Battlefield Bad Company 2 Review
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (BC 2) is the sequel to the original Bad Company released two and a half years ago. The original was a departure from other Battlefield games as it had a good campaign with a story and emphasized on destructible environments. The sequel tries to expand on what made the first one so great and does this with differing sucess.
The first mode that appears when you start up the game is the campaign so let's start with that. The game follows the on going adventures of Bad Company as they try to stop an evil russian terrorist. The fact that Marlow and crew are still working for the army may seem weird to those who finished the first game as they ended up deserting the army. This game acts as though none of that ever happened so if you're looking for continuity you won't find it here. This time around, the plot is way more by the books: A russian terrorist plans to invade America by setting off a powerful EMP weapon and it's up to Bad Company to stop him. What alot of people liked in the first game was the humor. Bad company was (and still is) a colorful crew with Sarge, Sweetwater, Haggard and Marlow. There unrelenting chit chat about totally random things was what gave soul to the game's story and made it such a great experience. This time around the humor has been significantly toned down. There is the occasional funny joke but sadly even Haggard, everybody's favorite texas red neck, seems to have lost some of his witty sense of humor. Bad Company isn't joking around anymore which is a shame since it's what made the first one so unique and so different from other first person shooters.
The campaign is about 8 hours long, a little more if you search out all the collectibles. In the original BC, you could carry out your mission any way you wanted thanks to open environments that let you tackle a mission from any angle. This time, the developpers have gone for a much more linear level design, trying to mirror what you usually see in Call of Duty games. This would be fine if the levels were full of cool set pieces and interesting things to do, which isn't the case here. You'll be going from point A to point B, shooting guys, blowing up the occasionnal tanks whilst carrying out bland objectives. The only saving grace for the campaign are the destructible environments but even those feel tame because of the closed off levels. Almost every weapon in the game comes equipped with a grenade launcher that you can then use to blast holes in things. Doing this still feels satisfying and the fact that you can now make entire buildings crumble is neat. Sadly though, because of the boring missions, you never really get to do anything truly awesome with any of the guns. The single player feels like an after thought and is above all a disappointment. Don't feel obliged to play through it as it is the weakest part of the game and will keep you away from the best part of the game, the multiplayer.
Multiplayer has always been a big part of any Battlefield game and it's no different here. BC 2 has two major game modes: Conquest and Rush. If you're familier with other Battlefield games then you must already know what Conquest is: two teams battle it out on a wide open map to take control of different flags and the first team to get a certain amount of points wins. It's a blast to play and will keep you addicted. The second mode is rush which had already made an appearance in the first BC game. One team has destroy the other team's M COM station. One team attacks, the other one defends and at the end of a round both teams switch sides. This mode demands co-operation and is a great twist on the Battlefield formula. Two modes may seem sparse but with a wide variety of maps and vehicles, the action always feels fresh.
Like all modern multiplayer shooters, BC 2 has a class system. You start out with five different classes that each have different attributes. For example, all assault class weapons comme with a grenade launcher and the support class commes with a pair of defibrilators to revive fallen allies. Each time you do something with a specific class, you gain experience for your overall level and that class. This means that you're only unlocking weapons that you care about. It's really well done and helps you build your class the way you want it. There's also a dog tag system. Each time you kill a guy with your knife, you get to keep his tag. Knifing people is probably the hardest thing to do in the game as knifing is imprecise and your character doesn't lunge forward like in other games. Your dog tags are then displayed in a trophy room so you can show everyone how good you are at stabbing people. BC 2's class system is well done without copying other games. The only negative thing I can point out is the fact that it takes way to long to level up but then again I'm just nit picking.
The staying power of a game's multiplayer is often determined by its maps. The maps in BC 2 are like all other Battlefield maps: huge. The ones in Conquest especially can seem to go on forever. Like in the single player game, most of the environments are destructible with objectives placed in choke points that make for intense firefights despite the largeness of the maps. Getting to places on the map would take forever if it were not for the vehicles. From quads to helicopters to everything else in between, you'll be astonished by all the vehicles the game lets you control. You can team up in most vehicles and feel the awesome feeling of laying waste to the enemy team in your four man tank. Like the shooting, the vehicles control as you'd expect them to. If you've played an FPS before, then you'll be able to jump right in.
It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that much like the first game the presentation is great.The game's engin pulls off lush jungles, frosty peaks and dry deserts with ease. Like the environments, the characters are detailed even if you end up fighting the same enemies after a while. The game sounds great with booming explosions and great sound design especially when the action takes place indoors.
Battlefield Bad Company 2 is a multiplayer game. Period. There's a reason why one of the last things that EA gave away about the game was the single player: because it isn't very good. As the game's cover points out, it's all about multiplayer. Some people may want to compare this game to Modern Warfare, which is wrong since they're both very different in concept and in execution. All in all, if you enjoy shooting people in the face, go buy this game.
One word review: Multiplayer