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Battlefield 2: Armored Fury [PC]

Battlefield 2: Armored Fury Q&A - Details on the New Levels, New Vehicles, and the Battle for America

"The latest booster pack for the popular PC multiplayer action game takes the battle to US soil, and the lead level designer gives us a peek."

Official Trailer

See A-10 Warthogs in action in the trailer for Armored Fury.

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With Battlefield 2: Armored Fury, EA and DICE are going forward with their plan to release new content for their popular multiplayer action game in the form of booster packs. Available online only through EA, these booster packs don't have quite as much content as a traditional expansion pack, but then again, they also feature a price that's less than half that of traditional expansions. In Armored Fury, the ongoing world war between the United States, China, and the fictional Middle Eastern Coalition arrives on American soil, and players will once again have to battle on huge levels, either on foot or in a variety of military vehicles. To learn more, we caught up with Tom Galt, lead level designer at DICE Canada, the studio that developed Armored Fury.

GameSpot: Armored Fury is the second booster pack for Battlefield 2, and Euro Force, the first, was something of an experiment, as it really hadn't been done before. What have you learned from Euro Force?

Tom Galt: That's right, Euro Force was our first title available for download only, and while we all thought $9.99 was a fair price, we really didn't know what to expect. As it turns out, the popularity of Euro Force far exceeded our expectations, and more than justified the release of the second booster pack, Armored Fury. Fortunately, that success also gave us the opportunity to bring our community something else they've been asking for: the ability to defend the homeland and the introduction of the A-10 Warthog.

The new scout helicopters are fast and agile, though lightly armed.

The new scout helicopters are fast and agile, though lightly armed.

Looking at the gameplay of both booster packs, we really wanted to punch up the role that armor has on the battlefield and give players the chance to engage in some epic tank battles, of the kind seen in the Tobruk, Aberdeen, or El Alamein levels from Battlefield 1942. What we found with the Operation Smoke Screen and Taraba Quarry levels from Euro Force is that players often had very different opinions of the maps, depending on their styles. The people that enjoy fighting in tanks loved the gameplay, but those that prefer infantry gameplay gravitated to the Great Wall level, which featured some spectacular close-quarters fighting. So there is some division there in the player base around what levels the players enjoy. With Armored Fury we're trying to retain the action and intensity that tank battles bring, while still giving the infantry players a chance to survive and even thrive on the same battlefield by reducing distances and providing more cover between bases, and also giving infantry good cover options while capturing bases.

GS: People don't seem to be adopting the booster pack, or servers aren't featuring them, possibly because they alienate players who don't have the booster pack. How do you get players to buy into the booster packs in numbers large enough to create some critical mass?

TG: Servers do become fragmented with each release, and that is a predictable result when you release optional content such as expansion packs or booster packs into a player base as large and diverse as the Battlefield community. We do our best to cater to the larger audience by identifying what most players like about existing content and what they think is missing. Then we try to fill those gaps as best we can, and get the word out as much as possible.

Getting a booster or expansion pack in the hands of the community is only half of the battle. Getting servers up for them to play the new content is the other side of the coin, and EA does a terrific job firing up new servers dedicated to the new content so players can be sure they will be able to enjoy Battlefield online.

GS: Let's get back to Armored Fury. The Chinese invade America, and drive the long way across the continent toward the capital, correct? Does this mean that it's China versus America on all three maps, or does the MEC get to make an appearance?

TG: The MEC are actually in two of the three maps. The MEC and China have coordinated the largest-scale invasion of North America in history, with a two-pronged attack designed to fracture and confuse the American defenses.

China has cut a deal with Russia to use its east coast as a launching point for an assault across the Bering Sea into Alaska, where it hopes to secure the port of Valdez before securing oil fields further inland. With a strong foothold and access to fuel, China plans to continue south through Canada, securing the Alberta oil sands before continuing toward California. The American forces, already stretched thin from the wars in Asia and the Middle East, are forced to leave bases undermanned in the south to deal with the Chinese threat in the north.

Does this mean that we'll finally be able to drive big rigs in combat?

Does this mean that we'll finally be able to drive big rigs in combat?

Meanwhile, the MEC has been slowly building up men and supplies in various South American and Caribbean locales for an invasion across the eastern coast of the United States. Severely undermanned, the US forces put up a fierce battle, but it's not long before the MEC have secured beachheads all along the East Coast. The majority of MEC forces have landed to the north and south of Washington DC. The MEC's first objective is to secure major highways and arteries leading into the capital. Once the MEC controls the supply routes, their assault on the US capital will begin!

Posted on May 24, 2006



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