So much put into such a glorious package.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 brings back the fun of the Battlefield series in a very thrilling way. While many online fans are saying death to Modern Warfare 2, I'm not going to make those comparisons. Modern Warfare 2 is a different style of game and cannot be compared apples to apples. Battlefield is a vehicular combat shooter with huge, open maps, which goes without saying since you wouldn't want to roll around in a tank on a 4x4 map.
If you were a fan of the original Bad Company, by story alone, you will not be completely disappointed. The story has a lot of funny moments to it, some that will have you laughing out loud, while still maintaining a seriousness about it. The original felt more like a comedy-action, but they've managed to switch the roles this time around with an action game with comical moments. Some of that comical relief comes from taking cheap-shots at Modern Warfare 2. If you're a fan of Modern Warfare or not, the snowmobile shot is very well placed and funny. Especially coming from Haggard, the games stereotypical right-wing Texan.
Bad Company is no longer on the quest for gold bars but instead, is still just looking to complete that last mission to get out of the war. It starts out back in World War II, where a group of soldiers are escorting a Japanese scientist to go back to the States. Without spoiling anything, the game shifts back to the current day, you are Preston Marlowe and joined with the same B-company crew as the original. B-company is after an WMD that is of some unique significance. The game pits you against Russians, of whom are also after the same WMD you're after.
The game is fairly easy when playing on hard. Part of the reason is that you're not constantly dodging grenades, the enemies are not always auto targeting you when you stick your head out, and there's no respawning of enemies when you're trying to advance. You clear an area, and move on. They also took auto the healing tool, so no longer are you going to need to heal yourself. They went to the standard of today's shooters: regeneration. The AI is a decent, but don't expect them to outsmart you in combat. They'll duck and cover, but mostly you're going to enjoy a nice game of target practice.
If you were looking for a single player experience and have no ambitions of playing online, you might want to wait for the bargain bin. The single player experience is over in 6-8 hours and there's not too many reasons to go back. Even the collectables are easy to get, as I found all of them (guns and satellite points) in one sitting.
This game was truly built for a better online experience. If you were a fan of the PC version of Battlefield 2, there's no reason to really read about the multiplayer; you should know what to expect. This game brings back a lot of what Battlefield 2 brought to the PC world when it first came out. Open worlds, lots of objectives (and explosions), and intense squad battles. You're set up with different kits, from sniper gear to medic gear, and it's really just up to you how you want to play. However, picking a class is more than just picking a gun. You need to take the role of that class. It's ridiculous to see a medic going solo to assault the other team.
If you're not familiar how Battlefield works, it's squad based and not meant to be a deathmatch game. Trying to solo everything is not going to work and will result in a less than satisfying experience. For instance, having a sniper and a medic together is one of the more deadlier forces to reckon with compared to a great assault soldier who is doing it solo. Dying is a learning experience as well. Instead of just hammering the same area over and over, you'll need to switch your kits to find out which is going to be most effective.
The ranking system is back with all the digital glory and stat-keeping. One of the fun features that was probably ignored (but brought back to life) is knifing. Being able to see the gamer tags of friends or foes that took a knife to the face is beyond fun. It's like collecting Pokemon, except I really do want to collect them all! In all seriousness, stats are well fun and don't feel as time consuming as some games put out there. Is the multiplayer time consuming? Yes, and I like it that way.
Currently, though, there are some server issues. Ironically, the server issues are being worked on as we speak and should be good to go in a few days.
As far as technical aspects go, there's a lot to brag about and hardly anything to complain about. There's a new sound option called "War Theater", which seems to put out a bit more battle sounds in the background. Graphically, it's superior to the original in almost every way. I never saw frame drops. I haven't ran into lock-ups. I've only ran into walls, only to blow them out of the way. The destruction in this game is a bit better than the original (being able to crumble a building with enemies is just too much fun), however, it's about on-par with the original beyond that. Which isn't bad. There's not too many shooter outs there that let me reshape the terrain and buildings around me.
If you're looking for something more than shooting infantry in a shooter, give Bad Company 2 a try. It's a load of fun, and a great game to master. If anything, it brings back some of the golden days of shooting from the king of the shooters: the PC.
Verdict: Buy, buy it now, and buy it soon!