First off, I've got some bad news. All that trouble that Redford, Haggard, Sweetwater, and Marlowe went through in the first game to steal all that gold? Well apparently the US government caught wind of their war profiteering, and it wasn't crazy about it. Rather than throw all of B Company in some military gulag, though, the boys are sent to Alaska, which happens to be one of the front lines in a pending war between the US and Russia. As the war heats up, the army--recognizing B Company's unconventional and improvisational tactics in the field--sends them on a hunt around the world for a mysterious superweapon that the Russians are developing. It's a setup that sets much higher stakes for Bad Company 2, though the folks at DICE assure us that despite the gravity of the situation, the characters would retain their trademark unorthodox attitudes.
Actually playing a couple of missions in the game, a few things about the single-player in Bad Company 2 jumped out at me. First was the increased variety of the scenery, something that's facilitated by the globetrotting storyline that will include the Alaskan tundra as well as the sweaty jungles of South America. Though they've amped up the destruction a bit, the core action didn't feel too different from what the original Bad Company established, offering a lot of on-foot gunplay peppered with the occasional vehicle sequence thrown in for good measure. It doesn't seem too radically different, but the shooting action has still got that satisfying snap one associates with the Battlefield name, and what's not to love about more destructible environments?
In addition to the single-player reveal, EA and DICE used this event as an opportunity to reveal the final details about the game's multiplayer mode. Along with the previously revealed conquest, rush, and squad deathmatch modes, Bad Company 2 will feature a squad rush mode, which, at least in the US, is being treated as a 30-day limited-time GameStop pre-order bonus. Walling off full game modes like squad rush for pre-orders doesn't strike us as a very pro-consumer move, but we're told that you can be invited into a squad rush game regardless of where you bought the game. Plus, it's only 30 days, and with this being a Battlefield game, it seems safe to assume that the online community for BC2 will still be going strong by then.
Amongst all of the shooting and explosions, we managed to find a few minutes to pick the brain of DICE's own Karl-Magnus Troedsson, executive producer for the Battlefield franchise.