Did you know EA and DICE are working on a sequel to Battlefield: Bad Company? If you answered "yes," you know nearly as much about the game as I do.
Well, that's not entirely accurate; I did get to see a lengthy demo of the game being played by a DICE staff member at GDC last week. But that demo was long on big, loud action and short on hard details about what will set this sequel apart from last year's superlative original Bad Company. At this point, we know the game will once again star the ragtag B Company, and this time, they'll be killing a lot of people in a wintry environment. But that's about it.
The demo opened with B Company infiltrating some kind of enemy position in a small town among some snowy mountains. The team quietly and deftly snuck into position before unleashing on the unsuspecting foes--but it didn't really do so with the wisecracking spirit you're probably used to from the first game. The whole demo had a pretty serious tone, honestly, so I'm curious to see whether DICE has messed with the first game's formula or if they're just holding back on the story elements for the time being.
The action certainly seemed on point, at least. Mechanically, I didn't see anything to set Bad Company 2 apart from the Call of Dutys and Killzones of the world, other than the large-scale building destruction that made the last game unique. In promoting the game, DICE is glibly referring to the "Destruction 2.0" technology in BC2, which will purportedly make those destructible walls all the more impressive.
To be fair, as B Company fought its way from building to building, I saw some serious explosions going on. In one instance, the player was firing through an open window when the entire wall disintegrated in his face (complete with sound-muffled shellshock effects), and later on, entire houses were being destroyed from the foundations up. The demo capped off with an on-rails shooting sequence where B Company was fighting enemies on pursuing ATVs before a helicopter roared in at the tail end. And we all know what helicopters can add to a shooter.
DICE says multiplayer is going to be a bigger focus in Bad Company 2 than it was last time around, and seems to be holding back on the full public reveal of the game until it can show off that component. Since this game is coming to the PC while its predecessor did not, could EA be positioning Bad Company as the proper multiplayer follow-up that fans of the original series have been clamoring for since Battlefield 2? While we wait to find out, take a look at this debut teaser trailer, which shows nothing of the game but at least looks slick as hell.