I’ll admit something before going further with this review, I didn’t know at all what to expect from Battlefield 2: Modern Combat, I’d been told plenty about Battlefield 2 on the PC by an old friend and in all honesty it didn’t sound like my sort of thing, I was expecting something overly serious and complicated, and maybe the PC version is, but I was so wrong to think this of a EA console game, and now I can see the series for the masterpiece DICE have made of it.
The biggest difference between the PC and console versions of the game, and something thats being marketed as one of the main reasons to own this version of the series, is the inclusion of a proper Single player game, instead of it being basically like the original TimeSplitters’ single player mode (the same as multilplayer but with bots) DICE have worked very hard, even delaying the game a bit, to get a proper single player experience embedded into the game for those who do not have their PS2 or XBox online.
Tha campaign mode follows a basic structure of you having to achieve certain goals within a mission, with situations changing as the particular battle goes on.The missions involve such things as having to protect an oil rig out to sea from being taken over by enemy troops, you think you’ve achieved it when suddenly the attacks aimed at HQ on a small island in the distance, forcing you to take advantage of the single players unique revolutionary new feature, the Hot Swap.
This feature is activated by aiming your cross hair in the direction of one of your squads AI members and hitting the Hot Swap button if they’re class indicator is highlighted in white, this will fling you across the screen, leaving your old body behind an forcing the screen into a bullet time flying effect as you hurtle across the landscape to take over your new body in a similar way to the Agents in the Matrix films. This allows you to defend various points on a map or take control of a different character class at the switch of a button, giving you huge scope for finishing missions, if you also Hot Swap over certain distances you can earn points which in turn earn stars and Offline Ranks.
Obviously though, the Multiplayer mode is where Battlefield series’ heart always lies, and Modern Combat stands head and shoulders above anything else on XBox Live or PS2 Online for squad based combat. Games take the form of capture the flag, or the more popular Conquest mode (in which you still capture flag points but the longer you hold this posts the more points you earn and the more the opposing team loses), and with the ability for the serves to hold up to 24 players at once, battles can become all out warfare on maps that include helicopters, tanks and jeeps.
My only disappointment with Battlefield 2: Modern Combat doesn’t lie with the game itself, more with the publishers insistence on using its own servers on XBox Live, Microsofts Live servers are among the most reliable online gaming servers, but EA’s just aren’t and they dont seem able to fix them, this could potentially ruin a fantastic game, as the game often freezes when trying to even log you in to your account, but once you do get into a good online game with plenty of people who play fairly (and this game has a better online community than Halo 2 I might add) then you will forgive EA for using their own servers and relish in the fun and manic war that is Battlefield 2: Modern Combat.