Battlefield 2: Modern Combat
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. So why has it taken the series so long to make the jump to the consoles? Battlefield 2: Modern Combat was developed for the consoles from the ground up. It was designed to take the core elements of the Battlefield franchise and bring them to the consoles. Battlefield 2: Modern Combat was originally supposed to be in stores over a year ago. Why the delay of one year? EA and DICE opted to include an actual single-player campaign, rather than leave gamers with just the online portion. After extra time in development, how does the first console iteration of the Battlefield franchise fare? Keep reading and 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. When the Xbox’s power is taken into consideration, it’s clear that all the elements from the PC wouldn’t make the transition over to the consoles.
Although the core elements of the Battlefield franchise have been brought onto the Xbox, Battlefield 2: Modern Combat just doesn’t feel like a Battlefield game. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve played the PC version to death and expected more, or maybe it’s the fact that the game is easily one of the most unrealistic shooters on the Xbox. Now that my rant is over, let’s talk about the game.
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 (hence, the one year delay). The game takes place in Kazakhstan, where the Chinese are very interested in the oil there. 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 enjoyed the campaign more than the online multiplayer. 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 is just that. 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 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 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.