Battlefield 2: Modern Combat

DICE doing five Battlefield games

Including a "core" console title.

DICE exec Ben Cousins has confirmed that the team is currently working on no less than five titles in its Battlefield franchise, according to

Battlefield 2: Modern Combat

Battlefield 2: Modern Combat

Soldier-up when it's time to go to war...

Modern Combat nails the tension and thrill of war like a sniper nails a headshot. It's smooth and it happens so quickly it can leave you shocked - if you're not paying close attention you'll end up with your limbs spread across the war zone. If the on-screen action makes your palms clammy and your heart beat a little faster, the game must be doing the right thing. Whether man-to-man with automatics blazing, frantically darting for an inch of cover and hoping a combination of skills and blind luck will save your arse, or tank-to-tank, the pause between shell loading causing your buttocks to tighten as you take aim a shot you hope will rip your enemies apart. Modern Combat is a tense and dangerous war game from the very start.

The single-player campaign has the unique Hot Swapping feature, allowing the player to assume control of different soldiers with the simple tap of a button. It's surreal to begin with but highly effective, as you Hot Swap between soldier classes and vehicles, whether to push forward, change tactics, gain the upper hand or simply survive. If it's a novelty, it doesn't get old quickly, partly due to the sheer amount of variety on offer. The player bypasses the frustration of being the wrong man in the wrong place by potentially being all the soldiers, with all the equipment and vehicles at your disposal. Drop the rooftop enemies with a sniper, Hot Swap into a tank to destroy a barricade and then jump to a grunt for the final bloody push.

Hot Swapping does take some getting used to and demands an element of discipline in how you play. If your troops are spread out you can become disorientated after the initial jump, which can then lead to the loss a crucial second adjusting your position or simply avoiding getting your face shot off. If it does get too confusing and you fail a mission the scripted events make the learning-by-rote gameplay easier. You'll know from where and when your enemies are coming the next time around, so the spontaneity is left to you and your Hot Swapping, which seems like a fair trade. You're encouraged to play the single-player campaign over as efficiently as possible in order to unlock better equipment and medals, and with the variety of soldier classes and their weapons, as well as the vehicles in use, there's scope for varied tactics and experimentation.

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Modern Combat demo on 360

Kill 23 people immediately.

A little bit later than promised, EA's popped a demo of Battlefield 2: Modern Combat onto Xbox 360 Marketplace.

X360 Battlefield 2 delayed

Just for a month though.

Bad news for trigger-happy gamers looking forward to the Xbox 360 version of Battlefield 2: Modern Combat - it's been delayed by a month, according to a post on the website of developer DICE.

Free Xbox Battlefield 2 content

Oh bomb all ye faithful.

EA has come over all benevolent, manoeuvring its twenty-billion-dollar frame down the Xbox chimney and festively depositing little parcels of war under the Downloadable Content Christmas tree.

Battlefield 2: Modern Combat

Battlefield 2: Modern Combat

It's Battlefield, Jim, but not as we know it...

So here's the thing: Modern Combat has little to do with the stellar PC game, Battlefield 2. The '2' moniker on this title seems almost accidental, since this is not a conversion of the PC game, but a from-scratch console reworking of the Battlefield idea. It has the same general theme of contemporary tanks and infantry, as encapsulated in the 'Modern Combat' subtitle, but as an experience it looks and feels rather different (and tastes, too, if you do that sort of thing). Of course this difference could be a good thing; we don't really want PC and Xbox to be inbred cousins, but instead independent and viable gaming fellows with their own individual spread of tempting DVD dishes. But, hnnngh, I can't help but make comparisons between the glorious fire-fights on my PC, and what's on my TV. No, no! Must... push... thoughts... aside...

So: staying consistent with its forefathers, Modern Combat is a class-based FPS in which your combat kit defines your abilities. It's also a distinct brand of vehicular combat with a strong theme of multiplayer action. Click your way through to Xbox Live and you'll discover each of the dozen battlefields to be littered with swearing men and armoured vehicles. The vehicles can be commandeered for quick transport and the people can be shot for even quicker 'deaths' of up to twenty-four other human beings. You can choose between assault (nice big gun), sniper (long range, with smaller gun), support (medic and average gun) and engineer (hey, bazooka!). Thus equipped, troops must use the tools at their disposal to aid their comrades, healing the wounded, transporting the tardy, and exploding the enemy.

Interestingly Modern Combat doesn't feel like a 'keep your fxxkin head down!' type soldier sim, instead it's much closer to the less constricted deathmatch games we're all-too familiar with. (Lots of running, some jumping.) The pace is pretty fast, and although you can crawl or crouch, you're generally going to be legging it between bits of cover and squeezing out as many bullets as you can before death. The weapons too feel simple and solid. Better still, the ragdoll deaths are a delight, especially when someone gets shot up by two or three people at the same time. Bodies go flying, dead limbs whirling, it's beautiful in a hideously morbid way.

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