Battlefield 2: Modern Combat Xbox 360 Review

May 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, Xbox 360, Xbox

We’re at a stage now where every Xbox 360 release is weighted with tons of anticipation. We’re all excited about what the 360 is truly capable of and expect each release to give us more insight than the last title. The 360 is slightly lacking in the Massively-Multiplayer department as well – only COD 2 and Perfect Dark Zero offer something similar. The problem with these two titles is that they have a main single player focus, and so the multiplayer elements more of a necessary after thought. So you’d think that a Battlefield game would have its own niche, especially given the popularity of the series.

Alas the ill-fated PC to console crossover. Lets get this out of the way before the review begins in earnest: Battlefield 2: Modern Combat isn’t like its PC namesake. DICE have developed Modern Combat yes, but they have done so with the console market in mind and therefore some of the elements that work best for PC have been removed. Unfortunately this means that most of the content that links closest to real life combat has been culled resulting in a very arcadey multiplayer 360 shooter. The recoil, for example, has been made less aggressive because it’s harder to aim using the pad as opposed to a mouse. While this is a necessary adjustment, it is detrimental to the entire Battlefield 2: Modern Combat experience and detracts from the realism.

DICE have also considered those without an Xbox Live connection and have invested time in creating an extensive single player mode. Rather oddly you do not play as any one character rather an entire team. And not in the same way as SOCOM or Conflict games where you control a squad. Modern Combat sees you with a set objective and a certain number of men to complete it. You’ll usually have four or five soldiers at your disposal, but in reality will only ever control one at any one time – however when your man dies you make a ‘bullet time’ style transition to another squad member. You also use this feature to switch between characters for tactical advantage. However this unfortunately becomes a little tedious as you’re forced to go through this prolonged sequence every time you change soldier.

As your soldiers die reinforcements drop in via parachute and you eventually take control of them in turn as you lead your current soldier to his untimely death. Your teammates take damage, as you’d expect so you often take control of a half dead, future amputee, which is a tad frustrating, but ultimately accurate and at least attempts to balance the arcade gameplay with authenticity. The ranking system is a masterstroke however: your progress is monitored in a way that puts the Xbox 360 achievements system to shame. Every shot fired, every kill made, every flag captured and soldier revived (along with another hundred or so notable events) is kept and recorded. So while the actual playing of the game can be frustrating and novelty fuelled, your goals for playing change at your own will. So if you want your knife badge, go out and get chiving (in the game though). This open ended gameplay means there is bundles to do and should you wish to achieve every medal or badge then you will be still playing this in a year’s time.

While the online mode plays very different from what you’d normally expect from a Battlefield game, there are obvious similarities to previous titles in the series. You still get to fly choppers and jets, navigate boats, drive jeeps and buggies, sky dive and parachute, snipe and kill. You also have obvious game modes – the best being Conquest, which sees your own team and the opponents battle over flags. You also get to play as the usual soldier types: Spec. Ops, Assault, Sniper etc. as seen in previous Battlefield games and the character models are almost identical. Yet this feels and plays nothing like the Battlefield games we have become accustomed to. And while this will no doubt sell primarily on the name, those who do buy it due to this factor will be disappointed. If you play this with an open mind there is enjoyment to be had, and the longetivity makes those who find enjoyment in the gameplay very lucky.