Battlefield 2: Modern Combat-Xbox 360 Review
Throughout the last few years, the Battlefield games have become a household name in the PC gaming world. Battlefield 1942 took gamers by storm, and its various expansions and sequels have done the same. Last fall we saw the franchise hit consoles for the first time in the form of Battlefield 2: Modern Combat for the Xbox and PlayStation 2. The game was a success, both critically and in terms of sales. The game was far from perfect, but it laid an excellent foundation for the series on consoles. Now, EA and DICE are treating gamers to a directors cut edition (more or less a port) of Modern Combat, this time on the Xbox 360 – for the first time. So, how did the series do in its next-gen debut? Come with me to the battlefield to find out.
Battlefield has never been known to be extremely realistic. However, it’s not quite an arcade shooter either so it falls right in the center, which is just perfect. On the PC, the vehicles control realistically and there’s even some squad based gameplay to be had. Unfortunately, EA and DICE must think that console gamers are idiots, because Battlefield 2: Modern Combat is an extremely dumbed-down Battlefield. On the Xbox, this was expected due to the limitations of the system. Of course, on the Xbox 360 we, as gamers, expect much more.
Battlefield has always been about online play, first and foremost. EA took into consideration that only a fraction of console owners play online and decided to include a single-player campaign. The game takes place in Kazakhstan, where the Chinese are very interested in the oil. That’s where NATO comes into play; they want the oil too. Soon, a war erupts between the two enemies and you are thrown in the thick of it all. You’ll be fighting for both sides in Modern Combat, and before each mission you’ll get to see a news broadcast showing exactly what that government wants you to see. It’s pretty neat seeing each country’s take on what went on. The Americans might say they attacked a tanker full of enemy troops, while the Chinese will say the Americans killed hundreds of innocent civilians in an unprovoked attack.
Surprisingly, I really enjoyed the campaign. The main feature in the campaign is hot swapping, which allows you to become any soldier on the battlefield. See a helicopter in the air and want to be the pilot? Simply push ‘Y’ and you’re there. It really is an awesome addition to what would have otherwise been an extremely mediocre game. There are also a good variety of environments to fight in. Although the campaign is fun…it isjust that and no more. It won’t win any awards for innovation; it’s straight up arcade action at its best. It almost always feels as if you are in a full sprint all the time, and the best part is that you can kill someone using your shotgun from all the way across the map. You can also string together combos as you get kills, adding to the arcade fun.
In each mission, you’ll be able to get behind the wheel of a ton of different vehicles. These vehicles could be Jeeps, tanks, choppers, boats and the like. Just about every vehicle has room for a gunner, so going solo should never be an option. All of the vehicles control fairly well, although the chopper controls could use some fine tuning. Each vehicle has its own distinct advantages and disadvantages, all of which can be exploited.
Visually, Battlefield 2: Modern Combat looks phenomenal. In many ways, it looks better than the PC version (assuming you’ve got a nice HDTV to play it on). The soldiers look fantastic, with much more detail than the Xbox version. DICE took a lot of time polishing up the environments too, which now react realistically to what’s going on in the game. Bullet shells will be scattered everywhere – another one of the nice touches added to the game. While the game does look good, there’s still a lot more that can be done. Then again, it is a port. The audio is fantastic. All of the characters sound like real soldiers and the mission debriefings sound perfect. The soundtrack is pretty solid and it complements the fantastic sound effects quite nicely.