November 10, 2005
Games: Battlefied 2: Modern Combat (PS2/XBOX)
Before we begin: Battlefield 2: Modern Combat is NOT a console port of
the excellent Battlefield 2, it is a unique and special snowflake for
the PS2 and XBOX. If you own a computer and like to wage virtual war go
buy Battlefield 2 and most likely, a very, very powerful video card.
Thirdly, if you do not have broadband access for your XBOX or PS2 you
are wasting $50 on Battlefield 2: Modern Combat.
is the case with the PC Battlefield series (Battlefield: 1942, BF:
Vietnam and BF2) there is only a mere shell of a single-player game
here. Which, to itís credit, is simply not what the Battlefield Series
is about. These games are about connecting online with 60 other players
and finding silly fun and giddy excitement in arcade reenactments of
historyís most horrific armed conflicts. Yay for icky moral awkwardness!
Yay for the sheer joy of fire bombing a base full of racists who use the
anonymity of ďteh InternetsĒ to shoot you in the head and then call you
a ďfagĒ! Itís a double-edged sword.
Battelfield 2: Modern Combat makes a number of notable divergences from
itís PC brethren. Most interestingly is the concept of hotswapping,
which allows you to shift your control and perspective from solider to
soldier on the fly. This has quite an intriguing impact as it somehow
shifts the player identification into a middle-space between combatant
(as in most First Person Shooters) and commander (as would be the case
in most strategy games). While you never gain a thorough aerial view of
the playspace, your team identity changes, now you are a point of focus
on a many limbed beast, as opposed to a fixed coordinator. I applaud
Modern Combat for really nailing this idea. Itís a first and they do it
Unfortunately, that is Modern Combatís single stellar claim and worse,
they donít include it on the multi-player that represents the real meat
and potatoes of the title. Yes, the army-on-army shooter is fun, itís
chaotic and exciting with teams vacillating between viciously well-oiled
machines and a scrambling mess. Either can be a hoot to participate in.
Hopping from helicopters onto enemy control points or blasting across
the hills in an M1 Abhrams tank are undeniable joys. This Battlefield is
even more arcade-y than itís run and gun PC brother. While maybe thatís
not so bad to vintage console shooter fans, who will undoubtedly love
the massive battles, I just canít help but say that any of the PC
versions are simply better, and many of other console shooters have more