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Vitals – System: Xbox 360, PS3, PC // Release Date: March 3,2010 // ESRB: Mature // Genre: First Person Shooter (FPS) // Developer: Dice // Publisher: Electronic Arts

The Battlefield series has been around for numerous years and more importantly it has always been exclusive to the PC. In 2008 Dice and Electronic Arts released Battlefield: Bad Company for consoles only. The main attraction behind Bad Company was to show off its destructible environments and for the most part succeeded – destructible environments were not entirely destructible. Bad Company was also the first in the long running series to feature a single player campaign. Skip ahead to 2010, Dice and EA have unleashed a much improved Bad Company 2.

The Frostbite engine which powered the first game has been substantially improved. Bullets can pierce thin materials such as fences and blowing the crap out of houses is way too fun – never again will snipers camping in the top floor of houses be a problem.  Bullet physics have been added, you will have to compensate for gravity pulling bullets down over long distances – *gasp*a game that requires skills? One question I know everyone is burning to ask is, is it the graphics? I can say with extreme confidence that indeed Bad Company 2 is in fact the graphics. The improved Frostbite engine has raised the bar with amazing weather effects such as dust storms which can impede fire fights, improved destructible environments and an overall better visual appearance.

 

When playing the single player campaign you return to fill the shoes of Private Preston Marlowe and the rest of Bad Company. It seems Dice has made improvements all over the board including the single player portion. Right away you will notice the squad is much more serious, but not without some humor here and there which is great because the first game was hilarious but I found it didn’t take itself seriously enough.

The main objective of single player is to help Bad Company find a weapon capable of causing massive destruction that was created during World War 2 and make sure it doesn’t wipe the USA off the planet – not the most original idea but it works. Tracking the super weapon will take you all over the planet so expect to visit a lot of different locals – everything from snowy mountains to rainy jungles. The pacing feels just right, the game never keeps you in one place long enough to get bored as you are mostly running and blowing stuff up! Every now and then the game throws you a toy to play with. Tanks, helicopters, jeeps and airstrikes are just some of the fun toys you get to roll around with causing as much chaos to the enemy as possible.

 

Throughout your experience playing the campaign you will often find yourself forgetting why you are even there, but you won’t care because you just tore apart an enemy village by calling in airstrikes! – booyah! One thing I need to mention because it confused me more than a Wonderbar is the fact your squad seems to be able to take more of a beating than Master Chief. You are the only member of your squad unable to take a rocket to the face and get right back up. Having Bad Company 2 aim for more of a realistic experience this time around is a fantastic idea and Dice did a beautiful job, but the fact your squad members are invincible really does take you away from that idea.

Once you run through the respectable 8 to 10 hours of campaign either start it again on a harder difficulty or put your game face on for some of the most exciting, rewarding and frustrating multiplayer out on the interwebs today.

Prepare to not sleep for the next week as you will be playing online Bad Company constantly yelling, “Boom! Headshot!”  – bathroom breaks are recommended. Playing with up to 32 people online in Bad Company will be an experience you won’t forget. You will join or form a squad with a max of 4 people per squad allowing you to chat and strategize with them.  Modes such as Conquest (Reduce enemy tickets to zero by capturing key locations or killing enemies), Rush (Destroy or defend M-COM stations), Squad Rush (Two squads fight over two single M-COM stations) and Squad Deathmatch (Four squads fighting each other until the sun rises) will keep you playing for a very, very long time.

 

The maps are spacious, giving everyone plenty of room to try a variety of different tactics. Some maps are more vehicle heavy than others, which is great for the engineer. With four different classes to choose from Assault (Grunts who carry heavy weapons such as combat rifles and grenade launchers), Medic (Support class that carries medic packs that heal wounded soldiers and defibrillators to revive fallen comrades), Recon (Sniper that can blow vehicles up with C4 and call in mortar strikes) and Engineer (Combat mechanic that can repair vehicles and carries rocket launchers) and hordes of unlocks for each class give you so many options you will be playing for decades!  If you have played Modern Warfare 2 you will be familiar with the type of items you can unlock. Scopes, guns, armour kits, vehicle kits and class based items such as improved medic or ammunition packs are all unlocked with enough experience earned.

Listen, if you have friends who play the game PLEASE play with them. You will have such a better experience if you are playing with friends or people who understand the word teamwork – *cough* COD players *cough*. There are squads in this game for a reason. I have had matches were my team would telepathically communicate with each other almost working as a massive war machine and just stomp over the opposing force with ease. On the other hand I have had matches were I might as well have joined a free-for-all match. Played properly multiplayer matches can last upwards of 45 minutes, which might sound long but actually seems just right and scoring you a ton of points to unlock your next weapon.

 

Multiplayer has a ranking system which will suck your life away, the higher rank you are the more experience required to reach the next rank. The most obvious way to gain experience is to kill enemies. There are numerous methods of gaining experience such as completing squad objectives by attacking or defending key locations, pointing out enemies to your teammates, reviving teammates, putting tracer darts on enemy vehicles, supply teammates with ammo or health, repairing vehicles with a repair tool, and the list goes on. Bad Company 2 rewards people who are team players generously. I find I have a much more enjoyable time when playing as a team and sticking with my squad to complete objectives and can guarantee you will too.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is a large improvement over the first title and has an extremely deep and rich online component. Single player will keep you busy for a while but the real star of the show is multiplayer. The Battlefield series is known for its multiplayer and this game doesn’t disappoint, the experience is more intense and fun than ever before. I should note during my experience with the PC version the in-game voice chat was not functional. Overall this game is fantastic; the combat has a more tactical feel and rewards players for working together. If you are looking for a FPS that emphasizes on team work then look no further, if you are more of a Rambo type of person then you may want to continue looking. As Sarge would say, “Stay frosty!”

Likes:

–          Very impressive visuals

–          Single player is solid

–          Teamwork is greatly encouraged and rewarded

–          Multiplayer is the pinnacle of video game addiction

–          Online will keep you busy for a very long time

Dislikes:

–          Apparently the rest of your squad is from Krypton

–          Not for the “One Man Army” type of players as teamwork is almost a must in multiplayer

–          Might have to look into video game addiction therapy after playing multiplayer

SCORE

9/10