I’ve been a fan of Battlefield games since the original, from playing Desert Combat to 2142 on the PC. They have always been a staple of my gaming time and none more so than Bad Company on the 360. I poured days upon days into it’s fantastic gold rush mode with terrain destruction, advanced technology and massive open play fields. There were always things missing and there were problems with knifing and artillery glitching.
Thankfully though Bad Company 2 is by no means a perfect sequel it expands on the Bad Company name in a number of great ways, so read on and bear with me through my first real “review” for some insight into this MW2 destroyer.
To start with lets get the campaign out of the way, I was underwhelmed by the campaign in the original Bad Company, though the characters were somewhat lovable the general plot was a little lacking and there seemed to bee a lot of driving for driving’s sake in a lot of the missions. Bad Company 2’s campaign however is pretty good, I wouldn’t rate the story among the best but it looks fantastic and the characters are a really great bunch and to quote the game not “a bunch of special ops douchebags with their pussy ass heartbeat sensors”. There are a few references to MW2 in the game and they left me sniggering because in my opinion although the story in Bad Company 2 is not as “sensationalist” as MW2 it does not take itself too seriously. All the characters actually have character, they’re a lovable bunch of honourable army rejects. This makes the game a lot more entertaining to get through as you’re not listening to drivel mission briefings and pretending to care.
Some of my favourite parts in Bad Company 2 have been where the characters are having a little fun and taking liberties with the game mechanics and where I was looking in awe at how well this engine renders massive scenery. And that’s one of the best aspects of the Bad Company campaign, it is not exceptionally linear, I’m not saying it’s totally free, but there’s really big maps for you to play on leaving you the option to snipe, rush in or whatever takes your fancy. Personally I love to snipe from a distance and one of my favourite scenes was sniping enemies in a thunderstorm, it felt real gritty.
That’s a trait that carries over to the multiplayer as well, the maps are so vast and expansive you feel like you’re on an actual battlefield unlike most multiplayer games where you’re walled into a small area to keep you boxed in and fighting. That’s one thing you shouldn’t worry about either with Bad Company 2, the flow of the game is great and the action is non stop.
It’s really worth noting the key game mechanics before going into further detail about game modes, the map areas are pretty big so everyone is split into squads of 4, when you die you have the option to spawn at your base or to spawn next to a squad member, this is great for avoiding long runs from base to base and allows one person to push up for others to spawn on them. Also of note are the vehicles, there are plenty in the Bad Company universe and they really define the game. From tanks to quad bikes, they’re all essential in moving up towards a base and securing objectives quickly. This leads neatly on to the introduction of battlefield tactics into the game, like slowly moving up towards an enemy base behind the cover of the tank, it’s awesome to have to actually do that to win.
Next is really the most important part of Bad Company, the classes: There are four classes in Bad Company 2, medic, recon, assault and engineer. They all have their roles to fill from repairing tanks to resupplying ammo to your team mates, thankfully they’re all pretty well balanced and it’s a joy to figure out which class you’re going to choose per map and plan out your tactics. This is something that has been expanded on in Bad Company 2 as you can now customise your classes much better, for instance in the original there was no weapon customisations and sometimes you would be stuck with a great gun that had terrible iron sights, now you can change all this by adding different launchers, scopes and a whole bunch of other “specialisations”. This adds a whole other level of tactics and planning and also makes the game feel a lot more personal.
The last pillar of Bad Company gameplay is destruction, or in Bad Company 2 “Destruction 2.0”, basically this means that almost every building, tree or wall can be utterly destroyed, there are plenty of games where the battlefield is totally unrecognisable at the end of a map with buildings being blown to bits by tanks. It adds a really dynamic element to the game meaning that no two games are alike, you could have a great sniping spot in one game and that same spot could have been totally collapsed in another. Bad Company 2 introduces another level of destruction meaning you can bring down buildings on top of people and make small holes in walls to shoot through.
That’s it for the basics, the main game mode you’ll be playing in Bad Company 2 is “Rush” in this mode one team is chosen to defend a crate from the other team who can destroy it in a number of ways. Firstly they can plant a charge on it like a number of other games, you can also fire at it with tanks and rockets to wear it down an destroy it from a distance. The third option makes use of one of the other great game mechanics: Destruction, you can actually blow a building’s support away and collapse it on top of the objective. It’s a great game mode and sees people employing a number of great tactics to get those crates.
The other modes are squad deathmatch (4v4v4v4), I would not recommend this unless you’re with a squad of friends to co-ordinate with, it can be very unforgiving if you’re trying to go it alone. Conquest, this is the tried and tested capture the flag mode with a bunch of unique maps not found in rush, I’m slowly warming to it’s more vehicle based combat. There’s also a squad level rush mode with less crates and a max of 4V4, I haven’t really played this much as I prefer the larger battle offered by the other game modes.
“Where are the problems?” I hear you cry! I’m a pretty unforgiving “reviewer” and I don;t usually get this far in a review without ripping some part of the game apart, and there is dirt on Bad Company 2. The main problems I have with the game is the lack of features that were present in the original multiplayer game. Most notably the minimap in BC2 is hugely inferior to the one in BC1, in bad company 1 they were clear and informative with roads clearly displayed and buildings displayed in actual 3D down there. The minimap in Bad Company 2 is pretty much a blur, it works I guess, it’s not gamebreaking but there’s also no need to have changed it.
Another thing that annoys me a little is the new health system, it wasn’t really broken in BC1, health did not regenerate so close work with your squad and others was crucial, now it’s not so clear cut, with regenerating health I think a little has been taken away. There’s also the vehicle HUDs, it can be quite difficult on some maps to see where you’re aiming because the HUD becomes completely invisible on bright backgrounds.
Thankfully there have been some great improvements too, artillery has been totally removed which is great because it was only used to continually bombard enemy bases, the artillery has been replaced with a UAV which has a lot less fire-power but is a lot more fun to use. Personally I love using the enhanced optics specialisation and hanging back missiling the base from the distance. The UAV is also a great piece of kit for another new feature in Bad Company 2: Spotting, basically when you see an enemy you can spot them by pressing a button, they now show up on everyone’s minimap, this is a great way of improving co-ordination and everyone should spot. The only problem I have with this feature is that it’s a bit inaccurate, you can point it at where you think the enemy is and sometimes 2 or 3 people will light up that you can’t even see.
There has also been another fantastic improvement and that is to knifing, knifing is no longer a one-pwns-all weapon, it now takes a second or so to actually knife someone and there’s a delay. I no longer get killed from 10 feet away by someone with a knife.
Bad Company 2 comes out as a fantastic game and though some great things are missing there’s a lot more variety that has been added with the new customisations and game modes, I’m sure I’ll get a hell of a lot more playtime out of Bad Company 2 over the next few months and I won’t be trading it in for a long time. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes FPS and definitely to any players of MW2, you don’t know what you’re missing.
Please check out my BFBC2 Wallpapers.