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Platform

Xbox

 

Genre

Shooter

 

Publisher

Electronic Arts

 

Developer

Digital Illusions CE

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

Q4 2005

 

 

- Hotswapping is a great innovative feature during single-player mode
- One of the best Xbox Live online soldier games
- Great controls enhance a superb selection of weaponry and war vehicles

 

 

- Single-player A.I. is anything but intelligent
- Arcade-style gameplay may be a disappointment to the Rainbow Six/Ghost Recon gaming faction
- Controlling helicopters takes much practice
- Vehicle aiming while in third-person perspective hard to control

 

 

Review: Brute Force (XB)

Review: Counter-Strike (XB)

Review: MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf (XB)

Review: Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (360)

 

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Battlefield 2: Modern Combat

Score: 9.0 / 10

 

battlefield 2 modern combat          battlefield 2 modern combat

 

Battlefield 1942 stormed the PC massively multiplayer online beaches, becoming a huge success. Its mix of first-person shooter war action that included the use of a plethora of vehicles proved to be an instant hit. Its recent follow-up, Battlefield 2, moved the war theater into the modern age, and has again met with success.

Now, the Battlefield franchise has marched onto the console frontline with Battlefield 2: Modern Combat. The arcade-style FPS wargame features both single-player and online play, and while the single-player side is fragged by a weak enemy A.I., itís online via Xbox Live where Battlefield 2: Modern Combat really wages a

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winning campaign to be one of the best Xbox Live games today.

The single-player campaign follows the exploits of a near-future world enraged in war, and at the epicenter is the Russian region of Kazakhstan. The story sends you all around not only Kazakhstan, but the Middle East and Asia. Each locale features a diversity of gaming environments, from snow-covered Russia to the dust-blanketed

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Middle Eastern deserts. There are five different soldier types: assault, sniper, special ops, engineer and support. Each type has unique abilities and also features a different weapons kit. And youíll get to fight as an army of one as each of the different soldier types by using the innovative Hotswap feature.

With Hotswap, you can literally swap places with any other one of your forceís members simply by looking in their direction using the radar and pressing the ďYĒ button to swap places. Youíll be instantaneously transported and swapped with that particular soldier. And that goes for those operating vehicles. If the need is for a tank to burst through enemy forces, you can look into the direction of a tank your force controls, hit the ďYĒ button, and youíll be Hotswapped into controlling the tank on its destructive path of carnage.

Yet another great gameplay element in Battlefield 2: Modern Combat is the ability to use 30 war vehicles, from helicopters to boats to tanks to amphibious crafts and swift assault vehicles. Using vehicles is incredibly fun and adds a whole new level of gameplay that just isnít possible in your standard FPS solider game such as Rainbow Six or Ghost Recon. The brilliant availability and usage of vehicles in Battlefield 2: Modern Combat puts the vehicle availability and usage of Halo 2 to shame. Itís easier to control any vehicle using the third-person view, but the control over the vehicle weaponry is much better while in first-person perspective. Targeting is just too unreliable in third-person, but once in first-person you can strike with deadly accuracy. FPS control while youíre on foot is completely responsive, providing exceptional ease of movement and also for both targeting and shooting enemies with precision.

Online is where Battlefield 2: Modern Combat hits its A-list status. With support for up to 24 gamers at one time, the competition is as intense as any Xbox Live title, including Halo 2. There are a dozen or so online maps, and each is expansive enough to wage a long-lasting battle. Early on, there were some major lagging issues when Battlefield 2: Modern Combat was first released, by EA was aware of the problems, informed the Battlefield 2: Modern Combat online community on the servers that they where aware of and working on the issue, and at this point has seemingly rectified the situation successfully.

 

battlefield 2 modern combat          battlefield 2 modern combat


No matter if youíre playing single-player campaign or online, Battlefield 2: Modern Combat has a definite arcade-style gameplay. It wonít reach the same level of war spectrum authenticity as a Full Spectrum Warrior or any Tom Clancy title, but instead focuses on earning medals and ribbons that allow you to ďlevel upĒ to higher soldier ranks, from private to general, with plenty of health, weapon and repair kits lying around. You can ďpower-upĒ in the single-player campaign by performing multiple quick kills, increasing and refilling your health, making it that much harder for you to be killed. Also in single-player, you will unlock new weaponry (there are over 50 available instruments of war) and weapon upgrades (such as night vision for a sniper rifle). Thereís definitely a need for sound military strategy to be successful on the battlefield, but shooting weapons isnít affected by authentic-type recoil as much as in other games. Battlefield 2: Modern Combat shares more in common with the gameplay of Counter-Strike than it does with any tactical shooter.

And thatís one of the primary reasons that, especially online, Battlefield 2: Modern Combat is an incendiary blast to play. There will be the need for stealth and proper squad-based strategies to be employed, just not on the dedicated level of a Tom Clancy game. You can solely focus on the reward-earning or winning objective with the more-forgiving weapons targeting of Battlefield 2: Modern Combat, knowing that if you get shot up full of lead , your health meterís emptying and the ammo clipís almost out, thereís a power-up right around the bend to replenish you, keeping you in the game.

The online play has two types of games: Capture the Flag and Conquest. Conquest is the more frenetic mode, where your army must control as many of the flag points on the map as possible. Going to a flag point and waiting for the required time will raise the flag for your side at that particular flag point, as you and your team attempt to conquer the entire mapís worth of flag points. But there are always fierce battles for the control of each flag point, and during the course of clashes there will be plenty of taking, losing and re-taking of flag points. With furious ďturf wars,Ē very good made-for-multiplayer maps, and extensive use of vehicles to turn the tides of war to your teamís favor, Battlefield 2: Modern Combat is a great Xbox Live game.

Hitting its target square in the bullís eye is Battlefield 2: Modern Combatís visual performance. Weapons, vehicles and character models are all rendered with a fine level of graphical detail. The gameís environments are also impressive. Clouds of dust fill the sky in desert regions, providing not only a realistic environmental effect, but also a condition that must be accounted for strategically when flying helicopters into battle. In order to see your enemy, you must fly low enough to be below the dust clouds, but flying at a lower altitude puts you at a higher risk for being shot down by a ground-based rocket attack.

Flaming wreckage with pluming black smoke is another gameplay-affecting environmental feature. If you canít see through the heavy smoke, you canít see your enemy clearly. But he canít see you either, so there are times when youíre using stealth to sneak up on somebody that that same smoke will come in handy. All of the gameís environments are sharply rendered with a realism that immerses you deep into the theater of war.

Even more impressive than the gameís graphics is Battlefield 2: modern Combatís amazing sound. Weapons fire, especially from vehicles carrying heavy ammo loads, sounds great. The first time you experience the firing of a heavy-duty tank cannon while driving one, youíll practically feel your bones rattling from the recoil. Rocket fire also has a hair-raising quality in the audio department. Thereís nothing to get your adrenaline rushing as when you hear the gunfire increasing in volume as it gets closer and closer to your position, signaling a possible impending doom if you donít hightail it ASAP to the closest cover.

The biggest disappointment of Battlefield 2: Modern Combat is its single-player campaign. It isnít the campaign itself thatís the disappointment, because the single-player campaign shares the same basic gameplay as its online counterpart using the same environments, weapons and vehicles. But the big letdown is in the weak enemy A.I. which shows very little intelligence at all. Itís easy to pick off the single-player enemies that oppose you. Another frustration is that just when you think that an area is clear of all opposition, the game spawns out of thin air a new batch of soldiers intent on your demise. The lack of good A.I. collapses a lot of the single-player campaign enjoyment.

But despite a disappointing single-player A.I. challenge, Battlefield 2: Modern Combat more than atones with a magnificent online experience, one of the best FPS soldier wargames on Xbox Live at the moment. Jumping into an up-to-24-person fray on well-designed levels, with a vast array or weapons and war vehicles, and responsive controls gives Battlefield 2: Modern Combat the winning edge for console online supremacy today.

- Lee Cieniawa
lcieniawa@armchairempire.com

(December 1, 2005)

 

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