Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Review
Developer: EA Digital Illusions CE / Publisher: Electronic Arts / ESRB: Mature (Blood, Strong Language, Violence) / Played on: Xbox 360 / Price: $39.99
Sweet merciful crap it’s another Video Game Review on Machinima.com. Guest voicing this week is Matt Dannevik from The Master’s Challenge, Headshot, and an ill-fated arctic expedition. Today we are looking at DICE’s continuing saga of military misfits in Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Do our unlikely heroes fall ass-backwards into success or just suck? Let’s find out.
Bad Company 2 follows once again our rag tag bunch of unlikely heroes who are commandeered by an elite military unit to race against the Russians in order to find a former Japanese ultimate weapon.
The play style has all the prerequisite features of the first person shooter. You can hold up to two main weapons, chuck a few handheld grenades and, depending on your weapons, a grenade launcher. The loadouts can range anywhere from sniper rifles to RPGs, shotguns to assault rifles and machine guns. It’s all standard fair that doesn’t really stand out on its own.
What sets the Battlefield series apart from the others of the series is the vehicles. In the single player campaign the amount of vehicles you use ranges anywhere from gunner seats on helicopters, grenade launching jeeps, ATV’s, UAVS, and tanks. This is where the game really shines, because in conjunction to all the vehicles you get to command there is the improved Frostbite Engine. Let me tell you, there is nothing more satisfying than blowing up the side of a building with tank fire to kill your enemies. The designers really had this in mind when they were constructing the levels.
South America offers a plethora of wood houses that you can easily go big bad wolf all over. I often found myself hanging out in one area just shooting the crap out of everything to see how stuff fell apart. Continuing on the single player campaign was fun but other than as a set-piece for a destructible environment, the journey itself wasn’t anything too spectacular.
The real reason to buy this game is the multiplayer. I have been accused of being (and readily admit to being) an Infinity Ward/Modern Warfare fanboy and no don’t worry I am not going to compare the two games. I will, however, say that after playing hours upon hours of the multiplayer there is definitely enough room in my heart to love both. The game modes in BC2 range from your basic squad team death match to conquest or rush and defend. The latter two modes really emphasize selfless team gameplay. In conquest, where you need to capture territories to make the enemy’s lives go down faster, if you simply sit back and try to farm kills you won’t get as many points as if you actively try to win the game.
The game also features spotting, which is when you see an enemy you are able to alert the rest of your team to the enemy’s location. This is of prime importance because positioning is key to the game. They team that most effectively holds a main attack front while flanking will likely be the team that wins the match.
The multiplayer mode also attempts to deal with the ever green FPS problem of spawn killing. Battlefield allows you to choose where you spawn, including on top of your squad mates. This comes in super handy when one of your squad mates is capping a point and you can just teleport in to assist. An added bonus to the squad feature, at least for me, is that it limits the exposure to the amount of inane chatter you are exposed to by foul mouthed 12-year-old boys. That being said, the controls and gameplay are a bit slower as this is more of a tactical, thinking-man’s shooter. The basic axiom is if you see someone first you will probably kill them and the other way around. Aiming is pretty easy and with splash damage from vehicles and no weapon sway while aiming, it is not hard to have a really high accuracy. All in all the gameplay in all aspects is solid and enjoyable.
Holy shit balls the environments in this game are amazing! There, I am just gonna’ go out there and say it. No point beating around the bush. From crazy snowy locations, deserts with abandoned tanker ships, crazy castles to South American jungle and city sprawl. As mentioned before since stuff blows up and apart the building design and layout really play an integral part of the gameplay and blowing holes in things always feels organic and looks spectacular. The light effects and dust are 90% of the time amazing and really add to the atmosphere. Sometimes however they got in the way of the gameplay. It’s no fun getting shot randomly by a thick white haze. You face about the same nine enemies, but more often than not they are hazy figures in the distance so the lack of variety didn’t bother me too much. The main characters are well rendered but the lip sync leaves a little bit to be desired.
Yeah it’s cliche but the Saving Private Ryan explosion and then silence with full sound gradually returning is used very effectively here. Chatter from the enemies lets you know when you are getting close to ambushes and the weapons all have unique sounds that add to their individual feel. The music is well orchestrated and escalates nicely with the action on screen. All in all the sound is well designed.
Removing aiming sway does a lot to bump up accuracy and this is evident in both multi and single player. The movement and play style is a lot less frenetic than other FPS’s and so the controls show that. While not broken by any stretch of the imagination, I still feel like the controls could be tightened up a bit more, especially when it comes to the melee animation and execution.
Bad Company 2 has been great company for me. The single player was a fun ride through amazing landscapes. The multiplayer will keep you entertained for a very long time to come. Or at least, until the Halo Reach beta. Either way, Bad Company: highly recommended.