I picked the best time to buy an Xbox 360. The week I bought it, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter and Burnout 3 hit the shelves. Since then, there’s been a steady flow of new content in the form of demos, trailers, themes and picture packages showing up in the Marketplace. It’s been almost a month now, and there hasn’t been a day gone by that I haven’t at least turned on my 360 to see what’s new in the Marketplace.
About a week and a half ago, the long-awaited demo for Battlefield 2 Modern Combat was released. A few days passed it’s initial release date, but hey, it’s out and it’s awesome! It’s a single multiplayer map and I must have played it at least a few dozen times. It seems like every other day I fire it up and play a few rounds. The game is just great! I’m a long time fan of the series, but was greatly disappointed by the bugs and flaws that have plagued Battlefield 2. I hardly got to play it at all. Now, I realize that BF2 MC is not Battlefield 2, but it does share some similarities. Most notably, the fast paced, incredibly fun and addictive online play. If you’ve played any of the Battlefield games you know that this is where the series shines, and BF2 MC is no exception. Never have I gone back and replayed a demo as much as I have with BF2 MC. I think it’s safe to say I’ve never played the same map over and over as I have with this demo. And to be honest, I’ll probably play it a couple dozen more times before the full game is released. It’s really that good.
I was talking to a buddy of mine via IM while the demo was downloading. He warned me that I’d probably have my ass handed to me since I haven’t played BF2 much at all. Gladly, it’s been quite the opposite. I’ve been coming in first or second in nearly ever match I’ve played. I’m hoping there’s some decent achievements for online play, cause I’m pwning this shit! But knowing how things go for me, it’s probably just a bunch of n00bs playing the demo and I will indeed have my ass handed to me once the retail game is released.
Last night, Lara Croft made her ‘next-gen’ debut when the Tomb Raider Legend demo hit the Marketplace. After about 4 pain-staking hours waiting for it to finish downloading (don’t get me started!), I was finally ready to rock. The demo starts out with Lara high up the side of a mountain doing all sorts of fancy acrobatics while talking to some dude on her comm device. You jump into the game and assume the role of Lara where you make your way through the jungle until you come up to some Ruins. All the while, bouncing (pun intended), flipping and swinging your way from platform to platform and taking out the odd baddy along the way. Once you make it into the Ruins, you’re faced with a series of traps and obstacles before making your way to a huge room with lots of mechanical parts that have all come to a stop. Using crates that are sprawled around the room, you have to figure out how to re-activate the devices to open the main door. I won’t spoil this little puzzle, but I will say that the physics are unreal and when you figure out what you need to do and finally execute it, you’ll have a decent sized smile on your face.
When I came across the first waterfall my jaw hit the floor. My wife, who was sitting on the opposite couch watching, set her coffee down, leaned forward and quietly muttered “holy shit” while she gazed at the water flowing over the rocks on screen. Hands down, best water I’ve ever seen. You know how water generally looks like a couple textures shifting positions to simulate movement? This looks like real water. It’s path disrupted by rocks and pieces of wood sticking above the surface. It’s quite amazing to see in action.
So that’s where I’ve been spending most of my time while on my 360 over the past couple weeks. Playing single level demos. Do you believe that? I will add, that I’ve played the PGR3 demo quite a few times as well. I should really get that game. But with BF2 MC and Tomb Raider Legend coming out on the same day (April 11), I need to save my pennies.