Battlefield: Bad Company 2
The boys are back!
Posted 3 years ago By - Jay Acevedo
When DICE announced a sequel to Bad Company, I was perplexed. After playing the first game, I found the characters very interesting but, for some reason, my interest in the game wasn’t enough to long for another. Luckily, it appears that DICE managed to mix the high-explosive action nature of a Battlefield game with the over-the-top humour even better in the sequel. In other words, not only is Battlefield: Bad Company 2 a great game but it does what many games with a ’2’ next to their name fail to do; improve.
In Bad Company 2, you play as Private Preston Marlowe as you and the other three members of Bravo Two unit are sent to recover a deadly weapon before the Russians can. The plot may be predictable, avoiding the inclusion of a roster of secondary bad guys and twisted plots a la Modern Warfare 2. Instead, you go through each level blowing stuff up, killing anyone who gets in your way and riding ATV’s and helicopters, all the while listening to Haggard ranting about Commies or Sweetwater chiming in with college-boy jokes. The game won’t wow you with its storytelling but it will make you smile a whole lot. Not every single war game has to be serious, right? We already have Medal of Honor, Call of Duty, and Brothers in Arms to handle the serious side of military games.
Destructible environments were an important part of the gameplay in the first game and continue to be one in the sequel. Not only is the destruction visually impressive, but it can also be used as a tactic in combat. The A.I., which is way smarter this time around, can destroy cover if you stay in the same spot too long. You can also use it to your advantage, however, by opening up new flanking avenues, allowing you to create different offensive strategies. Bad Company 2 gives you everything you need in terms of firepower to use the destructibility as a tactical advantage, a lot like in Volition’s Red Faction: Guerrilla. The environment is your friend, use it.
It was good to see that DICE put some extra effort into the single player, but, as it’s a Battlefield game, it’s understandable that most people are anticipating the multiplayer. Rush and Conquest modes (Conquest was added to the game as a free post-launch downloadable mode) from the first game are making a comeback and are being joined by two additional modes known as Squad Rush and Squad Deathmatch. Squad Rush puts two squads in a head-to-head battle over two communication stations and whoever blows the stations first or get rid of all enemy reinforcements wins. Squad Deathmatch pits four squads against each other and the first to get to fifty kills wins. Expect to waste some time on the Squad Rush mode, which should be a fan favourite in the next couple of day/weeks. Bad Company 2’s multiplayer also features eight maps and, if you buy the game new, you get two additional ones.
Speaking from a personal point of view, I used to like Modern Warfare’s multiplayer, but I’ve became a fan of Bad Company 2’s multiplayer during my time in the Multiplayer Beta. It seems like DICE has finally managed to bring the excitement of Battlefield multiplayer from the PC to consoles. Not that the multiplayer component of the first Bad Company game wasn’t good, it just lacked depth. If the Bad Company 2 story isn’t as exhilarating as the one experienced in Modern Warfare 2, it more than makes up for it by completely outdoing Modern Warfare 2 in the multiplayer space.
There are very few negatives to point out in Battlefield Bad Company 2. Aside from the subpar checkpoint system, which becomes increasingly frustrating at higher difficulty levels, the fade-to-black moments that take you out of actual gameplay to a cut-scene and the times where the in-game dialogue gets drowned by the sound effects and/or music, everything else Bad Company 2 feels like an improvement over its predecessor.
Graphics & Sounds
The Frostbite engine continues to do wonders for DICE in Bad Company 2. While the exterior locales and characters are rendered nicely, Bad Company 2 shines because of its detailed huge and open landscapes. And even more so because of its destructible environments. Houses and buildings may not crumble as well as in last year’s sleeper-hit, Red Faction: Guerrilla, but the destruction remains impressive.
As for sounds, the whole B-Company’s voice-acting is very well done. Sarge, Sweetwater and Haggard still crack jokes and even make jokes about “the other” military warfare game but it feels less “frat boy” this time around, which is good, in a way. Funnily enough, though, the frat-boy humour fits nicely in a game like Army of Two but in Battlefield 2, it doesn’t. Go figure. The weapons in the game still sound wonderful and explosions are big and loud. It feels noisy and chaotic during the huge action sequences, which is exactly how a Battlefield game should sound like. However, the soundtrack is good but not excellent as it fails to bring you that degree of excitement, especially when “epic” moments are happening.
Even though the single player campaign could be completed in less than eight hours, which has now become a standard for most games nowadays, the real value of the game lies in its multiplayer component. You don’t buy a Battlefield game if you don’t play online at all, it’s that’s simple. If you do play online, however, chances that the game decides to squat in your disk drive for the next couple of months are incredibly high. Now, if the next Battlefield Bad Company game could feature four-player online co-op, this could add something great to the single player side of the game.
As mentioned earlier, if you buy the game new at the store, you will be automatically upgraded to the Limited Edition version, which includes six multiplayer unlocks, in the form of weapons, and two multiplayer maps. The two maps are unlocked by simply inputting the VIP code included in the box. Those players that do not have a code can purchase one via the in-game store for $15 (or 1200 Microsoft Points). Just like in Mass Effect 2, those who redeem the code will also get new free content later on. In the case of Bad Company 2, you will get new multiplayer maps which are already scheduled to hit sometime by the end of the month.
Believe me when I say that Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is a far better game than the 2008 release that preceded it. Not only has the technology behind the Frostbite engine been improved but the multiplayer shows major signs of improvement and a willingness by DICE to push the boundaries further. The single player campaign, despite feeling like an added component to a 100% multiplayer focused experience, is much more streamlined and interesting this time around.
Regardless, if you are looking for an alternative to Modern Warfare 2, which has become a haven for numerous cheaters, bug-exploiters and other glitches recently, this one should fit the bill just fine!
+ Environments are well rendered...and destructible of course!
+ Great voice-acting and sound effects
+ Interesting solo campaign...
- Questionable checkpoint system
- Fade-to-black cutscenes
- In-game dialogue gets drowned by the sound effects
- Soundtrack lacks punch
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Release Date : 2010/03/02
System : Xbox 360
Publisher : EA Games
Developer : DICE
Category : Action
ESRB : M
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