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Battlefield 2 360 graphics reworked, due in late March

Brief hands-on details.

The Xbox 360 version of Battlefield 2: Modern Combat has completely reworked graphics, enhanced AI (gosh eh!) and includes the downloadable content released for the Xbox version last month.

We popped in to EA recently to check on a few 360 games, and spent half an hour taking a look at the 360 version of Modern Combat, which is currently pre-beta and due out at the end of March.

According to EA, the graphics have been completely redone. Asked why they didn't simply reuse PC assets - similar to the approach Activision took with its 360 versions of PC shooters Quake 4 and Call of Duty 2 - an EA rep said that differences in animation systems would have been impossible to overcome.

DICE's PC version of Battlefield 2 used an entirely different system to the one in Modern Combat, upon which the Xbox 360 version is based. That said, lots of graphical work has been done to improve terrain and player detail - with every item on a player's body now seemingly modelled, as well as facial expressions.

The build we saw was only running at about 30 frames per second, and proved glitchy when we played it against some EA testers, but work isn't done yet.

In terms of improvements over the Xbox version, of which this is otherwise a fairly straight port, EA said that medals to advance in rank could now be earned offline or online, the "hot-swap" single-player feature that allows you to switch between character perspectives now worked whether you could see the other character or not, and AI had been improved so that shotgun-toting enemies couldn't be taken down easily with a pistol and enemies wouldn't blindly charge into battle.

There's still some work to do, but Xbox 360 fans who've been holding out for Modern Combat on their platform should see how it all turns out in late March.