Battlefield 2 Modern Combat Interview
By: Kurt Knudsen and Rammy Eldaly had the chance to sit and chat with Marcus Nilsson about the upcoming release of Battlefield 2 Modern Combat. The game hits shelves in the next few days and will give console gamers a taste of what we PC gamers have been enjoying.

1. Before we begin can you introduce yourself and tell us what you do?

My name is Marcus Nilsson and I am Executive Producer for BF2MC.

2. The Battlefield franchise is known to be thirsty when it comes to pc specs. How much of a challenge was it to develop the game using older technology embraced by the Xbox/PS2?

It has been a challenge all right. It is however always a challenge developing a game in the Battlefield series due to the demands from the gamers. Through PC, gamers have been spoiled with the best online FPS there is and on console we don’t aim to less than that. First of all, the game is totally developed for the console, it’s not a port, in fact, it could not be further from it. It builds on the same core values but since demands from PC and consoles are different, so are the games. Some limitations obviously had to be in there, for example, we knew early we could not support 64 players. But instead of seeing that as a negative, we designed our maps in a way to make them fit perfectly for 24 players and play faster than the PC cousin. The set-up with a client/server architecture is where we cut a lot of corners, not only will gamers have a more lag free environment and all of their console powers to themselves (by hosting a server as in a peer 2 peer game) but also it will limit cheating since almost all logics is calculated on the server.

3. Although bringing online gaming to the console scene was a clear success, many console gamers enjoy a good solid single player mode. What momentous differences will we see in the single player mode of BF2 : MC, compared to its predecessors on the PC?

For the first time in Battlefield’s relatively short history we will deliver a single player objective based story mode. But not only that, we have re-invented how to play a fps single player campaign. The revolutionary item is called Hotswapping. It’s basically follows the words, “if you can see it you can be it”. So in the single player mode you are not one soldier, you are an army! You can play any of the soldiers in the army and you move between them in real time in a Hotswap move. So, for example, if you’re on the ground and you see a cool chopper dog fight, press a button and you are part of the dog fight. Be careful though, the AI knows its moves. We also let you play on both sides of the war, so you control NATO and Chinese troops in different missions. At the end, you had to determine who you think is right and lead that army to victory.

4. The game was originally scheduled to be released in Fall 2004, but was delayed due to an array of reasons. What are the significant accomplishments throughout this period?

It’s true that the push out was the result of wanting to add a single player campaign. Also, you’ll get the most tweaked and polished MP experience ever to be seen on the console.

5. Will a gamer completely new to the franchise be easily able to adapt to the game?

We know most console gamers don’t know Battlefield on the PC so it is our mission to deliver the same core gameplay and I am certain it will win the same amount of appreciation. A core value of the Battlefield series is that it’s must be “easy to learn – hard to master”. I am confident we have succeeded.

6. What kind of relation would you say stands between Battlefield 2 and BF2 : MC?

Starting up development almost 3 years ago we worked in a merged team. But this was on a very high level, making sure we were true to the core values of the series. Dice know very well though that the gamers on the different platforms care about different stuff and since the mission was to deliver as good experience as on the PC, we simply had to deliver the console from scratch. At the end of the day though, the games are very close but different where it matters to the gamers.

7. Will we see any new weapons/vehicles in BF2 : MC?

You will see 30 + vehicles and more than 50 weapons. Some of them can be seen in BF2 (PC) but a majority of them are console specific.

8. Because a controller is quite different then a keyboard and a mouse, was it common throughout the developed process to change the controls?

We always work iteratively, so yes, we have changed the controls many times but the end result is truly something I feel could not be much better. I am especially proud of the way we implemented the weapon selection system.

9. Helicopter controls have always been an important fact in the Battlefield franchise. How easy will flying a helicopter be in BF2 : MC ?

It’s easy. People that fly for the first time can control it and in a few attempts start raining missiles down on enemy troops below. The trick to become really good is to use both analog sticks. Be aware of a high pitch sound though, there are many ways to take down a flying fortress.

10. From the screenshots we've seen, gamers will be able to fight in different environments, such as snow, sand etc. What are the principal themes for the maps?

You’ll be fighting in three different environment, snow, desert and temperate.

11. The modding community of the Battlefield franchise is without a doubt a huge one. Will we see a map maker or anything similar ship with the game or later in an update?

We love the modding community but unfortunately we will not include such a tool. I would however keep my eyes open for this feature in coming Battlefield titles.

12. Battlefield 2 featured some astonishing technical aspects, such as ragdolls, explosions etc, will we see the same thing in BF2 : MC?

The PC guys are going to kill me…but in fact, we have bigger and better explosions. We use shock wave and camera shake effects in a truly immersive way. Blow up a tank and it will fill you with satisfaction.

13. Before we go, is there anything else you would like to say?

The game is available in the US on Tuesday the 25th. Pick it up, play through the single player repeatedly and go online for endless fun with your mates. You’ve never played an online game like this on your console.

Thank you for your time.