield games will survive the GameSpy shutdown">battlefield2142

The GameSpy shutdown just got a lot less depressing. When the online matchmaking client goes down on May 31, all the games that used it will stop working. We re talking about a lot of games, and so far only a few publishers have made official statements about how they re handling the transition. Today, EA said that we ll still be able to play the old Battlefield games. Thank goodness.

The good news comes via the official Origin Twitter account, which responded to a question from a fan about the fate of Battlefield Bad Company 2, Battlefield 2, and Battlefield 2142, saying, We're working on transitioning those games after the shut down so you'll still be able to play them."

@Tofugames We're working on transitioning those games after the shut down so you'll still be able to play them.— Origin (@OriginInsider) April 9, 2014

There are a lot of other games that are still at risk, as you can see in this (now slightly outdated) list compiled on Reddit. But with Electronic Arts, Bohemia Interactive, Epic Games, and Activision all announcing at least partial solutions, the biggest publisher we re still waiting to hear from is 2K, which used GameSpy for Borderlands.
PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to Project Reality 2 announced, turns the military FPS mod into a standalone game">project reality 2

The Project Reality mod for Battlefield 2/Arma 2 finally hit version 1.0 earlier this year, after eight years of development time. During that time, the game series it was modifying have moved on to bigger and more explodey instalments - several times, when it comes to Battlefield. Now, the PR Team have announced the mod's follow-up - and, excitingly, you won't need to rely on any other games to play it. Project Reality 2 is being built using CryEngine 3 to be "completely standalone", in contrast to the distinctly semi-detached nature of the original.

Like the original mod, the aim with PR2 is to be one of the more realistic multiplayer shooters out there. As the announcement post reveals, "Initially, Project Reality 2 will be a small scale, infantry based FPS with a comprehensive weapon handling system that will aim to be as realistic as possible. Map sizes will be 1km and 2km with an Advance and Secure (or "AAS") style game mode, similar to that seen in the Project Reality: BF2 and Project Reality: ARMA 2 modifications." The team are currently working on the alpha - development began in mid-2012 - although a public release "is still away off" as there's obviously a lot more work involved with making a standalone release.

Interestingly, Project Reality 2 will also be "free to play", and thanks to the lack of hyphens there I'm going to assume that means the good kind of free, rather than the wallet-tickling kind often favoured by many of today's online-FPS developers. For the full details, be sure to read that announcement post - in the meantime, here's how PR1 was looking just a few months ago:

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

Any time I see people running at airborne helicopters, I think of that scene from The Protector where a screaming man leaps off a skyscraper and toward a fleeing helicopter/his certain doom for the sole purpose of kneeing someone in the face.

I haven’t played Battlefield 2′s Project Reality mod (or any Battlefield 2, really) in ages, but this is still a very exciting occasion. Eight years. That’s how long it’s taken one of the best-known mods out there to be deemed fit for 1.0 status. It’s been more than playable (DOUBLE PLAYABLE) for probably longer than I’ve been alive, though, and it’s proven succulent with delicious intrigues time and time again. In my experience, rigorous team play is the name of the game, and anything less is met with swift, pulpy, never> timely (yet always right on time) death.


PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to Battlefield 2 mod Project Reality gets v1.0 release date and trailer">Project Reality

In the eight years it has taken Battlefield 2 mod Project Reality to hit its 1.0 milestone, DICE have released seven additional Battlefield games. Then again, they've got more money, people, and one of those games was Battlefield Play4Free, so there's probably something to be said for taking your time to nurse something towards completion. Project Reality will finally hit that mark this Friday, August 2nd, and its creators have released a trailer to round up its now complete feature list.

If the mod's big features are the two new factions, additional maps and new game modes, it's the thousands of smaller tweaks that ultimately have a more dramatic effect. Project Reality - as the name might suggest - aims to create a more realistic Battlefield 2 experience, not only by rebalancing guns and equipment, but by upgrading and even removing parts of the base game. You can get an overview of what the mod offers from the latest changelog.

The 1.0 release is currently available for pre-loading, which will allow you to download the mod files, ready for when the team release the installer password at launch. To download the mod, head to the Project Reality 1.0 announcement page.
PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to What we want from Battlefield 4">bf4

Article by John Strike

Next week we'll catch our first proper glimpse of Battlefield 4, and if the picture on the press invite is anything to go by, DICE's latest in the supersized shooter series will stick with the near-modern-day setting. Also: it will have rain. Though I'm delighted by the presence of these delicately rendered drips, with over 700 Battlefield hours under my belt, and a clan to lead, I have a few more items on my wishlist.

Spawn protection

One of the most frustrating parts of Battlefield 3 is spawning and dying immediately in one of four equally infuriating ways. Firstly, you may spawn on a squad beacon that looks clear but has snipers watching it and deliberately not destroying it. Secondly you may spawn on a squad leader who’s about to step on a grenade. Thirdly you may spawn on a a flashing Conquest flag half-capped by an enemy that has every spawn place covered. Or you can find yourself at the mercy of a point-hungry medic under fire in some god forsaken corner of Operation Metro, being revived and instantly killed by a support soldier on overwatch. Regardless of how it happens, it feels like a frustrating waste of time.

DICE’s answer to this was to add a one-second ‘safety time’ in BF3 which allowed you to grasp your bearings and start firing. It's a great solution for the vulnerable spawnee, but it creates a knock-on imbalance for the spawnee's opponents, who aren't rewarded for their skill in quickly spotting an enemy. You can often empty a clip into a freshly spawned enemy, and then perish during the reload. By protecting newly-spawned players, DICE have penalised the abilities of their opponents. Admittedly, they've sweetened the pill: deaths from which you’re revived don't count towards the scoreboard, but this alleviates little of the annoyance.

There’s no easy fix here, but it's an issue DICE must address. While it could be resolved by a wholesale restructure of the spawn system, I feel like revives and squad-spawning are elements that set Battlefield apart from its rivals. It would be a shame to lose them entirely and revert back to static spawn points sheltered from the frontline. Planetside 2 allows you to decline revives from medics - that seems like a good solution to one part of the problem. Meanwhile, perhaps emphasising the risk of a certain spawn points would help alleviate the annoyance of being murdered instantly. Skull icons currently mark recent deaths on the minimap, but it could be made even more explicit: changing the colour of the spawn marker to a bright red if everyone who drops in there dies within moments. There are probably even more elegant solutions out there - let us know in the comments.

Smarter friendly fire indicators

A more specific problem is that of friendly fire or, rather, how the risk of friendly fire is flagged. Anyone who plays Battlefield 3 will have at some point been killed by an enemy who they've plainly seen but presumed is a friendly due to a blue/green tag above his head. What they're actually seeing is the ally marker of a team-mate some distance behind the hostile trooper. There’s no differentiation in the size or transparency of the tag to help you deduce this. I'd like to see friendly tags vanish if positioned directly behind an enemy.

More throwbacks to Battlefield 2

Whatever happened to the sweeping orchestral music at the start of games, or the support of a commander who could call in pin-point artillery? How could we forget what fun we had spotting a camping sniper for the commander as he dropped a jeep on his head in a brutal act of "cartillary". Whatever happened to those big 6-man squads and a class dynamic that never felt like it needed changing? Why did I seemingly sacrifice my netcode and framerate for destructible buildings? Why can I level up a character in a matter of hours?

Some of Battlefield 3 and BFBC2’s features have been fantastic and series has undoubtedly evolved in line with others, but I think much of the legacy of BF2 and perhaps even the identity of the Battlefield games has been lost along the way.

Deal with la...           ...g

If I had a pound for every time I shouted, "He just shot me round a fucking corner!" I’d be able to pay transport costs for everyone on the server to come and sit in my lounge and play on LAN.

Of course, the UK's abysmal network infrastructure is rather out of DICE's hands, but the game's design can account for it up to a point. And, as BF3’s Close Quarters’ DLC maps illustrated, the netcode was never built for fast, twitchy encounters.

More scoring sounds and player barks

BFBC2 and BF3 are among the most sonically accomplished games ever made - witness the sudden subdued volume and tinnitus ring that follows a close detonation, or the way sounds echo off the walls of a confined space. These are key to the sense of embodiment that roots you right there in the action.

But they could expand their score-related sound indicators. Currently, there's only one sound used to represent everything from "YES! My mine blew up a tank" to "Bollocks I’m dead". You even hear the exact same soft ping if you clock up a teamkill. Surely a set of sounds could exist attributed to Battlefield 3’s huge number of bonuses.

I also quite miss the use of non-English languages from Battlefield 2 and BFBC2. As an English-speaking player there was an exciting vulnerability in not being able to interpret enemy barks - although, if you played the game long enough, you began to unconsciously assimilate the phrases. If I ever get stuck in China or Russia, I will be able to confidently ask for a lift from passing jeeps, although I suspect "Grenade!" and "Enemy tank spotted!" may be rather more hazardous to use in everyday conversation.

Bigger, more malleable environments

Visually stunning and relentlessly tested maps are crucial if Battlefield 4 wants to be what we need it to be. Aside from perhaps Operation Metro, BF3 has been a leader in flowing and multi-layered map design, with minimal choke-points and plenty of neat little hidey-holes.

Playing the Armoured Kill maps in particular I was struck with how good the game looks on a larger scale, and feel that even more could be done for Battlefield 4 to make those environments more interactive. Alborz Mountains for example has heaving great rock formations above Conquest flags which I'm just itching to destroy. If you can flatten a two-storey building why not bring rocks and rubble crashing down around your foes?

Consider Alborz' steep inclines, laden with snow. It would have been fantastic if you could cause avalanches. What better way to ambush a convoy of attackers in a ravine than by blocking the road with snow? Imagine breaking up those sheets of ice in the lower valleys with tank fire, sending crossing troops into the sea on impromptu icebergs.

Vast, open environments and destructibility were the defining features of previous Battlefield games. In the singleplayer at least - DICE abandoned that in favour of aping Call of Duty's cinematic linearity. This was definitely a mistake. This is what the "next-gen" should be all about: wowing audiences with dynamic, interactive worlds, not funneling them through a slightly prettier duckshoot.

Consistency among patches

The running joke of game patches needing patches of their own has never seemed as true as in BF3. From its catastrophic server problems at launch to the frustrating wait between updates (thanks to them being tethered to patch approval processes on consoles), Battlefield 3’s patch history has been turbulent, but DICE’s support for the game has been strong.

However, as a player, there’s one aspect of this patching process that has been slightly frustrating: the radical changes to the strengths and weaknesses of the game’s arsenal. Game balance is obviously an ongoing process, but it seems that something's gone wrong in your QA or beta-testing process if, after launch, you end up shifting weapons and vehicles into completely different brackets of strength and agility. As a gamer the consistency of your instruments is important, and a more thorough closed beta or external game testing by trusted members of its community would make DICE’s Battlefield 4 a game to remember.

That's my wishlist - what's yours? Let us know what you want to see from Battlefield 4 in the comments and add me on BL @ Stryk_uk if you like hardcore mode and teamwork!

PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to Battlefield 10-year anniversary promotion discounts Battlefield 3 and other games to $10">BF10Anniv-main_970x211_V2

It's hard to believe that it's been a whole decade since we were riding on the wings of bombers and making car bombs with satchel charges in Battlefield 1942, one of the most influential multiplayer shooters of all time. To celebrate its storied run, Origin is offering six major entries from the series at $10/£10 a pop.

Included in the promotion are Battlefield 3, Battlefield 2142 Deluxe, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Digital Deluxe Edition, Battlefield: Bad Company 2: Vietnam, and Battlefield 2: Complete Collection. No love for the series' World War II-based entries, unfortunately, but it's still a hell of a deal: five Battlefield titles for less than the launch price of BF3. Well, six, technically—but why would you buy BF:BC2 when its Digital Deluxe Edition is the same price?

The deal is exclusive to Origin, of course. If you're hopping into BF3 for the first time, have a look at Armored Kill, BF3's most recent DLC. We like it.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

I can't see where I'm going!Remember Ravaged? Judged on looks, it’s the result of a scintillating, sensual night of passionate discussion about how it’d be really cool if there was a multiplayer shooter that mixed Battlefield’s raging multiplayer with RAGE’s battlefields. And now, via the natural miracle that is game development, here we are. The new trailer comes as part of something big 2Dawn is “about to kick out the door” (read: probably the beta), and features so many explosions that we may well be in the post-post-apocalypse before this thing is over. Stick around long enough and you’ll also catch a faint, middle-finger-flavored hint of Duke Nukem in there because… I don’t really know. The rest looks quite nice, though. Dig beneath this post’s irradiated ruins to give it a watch.


PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to PC Gamer Digital Episode 7 – The Battlefield 3 Special – now available on Steam!">header_ep7

You're captivated by the elegant figure of an F/A 18 Super Hornet as it roars over the desert and—BRAP B-BRAP!—syncopated machine gun bursts ripple past your head and cut your gawking short. You sprint to cover in time to watch a tank shell devour your last entrenchment and spit out its dusty remains. Alone you're dead, but above you a UH-1Y Super Huey chops through bursting sun rays and scatters reinforcements like dandelion seeds (if dandelion seeds carried rocket launchers, of course).

I do love hyperbole, but this really (virtually) happened to me. The emergent drama of Battlefield 3's large-scale multiplayer battles is hard to overstate, which is why we've dedicated the latest episode of PC Gamer Digital, which is available now on Steam, entirely to Battlefield 3 and the renowned Battlefield series at large. More details below!

In this episode, you'll explore the present with a guide to deadly BF3 helicopter piloting and a recklessly destructive, physics-testing stunt show (jumping jeeps over helicopters is just the warm-up). Then you'll step into the past with a 360-degree tour of Wake Island—the series’ most famous map—from 1942 to the futuristic war zone of 2142, and relive the series' history with every Battlefield-related magazine article ever published in PC Gamer US. And there’s more (for less than the price of most shoelaces!), making this episode a must-have for any Battlefield fan.

If you haven't yet experienced PC Gamer Digital, it's an exciting, unique application featuring original interactive content and HD video features from the editors of PC Gamer. Check it out by downloading the free base application (which comes with our debut episode!).
PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to EVE Online and Battlefield 2 listed as major inspirations for Planetside 2">environmental concept 1-cut

While talking with the dev team about Planetside 2 at Fan Faire this past weekend, SOE president John Smedley and Creative Director Matt Higby listed EVE Online and Battlefield 2 among outside games that have inspired their designs for Planetside 2.

Smedley plays EVE Online regularly and frequently mentioned it as the major influence for the sandbox portion of PS2. Its influence is obvious in both PS2's time-based, offline skill progression system and the desire to have a single shard server, even if Smedley said that they probably won't be able to manage that until awhile after launch, when there are multiple planets. "We're probably going to end up with servers," he continued, "but we're going to experiment with internally to see what we can do with it." It's an interesting idea, and there's a lot of great potential in having the meta-game played on a single shard. It's easy to imagine the same type of large-scale territorial control schemes that pop up in EVE replicated in Planetside 2.

Both Smedley and Higby mentioned FPS games as inspiration, including the Battlefield and Call of Duty series, and Higby specifically mentioned that Battlefield 2 (and what he's see so far of Battlefield 3) is "definitely on a pedestal" as the pinnacle of vehicle combat in multiplayer. He feels that "they've done the best with vehicles. I want to be at least that good."

I'm quite fond of the games that they both mention, and it seems to be a good big-picture way of picturing PS2's main elements. You don't often hear EVE Online and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 discussed in the same interview, but it seems like an apt combination of gameplay styles for Planetside 2's big dreams of shooter-powered territory control warfare.
PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to DICE: “Now is the time to make a proper sequel to Battlefield 2. Competitors are treading water”">

DICE's General Manager, Karl Magnus Troedsson has described the upcoming Battlefield 3 as a "real sequel to Battlefield 2."

Speaking to game.on.net, Troedsson also discussed the series tonal shift, and how the developer has taken on more community feedback this time around.

Troedsson told the website: "We now feel like we are ready to make a real sequel to Battlefield 2. With Bad Company we introduced the franchise to next gen console. With Bad Company 2 we introduced co-op; we introduced single player. Now is the time to put all that together and make a proper sequel to 2005's Battlefield 2. The biggest change from Battlefield Bad Company 2 to Battlefield 3 will be the tone of the game, definitely."

DICE's general manager says community feedback has also had a significant impact on Battlefield 3's design decisions: "It was hard to ignore the outcry from the community. The return of jets and the return of prone is definitely... we have listened to the community straight off."

Players had the ability to lie prone in 2005's Battlefield 2, but not in DICE's more recent Bad Company games. Battlefield 3 will let players lie on their bellies as much as they like, as highlighted in the most recent trailer. "We wanted to bring it back but we also know that there's a lot of hassle with things like that; both visual quality-wise but also balancing. How do you handle that sniper, up on a hill, on the grass, lying down?"

His confidence in the franchise was obvious: “The competitors … are out there, they’re established, and they’re very, very big... we believe that they are not innovating, that they are treading water."

For more on Battlefield 3, check the official website or read our in our 10 things we'd like to see in Battlefield 3 feature. Will Battlefield 3 will be a worthy sequel to Battlefield 2?


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