Saturday, April 3, 2010

Battlefield Bad Company 2 Review: Blowing things up is fun

Battlefield has finally come back to the PC and with dedicated servers for the PC market as well as destructible environments how will this game deliever? I got this game through Stream through their 4-Pack special which is/was going on. Of course this game is available on the PS3 and Xbox360 as well since it's launch date on March 2, 2010.

The story is exactly what you would expect from any shooter game where it's main focus is in the multiplayer, its cheesy, simple, and predictable. I don't mean that in a bad way. In Bad Company 2 you play as Marlowe whose squd, composed of Sarge, Haggs and Sweets, was sent on a simple recon mission where they dragged into a fight that they didn`t want to be in and have to end up saving the world. The plot is simple and even the twists in the story make it pretty predictable to know how it`s all going to end.

I guess the only real way to talk about this is to compare it to shooters that are out today (Call of Duty, Halo). You shot, you kill. The biggest difference in this game is that you have destructible environments, meaning that you can`t hide and you can`t camp. Vehicles make it even harder for you to stay in 1 spot because there is almost no hiding from a tank that has you in it`s sights.

There is a wide variety in guns in this game, and you unlock then as you play by picking them up. In single player mode there are cargo boxes that you have access to so that you can reload on ammunition or swap out any guns you want with the ones you have already unlocked. The AI does a really good job at shooting at the enemies but almost never actually killing them. You pretty much have to kill everyone yourself while your team is just shooting runs around enemies. One thing I found really annoying is that when you are inside a building it is really hard to tell where someone is shooting you from because their bullets can penetrate through the walls and there is almost no point in hiding when someone is shooting at you with a RPG or a tank. This did cause a lot of frustration but I guess like all FPS games you can easily get over it by just memorizing the enemies locations and spawn points.

This game isn`t really that diverse when it comes to the number of vehicles you can use. There are your stands, jeeps, tanks, helicopters, ATVs and UAVs. It doesn`t compare to amount of vehicles you would get in other Battlefield games but using them is a lot easier as well.  I remember in the old Battlefields it felt like you actually need to know how to pilot a plane before u can fly it properly, but this one the controls are very intuitive.

The environments are exactly what you would think they are, breathtaking. With large environments for you to run around in (with or without a vehicle. It doesn't make you feel that you are stuck on a linear path (Final Fantasy XIII). The environments keeps you busy by giving you a large environment to play around in. You can knock down trees, buildings, vehicles, and just about any other thing you think would blow up.

If you take Valve's Team Fortress 2 and Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare 2, and throw in vehicles and destructible environments, you will get Bad Company 2. The class system works similarily to the one in Team Fortress 2, where assiting your teammates and doing your job (as your class) will allow you do get a much better score than if you were to just Rambo it. Weapons are unlocked by leveling up your rank or unlcoking them by picking them up in single player mode.

What makes me sad is that the game is not actually part of Steam, you get it from Steam but everything is handled by in-game stores and the whole EA Account stuff. Doesn't  EA own Valve? Why wouldn't you want to place your good FPS games on a single platform and instead merge Bad Company 2 with the sports category games? The only games I can think that use the EA Account thing system are the Need for Speed titles and all the sports games that EA has. Maybe Valve said no? Who knows.

Players can choose between 4 classes: Assault (Where players can help bring ammunition to teammates), Engineer (Where players can help repair vehicles), Recon (Where players play as snipers), and Medic (Where players can revive teammates that are dead). It doesn't seem like a lot but take into the factor that you can customize whatever weapons you want to carry as well changing even the type of body armour that you wear it becomes clear that a well balanced team will cam easily be success with online matches.

What seems to be lacking is the number of modes that are offered online. There are 4 modes: Rush, Conquest, Squad Deathmatch, Squrad Rush. Rush is where a team of up to 12 players has to defend or destroy these M-COM stations on the map. In Conquest it is similar to the typical Capture the Flag game but the players must hold the flag for as long as they can. Squad Deathmatch is where players team up in parties of 4 and just kill as many other squads as possible. In Squad Rush it's pretty much the same a Rush except with less players.

As I have said before, this game looks great and has a fairly decent amount of detail in it. Sure there are parts of the game where textures don't seem to load as fast as you want them to. But overall the games visuals, really helps bring out the epic-ness of the game. You will find yourself in a wide range of environtments, from the snowy mountain tops to the sandy deserts to the wild jungles (okay I couldn't think of a good adjective). The game takes you around the world and that isn't only the single player, the multiplayer maps have this diversity as well.

Explosions, check. Guns, check. Vehicles, check. Falling buildings, check. Fall trees, check. Cheesy stereotypical American accents and speak? check. This game has it all. Sure the lines they say are really cheesy and stupid and fall perfectly in the American loving yankee soldier but I like it, it puts a smile on my face.

Overall, this is an incredibly addicting game. The single player campaign only lasts about 7 hours and will give you an extendsive tutorial for what's to come in the multiplayer part of the game. Even with the lack of modes (and hopefully more to come) what the came comes packed with is really addicting, you will find youself wanting to play game quite a bit because blowing things up is just that much fun. If you still have debates about this game, you are missing out on some great multiplayer fun.

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