Battlefield 2: Modern Combat

August 10, 2006

With a console as powerful and impressive as the Xbox 360, it probably seems a bit strange that a couple of the bigger releases on the system over the past few months have been half-year old games from the last generation. [i]Battlefield 2: Modern Combat[/i] has managed to see new life after being ported to the 360, and in the process, has gotten some additional content. The game looks beautiful in HD, and the newly added maps are also a welcome addition. However, if you’ve played [i]Modern Combat[/i] on the original Xbox or Playstation 2, is it worth experiencing again on the Xbox 360? Depending on who you are, [i]Battlefield 2: Modern Combat[/i] may just be worth another look on the Xbox 360.

For those who didn’t go through [i]Modern Combat[/i] on the last generation of systems, the game essentially takes the [i]Battlefield[/i] franchise made famous on the PC and gives it life on consoles. Unlike the PC version of [i]Battlefield 2[/i], though, [i]Modern Combat[/i] tries to work in a single player campaign in addition to online multiplayer. That was how the Xbox and Playstation versions worked, and the Xbox 360 version shows a near identical formula. In fact, there are few differences between the two; those differences being three new maps in multiplayer (including new vehicles and character models), much improved graphics, and enhanced support for the new Xbox Live. That’s about it, but you might want to look twice before dismissing, depending on who you are.

[i]Modern Combat[/i]’s story revolves around a crisis in the country of Kazakhstan in the distant future fought between the People’s Republic of China and the United States, backed by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). While the single player campaign only allows you to take control of two sides, multiplayer mode also adds the Middle Eastern Coalition (MEC) and the European Union into the fray. You progress through the campaign by cycling through the two armies, playing a few missions as the U.S. forces and then switching to Chinese forces and then back again.

The single player mode of [i]Modern Combat[/i] is pretty run-of-the-mill. Possibly one of the only real stand out traits about single player is the ability to hot-swap to any other character on a map, which is kind of neat and allows you to not only traverse across maps in an instant but also play many different weapon layouts without having to re-spawn. However, after that, things fall a little flat. The campaign is fairly challenging, but sort of in the sense that you may have to lose several times in order to learn the given path to take. It doesn’t really help that the enemy AI just spawns in pre-determined locations and once you’ve played through a couple of times, you’ll anticipate where they’re supposed to show up. Your teammate’s AI isn’t exactly the best either, and more often than not, you may lose a mission solely because they used up all of the other bodies you could have hot-swapped to, or you may be the sole survivor of a mission (they literally run straight into the open for all enemy weapons to see).

Of course, any [i]Battlefield[/i] veteran can tell you that single player is far from what the series is about. Just like every other game in the series, the multiplayer is the center of attention here, and works just like it did in [i]Battlefield 2[/i] for the PC. The basic goal in multiplayer is for two teams to fight against each other in either conquest mode or CTF mode, although I think it’s a given that conquest mode (which consists of capturing a series of flags to use as spawn points) is usually the real attraction of the [i]Battlefield[/i] series. Each player gets to choose from a weapon kit, consisting of assault weapons, special operations gear, engineer kits, and more. To add to the mayhem, vehicles like tanks and helicopters are available, but sorry PC veterans: no jets.

Probably the reason that there are no jets in [i]Modern Combat[/i] is because the maps are generally much smaller than what was seen in [i]Battlefield 2[/i]. If you’re used to the big, open and spacious maps seen in [i]Modern Combat[/i]’s PC cousin, then these multiplayer maps will probably disappoint somewhat, although they are perfectly sized for the player limits of Xbox Live (up to 24 players). Most maps are designed fairly well, although some tend to lean the balance more towards one side. A

Score: 2/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.