Game Review: Battlegrounds (Half-Life 2 Mod)
October 30, 2008
Free Mod Download (Half-Life 2)
I was reading an article about some popular mods the other day, and wasn’t very interested in any of them. When the first entry in an article about mods is a mod enabling you to play Battlefield 2 as nothing but World of Warcraft characters, and everything else is a few years old, I tend to get bored.
One mod that caught my attention years ago, and still tends to suck me back in is Battlegrounds or BG. This is a Half-Like 1 and 2 mod that takes place during the American Revolution. The British and Americans fight to control points on the map. It’s pretty much like any team-based FPS, but guns take about 7.5 seconds to reload, and the majority of combat is done with bayonets.
This is, in my opinion, what sets BG aside from most FPS mods. Because the game relies heavily on melee combat, to really be any good at the game, you need to learn how to use a bayonet. Anybody with a mouse can point and click to shoot a person 50 feet away, but Battlegrounds has a bit of a learning curve in the fact that if you can’t melee, you don’t survive.
This mechanic presents an entirely different FPS experience, one where individual skill can easily outbalance team coordination. I have been in matches where a single person has held a capture point against 4 or 5 people, and come out unscathed. Combat in Battlegrounds is not a contest to see who can get the better shot, but usually a 1v1 test of melee skill.
I was never very good at Counterstrike or any of those shooting games, but I excelled at stabbing people in the face in Battlegrounds. My clan even won a couple of North American Championships. There are organized clans and league play in BG, and a pretty hardcore community centered around the game. There are even historical clans which get together and perform line battles using authentic military tactics for the time.
All in all, Battlegrounds is a welcome departure from your standard FPSes. It is a bit of a challenge to learn how to operate the bayonet properly, but definitely worth it. If you have Half-Life 2, or can use Half-Life 2 mods, this is arguably the best mod out there.