Movement, ten o'clock. You're not sure if you saw something or not. Pull out
your map and check to see if there are any friendly squads in your area – nope,
you're on point. Slip your binoculars out and check the area. Nothing in sight.
You call the rest of your squad up to cover your advance. Check left and right
to see they're in position, and move out slowly, keeping low as not to skyline
yourself on the ridge. Crawling on your belly snake-like, you slide up behind a
log for cover. Checking that same run of trees of to the slight left –
something's startled the birds; There's someone there alright. Another check of
the map for friendlies but that's a big negative. You whisper to your Squad
Leader that there are unconfirmed hostiles ahead, 255 degrees his bearing. He confirms the bird sighting, sends two riflemen out to
flank, one left, one right, keeps the heavy gunner and grenadier up to provide
covering fire and support. Riflemen signal they're in position, Squad Leader
gives the word, and with the long and hollow “pop” sound of a grenade launcher
firing, it has begun.
Suddenly the whole world lights up, heavy machine gun fire screaming over your head, rapid rifle shots off to either side, grenades exploding all over the place, nobody sure whose they are. Smoke, noise, fear... the ground shakes and the air boils – but still you focus on your designated quarter. Movement at one o'clock, hard to ignore really. The enemy heavy gunner barks back with furious display of firepower. He hasn't seen you yet, but spews intense suppressing fire onto the ridge behind you. With the snap and crack of rounds passing over your head, your vision shakes, your ears are ringing, all you can do is wait for it to stop – and then maybe remember to breathe... Your Rifleman off to your right found his mark and the heavy gunner is silenced. You stick your head back up carefully, spot the enemy Squad Leader to the rear giving out orders and trying to fall back. Switching your rifle to single shot, you aim carefully, take your time and just as you feel right, gently squeeze the trigger, just the once – that's a kill. More grenades, more heavy support, before long it's a done deal. You all move out as a squad for the next position, scouting carefully for the next enemy patrol...
The above mentioned is fairly typical of a good round of Project Reality.
However, with the maps and locations differing as they do, you'll often find
yourself in the middle of the desert in a pitched tank battle, fearing the
attack helicopters or jets buzzing around. Epic battles are truly possible in
this mod, and believe me when I say the maps are huge! Often you'll need the
full 32 members of your team to coordinate a mass attack on an enemy
emplacement, using all of the tools at your disposal. This is the experience of
Project Reality, a modification for Battlefield 2. Creating an environment that
rewards and requires both strategy and teamwork, the crew behind the development
of Project Reality have their roots in the real world military. Mostly British,
the team wanted to get as close to reality as possible, and perhaps even
introduce the armed forces of Great Britain into the game. They have most
definitely succeeded beyond their dreams. The most popular mod of Battlefield 2
has not only won many awards, including second place in the Mod Of The Year
2007, but has won the adoration of many hardcore armchair strategists. This is
as close to the real thing as you'll want to get!
There is however, a very steep learning curve. Many of the changes, alterations and additions to this mod are so different from the original BF2 way, that it becomes increasingly frustrating for people. This is not BF2 anymore. This is Project Reality, the ultimate war/combat simulator. Get your head around the fact that it's a different game, and you'll go a long way to finding what makes this so enjoyable. While you can join a server, run off on your own and make a few kills, that's not what this is about. Want to drive a tank? You'll need to be in a squad. Want to fly a jet? You'll need to request a pilots kit. Pretty well any and all of the “valuable” assets available, from Helicopters to Sniper Rifles will require you to join or create a squad, and to team up with others. All vehicles with the exception of the jets, will require both a driver/pilot and gunner, both with appropriate kits, and both in the same squad, allowing use of the built-in voice communications. It is this required level of communication that makes, and sometimes breaks the game. Team/squad up with others, and you'll get out as much as you all put in. A squad that communicates effectively will have greater success, and a hell of a lot more fun.
While currently at version 0.756, this game is constantly in a state of evolution. Ideas and concepts that work stay, and those that don't get put on the back burner for later consideration. With a swag of new maps coming with every release, it helps to keep the game fresh and original. Different play styles are tried, tested and refined, as too are the vehicles, weapons and game concepts. New Armies and factions are being introduced frequently, and with a huge and active community behind them, the PR team are looking at incorporating many of the worlds different national military services. With the latest release we see the Canadian Armed Forces battling it out against the insurgent forces deep within Afghanistan, Great Britain versus the milita forces in a Eastern European forest setting, as well as the US Marine Corps fighting both the Middle Eastern Coalition, and the Peoples Liberation Army of China. Future releases are hoped to include German, Polish, Israeli and Australian forces, to name but a few. This truly is a game in constant evolution. What's more amazing than anything, is that it is all done by keen volunteers, and comes to you free of charge.
If arcade-like shooters aren't your thing, or you simply want more out of your BF2 experience, then Project Reality may very well be for you. You'll need a copy of BF2, a working microphone and a lot of patience. While a comprehensive Wiki will help you figure out the details of the game, the best way to learn is to jump on in, and humbly ask your new squad mates what best to do. Take your time, value your virtual life and those of your squad, and you'll go far!