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Battlefield 2: Modern Combat


Mar 7, 2006

The Battlefield franchise’s first venture onto consoles came last fall with Modern Combat (review), a title in which the gameplay was as impressive as it was innovative. Not wanting to break a winning formula, EA is about to release Battlefield 2: Modern Combat for the Xbox 360, and it’s not changing all that much from the core of the current-gen version. But what it is changing makes the game even better.
Naturally you’d expect the graphics to take a big leap forward, and that they do. Although the screens that accompany this preview are all from cinematics or, at the very least, aren’t exactly what you see in the game, they’re also not that far from reality. A bit more render-like, to be sure, but still relatively representative of what you’ll see. Vehicles now look like vehicles rather than moving geometry. Soldier models are so distinct that you can distinguish one from the other by his gun, not just the icon above his head. And the environments, while not much improved, have that extra level of polish.
Battlefield 2: Modern Combat Xbox 360 screenshot
The HotSwap feature is alive and well in the Xbox 360 version, enabling you to jump from one soldier to the next in mid-mission, and this time the effect of swooping over the land looks even better. I even experienced one HotSwap in which my “flight pattern” wrapped around a building and up a staircase rather than just going in a straight point-A-to-point-B beeline. Sure, it was a bit disorienting at first, but the effect was great.
Battlefield 2: Modern Combat Xbox 360 screenshot
The audio has also improved in the Xbox 360 version, particularly in the surround-sound department. Now, the warning arrow indicating the direction of incoming fire isn’t really necessary, because you can distinguish enemies’ position by listening to your speakers. Come under a barrage of gunfire, and you can also hear bullets pinging off the metal and concrete behind your head, if you’re lucky enough to duck behind cover. One of the most impressive improvements, though, comes in a mission where you’re taking down snipers, and the sound of the enemy’s .50-caliber rifle echoes through the streets, making their location hard to find. This can be frustrating from a gameplay perspective, but it sure does add to the reality factor.
Battlefield 2: Modern Combat Xbox 360 screenshot
Yet the most impressive enhancement is the improvement to enemies’ intelligence. Cover is no longer something that only you and your cohorts will use, as enemies also now seek shelter behind buildings and vehicles. They’ll even dive on the ground and feign death, firing at just the right time to punish you for not making sure they were dead. And when they fire, it’s best to look out; their aim has dramatically improved. In the aforementioned sniper mission, for example, my players died several times from head shots…while I was almost completely behind cover of a wall.
Battlefield 2: Modern Combat Xbox 360 screenshot
Battlefield 2: Modern Combat is definitely still an arcadey experience, and the HotSwapping feature will still have you gliding around the battlefield to keep your multiplier bar filled. But on the Xbox 360, that arcadey experience is more polished, more immersive and more difficult, which should entice a few of those players who thought the game’s first outing was a bit too pedestrian.
— Jonas Allen

By Sara

My name is Sara Anslee, I live in Colorado. I am very fond of gaming, writing, and blogging. I share the latest news and tips about sports games, video games, gaming movies, gaming devices, and accessories. I also love watching movies and traveling.