The Battlefield franchise has become one of the bigger franchises for Electronic Arts of late. Battlefield 2 is still something that gets fired up a few times a week. Electronic Arts released Battlefield 2:Modern Combat
last year and while it managed to replicate most of the Battlefield 2
game play that graphics didn't quite match up to it's PC
sibling. EA is about to fix that with the Xbox 360 version
of the game. We had the chance to talk to Dan Blackstone, the
senior producer of the game about the changes that have been made since
the Xbox and PS2 versions were released last year.
GamingNexus: Was the
360 version built from the ground up or was the engine ported from the Xbox
version? With the extra power available on the Xbox 360, what other
improvements were made to the game besides the obvious graphical improvement?
Dan Blackstone: It was a combination of both. There were some
elements that we were able to bring over from the Xbox version, but many
elements were built from the ground up for 360. For example, every single
visual asset was re-created, the menus were all completely re-done, and we
overhauled the entire single player campaign.
GamingNexus: Is there
any new content (single or multiplayer) in this version of the game? For those of us who have to go through a home
finance office (wife/girlfriend/significant other) can you help us justify
spending $60 to them? How do we defeat the “You already have that game”
Dan Blackstone: There are a lot of things that we
streamlined, or improved, or rebuilt to make them even better. We don’t want to
mislead anyone about what the game is. For example, the single player missions
remain the same, but we re-wrote the AI for every mission, changed enemy spawn
points, and made other tweaks that may not be immediately apparent, but will
make the entire experience even better than it was. On the multiplayer side,
the Conquest mode remains the same, but we have the new downloadable content
that was released on Xbox Live included in the game. So this is basically the
best-looking, best playing, most complete version of Modern Combat.
GamingNexus: Did you
make any changes based on feedback from the Playstation 2 and Xbox
version? Where there any features you
wanted to add but where unable to?
Dan Blackstone: Yes, in addition to fixing any glitches
that players have brought to our attention, we also give players complete control
over their HUD, so you can have tons of info on screen or a completely clean
interface, or something in between. This was a highly requested feature on the
boards, so now gamers can switch off the enemy indicators and play a stealthier
GamingNexus: The Xbox
360 version looks to retain the same 24 players cap on multiplayer maps that the
PS2 and Xbox versions had. The PC version can handle upwards of 64 players per
map. Could you explain why the console
limit is so low compared to the PC version?
Is it a design issue or more of a hardware issue?
Dan Blackstone: On the PS2 and Xbox, it was a question of
the hardware. You just couldn’t get the level of detail on the maps that we
have, as well as the number of vehicles that we had, and have that run smoothly
with more than 24 players. Sure there were other games that had more players,
but they either had no vehicles, or far less vehicles. They also didn’t have
the same graphic fidelity that Modern Combat did.
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