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



Battlefield: Bad Company 2 does what good sequels do best, fix past faults and builds upon the fundamental mechanics already in place. There's a clear reason why the Battlefield name is at the forefront of this latest DICE creation, while a single player campaign might tag along for the fun of it. It's still very much a Battlefield experience and it's obvious that the multiplayer is where DICE have put a lot of their efforts. This frustratingly comes at the cost of a somewhat forgettable campaign this time round, but the overall package is a welcomed improvement that builds upon a number of strong mechanics first put in place with the originals release. 

Bad Company 2's campaign is a disappointment for those looking for the same thrills the original provided so well. 
B Company are back and at it all over again. HaggardSweetwater and Sarge were one of the true highlights of the original Bad Company, their one-liners and numerous odd conversations are still fondly remembered and quoted to this day. But the generalised tale of the sequels single player campaign takes a more serious approach, sure there's still some fantastic chatting between the squad members when the bullets aren't flying. Generally though the story arch is a lot more serious as B Company attempt to safely secure a super-weapon from the hands of the dangerous Russian forces. Being such a fan of the originals story, I was greatly disappointed by the lack of any mention concerning gold or past efforts, opportunity missed.   
The campaign will last you six to seven hours or so, depending on how much of the extra amusing chats you wish to hear. It's far from bad, but for those looking for the same uniquely different campaign we got from the original will be disappointed by just how forgettable the whole experience is, not to mention how rushed the ending felt. I for one had high hopes for something much more interesting and better connected, still it as it's moments and the action is superb. Almost to the point that the campaign can at times feel more like a tech demo for DICE's impressive Frostbite Engine.   
Speaking of that engine, one cannot go through such a review without mentioning destruction. It's a key part of the whole Bad Company 2 experience, and one that effects not just the visuals but the way you play. Almost everything in the game world is destructible, meaning that no cover is safe. It can take sometime to adjust to this concept in the first place, you'll often find yourself ducking behind a wall for cover from enemy fire, then that wall is suddenly ripped apart by a RPG and your open to your inevitable death. It ends up being damn impressive, especially online where the action gets heated and you don't know where to look for safe cover. The Frostbite Engine in general perform well, rarely will the game slow down even when the most heated visual explosions are taking place. Yes some graphical flaws exist, especially on the PC version. But nothing that will spoil the enjoyable of the game as a whole.  
Stunning sound, visuals and modes all come together to make this one of the best multiplayer games available on current consoles and PC.
So what of the multiplayer? Well it's easily the most fascinating part of Bad Company 2. As multiplayer modes go, it's one of the best. In many respects it doesn't do many things we haven't seen time and time again, you'll find your common profile progressions system, weapon unlocks and point bonuses upon completing specific in match objectives. But it's how all this is displayed that feels fresh, from the main menu to the deep documentation of weaponry, Bad Company 2 does a fine job of providing the important information when it's needed. 
The online action itself is as memorable as it comes, the mix of the visuals and the sound heighten the solid first-person feel of the gameplay. Anyone who as ever played a Battlefield game will pretty much feel right at home with Bad Company 2's multiplayer, what is exceptionally welcomed is how much more direct both objectives and general map designs feel. Past Battlefield games have suffered from overly large maps meaning battles were often small skirmishes and it was all to easy to lose yourself. Bad Company 2 does a fine job of directing you all the time, and the maps feature some wise choke points where intense fighting is sure to take place. It all comes together to create something rather special and the added mix of modes, vehicles and even perk system are what makes this a multiplayer mode you need to check out. 
So all in all Battlefield: Bad Company 2 does exactly what a good sequel should always do, fixing many of flaws found in the original game. The campaign feels lacklustre compared to the previous entry, but the multiplayer makes up for this by providing the intense action, and profile progression one would want from a current first-person shooter. Visually the Frostbite Engine is impressive with a great display of it's destructive powers throughout, though it's the sound that steals the show. I could probably write a whole new review on the sound alone, few games come anywhere near to recreating the impacts, echoes and thunder of war then Bad Company 2 does. No game yet as made me want a large cinema sound system in the house more, and like Battlefield: Bad Company 2 it would be a 'sound' investment.  


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