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Battlefield 2: Modern Combat PlayStation 2

Published by Electronic Arts
Developed by Digital Illusions CE
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £39.99

Battlefield 2: Modern Combat, an introduction.

The Battlefield series has been phenomenally popular on the PC and it was inevitable that eventually console gamers would get a slice of the action. Rather than simply release a seriously cut-down version of Battlefield 2 for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox though, Digital Illusions have create a whole new game to make the most of the PlayStation 2 and Xbox hardware with the result being Battlefield 2: Modern Combat.

What's the game about?

Battlefield 2: Modern Combat, like the PC game it's based on, allows you to play both offline and online. As the name suggests the game is based on modern warfare so expect to see modern weaponry and vehicles. Offline the game offers a single-player campaign and a challenge mode. The campaign is a conflict between NATO and the Chinese and during the campaign you'll get to play as both sides. Online you'll get to take part in Conquest and Capture the Flag games.

What's good about the game?

To be fair Digital Illusions would probably have got away with providing a streamlined version of the PC Battlefield games but they didn't take this easy option. You'll find a single-player campaign to undertake and whilst this is not the best feature of the game it does enable you to gain some practice as it does feel like an online game to a certain extent. A new feature called Hot Swap has also been added and this allows you to exchange roles with anyone else in your team whilst playing the single-player game. You simply point your crosshair in their direction and then press the square button to zoom to their position. This is actually quite a neat feature and lets you get as involved with the game as you want to. You can switch from planting explosives to being a sniper in the blink of an eye and it's a feature that means you can have a more complete experience in the single-player side of the game.

What's not so good about the game?

In truth the single-player campaign could be better although it's a great place to start. Even though you have set objectives for each mission in the campaign, they play out in a completely random way. Whilst this is good for replay value it doesn't exactly do much to keep you entertained. What really lets the single-player campaign down is the AI that shows kamikaze tendencies. It's an all too frequent occurrence for the AI enemies to run straight at you, which makes the task of picking them off far easier than it should be. You'll also notice your AI comrades don't always recognise an enemy that is within close proximity to them, which means they can be easily taken out. Controlling the various vehicles in the game feels a little clumsy at times. It's nothing you can't get used to though. Online you're at the mercy of those you play with. In the right conditions the game can be really fun although it's a shame that only Conquest and Capture the Flag games are offered and the game could have done with more game types.

How does it look?

Considering the platform the game is on, the PlayStation 2, the game doesn't look too bad at all. Of course in comparison with Battlefield 2 on the PC there is one heck of a drop in detail but that's to be expected and I think that the developers have got the balance right between detail and performance. The various maps in the game are good and the building detail is perhaps a little better than I had anticipated. Character models are quite good too. Vehicles don't look that great though, they are rather bland actually, and they'll simply disappear when destroyed, which looks a little strange but it's forgivable because the frame rate in the game seems to remain nice and smooth and sacrifices have had to be made to maintain a smooth frame rate.

How deaf gamer friendly is the game?

I have to be honest here and say that I was expecting the worst in terms of how deaf gamer friendly I thought Modern Combat would be. Whilst it's not perfect, I was pleasantly surprised with how the game has turned out in this respect. The game does offer subtitles but they are turned off by default. The Display Tutorial and Rewards Tutorial are not fully subtitled. Once you start playing the game you'll receive tutorial messages, that are shown in text, which are far more useful. The cutscenes in the game are subtitled and the briefings are shown in text. In-game dialogue in the campaign from your AI comrades is shown in text, although the text doesn't have the speaker's name next to it or isn't colour-coded so it's impossible to know who is saying what. In a game of this nature that's hardly a big problem and at least you're not cut-off from the conversations and it does add to the atmosphere somewhat. The compass shows the general location of your enemies so you also have some sort of warning of approaching enemies, which helps of course. Mission objectives are shown in text and can be recalled at any time. The challenge instructions are all shown in text too. The game also makes good use of icons to show stance and other useful details. One problem for deaf gamers could be the voice communications that the game allows. This will make it difficult for deaf gamers to simply jump online and enjoy a quick game.

Final thoughts.

Battlefield 2: Modern Combat offers PlayStation 2 and Xbox owners the opportunity to experience a decent approximation of what PC gamers experience with Battlefield 2. I say this because in all honesty it's not quite the same but then again it was never going to be given the difference between the two platforms. Digital Illusions have done a very good job in tailoring the Battlefield experience to the PlayStation 2 though and the adjustments they've made actually work quite well. The single-player campaign isn't that great to be honest, but it's a good place to familiarise yourself with the game. The challenge mode can also help you sharpen your skills. The hot swap feature is a great feature and allows you not only to move around quickly but also try your hands at the different classes at the touch of a button. Of course the main action will be online and as with any online game the quality of it depends upon the people you play with. In the right company though, Battlefield 2: Modern Combat can be a whole lot of fun.


Overall Game Rating: 7.5/10

Deaf Gamers Classification:

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Battlefield 2: Modern Combat is a surprisingly fun experience. Obviously it's not quite the same experience as Battlefield 2 on the PC but it's still a game fans of FPS multiplayer games on the PlayStation 2 or Xbox should consider.