Be immersed in an exciting combat environment which blends realism and fast-paced, highly intense gameplay.
Feel the impact of every bullet around you as enemies lay down suppressive fire on your position.
Hear the death crescendo around you with the overhauled gunfire and explosion audio.
Featuring 7 factions, each with their own selection of high quality, beautifully animated weapons.
Heat of Battle is designed to work with both vanilla BF2 or a standalone BFHD installation. The downloads are split into multiple files, so you can pick and choose which ones will best suit your needs. At minimum, you need the core files and at least one map pack to play. The additional files are not required but highly recommended!
Heat of Battle - this is the core mod.
Vanilla Map Pack - this map pack contains all the maps in vanilla BF2, tweaked and optimized for Heat of Battle. Do NOT use with BFHD, it won't work!
BFHD Map Pack - this map pack should be used with BFHD. Do not use with a vanilla BF2 installation.
SF Map Pack - this map pack will only work if you have Special Forces (xpack) content installed. If you have BF2 Revive or BFHD, this should work fine.
Custom Map Pack - contains custom maps created by the BF2 community, tweaked and optimized for Heat of Battle. Recommended for all installations.
Heat of Battle Reshade - this is the Reshade I use in my screenshots and videos. You can use this with vanilla BF2 or BFHD as long as you overwrite the existing files.
HD Terrain Pack - HD terrain textures by TheObscure. Recommended for all installations.
Shader cache - necessary in order to get the weapons to look as shiny and reflective as in my screenshots.
That's all you need to make the mod playable. The rest of the files are optional but they make a big difference!
Drag and drop the entire Common_client_hd_terrain.zip into the Heat_of_Battle folder.
The shader cache is what causes the “Please wait, optimizing shaders” message. It can affect the shininess and reflectivity of the weapon models. This is particularly important for Heat of Battle, since the realistic weapon lighting is highly dependent on environment map shininess. You'll want to install this shader cache if you want your weapons to look the way they do in my screenshots.
You can launch the mod by starting BF2.exe and going into the community tab of the launcher, then clicking “Custom Games” and “Heat of Battle”. However, I recommend creating a Windows shortcut to launch the mod quicker.
Once you're in-game, I recommend playing using a Local Coop server (not Singleplayer). To do this, click Multiplayer, then Create Local. This gives you more options, so you can choose the spawn and revive time, number of bots, and bot difficulty. I recommend a 3 second spawn time, 5 second revive time, 32 bots, and bot difficulty at 70 or higher. If you want more bots, lower the max players slider.
To play with up to 48 bots, use the local coop server, set max players to 16, and slide the number of bots slider to the number you want.If you want to play with more than 48 bots, go into the mods/Heat_of_Battle/AI folder and open aiDefault.ai. Set overrideMenuSettings to 1. Then you can use AIX2's BF2SPCC or BF2 Bot Changer to set the number of bots you want. If that doesn't work, try deleting the aiDefault.ai file entirely, and use the bot changer again.
Before selecting your maps, make sure you set the game mode to Co-op! Then click start server, and you'll be on your way to feeling the Heat of Battle!
In Heat of Battle, many ground vehicles have new features. All tanks and APCs have a zoom option, activated by pressing X (or whatever your smoke launcher key is set to). They also have a coaxial machine gun, fired with the RMB. Tanks and APCs also have a new selection of ammo types. Key 1 is armor piercing, best used against armored vehicles. Key 2 is high explosive, good against light vehicles and infantry around walls. Key 3 is canister (basically a large, direct-fire shotgun), which is highly effective against infantry. Key 4 for APCs is the wire-guided ATGM. Key 4 for tanks is a lock-on tank shell, which is great for hitting targets at extremely long range. However, the damage is low and ammo is limited. Pro-tip: After locking on, quickly aim high above the target so the guided round takes a high-arcing trajectory, hitting the target in the weaker top armor.
Note that there is a delay when switching between ammo types to simulate new rounds being loaded into the cannon. So you should think ahead and switch to the best ammo type for the situation beforehand!
By default, use SHIFT + F2 to open the Reshade configuration menu. SHIFT + F1 to enable/disable effects. (You can change these keybinds yourself in the settings tab of the menu.)
The medium setting is enabled by default. In the home tab of the menu, the top drop down menu shows the available graphics settings. You can switch between them by selecting them from the drop down menu. You can check your FPS in the top right corner.
The low setting adds basic color correction, lighting adjustments, and FXAA anti-aliasing. FPS impact is minimal.
The medium setting adds additional color correction and lighting improvements. FPS impact is very slightly higher than low.
The high setting adds bloom, reflective bumpmapping, and MXAO ambient occlusion. These effects are very graphically intensive but the visual boost is impressive, it really makes BF2 look like a next-gen game. Note the fresnel (rim/edge) lighting around the suppressor and the shadowing around the hands and grip. FPS impact is high. You'll probably need a RX580/GTX1060 to get 60fps at 1080p.
The following screenshot compares no reshade to the high setting. Note the shadowing on the hands and the sight of the RPG, this is all from the MXAO ambient occlusion effect! And the extra brightness around the edges of the models is fresnel lighting simulated by the reflective bumpmapping effect.
The medium and high settings also have a warm variant. The standard medium and high settings include a slight blue tint which I personally think makes the game look more modern. The warm variant drops the slight blue tint for those who prefer a more traditional BF2 look.
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This map pack should only be used when installing with BFHD. Do NOT use on a vanilla installation, it won't work! Make sure you have BFHD version 3.0E2...
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Highest Rated (5 agree) 10/10
Well. How to phrase this? Just wow.
Great weapon handling: check
Awesome maps: check
Accurate weaponry (minus the PRC and Spetsnaz using RPG-7s): check
All in all: a round 10/10.
Should be a standalone, IMHO.
Dec 11 2017 by Deathblade100