hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Destructoid review: Battlefield: Bad Company

12:18 PM on 07.12.2008 // Brad Nicholson

It feels like it’s been awhile since a first-person shooter hasn’t taken itself too seriously. Constantly crawling in the dirt inside of enemy territory or navigating the gloom and doom of some alien construct can really start to feel heavy on the nerves. If there is one thing that Battlefield: Bad Company provides, it is levity in big doses.

Unfortunately, the levity does not provide an enriching experience by itself. Bad Company is a decent game, but not the great title some of us may have been expecting. The game feels as though DICE didn’t do enough with the tools it provides to the player. It may be great to laugh at the cut-scenes and exploits of the protagonists, but it’s not funny to struggle with the A.I., plot, or core mechanics of the game.

Hit the break and I’ll tell you more.

Battlefield: Bad Company (Xbox 360)
Developed by EA Digital Illusions CE (DICE)
Published by Electronic Arts

Released on June 23, 2008

The single player mode of Battlefield: Bad Company starts with a dramatic opening, with the playable protagonist Preston Marlow lecturing over the fine details of war. The stylized, sober moment is then interrupted by a series of funny dialogue exchanges with the men of B-Company. B-Company consists of three especially rambunctious soldiers in the US Army’s doghouse. Sergeant Redford is the outspoken, ready-to-go-home leader of the group who is followed closely by the timid, talkative Sweetwater and especially dim-witted, explosive-loving Haggard. Through a voice over, Marlow explains that he has been transferred to the B-Company for a mysterious reason that is never fleshed out or fully explained. But whatever he did, Marlow explains, the army could have killed him for it.

The real story of the game revolves around B-Company’s discovery of mercenaries who carry gold on their person while fighting Russians somewhere on Earth for yet another reason that is never explained. These mercenaries are from a group called the “Legionnaires,” a powerhouse organization with the ability to take over nations and pay their troops in gold as opposed typical currency. Once B-Company gets a taste of the gold, they follow its trail to a very abrupt and poor conclusion.

Bad Company functions like the previous incarnation of the Battlefield series. The play focuses on a player’s ability to drive and manipulate vehicles and weaponry scattered throughout the differing levels. The added twist to Bad Company is the environmental destruction. Practically everything in the game is destructible, from the trees and buildings to vehicles, fences and even garbage bags. The system works, and more importantly, the game is not necessarily guided by the ability to maim walls. At its heart, Bad Company is a shooter first, and a physics engine second.

The gunplay works well, although the hit detection is a bit questionable. I often found myself wondering if some of the animations the AI rolls through inhibits the ability to pass bullets through flesh. The AI is a bit schizophrenic to boot. Enemy soldiers will switch between being brutally adept and accurate on the field, to meek and dumbfounded at any point. This is a common phenomenon, and an odd distraction to see soldiers gleefully firing at walls or staring at the sides of a tank mere seconds after trying to take your head off. The great tradeoff in this process is that upon death, the game immediately chucks you to the last autosave point, but does not eliminate the progress made in terms of enemies killed. This is especially awesome after you spend twenty minutes killing a tank or a helicopter, just to get capped by a grunt.

There are a plethora of gadgets and guns available to boot. Laser designators, C4, rocket launchers, and power tools are all in abundance throughout the game. These support tools become a lifeline throughout the explosion happiness of Bad Company. The differing guns in the game can be found in much the same manner as everything else, as an optional “collectible.” Gold, guns, and tools are scattered throughout the large maps, awaiting careful eyes to grab them.

Like most physics-based games, Bad Company takes it a little too far in some scenarios. Trash bags and boxes have tendencies to explode violently, and the canned animations of the crumbling and flack can get redundant. There is also the added frustration of meeting an object that cannot be destroyed. This is the most apparent when driving a vehicle. The land vehicles in the game are great in concept, but possess very rigid controls. Getting stuck on the corner of a dilapidated building, or gate is commonplace. Considering that players can run over trees with reckless abandon, it is a bit disconcerting to meet a rock that a tank cannot get over.

The multiplayer of Bad Company is a stable and safe affair. There are only eight maps available and only one mode of play. The object of every match is either to defend or blow up several highlighted boxes on the map. Just like the single player experience, vehicles and turrets are vitally important. As the map grows when the opposing team takes a set of objectives, getting to the next set can become a hassle on foot. The helicopter often becomes the focal point of the match because of its refined controls and nearly limitless firepower. The tanks suffer from their inability to kill much more than other vehicles.

There are five classes of characters in multiplayer.  Each has its own specificities and equipment. Despite the fact that the classes are wildly different, the nature of the spawning erases the need for two of them. Players can choose to spawn in their bases or behind a player that has progressed the furthest on the map. Spawning by another player usually means being engaged immediately in a firefight. The Recon, and Specialist classes are woefully underequipped for such a thing. Spawning in this manner, while costly, is definitely preferable than having to drive for three minutes to hit some action.

Aside from the default weaponry, players will have to unlock all the various guns in the mode either by leveling up or stroking EA’s cock. It is a bit disconcerting to boot up a game and immediately be drawn into a mailing list, then have to go to a website to get more access to guns. Thankfully, it is apparently only five weapons.

The visuals are nice with the exception of a grain filter reminiscent of Silent Hill 2. Instead of creating atmosphere and making zombie nurses scarier, it just makes my eyes hurt. The bloom from the explosives is a beautiful site to behold, and I especially enjoyed the detail work on some of the guns. Multiplayer doesn’t seem like too much of a step down from the regular game as well, which is highly refreshing.

Overall, Battlefield: Bad Company is an inspired game that stumbles over itself. The things that the title does right, it does well. Explosions are crisp, the autosaving is merciful, and the multiplayer is stable. Yet, there is a lot wrong with Bad Company. That list includes the driving, schizophrenic but miraculously expert marksman AI, plot holes you can drive a truck through, and signing your soul away for additional weapons. My suggestion is if you want a decent multiplayer experience, definitely rent Battlefield: Bad Company. If you want a single player experience, stay away.

Score: 6.0 - (Bad Company is a decent game, especially if you're looking for a stable multiplayer experience. The problems come from the lack of multiplayer modes, ridiculously adept or dumb AI , and poor driving. Definitely give this title a rent before you buy.


Brad Nicholson,
 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
@Jed Whitaker I might be missing something, but does the race of the characters really matter? I'm white and if every VG character was black I wouldn't care. It's skin color... that's it. I guess others care more than me about this stuff though.
Cosmonstropolis avatarCosmonstropolis
Who is your favorite Jewish game character? I'm pretty sure BJ Blaskowicz is (right?), so I'm going with him.
gajknight avatargajknight
Interview tomorrow! Little apprehensive, I really want this job. Working with adults and children with learning disabilities, perfect experience and a worthwhile job. We'll see how it goes! :D
Parismio avatarParismio
Being in the hospital Fucking blows.
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Who is your favorite black Super Smash Bros. character out of the roster of over 50 characters? Oh wait... Game and Watch doesn't count.
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
One thing I've noticed about the Halo series; the more epic the teaser, the more disappointing the game. And the "opening cinematic" for Halo V: Guardians looks epic.
SpielerDad avatarSpielerDad
I hear through the grapevine that a game called Metal Gear just came out that is sort of a big deal.
Flegma avatarFlegma
Thinking of starting to document my attempts in Super Mario Maker with screenshots etc. in a series of blogs - think USgamer's Daily Mario. But I think most who would spare a glance at it would be way better level designers and players than me by default.
Script avatarScript
Tearaway was cute, but it was kinda short and underwhelming to me. I would recommend paying around $20 for it if you value your money.
Lena Gredasova avatarLena Gredasova
Pixonic has published its game Walking War Robots globally on Google Play. Walking War Robots is a 3D MMO shooter where players pilot giant robots and battle in 6 vs 6 teams. Get it for free now!
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
I wanna buy PS+ Plus but I know once I play my PS4 this weekend I wont touch it again for half a year.
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
MGS V starts with a flaming unicorn. Yup, I already fucking love it! :D
Steven Hansen avatarSteven Hansen
Writing about Tearaway PS4 & referencing Metal Gear Solid several times because, guess what, Tearaway is really dang good
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
I took some shots of my DIzznee Infineetee Quorra figure. Been waiting for this since the brand first stumblefucked its way onto the scene. (pics in comments of post to save feed space)
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Now Listening to Old Music 7 - Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Shinta avatarShinta
[youtube][/youtube] There is a ton of awesome music in this game.
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
Laracraft: World of Tomb Raiders
Joe Parlock avatarJoe Parlock
So there's a game called School of Ragnorok coming out, and in it there's my new boyfriend. He's an 8 foot tall demon thing with awesome hair:
Nerdcotic Network avatarNerdcotic Network
check out this awesome video made by the Nerdcotic Network.
Nerdcotic Network avatarNerdcotic Network
Hay check out this awesome video made by the Nerdcotic Network on youtube.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -