Okay..I'm a little concerned about this review. This is not because it's IGN, nor do I feel the review was poorly done. I'm concerned about some issues that were brought up in it. The review is at http://pc.ign.com/articles/627/627218p1.html?fromint=1
Twelve different locations make Battlefield's battlefields. Maps aren't as diverse as I would have liked them to be but are still pretty well thought-out. Some environments are better than others in terms of gameplay, while a few simply look cool. Strike at Karkand, for instance, is an excellent map. It combines fast-paced gameplay with good amounts of strategy in an urban setting. It's got a claustrophobic appeal that makes the experience much more intense. It's a perfect map for tightly grouped infantry combat, and I suspect it'll become a favorite of those that prefer a match without a ton of huge vehicles. On the other side of the spectrum is Kubra Dam, which I have a strong distaste for. While the dam does look really cool (particularly when flying around in a helicopter), this particular map is a huge pain in the ass to navigate without a vehicle -- enough so that it creates a vortex of fun so that those of us in the office who have been playing now have little faith that it'll get any better with time.
The rest of the maps offer a varying degree of good and concentrate on various parts of the game, but it's easy to want more distinct environments. The maps in 1942 were more impressively diverse in nature than Battlefield 2's. They covered areas like Stalingrad, Berlin, the Battle of the Bulge, Wake Island, El Alamein, Midway... They all had a very different feel; you were on a different map every time you played. It's not as diverse this time around. Some of the maps feel very similar to others and, in fact, even look very similar to others. When you've got a fictional war between three factions, it seems like you could do whatever you wished with the creation of maps. Jerusalem, Europe, Russia, Indonesia, and Taiwan all come to mind as potential areas of interest. I suppose some of the relative lack of variety comes from the need to create art for each of the areas, and considering the higher detail, it might be a bigger task than before. Still, what is available ranges from good to excellent.
Erk...I was hoping that with the different map sizes the measly 12 maps in the game would be better. This does not bode well. BF1942 base shipped with 18 maps initally, and there were (IIRC) three major settings that were used: Africa, Western Front, Pacific. (My memory is a little rusty on this..it's been awhile).
While Battlefield 2 has certainly improved the series in many ways, it's surprising to see that the game has focused entirely on conquest mode again. This capture and hold game type really is an awesome mode of play, but unless the game has the right amount of people in each particular map, matches can turn into rounds of Whack a Mole. In less populated servers, players will simply run from flag to flag in circles without any hope of ever holding any of them. It's surprising then that a simple deathmatch mode isn't available. Honestly, I probably wouldn't use it, but I bet there are a bunch of people that would, now that kits are so much more expertly balanced. I suppose what I'm really sad about is that there aren't any objective modes like those found in the Return to Castle Wolfenstein games (modes where certain obstacles have to be overcome or destroyed before moving on in a level). These were always very interesting, and Battlefield 2 could have done an amazing job in implementing them.
Well...they could steal a page from Joint Ops and Onslaught Mode for UT. Make it to where there are conditions for taking a flag.
Deathmatch and objective modes or not, BF2 does run very smoothly, given the right pipeline for bandwidth on the server side. Joining 64-player games doesn't really seem to create many problems, assuming that someone isn't trying to run the server on a DSL home line, anyway. I've certainly experienced some lag, but for the most part, it's pretty amazing how well the game runs.
What? No capture the flag? Okay, I can't say this for sure as I have not seen a mode list. I'm a conquest fan, and with the smaller maps, TDM or CTF isn't needed to fill the hole in the small lan parties. Knowing that there isn't CO-OP mode though bugs me.
It would also be great if commanders could place movement waypoints for squads, in order to tell them which direction to attack from or which route to take. Also, being able to send out basic announcements about bases being attacked would be great as well. What it really needed was functionality closer to that of an RTS. As it is, the commander mode is definitely an improvement over no commander mode, but it could have been done better.
Finally, commanders should not auto-balance to the other side under any circumstance. Not only is it disorienting to the commander, but everyone else on the team is suddenly left leaderless and probably won't even know it for a while.
Having commanded during an online game...I agree. A mechcommander style of waypoints and such would be great. And that autobalance issue....here's to hoping for a quick patch.
All in all...I agree with almost all of the comments he made in the review. I would have prolly given it an 8.2 to 8.5 based on our system due to issues that I have outlined above. But he was pretty fair. Any other comments?