After Eight Years, Battlefield Project Reality Hits 1.0

Any time I see people running at airborne helicopters, I think of that scene from The Protector where a screaming man leaps off a skyscraper and toward a fleeing helicopter/his certain doom for the sole purpose of kneeing someone in the face.

I haven’t played Battlefield 2’s Project Reality mod (or any Battlefield 2, really) in ages, but this is still a very exciting occasion. Eight years. That’s how long it’s taken one of the best-known mods out there to be deemed fit for 1.0 status. It’s been more than playable (DOUBLE PLAYABLE) for probably longer than I’ve been alive, though, and it’s proven succulent with delicious intrigues time and time again. In my experience, rigorous team play is the name of the game, and anything less is met with swift, pulpy, never timely (yet always right on time) death.

Looks pretty spiffy, huh? Now time for a newsflash: actual gameplay unfolds nothing like that. The Project Reality matches I’ve played were eight thousand parts precise planning, four thousand parts preparation, and one part execution. I was, of course, typically the one getting executed, but it was super great. There’s just so much more on the line when a single stray bullet can easily puree your brain and your squad’s plan of attack (or defense, or anything else) is the lovingly conceived child of your loins. Mental loins. It’s still pretty gross, though.

In addition to all the Project Reality staples (new vehicles, weapons, modes, constructible defenses, destructibles, overhauled class systems, overhauled weapon handling, etc, etc, etc), version 1.0 includes the following:

  • All new PR Game Launcher and Updater.
  • 100 player servers and 8 player squads.
  • Integrated Positional Voice Chat (PR Mumble).
  • 40 total maps, including 6 brand new maps.
  • Updates to existing maps.
  • 2 new factions: African Resistance Fighters and French Armed Forces.
  • New vehicles and weapons.
  • New kit geometries for multiple factions.
  • Added Machine Gunner and Spotter kits.
  • Reworked rally point system.
  • New sounds and special effects (explosions, etc).
  • Overhauled weapon handling and deviation.
  • Countless other bug fixes, tweaks and changes.

That is a lot of things. Enough to make me idly wonder why DICE has decided they don’t like mods anymore, because come on: look at all of that. But I suppose it’s tough to justify letting your fans keep your game alive until the day fields rise up and begin battling atop humans when you haven’t found a way to (ugh) monetize that sort of thing yet.

Oh gosh, now I’ve gone and made myself all angry and monitor-punchy. OK, OK, let’s just breathe. Inhale the new mod update fumes emanating from Project Reality’s direction. Mmmm, isn’t that nice? Smells like a Good Thing. Perhaps – just for a few moments – we can sit back, relax, and be satisfied with that.

Project Reality 1.0 will be yours to download on August 2nd.


  1. Tomac says:

    “Enough to make me idly wonder why DICE has decided they don’t like mods anymore”

    How are they supposed to get people to buy expensive map packs when the community is making stuff for free? That’s really all it comes down to.

    • Misnomer says:

      At its height less people played on Project Reality servers than were playing on BF2 Euroforces expansion pack servers. That DLC was mediocre at best.

      I don’t think DICE has to worry.

      In fact, it is the same reason Valve can run Steam workshop while selling hats at stupid prices in TF2. Official content sells.

      This is just a goofy conspiracy theory.

      • Tomac says:

        Well first of all selling cosmetic hats in a free to play game is nothing like selling map packs for a full price game.

        What Valve does is completely different from what DICE is doing. TF2 is free to play. Valve doesn’t charge for new maps, they just released a big update with 2 free maps. Items on the workshop are completely different from official items. What’s the point in having a fancy hat from the workshop if other players can’t see it?

        If DICE actually allowed user created content AND sold their own content then you might have a point, but they don’t. Do you think they’d rather have some of their playerbase playing free user created content and some of the players paying for their official content, or all of the playerbase being forced to pay for their official content if they want new maps/weapons/vehicles etc.?

        If DICE has nothing to worry about then why don’t they allow user created content?

        • Misnomer says:

          They do. You can buy content for BF2 (Special Forces is still a paid expansion) or you can play mods for BF2. The Euroforces and Armored Fury packs are now free included.

          2142 allowed the same thing. It was never that hard to find a populated Northern Strike server, it was very hard to find a populated First Strike mod server.

          BIS does it with ArmA. They still sell lots of content even with mod tools.

          Tripwire does it with Killing Floor.

          You probably mean that they don’t with BF3. Well that comes down to a long explanation of the way the Frostbite development tools are structured, third party plugin licenses, the economics of development of those tools to be functional single machine end user… lots of other good reasons than simply DLC sales.

          You have the reason pegged though for why free mods simply don’t matter against DLC sales. Players want something that will show up on all the regular servers and with the least effort. Compare the process to install this with the process to unlock a bit of DLC in a game and you will see just how much that ease and integration matters. And that is the point, even with integration on the level of Steamworks, players will pay for content as silly as gold reskins for vanilla Killing Floor guns.

          • Flopper says:

            Neither of you is wrong… But EA not being able to monetize free mods is definitely one of the main issues. I’m sure DICE could care less. EA wants that cheddar at all costs!

          • TormDK says:

            It’s not about modding battlefield anymore.

            It’s about modding Frostbite, their elidged 100m USD engine that they use for pretty much all of their new games.

  2. Dominic White says:

    MISERY 2.0 just came out for STALKER: Call of Pripyat as well, so this is two mega-massive mod releases on the same day, along with Rise Of The Triad 2013 and a whole bunch of other stuff. It’s like an early bonus christmas!

    • Shrubberer says:

      I like to think of it as Harry Potter’s party favour to the world.

    • A Bunny says:

      Except it has no subtitles. I don’t speak Russian. :I

    • povu says:

      Shame the release was a bit shoddy with incomplete installation instructions, general lack of documentation (which is surprising when they seem to put so much effort in their fancy promotional images. You could at least spend more than 2 minutes on the install instructions.) and at least one very obvious bug (flashlight position in hand completely wrong and weird) slipping through.

  3. JonClaw says:

    I remember BF2’s hit registration being horrible. Does this mod fix that or is that out of PR’s hands?

    • Cuban Pete says:

      Unfortunately BF2’s terrible netcode is still in place, not much that can be done about it.

    • Zimmer says:

      Its not a twitch shooter and 2 hits are what it takes for you to die if you dont bleed to death by one( i think you loose 70% or less of your health by a normal rifle. So hit detection has never been a big problem.

  4. Sweedums says:

    For those interested you can already download the client (6GB) from the realitymod website, the installer unlocks via a password which will be released on the 2nd, so you can get up and running nice and quickly.

    I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time now, bring on the bomb cars!

  5. Stellar Duck says:

    God. That music. They sure did take some lessons from DICE when it comes to awful trailer music.

    • Arona Daal says:

      As a Longtimeplayer and big Fan of PR i have to agree. The Trailer is awful and makes it look like some stupid Cookiecutter Actionmod,and if i didnt know the mod already *this* Trailer would kill off any Interest.

  6. Wurstwaffel says:

    I’m sorry but I can’t get past the shit graphics

    • godofdefeat says:

      Graphics =/= Gameplay.

      And i believe i played a demo of it. It still is a good game. I might wanna pick it up some day.

      • F3ck says:

        While I obviously agree that great looking games aren’t necessarily great games (there’s a long list of pretty but shitty games) there are some who – having now enjoyed the fruits of contemporary game engines – find it difficult to enjoy stiff, pixelated gameplay…

        …there are more than a few games that I once loved, but can no longer stand to look at.

        • The Random One says:

          I feel sorry for you. I can still play my old ass N64 games (with their jagged proto-3D models that actually look way worse than your average early nineties game) and get into them right away. I think I even have an easier time spotting enemies in them than in modern shooters.

          If you’ve got graphics problems I feel bad for you son,
          I got ninety-nine problems but pixels ain’t one.

        • DanMan says:

          Same here. If I’m not already interested for some other reason, mediocre graphics turn me off eventually. I’m spoiled.

  7. Bull0 says:

    I don’t know why I’m so surprised by how dated this looks :/ I guess my brain used to fill in the gaps back then

    • Don Reba says:

      I’m just wondering how you get gaps in your brain in the first place.

      • Janek says:

        Mad cow disease, perhaps.

      • Bull0 says:

        That doesn’t really work. My brain filled in the gaps in my brain?

        • Don Reba says:

          Yeah. Like, it seems you were saying the brain used to repair itself but now the gaps just pile up — to the extend that vision is already compromised. :)

    • Feriluce says:

      I find that BF2 has actually aged surprisingly well considering its from 2005. Especially with all the visual upgrades PR has implemented. I usually cringe at old graphics, but this doesn’t really bother me much.

  8. AndiK says:

    Does anyone still remember Desert Combat Mod for BF1942? I remember playing it on LAN parties back then. It had helicopters and planes that were infernally hard to control but just rocked as soon as you got the hang of it. A buddy and me would share a Huey(-ish?), me piloting with him at the Gatling, thundering along just inches above the ground… I was and still am really bad at FPS, but give me something to fly and/or drive and I’m set. :) Good times. Shame the “physics” in newer Battlefields can hardly be called that. :/

    • Misnomer says:

      It is really funny how people measure the helicopter flight model in BF games by Desert Combat. If I remember what I read correctly (google is failing me) DC faked helicopter flight by using a plane propeller turned ninety degrees for their flight model. It took a lot of fidgeting to get it usable at all.

      • Lev Astov says:

        You mean, like a real helicopter? For shame!

        • Misnomer says:

          I am no engineer, but I believe that the lift comes from the entire length of the rotor and not just a tiny radius in the middle. It is a bit much to call a Huey rotor the same thing as a F-4F Wildcat or Zero or whatever propeller.

          They all work on lift after all, so why not use the flight model from the wings? Obviously there is a lot of software mimicking flight magic going on too, it is just interesting to me to that this workaround is the basis for some people’s expectations in BF games.

          • AndiK says:

            The flight model for the wings would obviously not work, because wings need airspeed to produce lift. I don’t think the engine is ready for “animated” airfoil simulation like X-Plane does.

            Anyway, some kind of approximation for helicopter rotor physics are needed – and the one in DC is not all that bad. Try flying around in vanilla Flight Simulator X: Not much difference there.

            One thing that annoys the hell out of me in newer BFs are the artificially constrained controls. I do not want to “press W to go forward”. I want to pitch my nose down by as much as I, the pilot, deem neccessary for the current flight simulation. If this means that I crash headlong into the field, then so be it; my fault then.

            This degree of liberty in DC gave you a lot more responsibility for what you do. But with it, you got the ability to fly with your own skill. Basically it’s the same as an auto-aim function you can’t switch off.

          • inferno493 says:

            As a professional helicopter pilot, I can assure you that the DC flight model was pretty darn good.

    • mrsesterhouse says:

      This is still a staple of our LAN parties. I saved all the patches and installers thankfully, install BF1942 of all things, no I dont want Gamespy Arcade. Patch, patch, and install then its party time.

      We do CO-OP El Alamien – have some guys in armor, arty and flying cover – so much fun

      And yes I loathed the AH-1 flying characteristics in BF2. Some times you need to nose down and egress the hell out of a place, not lean insistently that way and do a roll to dodge the… AGM, coming for your helo

      You just couldn’t fly the same way you could in Gazala using the canyons and terrain vs. vanilla

  9. Lev Astov says:

    I still fondly remember the heady days of the early PRMM tournaments. 0.35 for life! EJOD FTW!

  10. Mr.Duke says:

    It’s a shame no PR trailer ever does justice to the actual game. The PR team has done frankly amazing work over the years, and ultimately that can be seen in the gameplay. The level of teamwork and cooperation seen on the average server is unlike anything else out there, and in my opinion it stands head and shoulders above its commercial rivals, despite being built on an engine that’s eight years old.

    If you’re the type for whom BF3 didn’t quite cut it despite the prettiness, and for whom ArmA is just that bit too clunky, then PR is absolutely for you. Just tell your squad that you’re new and they’ll usually be happy to show you the ropes.

    • JToTheDog says:

      I could not agree with your statement more. I started playing it in 2009 I believe. I haven’t played it in about a year. I played the OPF all those years ago, expecting sleek cool team play, and asymmetrical warfare, but eventually I realized that it (and ArmA) is to clunky.
      I downloaded this and have never looked back.

      I still have wet dreams about some of the experiences PR. Like during my first week when a friendly Finnish squad leader with a stereotypical growly cliché voice right out of a war movie, tried to teach me the ropes of the Squad Medic while I was sticking needles in to wounded squad members. Bullets from the taliban hitting the small wall we were pinned behind suppressing us. Everything seemed lost. When I hear my Finnish squad leader telling me that help was en route. Minutes later, APCs and technicals arrive to save the day!

  11. LimEJET says:

    I remember being interested in this back in the day, but never playing it.

    Then ARMA came out.

  12. westyfield says:

    PR was a huge part of my life from 0.4 to 0.7. It provided some of the best multiplayer gaming moments I’ve ever experienced.

    If you haven’t tried this game, please give it a go. Find a friendly squad and have a blast.

  13. Renegade says:

    Ah fun memories of playing the older version of this mod. The clan I was in .:iGi:. had a pretty popular server at the time. Might have to give this new version a go at sompoint.

  14. Cik says:

    The best reality mod is and always will be the Arma series, now Arma 3. There isn’t a combat mod pack of another game that could ever accomplish the game-play and essentials Bohemia or their modders provide.

    • Feriluce says:

      Except arma is very clunky, and I’ve yet to see pvp in arma be any good. I do agree that Arma is great, and i’ve spent quite a bit of time in Arma 2 with ACE and ACRE, but PR is something completely different, and I’d rank it as one of the best games i’ve ever played. And its a mod.

      • Harlander says:

        Project Reality is being made for ARMA as well.

        • Grey Poupon says:

          The ArmA2 PR is somewhat bad, especially compared to the BF2 one. Would think Arma3:PR will eventually be great since that’s pretty much the only evolutionary route for them to take now that BF3 has no modding tools. Apart from making their own from ground up, which is an idea they’ve scrapped once or twice already.

          I do however agree that PR is one helluva drug.

  15. F33bs says:

    Been playing Project Reality for years. Best multiplayer mod I’ve ever played, hands down. Nothing comes close to the realism and experience of actual teamwork in a combat environment.

  16. obd2works says:

    link to
    The best reality mod is and always will be the Arma series, now Arma 3. There isn’t a combat mod pack of another game that could ever accomplish the game-play and essentials Bohemia or their modders provide.

  17. obd2works says:

    Super BDM
    Ah fun memories of playing the older version of this mod. The clan I was in .:iGi:. had a pretty popular server at the time. Might have to give this new version a go at sompoint.

  18. RaveTurned says:

    “…one of the best-known mods out there…”

    I’d never heard of it before now, so I guess I’m out of the loop. :/

    I was thinking I should feel bad about this. So I looked up the Project Reality tag to see the past articles I must have missed, but it seems this is the first time RPS has covered it. Does this project pre-date even these hallowed halls?

  19. oceanclub says:

    I just recently bought the full Battlefield 2 collection for €3 on Origin – bargain. I’m hoping the PR installer is compatible.