Battlefield 2: Modern Combat Xbox 360
Published by Electronic Arts
Developed by Digital Illusions CE
Release Date: Out Now
Battlefield 2: Modern Combat, an introduction.
After enjoying an immense amount of popularity on the PC it was inevitable that the series would eventually find its way on to the various console formats. In the latter stages of 2005, Battlefield 2: Modern Combat arrived on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox consoles. Whilst there were some similarities between the game and the PC version of Battlefield 2, they were very different games that had nothing to do with each other. That said Modern Combat was an enjoyable game in its own right and what we have here is the Xbox 360 version of the game.
What's the game about?
Battlefield 2: Modern Combat on the Xbox 360 allows you to play both offline and online with up to 23 other players. As the name suggests the game is based on modern warfare so expect to see modern weaponry and vehicles. Offline the game offers a single-player campaign and a challenge mode. The campaign is a conflict between NATO and the Chinese and during the campaign you'll get to play as both sides. Online you'll get to take part in ranked and unranked Conquest and Capture the Flag games. You can form clans too, which is good to see.
What's good about the game?
Digital Illusions have given the Xbox 360 version a rather impressive graphical upgrade and this version is a lot closer to the graphical quality of the PC Battlefield 2 game. You'll find a single-player campaign to undertake and whilst this is not the best feature of the game, it does enable you to gain some practice as it does feel like an online game to a certain extent. A new feature called Hot Swap has also been added and this allows you to exchange roles with anyone else in your team whilst playing the single-player game. You simply point your crosshair in their direction and then press the X button to zoom to their position. This is actually quite a neat feature and lets you get as involved with the game as you would like to. You can switch from planting explosives to being a sniper in the blink of an eye and it's a feature that means you can have a more complete experience in the single-player side of the game. For successful completion of the single-player campaign missions you are given a rank and the higher the rank, the more rewards you will earn. Extra weapons and various upgrades are the rewards on offer. Of course with this being the Xbox 360 version you also get achievements. There are 46 in all ranging from 'Army Cross: Campaign' that requires you to kill 10 enemies using land based vehicles and gives you 20 Gamerscore points to 'Exemplary' which gives you 50 Gamerscore points for achieving the maximum star rating in all of the missions and challenges. A fair portion of these challenges are for the online game too.
What's not so good about the game?
In truth the single-player campaign could be better although it's a great place to get to grips with the game. The AI probably isn't as sharp as it could be, although it does seem better than the AI in the PlayStation 2 version. Controlling the various vehicles in the game still feels a little clumsy at times. It's nothing you can't get used to though. Online you're at the mercy of those you play with. In the right conditions the game can be really fun, although it's a shame that only Conquest and Capture the Flag games are offered and the game could have done with more game types.
How does it look?
With the game being on the Xbox 360 you'd expect to see a big graphical improvement over the PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions of the game and indeed there is a substantial increase in graphical quality. Whilst it wouldn't be correct to say that the game makes full use of the consoles potential, there's quite a leap in quality when it comes to the character and vehicle models and the levels are also more detailed. The textures, weather effects and explosions are much better than they were in the PlayStation 2 version we played last year and overall the game has a much sharper look to it. Even when playing the game on a standard TV, you can see there has been a big improvement and when playing the game on a HD display it's a lot closer to the PC version of Battlefield 2 in terms of how good it looks and the various effects on offer.
How deaf gamer friendly is the game?
Whilst it's not perfect, Battlefield 2: Modern Combat won't cause deaf gamers too many problems. The game does offer subtitles but they are turned off by default. The cutscenes in the game are subtitled and the briefings are shown in text (on the loading screens). In-game dialogue in the campaign from your AI comrades is shown in text, although the text doesn't have the speaker's name next to it or isn't colour-coded so it's impossible to know who is saying what. In a game of this nature that's hardly a big problem and at least you're not cut-off from the conversations and it does add to the atmosphere somewhat. The compass shows the general location of your enemies so you also have some sort of warning of approaching enemies, which helps of course. Mission objectives are shown in text and can be recalled at any time. Should you attempt to leave the mission area during a campaign scenario, you'll be warned by a text message. The challenge instructions are all shown in text too. The game also makes a good use of icons to show stance and other useful details. One problem for deaf gamers could be the voice communications that the game allows. This will make it difficult for deaf gamers to simply jump online and enjoy a quick game.
If you own an Xbox 360 and haven't yet picked up a copy of Battlefield 2: Modern Combat then this is definitely the version to go for. The improved graphics and effects are much better than in the previous versions and the addition of the achievements means you'll want to replay the missions over and over in an attempt to unlock them all. Essentially though it's still the same game as we saw on the PlayStation 2 last year and if you've already played the PlayStation 2 or Xbox version you'll probably not want to buy the game simply for a few additions and upgrades. Battlefield 2: Modern Combat is basically a good team-based online shooter. It could have done with more modes to play online but you can create or join clans and on the whole it's a pretty good experience. Offline the game is also enjoyable thanks to the Hot Swap feature that allows you take on different roles at the touch of a button.
Overall Game Rating: 7.7/10
Deaf Gamers Classification:
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By all accounts this is a graphically superior and slightly improved version of the game we reviewed on the PlayStation 2 last year. Those looking for a slightly less serious online shooter should be pleased with what Battlefield 2: Modern Combat has to offer.