Bad Company 2: Badder Company
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is a first person shooter for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360, and carries a prefix nearly a decade old. Bad Company 2 doesn’t quite hit the level of awesome that I experienced in Battlefield 1942’s Desert Combat mod, but it is bloody close. Multiplayer is a clear evolution from previous Battlefield games and doesn’t shy away from borrowing some ideas from other popular shooters. The single player story mode is a great romp with some well developed characters.
You play as Private Preston Marlowe, the same character from the first Bad Company, along with Sweetwater, Haggard, and Sarge. The characters all have a very clear cut role, and although stereotypical, they work like a charm. Bad Company’s story has its serious moments, but the game never really takes itself seriously and pokes fun at anything it can. In a not so subtle shot at Modern Warfare 2, Sweetwater says a General will send "some Special Ops douchebags with pussy-ass Heartbeat Monitors on their guns instead of us."
The storyline starts with a prelude in World War II, with a set of new characters rescuing a Japanese defector. Back in present day, Bad Company is in Alaska but then has an extensive campaign in South America which introduces Flynn. Though he is a pacifist, the Blackhawk pilot instantly became one of my favorite characters in any game. The main villain returns from the first game, one Viktor Kirilenko. A worthy adversary, Kirilenko plans to detonate a massive EMP in order to destabilize the United States’ power grid. The campaign was simply brilliant. I really liked the characters and I laughed quite a bit. I was left wanting more and looking forward to Bad Company 3.
Multiplayer consists of “four” modes: Rush, Conquest, and Squad Rush and Squad Conquest. Rush has a team defending sets of M-COM stations, basically a box with a radio, from the attacking forces. The maps begin locked to just the two forward-most stations, though after they are destroyed the next area opens up. Most areas have specific vehicles that only spawn when that area is the main battlefield. Conquest is the same mode that has been around since the first Battlefield game, territory control. Each team must capture and hold specific areas of the map and defend/attack until the enemy runs out of reinforcements. The Squad versions of each mode have smaller maps and each team is restricted to one squad, and frankly feels tacked on.
Multiplayer is extremely fun, but it needs a heavy dose of balance. Mediocre helicopter pilots can keep the entire enemy team in check due to a severe lack of anti-aircraft weaponry. More than a few times I found my team either steamrolling the opposing force or unable to venture out of our spawning area. However, those flaws can be corrected with patches and the good moments have far outweighed the bad. Spawning on my squad-mates and laying down suppressive fire for advancing friendlies is a great moment. Hitting the last remaining wall of a building to collapse it on a bunch of enemies about to rip me apart was pure bliss. Oh did I forget to mention that? You can collapse buildings! Bad Company 2 didn’t invent destructible environments, but it is honed the practice to a fine art. You’ll find yourself considering strategies that were impossible in previous games, it is really something to behold.
Character progression makes an appearance but is nothing revolutionary. You can choose to spawn as assault, engineer, medic, or recon (sniper), and each class has its own unlock trees. Certain weapons are unlocked for all classes though most are class-specific. Unfortunately, the game has a lot of trouble remembering which of the unlocked items you selected for use, and will often select the default weapon. Going through the classes and re-picking your weapons and perks every game is inconvenient and irritating.
All in all, Bad Company 2 is well worth the current cost of admission. It won’t be the only game I’m playing over the summer, but it’s definitely not going in to the closet for a long while.