Monday, August 23

In case you haven't played it: Battlefield - Bad Company 2 Review (PS3)

I am not sure whether there is any merit in evaluating DICE's Modern Warfare competitor, nearly 6 months after release. With that said however, I was bemused to find that Battlefield - Bad Company 2 had not fared as well critically (at least quantitatively speaking) as Infinity Ward's last Call of Duty title. Why? Because save for its splitscreen multiplayer offering, I despise Call of Duty - Modern Warfare 2. The campaign is a frustrating, morally redundant tale of American militarism gone loco. A series of choke points punctuated by regrettable dialogue, spouted from testosterone-fuelled neanderthals, MW2's single player offering was a grind with very few rewards. The online competitive multiplayer while entertaining, often felt as though it was cheapened by killstreaks and lethal weapon attachments which I, in my limited skill level, have no hope of obtaining. Battlefield - Bad Company 2 however is a completely different monster. Sure it is a first-person shooter with lots of death and explosions, but the subject matter feels lighter. The sequel to the first console Battlefield game to offer a legitimate solo campaign, as well as a comprehensive suite of competitive multiplayer modes is a full-featured package worth experiencing.

The Good
Up there with the best - Bad Company 2 makes good on DICE's promise of a proper solo crusade, with some of the finest examples of set pieces, on-rails shooting and pacing ever seen in a console FPS. Save for a few frustrating shoot-outs towards the end of the adventure, this is all fun, and all thrills.

Feels right - Not since the original Quake has a boomstick provided so much joy. The shotguns available in BF:BC2 have respectable range, along with the stopping power expected from a youth watching Schwarzenegger films. Further to that, I usually don't enjoy using sniper rifles in FPS games, but the T88 S has started a love affair with long range weaponry.

Like a drug - With the possible exception of Gears of War, there is no greater multiplayer experience than that on offer in Bad Company 2. Offering enough of the quasi-RPG progression that makes Modern Warfare so addictive, as well as enough maps and different play modes to encourage persistent play, Bad Company 2 will take hours of your life if you aren't careful. More important than the plethora of maps, modes and equipment options however is the core gameplay, which is brilliant, if not chaotic. Due to the malleability of each battleground and balanced classes, there are limitless ways to approach each situation and engage with your opponents. The action is thoroughly satisfying, especially when you raze a structure that houses several enemies, or destroy a quad bike coming at you at full speed. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is the best team-based multiplayer shooter since Team Fortress 2.

Balance (Part 1) - When a team comprised of each of the 4 classes (Medic, Recon, Assault and Engineer) works together, the action flows brilliantly; allowing for campers, run-and-gunners and support players to contribute to a win. Greatest of all, players are rewarded for contributing in almost any fashion. For those without the surest of aim, you can opt to repair vehicles, heal teammates or scour the road ahead for mines and other threats. It's so refreshing to play a game that rewards you for assisting the stronger members of a team.

Extensive support - Since release, there have been 6 free multiplayer map packs released to players who bought the game brand new. Most would argue that these packs are just the same maps reconfigured to be used in different play modes, however they present unique experiences in both Rush and Conquest arrangements. There are also paid expansions available, but I am yet to invest in them. There is enough content offered here for the purchase price without the requirement to procure paid DLC. There is more content coming though, with a Vietnam expansion due later this year.

The Bad
Balance (Part 2) - More often than not, you will find your team consisting of an inordinate amount of players using the Recon (Sniper) class. Referred to as "Wookies," you will often find yourself frustrated as they camp and watch objectives fall to your opponents. Used effectively, the Recon class provides vital support to the team. Abused, the Recon class can drain the fun from a match as you struggle to complete objectives alone.

What are we fighting for? - Returning to the solo campaign, the story and dialogue are not entirely worthwhile. There are Russians, a secret weapon and a ragtag bunch of soldiers affectionately known as Bad Company. That's about it.

Dude I hit you! - Another minor solo campaign gripe. In a game built around the premise of everything being destructible, it is somewhat confounding when you hit a helicopter delivering enemies to the battle with a rocket, and nothing happens. I know that it is to ensure that players take part in each of the thrilling gunfights throughout the adventure, but still it is disappointing to find some of those troop transports are invincible.

The Ugly
Go it alone - Save for the new, paid (read: expensive) Onslaught expansion, there are no cooperative multiplayer modes in Bad Company 2. This is a missed opportunity, especially considering that there are four members in the unit and several competitors (Halo 3 and to a more limited extent, Modern Warfare 2) allow for a few friends to play through either missions or challenges in splitscreen or online.

9/10 - The best console FPS on the market, no question. The single player campaign moves at a frenetic pace, with some unforgettable sequences and enjoyable vehicle combat. The multiplayer offering is so incredibly deep both in terms of progression and the standard gameplay. With the ability to develop and utilize four distinct, balanced classes, Battlefield - Bad Company 2 offers limitless approaches to combat. Perhaps best of all is the freedom afforded to players in conflict, with almost any object being completely destructible. Essential action and unbeatable value.


  1. I enjoy BC2. I find that I can play with any kit and do well, so long as I stick to what the kit is meant to be used for, which is really rewarding when you think about.

    By far the best feeling in the game is blowing up anything (re: house, tank, helicopter) and seeing the triple kill icon pop up because the anything (re: house, tank, helicopter) collapsed on them.

  2. Agreed, there is no greater joy than Destruction 2.0. I love the stat-tracking and star system. If you see me in Abrams tank or at a gun emplacement, run the other way!

  3. LOL I still haven't got the star for the spree on an emplanted gun, and it is really annoying me!!!

  4. Nothing glitters like gold my friend. It's a shame I can't say the same for almost every other vehicle/weapon. Truth be told, if I don't have some armour in front of me, I am fairly useless.

  5. Very true. I got my new headphones today bro!!!! They are Tritton AX 720s! Look them up. Also, i am very keen to get into some squad based carnage with you, and Rubes if he can take his eyes off ME2 for a little while.

  6. He got rid of Bad Company 2, sad face

  7. Why would he do that?! It was an awesome game, even just to go back and play the Campaign again. Also, you have BF 1943, are people still playing it?

  8. Should be, it's an awesome game and EA is flogging it off with the Onslaught expansion for about $30. I'll jump on tonight and let you know how it goes.

  9. Hey Trits, been a bit slack on the commenting of late. Still get my bit of reading in on the venerable Unbearable, though. Yeah, BC2, a glorious game...but goddamnit, if DLC isn't killing a lot of interest in games for me these days. Onslaught mode being a fifteen buck add-on?! To simply play a cleaved team-game writ small against AI enemies?! That should be goddamn free OR as an addition to the Vietnam expansion.

    Anyway, a good review and I agree. I spent a good few months in the multiplayer, although I do harbour my own unpopular view that the single player in the first game was my pick of the bunch. It was oddly comical, especially set against the violence committed. But yeah, BC2. A winner. Had my fun with it, that's for sure. Next FPS for me is Brink next year, and I'll let you know how K&L2 goes when it arrives - and I do know how short it is, but it's not phasing me. I'm looking for a savage, seedy little romp through shall deliver, methinks.

  10. Good to hear from you Taz. 15 dollars for 4 co-op maps is daylight robbery, I agree. Looking forward to Vietnam though, and am hoping that it will be suitably priced.

    I liked the respawn system in the original Bad Company's single player offering, but the story wasn't overly engaging and the action stalled at times. It's a shame Brink got delayed, nobody's game to take on Call of Duty or Halo. Can't blame them, but it is still disappointing.

    I nearly bought Kane & Lynch 2 as I loved the demo. I hung out for some critical opinion though, and it copped a shelacking. You should check out Jeff Gerstmann's review on Giant Bomb.

  11. Didn't mean to double post, however Sambo, booted up Battlefield 1943 last night. There are still plenty of people playing. Hasn't been patched since the last time I played it, so no tweaks. It plays much like the original Bad Company's Conquest mode. Truth be told, it is not essential especially considering that you own Bad Company 2. Still fun though.

    In the first match I played in, some dude was playing an Eminem song through his mic. Suited the action perfectly. Lots of people just having a crack, no real strategy. I loved it.

  12. I love that, when there is no real strategy and just straight up mayhem. But you say not really worth it considering I have BC2. Oh well. I am hoping that Vietnam is actually good, although I am sceptical. They released a Vietnam game, the M60 ruled all. Someone in DICE must love the M60, because that gun has owned in every single Battlefield game.

    Keen to hop on tonight and play some BC2, you down bro? Also, got my headphones, they are sex, but most importantly, it comes with a mic, so we can actually have a strategy, instead of trying to telepathically tell each other where to go! LOL

  13. I saw the Giant Bomb review, and fair enough. However, like a good fan of the developer, I will engage with the mismatched pair of killers and probably end up really digging it. It's the attention to detail that I love in IO games, especially their adult Hitman/K&L franchises. Sure, they're not smooth or refined when compared to the big AAA games, but they've always got them beat in atmosphere and ambiance.

  14. Where did Hitman go? I've all but one of Agent 47's adventures: Contracts. I do love the visual style of K&L2, but then again so does anyone who has seen it. Keen to hear your impressions however.

    Sambo - you are on my brother. KABLOW!

  15. Sorry I wasn't on last night bro! I went to Lisa's parents place for dinner, than cranked up some Skate 3 action! Man I love the Skate series. it is so much fun to just roll around.

    Swing me a message when you want to pop on BC2, if you see me on. I will just pop out of whatever I am playing.

  16. No worries Sambo. Skate 3 any good? I've seen it cheap, but do not know whether I am ready to love again. Had a good session last night. Revived so many wookies. Probably won't be on this weekend as I will be in Brisbane though. Might see you around the traps.

  17. Sounds good dude. Yeah I enjoy the Skate series a lot though. I spent a lot of time on Skate 2, and Skate 3 is not a massive step forward, but there is enough to differentiate it. I like underflips, they are pretty cool to smack down in the middle of a combo!

    yeah i need to finish off the medic levels, then I am done! I will have all weapons and all that jazz.