Xbox battlefield-bad-company-2

Published on November 24th, 2009 | by prime

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Battlefield: Bad Company 2

Where would we be today without Battlefield? Largely responsible for the introduction of a more co-operative concept into the online scene, the original Battlefield 1942 was the game of choice for many an online-enabled gamer in the early noughties, with its sublime and superbly balanced blend of class-based, territory-capture gameplay.

Of course, with the introduction of online FPS heavyweights Halo and Call of Duty we’ve come a long way since then, but rather than experiment unnecessarily, DICE is sticking to its guns for Bad Company 2, hoping to fight for its own space among the online world with its original recipe and, in its own words, ‘Define Online Warfare’.

It’s pretentious perhaps, but DICE’s confidence is justifiable. Even with months still to go until its March release, Bad Company 2 feels polished and finely balanced, with the company’s maturity and years of experience clearly on display.

We’re introduced to Arica Harbour, a large, sprawling map filled with a handful of distinct regions, each home to key territorial strongholds. Playing in the game’s Rush mode, each keypoint must be either defended or destroyed by either team, with defenders holding back oppressors using a variety of gun emplacements and substantial armoury. The attackers, on the other hand, have access to a slew of vehicles – from the nippy four-wheel drive personnel carrier to the M1 Abrams tank. Other vehicles, including the likes of helicopter gunships are also promised in other maps, each with their own upgrades. Losing control over territory forces the defenders to retreat, eventually being pushed all the way back to the shipping yard of Arica Harbour itself, dipping and shipping containers.

The battle is much slower-paced than Modern Warfare, with the struggle for power resulting in battles lasting upwards of 20 minutes, while the ability to completely flatten buildings this time around also ensures that you’re kept on your toes. Think you’ve found a good camping spot in that warehouse? Just remember that it may not be there the next time you spawn. But, despite the initial similarities between the two games – the setting, the weaponry, the experience points – it’s this slower pace and sheer immensity of the maps that is key to Battlefield distancing itself from the likes of Modern Warfare. Bad Company 2 is n arguably more tactical affair, where each player’s input feels vital to the outcome of the mission, rather than simply being able to rely on one-man armies to achieve victory single-handedly. And whether that’s playing as the engineer who fixes vehicles, the rifleman who prefers to stick with a close-knit squad or the sniper that isolates himself atop a mountainside, there’s something here for every type of FPS gamer to enjoy.

So will DICE be able to deliver on its claim of defining online warfare? Undeniably so. Bad Company 2 may not be an entirely different prospect to the last game, but it doesn’t need to be. Instead, it’s looking like a polished and addictive continuation of one of the most established online series’ in videogame history – and our most anticipated online shooter of 2010.

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