Package, Installation, and Settings
Battlefield 2 comes in two flavors: a CD-ROM version and a DVD-ROM version. If you have a DVD player in your system, then it is highly recommended that you get the DVD; installation is just so much easier with one disk compared to 3.
Inside the hard backed case you get a DVD (or 3 CDs) with the game content, a 23 page printed manual that covers all the basics you really need to know. A huge operating manual really isn’t needed for this type of game.
Installation was easy and without problems. After the movie introduction you create an online profile. Even if you’re not playing ranked, an online profile is required. The profile is important if you plan on playing on ranked servers to gain the extras.
The first screen tab is the BFHQ screen; this is where you’ll see your ranked stats, rank, medals, and unlocked kits. If you play on a ranked server then you’ll get more statistics then you could ever imagine in a run and gun game. The one thing about the stats I don’t like is that non-ranked servers are not tracked. I believe they should be tracked for stats and weapon information. For security and cheating purposes, they’re not allowed to count for rank, medals and weapon kit “unlocks”.
Speaking of cheating, Battlefield 2, like it’s predecessors, has Punkbuster support built into the game. Punkbuster may keep most cheaters out of a server, but there have been reported problems with Punkbuster kicking gamers out for no reason. I personally have not experienced any of these problems… knock-on-wood.
The second tab is the popular multiplayer screen, the third — the single player, and forth — the community tab which I will cover later. For now we will jump to the fifth tab which is for the options. There appears to be an option for everything possible. That is true with the game settings, video settings, and audio settings. Each type of vehicle can have custom key commands like infantry, vehicles, helicopters, and fast movers.
I said it before and I’ll say it again… all games, whether they’re the latest combat flight simulation or the just released run and gun need and should include a key card especially when the developer (in this case Electronic Arts or DICE) doesn’t allow for reprograming the num pad keys on a key board. This omission forces gamers to use the default keyboard settings. Most players — 80% according to statistics I’ve seen — won’t have a problem with this. But for the left-handed gamer like me, it’s a big setback. Left handed gamers typically use the left hand for mouse work, and program the num pad for their right hand use. This may not seem like a big deal, but being forced to use default keys and the arrow keys for gaming has caused me not to play as well as I’m capable of, it’s just too awkward. Electronic Arts made a major mistake in my opinion with this omission and I really hope this is addressed in the first patch.
System requirements for Battlefield 2 are:
Minimum Specifications: CPU: 1.7 GHz; RAM: 512MB; Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700, ATI Radeon 8500 or ATI Radeon 9500 with 128 Mb of RAM
Recommended Specifications: CPU: 2.4 GHz; RAM: 1GB; Video Card with at least 256MB of RAM
Operating System: Windows XP (32-bit version)
Processor: Intel Pentium 4, Intel Xeon, Intel Pentium Extreme Edition, Intel Celeron D, AMD Athlon XP, AMD Athlon 64, AMD Athlon 64-FX and AMD Sempron processor.
Video Cards: Battlefield 2 only supports the following video cards: Radeon X700 (PCIe); Radeon X600 (PCIe); GeForce 6600 (PCIe); GeForce PCX 5900 (PCIe); GeForce 5800 Series (AGP); ATI Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition; ATI Radeon X800 PRO; ATI Radeon 9800 Series; ATI Radeon 9600 Series; ATI Radeon 9550 (RV350LX); ATI Radeon 9500 / 9700 Series; ATI Radeon 8500 Series; ATI Radeon X300 Series; NVidia GeForce 6800 Ultra; NVidia GeForce 6800 GT; NVidia GeForce 6800; NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Series; NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Series; NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Series.
Hard Drive Space: To install Battlefield 2 you will need approximately 2.3 GB free hard disk space, plus space for saved game.
I’ve had no technical problems so far except for a random disconnect from the servers. Usually others I’m gaming with have the same problem at the same time, so I’m assuming it’s either the servers (or Punkbuster!) and not my system (I hope). I did ask on the Forums for people’s specifications and problems. Most have average specs and play on average settings with no problems. Of course, as with all PC games, there are a handful of unhappy gamers who report nothing but problems. Since the Battlefield series is a premier line for EA, you would expect it to be supported well. The short-lived patch v1.01 introduced a nasty memory leak, so EA replaced it with the current v1.02 which seems to remedy the problem, along with several original bug fixes.
Like the previous versions in the Battlefield series, the graphics are incredible. I recently purchased a new system, and BF2 runs great on it with everything turned up to maximum settings. You can see by the screenshots I grabbed with my computer the attention to detail and the texture quality are superb and the graphics scale well on different systems.