Blowing Up Buildings Never Gets Old
This game is fairly old at the time of this review (about two years if I am correct) so it is showing a little but of its age, but it still stands as one of the better military shooters on the Xbox 360. This game is the antithesis in many ways of the Modern Warfare approach to the FPS. While the down the rails shooting mechanic is still in place, there are many differences that set it apart. First off the game is much slower paced in terms of the progression of the levels and the overall speed. Running in the game is actually slightly a chore as one has to continually hold down the left stick to maintain a run. In fact the only major complaint in the game is some minor controller issues such as the running mechanic. Another minor one was the fact that as a character you had either grenades or a grenade launcher depending upon your gun. Switch to grenades was a slightly cumbersome affair when you really just needed to get something out there to suppress the AI.
The maps and levels in this game hold true to the Battlefield tradition with large scales that have you traversing from objective to objective. This opens up a nice gameplay mechanic where the user can actually approach a objective literally from a multitude of angles. Do you need to storm an output? Well you can grab a tank and charge through the main gate on the road, or instead take a sniper rifle and pick individuals off from the treeline. It all makes for some really interesting gameplay.
The two biggest draws to this game are the building destruction and the characters. In this series EA has brought a new mechanic which allows almost any surface in the game to be destroyed. If you have an enemy hiding in a house, simply blow a hole in it or take the whole damn house down. This mechanic was incredibly fun, but I actually had to force myself to utilize it. I have been conditioned in other games to really save my grenades and I often times found my habits of trying to breach a building to clear it out coming back.
The true shining point in this game though is of course the characters. While the story is off the wall ridiculous, the rag-tag bunch of misfits that accompany you on this story really carry it through. The background commentary and antics during the mission cut scenes really put the overall mood over the top to make this a standout game.
Overall it is an excellent FPS and a good counterpoint to have in the market against Modern Warfare.