The OLNEY clan went out for a spin with the Battlefield 2 1.50 beta patch tonight. By far the best new feature is that the disc is no longer required to be in the drive while playing. This game is 4 years old now; why keep up that ridiculous charade?
Also new to the patch is the map you can see above, Operation Blue Pearl. This is a Chinese versus the United States map, and it is really well done in my opinion. Armor and infantry battle it out at various points along the map. Some of the bridges are raised high with slopes on which you can hide anti-tank mines. There is even a path for water vehicles and a unique sniper perch similar to the one in Gulf of Oman.
The ability for native wide screen support is also a very welcome addition.
The beta 1.50 patch’s real issues are that some people are having trouble getting their joysticks working, most everyone is having issues even joining servers, and that hardly anybody is using 1.50. I’d guess they’re staying away due to the bugs.
It is really incredible that DICE has managed to add so much to Battlefield 2 over these years and left so many flaws in. The game still takes longer to load a level than Crysis or Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. Unfortunately, this patch retains the bug where you have to go into task manager (CTRL+ALT+ESC) and set your processor affinity to just one CPU instead of two, otherwise the game is unstable online. Why?
Oh well, it is still Battlefield and I’m happy to be able to keep my disc out of the drive. Hopefully DICE will put enough resources behind BF2 1.50 and actually fix the issues in short order. 1.50 has taken a long time and the community remains strong in the face of games with arguably better infantry feel mainly due to the larger maps and more interesting vehicles.