Battlefield 2: Modern Combat Review
Underneath its shiny new coat of paint, Modern Combat for the Xbox 360 is still basically the same, solid team-based shooter that was released last year on the Xbox and PlayStation 2.
- Hotswapping adds a fun dynamic to the gameplay
- Lots of vehicles and weapons to play around with
- Varied campaign
- 24 player online multiplayer.
- Arcadey, shooting gallery-like feel
- Vehicles don't control well
- Friendly artificial intelligence isn't so great.
It seems a little strange that Battlefield 2: Modern Combat should have the "2" in the title, given that this is the first Battlefield game to make an appearance on consoles. The game also, unfortunately, bears little resemblance to its superb namesake on the PC. While Modern Combat does offer some amount of charm with its highly produced interludes and its slick unit-switching mechanism, ultimately this multiplayer-focused military shooter falls short of its promise with design flaws in its campaign and clunky vehicle handling. The obvious graphical enhancements for the Xbox 360 do add something to the overall package, though.
The presentation is where Modern Combat has received the greatest attention in its transition from the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox to the Xbox 360. Character models and vehicles exhibit a great amount of detail, with full shadows and much sharper texturing all around. Other nice details include persistent bullet-hole decals and spent cartridges. If you man a stationary machine gun for a while, you can look down and see quite a pile of brass building up at your feet. The environments can look a little sterile at times, though, and many of the buildings on a single-player map still can't be explored. However, vehicle explosions are much more satisfying now, with fire and smoke effects, as well as large chunks of metal that break off and disappear later via secondary explosions. The weapon sounds seem about the same as the other versions of Modern Combat, which is to say, decent but not totally remarkable. There is quite a bit of radio chatter during battle, too, but it still tends to get very repetitive, and the voice acting for the Chinese side might be a shade offensive, as most of it is delivered in English with a thick, Charlie Chan-style accent.
The plot base of Battlefield 2: Modern Combat is something out of your standard, Clancy-esque techno-thriller. Unrest in the Soviet state of Kazakhstan has sent a US-led, UN peacekeeping force to the region in order to promote stability. However, the Chinese are a little nervous by this show of force, and they have sent their own forces into the region in order to maintain their own territorial interests. You'll switch back and forth between controlling the Americans and Chinese throughout the game's 20-mission campaign. What's neat about the campaign structure is that between missions you'll be treated to some fake news broadcasts from media outlets on both sides of the war. It's rather amusing to see two conflicting accounts of the same battles that you've just fought, which provokes the idea that nobody ever tells the whole truth in a wartime situation. The campaign missions themselves are pretty varied, even if certain maps and areas get recycled a bit. You'll drive tanks to capture and defend bases, fly out to investigate and destroy enemy cargo ships, and fight in and around an oil platform, among other things. The maps in the game are of a decent size and definitely give enough space to fight large-scale, combined-arms battles. The missions don't take too long and aren't very difficult to beat, but beating them with a high rating can be hard. The game encourages you to replay missions for rank, and earning a higher rank gets you new weapons for the various classes in the game, as well as upgrades, such as a larger ammo capacity, to existing weapons.
The biggest problem with the missions in Battlefield 2: Modern Combat is that they feel too canned and contrived, which doesn't fit the series. At least the spawning issue that plagued the other versions of the game seems to have been addressed somewhat in this version of the game. Instead of enemies popping out of nowhere, you'll often see them approach by boat, helicopter, or some other vehicle. But at times, they still do pop in from thin air, which makes it somewhat difficult to measure the flow of a mission. The more difficult missions in the campaign often require you to memorize the sequence of scripted events, which will help you get the jump on the enemy. There's little in the way of tactics or counter-strategies that you need to know, aside from choosing appropriate unit counters for a given threat. The friendly artificial intelligence can also be frustrating at times--they never seem to take the lead in a battle, as they usually follow you very slowly and there's no way to direct them anywhere. Also, they're not very effective at helping you out and tend to waste a lot of ammo, which is a problem when you're switching back and forth between allies.
- Downloadable Game
- Player Reviews: 373
- Game Universe:
- Battlefield 1942 (XBOX, PC),
- Battlefield 2: Modern Combat (X360, PS2, XBOX, PSP),
- Battlefield: Bad Company (X360, PS3),
- Battlefield 2142 (PC, MAC),
- Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (X360, PS3, PC, IP),
- Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Ultimate Edition (PS3, X360),
- Battlefield 1942 Deluxe Edition (PC, MAC),
- Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam (X360, PS3, PC),
- Battlefield 3 (PC, X360, PS3, WIIU),
- Battlefield 3: Back to Karkand (PS3, X360, PC)
- Online Modes:
- Number of Players:
- Number of Online Players:
24 Players Online