Shooting the Shit (Single Player Only)
My video game life and my writing life hardly intersect but this is worth a shot. I recently played through Battlefield: Bad Company 2. It is a good game. It does some things amazingly well and others very poorly.
The sound is fantastic. The voice acting is spot on and believable. Actors sometimes stumble, like actual human beings. Its intentional and its fitting. The range from close to far away is stunning. Everything sounds like it should. If a explosion happens nearby, it is deafening. If its enough away the sound will ring in your ears for a while. If you reload inside a building, it echoes. It sounds like they took the time and effort to record each sound down to the empty cartridges hitting the ground, whatever it may be. No game that I have played sounds like it and all games should learn from it.
It plays wonderfully. I played it on PC because it’s all I have and it is my preferred platform of choice when it come to first person shooters. Everything feels right. The turning feels good and the guns give the right amount of kickback. You can’t fire every weapon the same because each weapon has its own feel. You can’t fire a sub machine gun and an assault rifle and expect the same result. Grenades bounces the way you think they would on different surfaces. The vehicles are battlefield vehicles. That means they are some of the few vehicles that feel good to drive in any first person game.
The checkpointing and squad A.I. have a lot to be desired. It is easy to die and playing conservative is the only way to play. No matter how good you are, you can’t go in guns blazing. Your health regenerates but it takes it sweet time. Your team is good at suppression but that’s about it. If you want them to take out an enemy, good luck. The squad A.I. has some really great dialogue between each other when out of combat but the problem with it is you have to stop playing the game to listen to it. They rarely follow you and get rubber banded to the areas where you are to have the next firefight. These firefights can be brutal and some will have to be played repeatedly. It becomes an exercise in patrol memorization and pure skill.
Overall it’s a fantastic and frustrating experience. Its as lighthearted as any war game can get and is genuinely funny. Not smirk funny. It’s “I have to pause the game because I can’t stop laughing” funny. It’s over the top and just plain fun.