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Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Review

Written by Peter Aitchison | Friday, 12 March 2010 08:31

BadCompany2BetaPreview

 

I was considering writing out a run down on BC2 Campaign, but I'm going to be honest here and just state what everyone is thinking.

"Pfffffffffffffft".

I have NO IDEA why they even bother with a Campaign when the Battlefield series is ALL about Multiplayer. Why would you get excited about mortaring some random AI chump when you can dump it on your friends....on your own team......then be hated .... but laugh hysterically?. Why, when you can load a next to useless Blackhawk chopper up with C4, fly it over an enemy base, bail, watch it crash, then detonate that explodey awesomeness on an enemy squad and watch them rog-doll all over the map while you parachute in?.

Short answer, you don't, and you wouldn't. You head STRAIGHT to Multiplayer, and You. Wreck. Havoc.

Welcome to Battlefield: Bad Company 2, where grown men giggle like twelve year old girls.

If you REALLY need to know about BFBC2's single player campaign, click HERE.

BC2 is the third game by DICE that really sets the pace in first person shooters. The Frostbite Engine is really something special and you can't help but chomp at the bit for any up and coming games by DICE. Fortunately they don't disappoint with this instalment with some major features and improvements that prove once again they are top of the game.

First and foremost DICE deliver almost fully destructible environs with the ability to totally drop entire buildings to the ground. If you hear Godzilla groaning away nearby it's advisable you run. Destruction 2.0 is NOT your friend if you are inside, but, there is nothing more satisfying than dropping a house on an enemy squad.

At the time of writing the game does have a few negatives ... or, room for improvement would be a better way to put it. It is glitchy at the moment although I'm told by DICE they are working on it. Going by the quality of BFBC1 and BF1943 you can't doubt it. The Squad Search function in-game is a fraction random on occasion, updating your stats at the start before jumping into a game takes 'forever', you find yourself playing the same map up to 3 times in a row, sometimes you really don't know who won because the text on the cut scene doesn't always show, and most frustrating of all you can get randomly booted from games. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen.

Fortunately for DICE the positives and improvements FAR outweigh the negatives. First you can finally bail from crashing choppers. There was nothing more frustrating than hovering 2 feet from the ground in BC1 and having no way to avoid the inevitable. This time the death spiral isn't nearly as long and if you're fast enough you can get out and parachute away to safety .... well, usually you're heading into enemy territory with a mammoth canopy of a parachute highlighting your landing position. Expect company. Good luck with that.

There are a few things that have changed. The JDAM that the sniper used to drop is gone. The sniper now has the mortar strike. The medic has defib paddles which are a giggle a minute when you're blasting the enemy with them.

Tanks have been improved with various things such as an extra machine gun, mine and personnel detectors if you've enabled them, they've included jet ski's and quad bikes which are a highlight to blat round on. HUGE maps that can take a significant amount of time to leg it if you get left behind, squad communication allow your character to ask for ammunition or health packs from different team members. You can issue orders, highlight enemy players and vehicles, you can control a UAV and deliver machine gun fire, Hellfire missiles, and drop smoke cannisters to protect your team. You can COMPLETELY pimp out your weapons - especially your assault rifles - with various scopes, grips, types of ammo such as smoke grenades, shotgun rounds, and your standard grenade all on the the under barrel noob tube. You can have ACOG scopes, red dot sights, and varying upgrades such as magnum rounds, body armour, special abilities that improve you and your vehicles performance. On and on it goes and that barely is even the beginning. There's so many weapons that there is guaranteed something that suits your game style.

There's even solid 12 gauge slugs for your choice of shotgun, but WHY, for the love OF GOD, can you STILL not look down the sight of the shotty?. FINALLY, with every other weapon you can but not the shotty?.

There's even an appearance of the 'Thompson' machine gun and M1 Garand from BF1943. Both very effective weapons in this game too, and quirky.

They've introduced two new game types with Squad Rush and Squad Death Match. Squad Rush is your squad 'of four' - (if you're lucky) - versus another squad of four playing Rush and trying to destroy ammo crates or defending them, depending on what you spawn in to. Squad Death Match is a camp fest with your squad versus up to 3 other squads trying to rack up as many kills as possible. Basically, all you do is capture an area and protect it. It happens every time.

DICE have also taken a cue from Infinity Ward with the introduction of "Hardcore". It really is hard core, and hard work.

BC2 is a REAL DEAL team game where the team that communicates the best, wins. This game is excellent for clan warfare and when you hear in game "I NEED F*%KEN AMMO" it isn't in game ambient noise, someone really does need ammo, so drop some. Same with health packs, if you can hear it, they ARE talking to you. This brings me to my personal highlight of the Battlefield games; the sound effects.

Just once in awhile, stop, and listen to the battlefield. Really it's best heard with head phones, but NO OTHER company does it quite like DICE. If you're sitting up high it really does sounds like you're above the action. If you're in the action your character's ears are ringing, and if you're at a distance all you hear is muffled 'crumps' with occasional yelling and a long burst of sustained machine gun fire. The sound effects really are a work of art.

The visuals are something else as well. I just can't fault Destruction 2.0. You can chip away at someone's cover with a machine gun, or you can literally turn it to dust. Don't bother with doors, make one, with your grenade launcher. Particles float around the environment for a fair while after a grenade detonation. Gravity and drag in a weapon's round's travel to the target. I really could go on and on about this game and the list of things that make game special is really endless. There's a couple of maps I don't like, but I know there's people who do like them. I saw the amount of people using the servers was up by 400% compared against any other Battlefield game. Here's some numbers from DICE themselves:

Since launch a week ago, BFBC2 has already put EA servers through the following stress:

  • The 4 different soldier types have gathered a score of more than 34 Billion.
  • There's been more than 400M kills made.
  • 1.3M roadkills
  • Squads and Teams have assisted each other to 6.2 Billion points.

To put that into perspective the magic number to unlock the extra maps in BF1943 was first to 43 million kills. With BFBC2 it's up to 34 BILLION. Amazing. Maybe we can forgive for having issues with the servers eh?. Makes you wonder why it's lacking the hype when it's arguably a better all round game than Modern Warfare 2.

Do NOT go past this game without at LEAST hiring it. You won't regret it. Just do me a favour and learn the controls before jumping in my squad. ;o)

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is a must have game. I rate it THE BEST First Person Shooter all round warfare game to date.

That's a LATE four stars.

4-stars