Battlefield: Bad Company 2
Haggard, Sweetwater, Marlow and Sarge, the group of hoodlums from Battlefield: Bad Company are back in a new sequel. DICE tries to tighten things up from the first part and injects the multiplayer with some innovations so the game earns a place next to other military shooters. Whether they’ve succeeded in that is something you can read below.
The singleplayer campaign puts you back in the shoes of Preston Marlowe from the original Bad Company. Those that played the first part will know what to expect, but for newcomers we’ll summarize the story: In the first part Russia was stepped on its toes by an invasion of a small group of soldiers, you being one of them, in a neutral country and that for the sole purpose of adding some gold bars to their own personal bank vault. Of course the Russians weren’t pleased with the destruction in their backyard and declared war on the US. Luckily the staff of the American army hasn’t dishonorably discharged B-Company but put them in the line of fire as cannon fodder for suicide missions. One of these missions needs to lead to a secret weapon from the second World War to turn the tide.
The campaign is good for eight to ten hours of playing and is typically filled with the necessary comradery and comedy that we know from the first part. The story itself is quite thin, tells hardly anything about the new world war and quickly starts to bore. The focus constantly shifts towards the characters instead of the story about the war which makes the game lose cohesion and leaves you without a motivation to continue.
Those that want to buy Battlefield: Bad Company 2 for its singleplayer will be disappointed: it’s a waste of your money. Where you DO have to get this shooter for is its multiplay. People who previously checked out a Battlefield game already will immediately feel at home in this environment. For newcomers it needs a bit getting used to as you’re never 100% safe as before you know it, a tank can drive through your hideout, making you covered with debree.
You can choose between four different classes; Assault, Medic, Engineer and Recon, each with their own strategic advantages which are necessary to make the outcome result in your favor. The more you play with a specific class and the higher your rank gets, the more upgrades and weapons will be at your disposal. Each class seems well-balanecd and there’s a type for each playing style – aggressive, defensive or supportive – available.
Of course there’s also plenty of vehicles preesnt, ranging from quads and jetskis to humvees and tanks. Those that prefer to explore the skies can step in a helicopter and although the controls are a bit more difficult, you do get used to them after a while. Not present are planes and eventhough they won’t be missed, it’s still a pitty knowing that even the XBLA game Battlefield 1943 had some.
Just like the classes, the maps are balanced which makes that each player can do his thing. Still it’s important to work together with your team in the different modes which vary from squad deathmatch to Conquest (the standard Battlefield mode where you need to capture and keep flags) and Rush where you attack and try to destroy or defend M-Com stations.
I was very pleased with the presentation of Bad Company 2. You visit many different environments in both the campaign and multiplayer. The popups that arrive here and there in limited fashion are understandable when taking into account the completely destructable surroundings. The weapons are beautifully detailed and have incredibly good reload animations. The rougher finishing of the characters is in sharp contrast to that though. The audio has little to comment on and you get a nice echo when firing your weapons in a closed environment and they all sound different. I can’t really say whether they actually sound realistic as my supply room with weapons is still empty.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 delivers a pleasant singleplayer but never manages to rise above the average game in the FPS genre. The story is weak and you don’t really have a reason to pull the trigger. What does give Bad Company 2 additional value is the multiplayer. It’s perfectly worked out, but whether it manages to overcome Modern Warfare 2 is something you’ll have to decide on yourself. I myself have made my decision: YES!