Battlefield 2 : Modern Combat 360 Interview

Battlefield 2 : Modern Combat 360 Interview

Written by Charles Husemann on 2/15/2006 for
More On: Battlefield 2 : Modern Combat

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” argument?

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 multiplayer match

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.

GamingNexus: Will you have to start over if you have a character on the Xbox version or will there be a way to import your profile from the Xbox version?

Dan Blackstone:  This will be a completely new start for players.

GamingNexus: Will you be taking advantage of the live market place to offer more updates?  Has there been any thought to releasing more content post launch?  Are there any plans to release a demo on Xbox Live beforehand (especially given how successful the demo for the Xbox version was)?

Dan Blackstone:  Yes we will release Marketplace content, yes we have thought about releasing more content after launch, though this has not been determined yet, and yes we have plans to release a demo.

GamingNexus: What kind of online ranking/clan support will the game have?  What kind of game play statistics are you going to be tracking?

Dan Blackstone: 
We’ll be tracking the same stats that we did with the Xbox version, so you’ll have all of the same global rankings, clan support, and community features. If you’ve ever been to our Community site for Xbox, you know we go deeper than just about any other online console game out there.

GamingNexus: Have you tweaked any of the classes from the PS2/Xbox version?  Were there any items that you had to change to balance the game out?

Dan Blackstone: 
We did a little tweaking, but actually not much was necessary. We’ve always prided ourselves on building an extremely balanced game experience, which we think is a lot of the appeal of the franchise. There were some things that got a nice overhaul, though, such as smoke grenades. Now you can hide several players in the cloud and there is absolutely no way the enemy can see what is going on.

GamingNexus: Will the medals and ranks in the game be tied to Xbox 360 achievements?  Will you have different versions for the single player and multiplayer sides of the game or is it one big pool of achievements?

Dan Blackstone:  Yes, the ranking system has been made consistent across single player and multiplayer. While you will still have two different ranks, they will be displayed side by side, and achievements will be unlocked as a result of your advancement in both.

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.

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About Author

Hi, my name is Charles Husemann and I've been gaming for longer than I care to admit. For me it's always been about competing and a burning off stress. It started off simply enough with Choplifter and Lode Runner on the Apple //e, then it was the curse of Tank and Yars Revenge on the 2600. The addiction subsided somewhat until I went to college where dramatic decreases in my GPA could be traced to the release of X:Com and Doom. I was a Microsoft Xbox MVP from 2009 to 2014
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