Nearly a month ago (April 11, to be exact), Battlefield 2 Modern Combat was released for the Xbox 360. As I’ve mentioned a couple times before, I was a huge fan of the first couple Battlefield games but had major problems with Battlefield 2 for the PC. It seemed every time a patch was released, I would end up spending a couple hours trying to get the game running again which normally resulted in me abandoning the game out of frustration. Although Modern Combat is not the same game as the PC version, I was really hoping that I could catch up the time I missed out on and finally enjoy the Battlefield series again. Unfortunately, I’m lead down the same path of repeated disappointments.

While I thoroughly enjoyed the demo, there were some glaring bugs and missing features that I simply assumed would be corrected in the retail release. Oh, how I was wrong!

Within 10 seconds of joining my first game, I was met by a screaming announcer – “THE ENEMY HAS TAKEN FLAG 4!!!” Holy hell, I was so caught off guard I nearly fell off the couch. I immediately jumped into the Settings menu to turn it down, but to my dismay, no option for it. There were some vague voice related options that I fiddled with, but nothing shut that bastard up. This dude is so loud that you actually hear it echoed as it’s picked up through other people’s mics. When I came home with the retail version of the game, the first thing I did was check for an option for the announcer – no dice. I thought for sure they had corrected this as every match I played in the demo, a handful of people would complain about it. No such luck. Complaining about this might sound petty, but when it wakes your daughter up who’s been sleeping for over an hour, you would complain about it too.

Another major annoyance is the fact that you can’t customize the controls. This wouldn’t be too bad if the game used the typical Xbox layout, but it’s anything but typical. Let’s just say this – duck/prone is the left trigger. Again, I thought for sure this would be an option in the retail game. Disappointment #2.

Since I bought the game, I wasn’t going to give up that easily. I was determined to enjoy this game as I have waited so long to just fucking play Battlefield 2. So, I’m playing along – manning the gun of some dude’s tank. I spot a couple enemies sneaking up along side us between some crates and I start shouting at my comrade to take them out. Dude keeps rolling forward. “Dude, WTF? We’re gonna get smoked!” Sure enough, both enemies just happened to be touting rocket launchers and blew us both to hell. Turns out, the in-game chat system is a little buggy and just doesn’t work at times. Nice.

After a couple days of frustration, I jumped online to see if anyone else was having problems with the game. I found endless threads of complaints about every issue mentioned above and a whole lot more I had yet to encounter. Luckily for us, EA quickly posted a community update informing us that a patch will be released soon to fix the chat issues. No mention of the other problems people had been mentioning, though – that was on April 13.

I let a couple weeks go by before trying to get into the game again. Hoping a patch would be released as promised, but it never came. I fired up BF2 MC once again with the volume nearly off without my headset. The first round was good. I came in first and score like 23 points. Nice! I can deal with this. Then something strange happened during the following round. I wasn’t quite sure what, but one dude’s score was climbing rapidly and yet, he didn’t have any kills or flag captures. By the end of the match, he had racked up well over 100 points without a single kill, death or flag capture. W.T.F? Again, I hit the forums to see what’s happening and it appears some people have discovered a way of cheating the points system without actually playing the game. Well, that was the final straw. To have to deal with some shitty bugs is one thing. But to have to deal with some shitty bugs and people cheating is just out of hand. The game is no longer playable.

A lot of people who were posting on the forums had mentioned that they had contacted EA, either by phone or email and complained about the various bugs and cheating. Once again, they were assured that a patch is on it’s way to correct the various issues. Having waited nearly a month for this mysterious patch, I decided to get in touch with EA myself. The first response I received was not a generic FAQ response, which is super awesome. But still not entirely helpful…

Hi Matt,

Thanks for writing us at Electronic Arts Technical Support. I understand that you are currently having issues with playing Battlefield 2 online and you wish to know if there will be a patch for it. I’m sorry for the frustration this may have caused you. Where did you hear about the patch? Have you found it from the official website?

Please be informed that we’re not informed of any patch for the issues you encounter with the game. If you wish to report cheaters because they affect your online stats when playing Battlefield 2 online, send us the following information so we can forward this to the accounts department and have them check the status of your account.

ÃƑÆ‘Ãâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑ¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ Your username
ÃƑÆ‘Ãâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑ¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ The email address registered with the game
ÃƑÆ‘Ãâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑ¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ Your opponentÃƑÆ‘Ãâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑ¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒƑ¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢s username
ÃƑÆ‘Ãâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑ¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ Brief description of the anomaly

As soon as we receive this, we will be able to assist you further.

As for other issues you encounter with the game, please tell us more so we can learn more about the issues and help you fix it.

Should you require further assistance with this game or other Electronic Arts games in the future, please visit our website and review our extensive Self Help knowledgebase at (http://support.ea.com/).

Thank you,

EA Technical Support

I replied with gratitude and some helpful pointers…

Hi there,

Thanks for getting back to me – I appreciate a non-standard FAQ reply as well. So thank you for that!

Yes, I officially heard about the patch when it was posted on the official BF2MC site on April 14. There were many people stating on the forums that they had talked to EA tech support personel who mentioned a patch coming as early as the day after the game was released. Naturally, I took these claims with a grain of salt.

http://www.battlefield.ea.com/BF2MC/news/view.asp?id=7435ÃƑÆ‘Ãâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑâ€Â¦Ãƒƒ¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¾Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¢ÃƒÆ’ƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚©=us

If you guys aren’t aware of the issues players are having, you should really have someone take a look at the forums. The majority of the posts are complaining about a handful of bugs that are massively affecting gameplay.

http://forums.ea.com/mboards/forum.jspa?forumID=2164&start=0

One thing for me personally that is preventing me from playing the game is the flag capture announcements. They’re at least 2-3x times louder than the music and sound effects and there’s no setting to turn them down or disable them. My 360 is in the living room and one of the first nights I had the game I was playing online only to wake my daughter who’s room is down the hall and around the corner. If I turn the master volume down to where the announcements are at an acceptable level, I can no longer hear the regular sound effects. I thought for sure this would be fixed for the retail game as a lot of people were complaining about it when the demo was released on the Marketplace. Here’s a post regarding this issue…

http://forums.ea.com/mboards/thread.jspa?threadID=59055&messageID=508300ÃƑÆ‘Ãâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚±ÃƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¼ÃƒƑ¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚ ÃƒƑâ€Â¦Ãƒƒ¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¾Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¢

But by far the worst problem right now is the cheating. People have found a way to boost their scores to ridiculous levels (120+ points in a single match) without a single kill or flag capture. Lots of people talking about this, but here’s one of the first threads I came across from a couple weeks ago…

http://forums.ea.com/mboards/thread.jspa?threadID=64740&messageID=559858ÃƑÆ‘Ãâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚²ÃƒƑâ€Â¹Ãƒƒ¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’‚ ÃƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚«ÃƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚²

Aside from that, there’s still the VOIP issues where people can’t communicate at all. I’ve experienced this myself several times, but from what I’ve read on the official site, EA is aware of this.

Thanks again. I hope this issues are resolved soon. I’d really like to play this game.

Matt Brett

The next reply was a slap in the face (notice how they addressed me as well)…

Hello Brett,

Thank you for contacting Electronic Arts Technical Support.

Unfortunately, we here at technical support does not have any information as to when the patch will be released, as technical support is mainly concerned with troubleshooting technical issues. However, we recommend that you visit the official site again http://www.battlefield.ea.com/BF2MC/news/view.asp?id=7435ÃƑÆ‘Ãâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑâ€Â¦Ãƒƒ¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¾Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¢ÃƒÆ’ƒƑâ€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚©= for tentative release dates. I apologize for the inconvenience.

You may also want to check detailed reviews of the game at www.gamespot.com or www.ign.com and www.gamefaqs.com for more information regarding gameplay.

For further assistance about any Electronic Arts games please visit our extensive Self Help knowledge base. (http://support.ea.com)

Thank you,

EA Technical Support

After letting them know how displeased I was with this generic response and requesting to speak with the person who sent the first reply, I received another…

Hi Matt,

Thanks for writing us back at Electronic Arts Technical Support. I’m glad to hear back from you. I’m sorry if I wasn’t able to attend to you before; I got sick so I was unable to check emails for a while. Rest assured as IÃƑÆ‘Ãâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒƑ¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒƑ¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢m back and I’ll be glad to attend to you again.

I forwarded your email to one of our senior techs to note the issue and forwarded it to the game developers for them to review and read. As for a patch for this, right now the best thing to do would be to post your comments and suggestions to our forum sites so that the game developers who checks them is notified of this and will be aware of it so they can find a fix for it.

As for now, what I could suggest as a precaution with cheaters is take note of their usernames so they can be reported and we will forward your report to the accounts department for investigation. You can follow the format I provided on my previous response about reporting cheaters.

You may also send comments & suggestions to the public forums. These forums are maintained and monitored by the community leaders and production team. By posting on these forums you will be able to submit direct feedback to the appropriate person. Please make sure that you follow the EA terms of service when posting. http://www.ea.com/global/legal/tos.jsp

I hope this helps and that it eases your frustration with this issue. I sincerely hope we can find a workaround for this so that gamers like you can get back on the battlefield and enjoy the game.

Should you require further assistance with this game or other Electronic Arts games in the future, please visit our website and review our extensive Self Help knowledgebase at (http://support.ea.com/).

Thank you,

EA Technical Support

And that’s where it stands. I guess it’s good that my email was forwarded to their tech team and the game developer, if it in fact was. But the comment about posting on the message board really angered me. Clearly, the complaints made on the forum are not reaching the people they need to. Or they would have known about all of these issues already. I waited weeks before contacting EA and in that time, saw hundreds of posts complaining about the state of this game.

At this point, I’m sick and tired of waiting. I’ve lost any interest I had in the game and am going to sell it and pick up something else. Oh, New Super Mario Bros. next week!

You may have wondered why I hadn’t done a review of Battlefield 2 Modern Combat yet – there you have it.

/rant

13 Comments

I’m surprised you gave these guys a few weeks slack in the first place — you paid good money for something that didn’t work.

Two points

1) Its funny how the game industry is different than like normal business software. Its like games are allowed to have massive bugs. Games are consumed like movies and are never played again so the companies don’t invest in quality as much as Adobe does on Photoshop. If this issue is fixed, it will be BFMC3 and you’ll have to pay again for a working version (with new bugs on new features)

2) I personally think BF was ruined when they made a dumbed down version of BF2 for consoles — Have you tried flying the "idiot" copter in that game? Its an insult to us BF2 pilots! 😛

I’m really hacked off with BF2 as well, most of the time the voice thing is useless, so most of the people I play with on a regular basis use TeamSpeak on their PC’s to talk with each other, works very nicely.

The big problem though is the lack of team work, and this is purely down to the people that are on the general game. I’ve been in numerous tanks/helicopters/insert-driving-thing as a passenger, we’ve blown straight past people only get shot up the backside by a rocket. Fun times.

The points bug, and most of the other ones, carry over from the BF game on the Xbox.

The worst glitch though is that on every map there is a few points where you can get outside of the normal playing area, either under the map or outside the skybox and you can run around and shoot at any body you see and they can’t shoot back even if they know where you are. That’s a bigger problem and they are the same ones as were in the Xbox version.

Needless to say me buying an EA game again is questionable.

The EA Franchise is one of the worst for supporting older versions of still playable hardware as well as releasing patches of any value for any of their games.

Their forums as you said Matt are filled with users always complaining about the same problems they could easily fix.

If they are taking their sweet time with patching your game that really sucks but welcome back to EA’s world. It really wouldn’t be that hard to just relase a quick fix file that would allow for you to either adjust the map change FX or even put them to a lower acceptable level for now, until they implement a fader for it.

And yes, nothing worse than cookie cutter FAQ responses, they are insanely frustrating.

@BPAndrew: Dude, you’re not kidding about the dumbicopters in BF2 MC. It took me a while to get used to the simplicity and I found it very hard to aim and super restricting. Best of all, though – I’ve seen countless threads asking for help on controlling them. Hah!

I remember when BF Vietnam came out. I spent the first couple days playing solo games with no bots simply practicing maneuvers with the helicopters. So rad.

@Stewart: Yeah, playing team based games where everyone is playing as if it were a single player game is no good.

I’ve actually heard people complaining about known bugs from the Xbox version being present in the 360 game. That’s completely ridiculous. I only ever played the first couple missions of the Xbox version.

@Justin: I know EA is notorious for this kind of thing, which is why I didn’t hesitate to go with such a bold statement for the title of this post. It boggles my mind how the largest and most prosperous game publisher in the world seems to the the slowest and most incompetent when it comes to patches and fixes.

To make this whole ordeal even harder to swallow, they’re really starting to push the next installment in the series – BF 2141. GameSpot just posted some preview impressions with new screenshots. I just want to play the game and enjoy it!

I prefer 1 thousand million of times BF 1 is the best multiplayer game in the world.

I tried BF2 and CS with all the mods but they can’t win BF1942

I can’t play FPS games on consoles! I never perfected the whole free-look-with-a-thumb-stick thing and as such have completely barred any FPS gaming on my xbox… A game like BF2 was always going to be hard to translate to the consoles limited button combinations so I’m not surprised that EA really fkd it up!

BF2 is all about team play – if you’re not playing organised team games you’re not getting the full experience. Public servers can be fun but you’ll rarely have the true teamwork experience… The best games I have are organised clan matches when everyone knows the strategy and communicate well.

don’t sell the game. try to return it to EA. if EA starts seeing people returning games and asking the money back maybe they will do something.

wow, I’m so glad I read this. I was tempted to pick the game up, after having fun with the demo. And yea, that announcer is hella loud/annoying.

It’s been a couple weeks since I posted this and I was curious to see if there had been any movement on this what-so-ever. I sold the game a couple days after writing this post on eBay and I figured knowing my luck, the patch would finally be released and people would be enjoying the game. I was sad to discover nothing has changed and people are basically pleading and begging EA to fix the game.

Fuckin’ jerks, man. I’m not buying another EA game without first checking in with the community to make sure it’s in at least working order.

BF2 is actually fun i must say. The patches take me about 15 min. im runnin 2.8ghz with 1.25gb ram.

with the latest patch the game has just turned gay.

now im waiting for battlefield 2141 and hopin they dont screw that one up to

[…] up Battlefield: Modern Combat when it was re-released on the Xbox 360. I had some fun with it, but my good times were cut short by a slew of bugs and an onslaught of cheaters that rendered the game virtually unplayable online. […]

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