Battlefield 2: Modern Combat Preview - The Next Level

Game Profile

Release date:
October 24, 2005
Electronic Arts
1 - 24

Battlefield 2: Modern Combat

DICE's blockbuster war-based FPS sets up camp on console territory. Our impresions, inside.

Preview by (Email)
October 23rd 2005

The Basics: Since the invention of gunpowder, people have loved shooting things. There wouldn't have been a Wild West or a FPS genre without it. Another thing people love are fiery explosions with great plumes of dark smoke that shake the earth with their awesome power. Humankind's greatest triumphs were found amid the chaos and mud of the battlefield, to preserve a decent way of life against the great evils of the world.

DICE and EA have joined forces to give you a way to experience the thrill of modern warfare without causing any political unrest in the process. Battlefield 2 is the successor to the wildly popular squad-based FPS Battlefield 1942, updating it for modern times with expanded features and greatly improved visuals. Whether you're sniping someone from a high vantage point, mowing them down with the chain guns of an attack helicopter, to slamming into them on a jeep rigged with explosives you're going to feel the impact. BF2 tows the line between realism and accessibility, so you don't need to spend months getting your ear barked off by a drill sergeant to get in on the fun. Now they've made it even more accessible by bringing it to the Xbox and PS2.

There's a robust single player campaign, allowing you to choose your side in the epic struggle over Kazakhstan, but what fun is it to trash talk to a bunch of AI controlled bots? The real meat of the BF2 experience is in the multiplayer, where up to twenty four people can take part in some serious squad-based warfare, making it the largest online console experience to date. Take the role of one of the many classes, including Assault, Sniper, Special Ops, Combat Engineer, and Combat Support, master over fifty diverse weapons and operate over thirty vehicles from land, sea, and air. If you make the grade, you'll soon rise in the ranks, earning bonuses to improve your character, to ascend to the lofty goal of general, and lead your own personal army into battle.

What do we think? Modern Combat is the perfect alternative for avid console war moguls who've been clamoring to get a taste of the Battlefield experience. Based on our recent hands-on time with a single-player demo supplied by EA, we're eager that the retail release is literally just around the corner.

Fans and newcomers alike will be thrilled to discover the Battlefield's intensity and other trademark aspects have remained largely intact. Having some familiarity with the latest PC iteration, I was surprised by how well the key controls were crammed into the console configuration. Those of you who religiously play Halo 2 (or at least are familiar with the control setup) should feel right at home.

I love the new "hotswap" feature, allowing you to instantly warp right to where all the action is. Within mere seconds, you can be manning the controls of a tank, or taking the high ground as a sniper. Hotswapping is contingent on the location of your fellow soldiers -- which is sort of familiar this year's NASCAR "Total Team Control" feature. It's great for impatient types who can't bear to endure a minor, dull moment and ideally maintains a consistent, intense pace. Of all the different classes available, I've found my calling as a sniper, due to my exceptional "headshot" skills. Yeah, it's always been something of a guilty pleasure of mine and I can't wait to exploit it further during online multiplayer campaigns.

Sadly, however, the campaign featured in the demo didn't offer any opportunities to sample the aerial vehicles that will be available in the full version. Most of my time was spend hopping in and out of tanks, blowing away every enemy soldier in sight. Overall, the sounds and visuals boasted exceptional quality, giving players an unprecedented degree of realism as if they were truly on the battlefield.

My definitive battle cry can best be summed up "Bring it on!" DICE is poised to unleash yet another excellent product and I can think of no better console war-based product worth playing this Fall. Get ready to lock and load next week when Modern Combat hits retailers on October 24.

Battlefield 2: Modern Combat is also slated for release on the PS2 and Xbox 360 platforms.

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