Published on March 6th, 2010 | by prime0
Battlefield Bad Company 2 – Review
Summary: The action is relentless right up until the campaign’s thrilling conclusion
The disappointing sighs from the legions of PC-playing Battlefield fans was practically audible when EA declared that Battlefield: Bad Company would be a console exclusive. Two years on, with the promise that Bad Company 2 wouldn’t just be a console port but built specifically for PC, that enthusiasm had been rejuvenated somewhat. Finally, we all get to judge whether DICE has managed to create a game that lives up to the quality of previous Battlefield titles.
The campaign storyline picks up from the last game, where ‘B’ Company’s four AWOL squadmasters marched off into the sunset (Three Kings-style) with a barrow-load of gold. Here, it’s a more serious tale that follows the four troops on a run-of-the-mill intelligence gathering exercise in Alaska, where they discover that the Russian are building a weapon big enough to take out the US. In typical first-person shooter style, you come up against stiff opposition on your hunt for those involved as you travel across a variety of impressively detailed locations in North and South America, taking in snow-capped mountains, jungles, villages, deserts and urban environments, causing bedlam with your array of weapons and vehicles.
The impressively produced yet totally over-indulgent cut-scenes, full of the tongue-in-cheek humor and brash Americanisms, give some meaning to the missions ahead, but in reality the storyline pales into insignificance the further you progress as you get swallowed up by some of the finest FPS gameplay that we’ve played this side of Call of Duty 4. The mesmerizing mix of dramatic scripted sequences and aggressive gameplay makes Bad Company 2 the powerhouse that it is, while the combination of fast-paced action and varied gameplay – in addition to some top-notch audio and visuals – sucks you into the unfolding drama with some style.
Bad Company 2 is a bombardment on your senses, delivering a symphony of sounds and a visual spectacle of destruction that has a Crysis-like feel to it. Smoke billows in the air from spent grenades, buildings crumble under the weight of a well-placed RPG, tanks thunder through militia outposts toppling trees in their path, while wood splinters and cover spots crumble leaving you open to attack. There are some wonderfully poignant and contrasting moments throughout the 13 missions. One minute you’ll be creeping through some exquisite scenery where tranquil sounds, such as birds chattering and wind blowing gently through the trees, lures you into a false sense of security, and then suddenly the peace is crudely broken by the powerful sounds of war. Machine-guns chatter, explosions thud in the distant, while the whirring blades of helicopters and the unmistakable whizz of bullets create an aggressive sound that compliments the graphics, set-pieces and wide-spread destruction. There’s no doubt about it, this is an intense and enthralling single-player campaign.
The destructible environments aren’t just a visual spectacle either, but have a real impact on the gameplay and give you the freedom to use them to your tactical advantage. You can gain the upper-hand by changing the battlefield ahead by perhaps bringing a whole building crumbling to the ground so that it can’t be used for cover. You can even make pathways through areas that look inaccessible, which opens up the battlefield and gives you even more choice. Bad Company 2 doesn’t feel as linear as the likes of Modern Warfare 2, as there’s plenty of freedom and choice in battle. There’s a good variety of missions too: assault, defend, capture, sniping, driving, rail-shooter sequences, plus a few surprises along the way. Weapons handle well, the vehicles are a joy to drive and enemy soldiers react intelligently to the action, providing a real challenge by consistently bombarding you with pressure. The action is relentless right up until the campaign’s thrilling conclusion.
Define your own combat style with unparalled customization options.
The good news carries on over to the multiplayer mode, which is really where Bad Company 2’s longevity and extra value for money lies. It’s all about customization, freedom and choice.
The eight maps on offer, and the two downloadable ones – Laguna Alta and Nelson Bay – offer such a wide range of tactical opportunities. The open ground of the Atacama Desert is perfect for large-scale armored battles, whereas the woodlands of Laguna Alta give snipers elevated spots from which to stalk their prey. The expansive range of kit variations and weapon customization opportunities once again give you an endless amount of choice, and the finely tuned vehicles handle like a dream. This is Battlefield as we know it, but bigger better and badder, with more choice than ever. With brilliantly designed multiplayer maps, excellent weapon and vehicle choice, and the promise that DICE will support the modding community, we can be confident that the online component will shine for a long time to come.
When you put both components together – the compelling single-player campaign and solid multiplayer action – you’ve got one hell of an explosive package. Battlefield Bad Company 2 offers war on the grandest of scales, the likes of which we rarely see.