It's really ironic that one of my favorite games is born from one of my least favorite games. Strange that the universe works that way.
There was recently a new release of BF2's Project Reality mod. As most of you know I'm a whore for games like RO, and PR falls right in line. It doesn't do everything nearly as well as RO, but it does a few things a lot better.
There are very similar mechanics to RO that really pull you in. When a bullet lands close to you there's a very specific crack to let you know you should get the fuck down. And when a bullet lands even closer your screen blurs and gets dark letting you know that you should really get the fuck down. This also works as a suppression mechanic. If you're trying to pin someone somewhere, they will be less willing to shoot back, or try to run without being able to see so well. It's a nice touch. If you do happen to get shot your character can actually start bleeding out. There's a headbob that kicks in, the screen starts to get dark, and then your colors start to fuck up. The only way to survive this is for a medic to patch you up. It really leaves you to depend on your squad, which is always a plus for team work.
Another thing that really made me feel like I was really in a battle field was when I spawned at a firebase. A firebase is a point that your commander drops and the soldiers have to build. It becomes a spawn point where you can request different kits (AT, Sniper, Pilot, etc) if you're in a squad with more than 2 people without being at your main base. The PR community is loaded with great team players, so when you spawn at a firebase the screen fades in from black and you'll look around and feel like you're in a pretty secure place. There are often people on machine guns defending it, and other players waiting for their squad members to respawn; there are also vehicles with players waiting for teammates in those. When you get a certain distance away from the base with your squad though, you start to feel exposed. I don't think I've ever played a multiplayer game that has given me that feeling of being surrounded by teammates that I trust enough to feel really safe anywhere. Especially given the fact that firebases can be built right in the middle of the street on a map.
This next part is probably where I'm going to lose some people. In about 45 minutes to an hour of gameplay I found myself with about 4 kills and maybe 1 or 2 deaths. Most people also had similar scores (save for helicopter gunners and good tankers). The game really delivers on tactics over SHOOT DA ENAMY PEW PEW! Every move you make with your squad has to be well thought out or you'll find yourself in a heap of shit. If you don't make sure someone has your back, and others are checking their corners, you're free to get blasted from anywhere. Position is more important than shooting ability. For example, I tried to take on a guy who was on top of a structure from the street where I had decent at best cover. Guess who won? Yeah, he wasted me. On the other hand though, my squad was under fire from a guy in a window, so I had them suppress him with fire while I climbed onto a rooftop to shoot down on him. We came out on top with that one. It's that kind of stuff that makes the game so enjoyable. I mean, I got one kill in that fire fight, but I felt pretty fucking good that everyone in my squad lived and that we out positioned him. There's a constant flow of those situations in the game.
I've even played as my friend's medic/spotter while he was sniping. I had 1 kill and 0 deaths for the entire round, but I saved him a few times, and helped find targets, and let him know if they were down or not. It was just a cool experience even though I wasn't the one pulling the trigger.
The game may sound boring in that respect to most of you bitches, but I'll take a real tactics based game over an action game with the word tactics tagged on any day.