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Battlefield 2: Modern Combat Review for Xbox 360
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Battlefield 2: Modern Combat 

Review for Xbox 360

- Tim Mellish, " Cloud890 ", Senior Editor
Thursday, April 20, 2006 

Review Preview

Battlefield 2: Modern Combat

Xbox 360
First Person Shooter
Electronic Arts
Digital Illusions
Mature (M)
VGcore Bronze Medal
Battlefield 2: Modern Combat Screenshot Gallery

Battlefield 2: Modern Combat Screenshot Gallery

Battlefield 2: Modern Combat Screenshot Gallery

The Battlefield franchise has been a truly healthy one for EA. It has not only spawned numerous games but also provided one of the most thrilling multiplayer experiences in recent times. However, while the series has had its shares of highs (1942) it has also had its lows. These lows come particularly when it seems like EA is just pushing another game in the franchise out the door without really providing anything new to the formula. Such is the fate of Battlefield 2 for the Xbox 360. While a great game through and through one cannot help but notice that the game plays almost exactly like the original Battlefield 2 that was released for the Xbox a few months ago. This is what ultimately shuts down the appeal of the 360 version.

The only aspect EA paid attention to, when porting Battlefield 2 over to the 360, is the graphics. While it is not the best looking Xbox 360 game (Oblivion and GRAW jointly hold that title), it is a huge improvement over the Xbox graphics. Character and vehicle models are more detailed, firearms glisten as the sun beams down onto them, and explosions rock the completely redone maps with more detail and grandeur. For the first few hours it is really cool to run through the same maps with a new coat of paint. The thought of "oh I wonder how good this looks now," will constantly be sitting in the back of your mind. But after those first few hours wear off, players will come to realize that the game honestly does not look THAT next gen. The excuse of declaring EA is still not familiar enough with the 360 hardware no longer applies. EA has shown they are quite capable of producing amazing graphics with Microsoft's white box (Final Fight Night anyone?). So it is somewhat confusing to pop in Battlefield 2 and realize the biggest selling point for the game really isn't that impressive.

While the graphics of Battlefield 2 for the Xbox 360 are the most “next-gen” aspect of the title, there are other areas of the game that are worth mentioning. The control scheme of Battlefield 2 remains largely unchanged. No one is going to have to worry about relearning the controls for the updated titled. This presents both problems and benefits. The control scheme of the original Battlefield 2, while useable, had some clunky moments. The selection of weapons was never quite second-nature-enough. At times gamers would end up selecting the wrong weapon or accidentally bring up their default firearm in a moment where they needed anything but. This problem still persists in Battlefield 2 for the 360. While it still is the same problem, its affect seems magnified. Being that this is a remake of the game for the 360, one would have expected EA to take some time and rework the small problems facing the title. Instead it remains largely unchanged.

In addition to this the overall response of the game still feels floaty and slightly out of the control of the player. The experience of blasting away other players, while fun, presents some moments where the player will wonder what exactly happened. The sniper rifle is an excellent example. At certain times one has to plant the marker right on the enemy in order to score a kill, other times, the marker can be ever so slightly off and still yield the same effect. This may not seem like a big deal to many casual gamers, and indeed this problem has been witnessed in other games (BLACK had it bad), but that still doesn’t mean it should not have been fixed. This same problem persists with a lot of the other weapons in Battlefield 2. They just don’t feel as effective as they could have been or as realistic. When compared to other more realistic shooters like Counter-Strike or the Battlefield 2 for PC, Battlefield 2 for the 360 still feels slightly unrealistic.

Luckily, though, the vehicle operation has been improved slightly. While the land-based vehicles like Hummers still control questionably, tanks and other armed vehicles control noticeably better. Joining in with this trend are also the helicopters. I could never figure out how to get the helicopter to fly properly in the Xbox version, but for some reason I was instantly able to control the helicopters in the 360. There are also new vehicles finding their way onto the Xbox 360 version, one of the favorites being the snow mobile. It’s nice to see a few new additions into the fold, which make things a bit more entertaining.

While Battlefield 2 is centered on the multiplayer experience, EA decided to go the extra distance by including a very robust single player component. At the core the single player gameplay is meant to familiarize the gamer with the nuisances of combat system so that no player will feel lost once he or she ventures onto the online world. The single player follows a series of missions stretched out across a multitude of locations. Each one feels unique and gives a good sense of war. While the single player and multiplayer essentially play the same in terms of the weapons and vehicles used, there is one gameplay feature found in the single player that really makes the gameplay seem fresh and fun. I’m talking about hot swapping. For those of you who haven’t played Battlefield 2 for the Xbox, hot swapping allows the player to take control of any A.I. member of the team by simply pointing at the team member and pressing the correct button. New to the Xbox 360 version is the ability to hot swap through buildings, where before one had to have a visual line-of-site on the person they wanted to switch to. With the Xbox 360 power behind the game, the hot swapping comes off much more impressive than before.

The sound in Battlefield 2, like a lot of the stuff in the game, just hasn’t changed all that much. The voices, the guns, the vehicles, and even the music sound exactly the same. Like the gameplay it makes Battlefield 2 for the 360 seem less next-gen, and overall really cuts down on the enjoyment of the game. While the sounds from the original Battlefield 2 weren’t that bad, I just wish EA would have retooled them for the 360.

Overall, Battlefield 2 should only be picked up by two types of people: those who never bought it for the Xbox, and those who are diehard fans. There is no question that the game has amazing replay value thanks to its online component, but if you bought the game the first time around and are a casual Xbox Live participant, there is no reason for you to buy this game.

  The Core Score



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