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Battlefield Bad Company 2 Review (Xbox 360)

(Note: I know it's long and yes I will in future be decrerasing my reviews, so enjoy!)

Many comparisons have been made between Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Battlefield Bad Company 2, in some ways I agree with this, but for the most part I have to disagree. Firstly yes they are both modern day first person shooters with a killer multiplayer component. On the other hand one is fast paced and where maps are small and where you will respawn alot. The other game is set on a massive battlefield in which the game is more tactical and where nearly everything is destructible. So is Battlefield Bad Company 2s multiplayer component better than Modern Warfare 2s? Read on to find out.

The original Bad Company was received well but some glitches and a lacklustre campaign left a sour taste in a gamerís mouth. It was of course Dices first go at putting a Battlefield game on a console for a few years and things were obviously not going to be perfect. In the end it was a good game and the mixture of the original Battlefield formula and an engine which gave the player freedom to blow nearly anything up made the game a success. So has the campaign been improved? Well no, no it hasnít. The campaign in short is something that probably should be missed.

The opening of the game serves as a back story of Operation Aurora (a big part of the plot), Operation Aurora is something similar to a nuke which can majorly increase the chances of WW3 happening. You play as a US Commando in the search of a scientist linked to Operation Aurora. The gamesí opening is actually a flashback to when Operation Aurora was first invented by the Japanese, during WW2. Fast forward to the present day where Bad Company (Sarge, Sweetwater, Haggard and you Marlow) are back on the front line on a support mission. As the game progresses it soon becomes Bad Companies job to recover the weapon before it gets into the hands of the Russians. The story is pretty basic and not very original but like most war games the story is not that essential. Sometimes though it doesnít tell you why you are here or whatís your motivation to do this but once again this is to be expected. Just like the last game Bad Company characters are interesting with the same humour and personality from the first game carrying over. Theyíll crack one liners and sometimes have lengthy conversations unrelated to the objective at hand. For example theyíll talk about there favourite scenes from the Predator movies and Haggardís command of Spanish. For a FPS the characters are fairly original and are in general likeable characters. Writing is great in Bad Company 2 and is near to perfect, itís funny and well though out. Humour is apparent throughout the game from the writing, the characters and the references to other popular FPS series. Overall the story is very much what you would except.

Gameplay in Battlefield Bad Company 2 hasnít changed from the previous game with it being the normal realistic FPS fair. In the multiplayer the core gameplay is solid and is a lot of fun but in singleplayer unfortunately it feels out of place and feels very stale. The main reason is that the gameplay obviously is suited for multiplayer gaming in mind and when ported into single player it seems out of place. This is something that Dice has always had a problem with and Battlefield Bad Company 2 is no exception. For one gameplay is not very varied with most levels consisting of you running in, shooting some bad guys and then repeating. This gets extremely boring after a while and is only saved by the set pieces. The set pieces do add a tad variation but are very unoriginal, it seems like Dice were ticking boxes off, Tanks? Check Sniper? Check Helicopter gunner? Check. This may be the same check list for the likes of Call of Duty but in there case they did with flare and creativity and with Battlefield Bad Company 2 the sections were short and boring and in turn are forgettable. On the subject of Call of Duty, the game borrows quite a lot from the Call of Duty series primarily Modern Warfare 2. For starters certain moments are borrowed from Call of Duty for example you have to shoot an enemy with a hostage in his possession while not shooting the hostage. Just in general the game has just a very much of a feeling that Iím playing a Call of Duty game, from the prologue level taking elements from Call of Duty World at War to the humvee convoy and the fire fights in a aeroplane from Call of Duty 4 and Modern Warfare 2. In some ways itís a good step, its familiar and itís proven to be good. In some ways its not, it seems stolen, rehashed and not very original. If they are taking elements from the Call of Duty why not have a shorter campaign? I know this may seem hypercritical to say but why canít they have a more minimized action packed campaign to compliment the multiplayer? I could see that they would want the campaign to be story driven, but still. My last gripe about the single player campaign is the AI. Firstly your squad mates arenít very smart. Think about this, these are the same squad mates youíre going through the whole campaign with and what the whole game is revolved around. For example theyíll run into gunfire, stay on one spot although the place is getting pummelled by gunfire, they wonít do anything dynamic like flank or anything like that and sometimes in some sections they wonít even move until the next cut scene. On the other side of things the enemy AI is as bad, with sometimes staring in a different direction as they should be and sometimes coming out of cover for long periods of time. Singleplayer has nothing new or fresh to it and there is barely any moments that I got excited. I must confess though that the Ďin the back of a jeepí section was exciting but again Iíve seen that somewhere else. So the campaign is not something I would recommend playing, itís frustrating, itís got nothing new going for it, itís boring and is something that you should probably miss.

One of the biggest draws of the original Battlefield Bad Company was Environmental destruction; it still has a presence within the game and is still very much being emphasised as one of the unique factors of Battlefield Bad Company but it doesnít have the same unique feel to it. The first thing you should know is that the destruction system has been upgraded so that whole houses can be demolished and so that blowing stuff up is more accurate. Unfortunately the destruction physics arenít as unique now and the initial uniqueness of blowing stuff up in the first game has gone. Instead itís replaced with the feeling that I could be doing the same thing in other games such as Red Faction Guerrilla. It still is more important in the single player campaign though as you have the resources to do it and in multiplayer there isnít the need to. Like most Battlefield games before it Battlefield Bad Company 2 has Vehicles. Returning are of course the tank, the chopper and the jeep with new additions like the Quad Bike and the Jet Ski. Of course they are a ton of fun to drive and ride in, and killing dudes with a mounted turret is load of fun on the move. Of course the controls of the vehicles will come in to question like all Battlefield games with some people saying that they are too clunky and some saying it adds to the realism. Personally I donít mind the controls and itís something that wonít stop you from buying the game.

On the presentation side of things Graphics are what youíd expect from a Battlefield game: good but lack of detail most in part because of the size of the game. There are some textures that arenít as detailed as the rest of the game but itís not a big problem. Audio wise though is where the game really delivers, Battlefield has never been good or bad in the audio department and itís never been a big part of the game. But for some reason Dice has chosen Battlefield Bad Company 2 to have audio which sounds realistic and is easy on the ears. From the pop of a grenade launcher to the hissing of a suppressed submachine gun, audio is great and something that I hope to become a standard for future Battlefield games. It may be something that just blends in and something you wonít notice much, but the effort put in to something that usually isnít a massive thing is outstanding. Now what youíve all been waiting for.

Iím an avid player of Modern Warfare 2 online and itís been about a week since I played, it was Battlefield Bad Company 2s fault. Bad Company 2s online mode is simply outstanding. Yes there are some issues just like most multiplayer experiences but they are very minor discrepancies and online mode is fantastic.

Unlike the singleplayer the multiplayer is a fast frantic shooter which is an utter shrill ride but also gives the player time to breathe and think strategy. Online play works perfectly with lag and matchmaking issue mostly obsolete, this is Dice weíre talking about so both lag and matchmaking is bound to be good. As this is Dice the launch day wasnít too perfect with some mishaps with the matchmaking, but of course everything runs perfectly now. The normal things you would except from a Battlefield online experience are here, vehicles, different classes with unique abilities and also an XP reward system. The system is pretty standard fair with the ability to gain more weapons and abilities as you go along. Probably the biggest difference is that each class has there individual reward system. There are 4 classes to choose from, the Recon class, and a sniper that has C4 when he starts which is ideal for destroying tanks. You have the Medic class, a medic who has a light machine gun who can also revive and heal team mates. The Engineer class, a submachine gun wielding vehicle destroyer who can also repair vehicles. Lastly you have the Assault class, an assault rifle bearing class that can dish out ammo and kill enemies with his grenade launcher. So lets say you were to focus on the medic class (which I personally do) you would rabidly unlock new things like a better machine gun or upgrades to your healing and reviving abilities. Itís a little different from the normal numerical levels (which are still implemented) with every 5 levels or so get a new gun/equipment/ perk, this might be put people off but in the long run it works. Rather than complementing all classes with new weapons or such you can focus on one class and build it up to be a killing machine. Maybe the only complaint about levelling up is the length it takes. In the Call of Duty series you can get an assault rifle with a red dot sight and be set within a few hours of play. In Battlefield Bad Company 2 it takes alot longer to progress levels and so in turn takes a long time to get fully ďintoĒ the game. The first few hours youíll find yourself being outgunned by more levelled up opponents and so in turn youíll get frustrated. This isnít a massive problem in the game seeing as every game you play takes time to get used to, and once you do you feel comfortable the games a blast and youíll wonder what the problem ever was. Getting into the game is a problem in general with the game not being very noob friendly and being very unique. This also isnít a massive problem though and youíll be enjoying the game in a few hours or so. Other than this there are some other problems with the multiplayer. For one the M16 and M4 varieties of the guns are a tad overpowered for my liking and youíll frequently get killed by there bullets. Also the ease of people to camp with a recon class and snipe opponent across the map coupled with the ability to call in a mortar strike is a little annoying. This is especially annoying as people do this in objective game modes when while attacking, kills mean nothing. These two things may be the players fault and not the game but are still ever present annoyances. Also the game lacks ďEpicĒ moments in which there were plenty in Battlefield 1943. I never had a story to tell or anything to say and the only moments I could recall was getting a high kill streak or something like that. Lastly I never found myself yearning to play the game and I didnít feel the grip I felt with most multiplayer shooters. But what the game lacks in epic moments and addictiveness it matches with just sheer enjoyment and gameplay prowess. Again I stress that these arenít game changing just minor annoyances.

In Bad Company 2 squads are a big part of online with it being near impossible to survive without being in one. The main reason for this is like all Battlefield games you can either spawn far back away from the action which takes time to get back to the fight. Or you can spawn on your team mateís who are right in the middle of battle. Of course youíre going to have to spawn on your team mates to really have an effect on the game and not take 5 minutes to get into the action to be killed instantly. Also teamwork is vital within squads with a mixture of classes being very important. So for instance the squad spawns on the recon guy who is staying back with his sniper, a tank rolls up an engineer blows it up. The engineer gets killed and so the medic revives and heals him while the assault guy is covering them with an assault rifle. So you can see that teamwork and also communication is very important. Many of the things already talked about also have a presence in the multiplayer. For example vehicles have a bigger part within multiplayer where using a quad to flank or a tank to support infantry trying to secure an objective really stands out. Also thereís the element of destruction in which the game will give subtle reminders like ďoh I can shoot that guys cover with an RPGĒ and also destruction adds something unique to multiplayer. Last of all audio is a big part as with those with headsets are at an advantage with every footstep and knocking down of fences being amplified. Also important to mention are game types and maps, both what youíd except. Game modes are split into Rush, Squad Rush, Conquest and Squad Deathmatch, Rush is the normal mode that most Battlefield fans will be familiar with. The objective is to destroy or defend two M-COM stations with the attacking team having a set amount of lives. Every time the two M-COM stations are destroyed the attacking team moves up to another two M-COM stations. This is the staple for the Battlefield series and is still fun to play even to this day. Squad Rush is like Rush but with smaller teams and less M-COM stations. Conquest is like domination in Modern Warfare 2 with three or four flags when captured rack up points for your team, once you get to a set number of points you win. Squad deathmatch is straight up Team Deathmatch. Maps also are what youíd except with most being balanced and having a fair amount of cover (that is eventually destroyed).

So Battlefield Bad Company 2 is truly a game of two halves, one half you have a lacklustre and boring campaign with nothing exciting or new happening. On the other you have a well balanced multiplayer game which is a ton of fun. In summary this isnít a game that youíll play for singleplayer thrills, youíll play it for the intense multiplayer action. So is Battlefield Bad Company 2 better than Modern Warfare 2? Well yes and no, yes for some no for others. It comes down to a personal taste if you prefer a fast paced action shooter or more of a strategic fast-paced-shooter-with-time-to-breath kind of game. Itís up to you. Battlefield Bad Company 2 is a buy (for the multiplayer though)

I give it a

+ Multiplayer
+ Overall Gameplay

- Singleplayer
- Minor multiplayer hic ups
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About PieInTheSkyone of us since 12:25 PM on 11.18.2009

Hi my name is Phil and I like to play games, review games, talk about games and rant/muse about games. I live in the UK and mostly game on my 360. I like to read, listen to podcasts and write bad reviews. I love all gods creations even PS3 fanboys. The last bit may not be true.

Currently Playing: Video Games
Xbox LIVE:CptFatal95
PSN ID:CptFatal


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