royale's Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (PC) review

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More like Battlefield Awesome Company 2

When I built my first PC in 2004, the first game I bought was Battlefield 1942.  I mostly played the Deseret Combat mod, got involved in a clan and had a blast doing it.  Since then I’ve played basically every PC iteration of the battlefield series including the cartoony free-to-play Battlefield Heroes (which is pretty good btw).  The Battlefield series is by far my favorite FPS series of all time.  Battlefield Bad Company 2 has everything in it that makes an FPS game good, including… singleplayer?  What?

Battlefield Bad Company 2 was developed by DICE and published by EA.  It features an updated in-house developed engine called “frostbite” that was also used in the original Bad Company.  BFBC2 features DirectX 11 graphics if you have a video card to support it and has some of the best graphics I’ve seen in a FPS, especially if you consider the scale of the game.  Nothing is tuned down for the multiplayer which includes some absolutely gorgeous maps and some game modes that have never been seen in a BF game before.

The original Battlefield Bad Company was only released for consoles and since I’m mostly a nub with console FPS games, I never got around to playing it.  It was the first BF game to have an actual single player campaign and from what I understand, it plus the multiplayer was a pretty good package.  The BFBC2 single player campaign is actually… really good.  Those folks at Dice know what they’re doing.  It’s your typical “blah blah blah there are terrorists and you have to find and stop them” storyline, but the strongest point of the single player campaign is the characters in the game.

The characters Marlowe (who you play as), Sweetwater, Haggard and Sarge and a group of soldiers that each have their own distinct personality.  Throughout the game they are constantly keeping you entertained with some nice banter.  You really come to know who these characters are and the game is greatly improved by this.  Sweetwater is the nerdy guy who wants to be recognized, Haggard is the Dallas Cowboy cheerleader obsessed Texas who likes to blow stuff up and Sarge is your typical military leader who is too old and supposedly on his “last mission”. The characters didn’t feel very cliche at all and I enjoyed running around with them throughout the duration of the game.

Another strong point of the singleplayer is the way you are presented with your tasks.  The singleplayer maps are really wide open (like the multiplayer) and when you are presented with an objective, you are able to tackle it how you want to.  I feel that this is something that greatly improves the singleplayer experience, as you aren’t forced to do anything a certain way.

Now, let’s talk about what really matters in a Battlefield game… the multiplayer.   To put it short – it’s awesome.  BFBC2 keeps the great class based game play that we have all come to love about the series.  You choose your kit, join a squad and enter the Battlefield with 31 other players killing everything in your path.  There are 4 kits to choose from and they each are very customizable and effective in their own way.  The new Rush game play mode brings some very unique game play to the Battlefield series.  Did I mention that almost everything in the game is destructible? Because it is.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the 4 kist:

Assault – Your standard kill stuff kit.  Equipped with grenade launcher (smoke or kill) and an ammo crate to refill your buddies.

Medic – Heal your teammates! Also revive them if they get shot early.  Equipped with the LMGs.

Engineer – Repair friendly vehicles and blow stuff up with land mines or rocket launchers.

Recon – Shoot people in the head while calling down air strikes, blowing things up with C4 and spotting enemies for your team.

In addition to your basic kits, there are a number of additional bonuses that you can equip such as different scopes for your gun, body armor, sensors for your vehicles, etc.  There are also a variety of weapons that every class can use such as shotguns and some old WW2 weapons.  You also pick a different handgun, which believe it or not, can make a difference.

Unlocked weapons, which have become standard in BF games since BF2 are great!  In my experience, no unlock is better than the previous gun, they’re just different.  You can be deadly with any of the weapons in the game, you just have to get a feel for how they work.  Unlocks are tied specifically to the class you’re playing.  If you want a new sniper rifle, play recon for a while… etc.  Other non-class specific weapons (shotguns, handguns, etc) are tied to your rank in the game.

As you play the game, you gain experience points and rank.  There are 50 ranks to go through, but after around rank 25 or so you have probably unlocked all the weapons in the game, so it’s mostly for prestige.  Like they have done in other games, BFBC2 also has a variety of multiplayer awards and pins that you can collect that grant you bonus experience.

The Rush game mode pits 2 teams against each other where one team is defending a series of MCOM stations.  They are given an unlimited number of respawns in an effort to defeat the attackers by killing enough of them.  The cool part about this mode is that each map is very large a very diverse.  After the attackers destroy a set of MCOM stations, the battle front moves back, the defenders are given a few seconds to retreat and you begin again, but in a different part of the map.  These different sections of map are usually very different in their game play style.  For example, one of my favorite maps has the attackers starting out in the desert rumbling towards a small base with a bunch of tanks.  After capturing the base, you move on into a small town, and eventually down to a shipyard.  Each section provides completely different game play and requires you to think differently to win.  There is also a Squad Rush variant that puts 4 teams of 4 against each other attacking a single MCOM station.  The team to destroy it first wins.

Conquest is the other large scale mode in BFBC2 which is your standard capture and hold game mode and has become a staple in every BF game since the beginning.

There is also a team deathmatch mode which is a slightly different variant on the type.  You join a squad of 4 and fight 3 other squads.  First squad to 50 kills wins.

So.. take Battlefield 2, up the graphics and you get BFBC2 right? Wrong.  While very similar to BF2 something additional that they’ve added for BFBC2 is something they have called Destruction 2.0.  To start it off, you are able to enter every building in the game.  Does this mean you should pick a building and snipe out the windows all match? No. Your enemies will soon locate you and either A) enter the building and shoot you, B) Blow a hole in the wall and shoot you , or C) Blow the building apart until it collapses killing you inside.  If you manage to escape,  they shoot you.  The whole destructible environment is very cool and makes it so the battlefield you’re in is constantly changing.

If there is one thing that I have to complain about with BFBC2, it’s the server browser.  It’s clunky, it’s slow and mostly a pain in the ass to use.  When I was a boy you hit browse servers and they started coming up as they were found.  Pick a game and go with it.  In BFBC2 you hit search and wait until ALL the server data is found and then it shows it all.  If a low ping server has 1 slot left, it’s probably gone because the data from the listing is potentially 20 seconds old.  It’s really not a lot to complain about.  You don’t spend a whole lot of time in the server browser and hey, at least they have dedicated servers.

If you read early reviews you’ll find that most people reported bugs, crashes, and slowness.  This was all true at launch and they have fixed it since then.  When I first got the game I couldn’t stay in most matches for more than 1 round, and sometimes for even less.  But I now haven’t crashed in weeks.

So to everyone, get this game.  It really is the next gen awesome Battlefield game we’ve all been waiting for.  I’m sure they’re working on BF3 right now and honestly I don’t know much that they could improve over this game.  Regardless, I’m sure it’ll be great but until then I’ll be dumping hours into BFBC2.  If you want to catch me online send a friend request to Royale.

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