Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Blast from the past: Project Reality

2015 is turning out to be a terrific year for gaming. All of a sudden there are several things to play - after a long game drought - and in particular Tactical Shooters seem to be coming back into vogue.

However, today I want to talk very briefly not about a new game but rather about a golden oldie that has - somewhat unexpectedly - been given a new lease of life - Project Reality (the legendary Battlefield 2 mod).

No it's quite amazing that - basically - I am going to talk about a game that is a souped up Battlefield 2. Now PR enthusiasts will tell you that there is more to it than that but the mechanics are a 10 year old game...That's right, BF2 is 10 years old!

Ironically, my friends and I stopped playing BF2 just when the early versions of the Project Reality mod were gaining some prominence, but I personally thought that PR players (at that time) were a bit of a weird bunch and so never got into it then. Indeed, our clan of the time had a small fervent PR following but they kept themselves to themselves and we moved onto newer games.

But here we are in 2015 and we are seeing something of a mini Project Reality renaissance. Many Tactical Gaming clans are currently excited about the game and - I am told - servers are popping up at a good rate and players are up to very healthy numbers.

The reason for this is quite a irony - EA dropped all Battlefield 2 support which left the game dead (as it had no official backend server support). But rather than killing the game off - finally - a strange opposite reaction occurred. Project Reality uses Battlefield 2 as it's core game mechanics (though an ArmA version also exists) but as EA has consigned BF2 to the game cemetery the PR team pronounced that BF2 was now officially 'abandonware' and so they have now produced a stand alone version of PR with the BF2 core mechanism 'baked in'!

That's right - you no longer have to provide your own copy of BF2 to run Project Reality! You can just download the game from the PR website, install it and it will run!

And this is why there is a sudden boom in the popularity of this elderly looking game - it has never been easier to install...And - also - let's not forget folks it's a FREE game!

Here is Bluedrake42 who produced a TWITCH stream of him playing a live game of PR 1.3...(What this video does is give you a sense of how different the feel of Project Reality is if you have only played the rather more frenetic Battlefield 2 before. It really is a more carefully paced 'tactical' environment...)

Well that's all I have to say on this at the moment - I have downloaded and installed the game (and indeed it is a piece of cake now) and I've even sparked up a local coop server (with bots) just to have a quick look-see. Yep - it's BF2 - LOL - but with a lot of bells and whistles and a beautiful British Army loadout set!

I'll post more as I have been invited by some members of my old clan to join them in an online game...

Will it be as exciting as I remember BF2 being? Or will I suddenly realise why we moved on from BF2? We shall see.

Here's a nice 'Introduction' or 'How to Play Project Reality 1.3'. It's part of a series by SserpensS and is really handy if - like me - it's been a good many years since you played basic BF2 never mind teh slightly more complicated Project Reality mod...

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