BC2 vs MW2


A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog about Splinter Cell Conviction. Of the comments I received the most poignant was perhaps:

Emilio said: 

"I hate every fucking game on the Xbox360 and PS3 whipping out their dick, pretending that they're some fucking shitty Hollywood movie."

Whilst many will leap to disagree, I kind of see what he means - though I wouldn't limit the dick-whipping to only the 360 and PS3. There is a habit amongst games, specifically action games, to go the B-Movie route of big guns and explosions. Modern Warfare 2 was described by several people I know to be the videogame equivalent of Transformers 2. Transformers 2, voted worst film of the year. Awesome.
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Modern Warfare 2

 is, in retrospective, a little cliche'. The gameplay is top notch, the graphics are stunning, the voice acting is bearable and the storyline doesn't make sense. The game seeks to measure success by the frequency with which the players jaw hits the floor in disbelief. MW2 is forced into a scale of constant escalation in which each explosion must be bigger and more impressive than the last. It can only be described as intense - but a sincere intensity which contrasts with the over the top and frequently Steven Segal-esqu action film it attempts to embody. It's a game which asks to be taken seriously despite being openly ridiculous. It's a little exhausting.

So then there's Bad Company 2

 which is a little more laid back. And by a little I mean only a little. You get a bit more banter and light hearted joking around amidst the horrific warzone in which you are enveloped, but there are just as many explosions and ridiculous action sequences. "I'm gunna kick that mortar guy's ass!" screams Haggard as the the squad rushes down a street with buildings on either side exploding and cascading the player in rubble.
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There are times in Bad Company 2 where the foundations of the gameplay are exposed. There are some sections where you have to run from point A to point B avoiding explosions and mortar fire which are quite obviously designed to show-off the destructible environments and buildings and not actually to cause any harm to the player. There was an enemy who stood motionlessly in the same room as myself for several minutes absorbing bullet after bullet before I walked forward and triggered the animation of Sarge rushing in and stabbing him in the neck. The geeky guy on your squad apparently knows how to work a satellite. There is even a section where you must bounce through an arctic blizzard rushing from house to house to keep warm. I shit you not.

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 Bad Company 2 would probably have been better to further pursue the parody of wargames which it sometimes attests to be. There are times when the Bad Company 2 chooses to be sincere and cheesy when it could have easily been a little more lighthearted. Whilst Bad Company may shyly poke fun at Modern Warfare 2 it seems to be a suspiciously similar game. There are moments when the experience assumes narrative directions which just seem inappropriate to the aesthetic of the game. Despite the "Bad Company" tag on the box, this new Battlefield title ends up being another melodramatic war game which takes itself slightly too seriously. The characters, designed to be laid back, often find themselves being too serious for comfort. Don't get me wrong, it's still fun to play. It's just... disappointing. 
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So, in summary:

Yes, both these action games are closely related to shitty American action movies. Probably because these movies are the movies that the majority of people want to see. I'm sure these developers are completely capable of making something genuinely meaningful, but whether the public would respond as enthusiastically as they did to Transformers 2 is doubtful. Given a choice more people would opt to watch Transformers 2 than Pride and Prejudice. It's a sad existence in which we live. 
As for the multiplayer? I'm sure by now if you have any interest in online FPS multiplayer you already know which you are going to enjoy more. The multiplayer to the series is, at the very least, constant.
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