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Platforms: Xbox 360, Xbox, PS2 - Xbox 360 Version Reviewed.
When Battlefield 2 launched on the PC last year it caused quite a stir – partly because it was a truly brilliant multi-player warfare simulation and partly because actually getting it to work could be frustrating, to say the least. I loved playing Battlefield 2, but what I didn’t love was constantly being thrown out of servers for no apparent reason, being told that I was running the wrong patch and waiting absolutely ages to get onto a ranked server in the first place.
It’s fair to say that Battlefield 2 pushed the boundaries of online first person shooter games, and the desire to make it to that next rank, or grab that next medal made gameplay pretty compelling. The ability to form squads also took things to another level, as did the appointment of a Commander. But although both the squads and Commander added extra depth to a well run server, most public servers are populated by players who have no concept of team work, and just want to randomly run around shooting anything that moves.
Moving a game as mammoth as Battlefield 2 over to a console platform was never going to be easy, but Battlefield 2: Modern Combat does a pretty good job. Although Modern Combat was released on the PS2 and Xbox last year, the Xbox 360 version has only recently broken cover, and while it’s probably not a worthwhile purchase if you’ve already got the PS2 or Xbox versions, if you’ve yet to experience the BF2 phenomenon, it’s well worth a look.
When you fire up Modern Combat you realise that it’s split into two parts – Campaign mode and Xbox Live mode. The Campaign mode tries to interject a single player angle into the Battlefield 2 universe – something that the PC version just didn’t bother with. To be honest the Campaign mode isn’t bad, and if you like single player squad based FPS games, you’ll get to grips with it in no time, although it plays more like Call of Duty 2 than Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter.
The coolest aspect of the Campaign mode is the ability to “hot swap” – this means that you can instantly switch between different troops in your squad at the touch of a button. So, if you’re playing a sniper hiding out on a rooftop and you see an enemy tank rolling towards you, you can quickly hot swap to an engineer and take the tank out with an rocket. Likewise, if you get killed, you will instantly hot swap to another member of your squad so that you can carry on the fight – this will happen continually until you actually run out of squad members and fail the mission.