A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that while countless players die repeated (bloodless) deaths in this war game, BATTLEFIELD 2 also features highly developed cooperative play via online multiplayer support. Parents are likely to see their kids communicate and strategize with other players to hatch elaborate assaults on enemy positions. Straightforward attacks rarely work -- only coordinated, creative team play will result in victory. Of course, online play may encourage taunting, bullying, and hard feelings among opponents and teammates alike.
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What's it about?
Part of the same series that includes Battlefield 1942 and Battlefield Vietnam, BATTLEFIELD 2 centers on conflicts in modern-day hot zones, offering RPGs, submachine guns and high-powered sniper rifles as the tools of war.
Players control different classes of soldiers (assault, special ops, and sniper, for example) who use unique combinations of gear to accomplish mission objectives. In a single-player game, that means players protect a building from snipers or defend an oil platform from paratroopers. In an online game, that means an exciting, chaotic game of capture the flag. To make even a modest showing, players will have to find ways to cooperate with their teammates.
Is it any good?
At first glance, Battlefield 2 has many of the features of a middling war-themed first-person shooter: marginal storytelling, passable graphics, and often-tedious missions. Playing the single-player missions might lead you to question why this was one of the summer's hottest PC releases. But online, Battlefield 2 explodes to the front of the pack.
It's in these multiplayer blowouts that the brilliance of Battlefield 2 becomes more obvious. Combat zones feature a high level of interactivity -- players commandeer tanks, boats, helicopters, and pickup trucks. Map design is ingenious, boasting an impressive array of hiding places, fortifications, and obstacles. Players who spend any time playing online will quickly discover that cooperation and creativity are the keys to success. And while Battlefield 2 is saturated in the violence of modern warfare, the lack of blood does something to offset the carnage, and any game that emphasizes ingenuity over gratuitous gore certainly has value for kids of the right age group.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Battlefield 2's online play is similar to the schoolyard game "Capture the Flag." How can such a simple concept blossom into one of the most popular multiplayer video games around? Does the addition of violence undermine the innocent appeal of a big, cooperative game? What do both games have in common that make them so much fun?
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