Battlefield: Bad Company 2


By: Tristan Clark    On: PlayStation 3
Published: Wednesday 3 Mar 2010 10:00 AM
 
 
 
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Okay, so it seems a lot of people like explosions in their game. And guns. And military conspiracies, secret weapons falling into the hands of enemies, and lots of shooting. Look at Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 - it sold exactly a kajillion copies late last year. With that kind of moolah floating around, it's no wonder that other companies are going to stand up and say, "I want me some of that!"

If you've already read other articles about Battlefield: Bad Company 2, you're probably already sick of the numerous comparisons to Modern Warfare. But it can't be helped - these games are, in many ways, much the same thing. It's like going to the movies to see two near-identical action movies, both starring a pair of loveable-yet-flawed cops as they work out their differences to take on the evil gang/corporation/grandmother.

Anything wrong with that? Not necessarily! Sure, Bad Company 2 borrows a heck of a lot from other games in the genre, but there's room in this town for more than one gun-slinging cowboy, particularly if it gets a few key things right.

All this is a roundabout way of saying that Bad Company 2 is better than Modern Warfare 2 in some ways, and worse in others. Judging it on its own merits, the game is a fairly entertaining - if horribly cliched - romp in singleplayer, and a hugely engaging experience in multiplayer.

Let's start with the campaign. It takes you through a wide variety of locales, from mountains to jungles and everywhere inbetween. You play as a member of Bravo Two, who are fresh from their adventures in the first game and looking to wind down a bit. However, the US military has other plans, and pretty soon you're on the hunt for a secret weapon of Unimaginable Power that needs to get extricated from the wrong hands, and put into the altogether more safe hands of the good guys.

Stock standard military popcorn plotline, right? Right. But it's a spectacle, and you can safely ignore much of the chatter of your squad when you're trying to hunt down that bastard with a rocket launcher who keeps killing you. So while I would have liked to see something a bit different with the storyline, rather than just a narrative that largely fails to reach Modern Warfare's level of polished bombast, I would argue that it doesn't matter one bit.

It's the gameplay that will keep you going through each mission, appropriately enough. Things are more linear this time round - you're constantly being pushed along from set piece to set piece. It's a very familiar setup, and when BC2 gets it right, you won't mind at all. Happily, the whole campaign can be breezed through in about 7-8 hours if you know what you're doing - which is much better than gunning down another 100,000 bad guys just so the game lasts longer.

The big thing BC2 has going for it is destructable structures. It's great fun getting hold of a rocket launcher or something else that goes boom, and just letting rip on some enemies entrenched in a building. Mind you, it means they can do the same to you, and some generally smart AI mixed with cover that doesn't stick around gives the battles a very dynamic feel. While it might be the only big thing that differentiates this from other games in the genre, it goes a long to making things feel fresh.

But while that's all well and good, this is a Battlefield game, and that means one thing: great multiplayer. Seriously, you should be buying this thing for the various online modes included here. Combined with the destructable environments and solid gameplay, they offer great value for those who love sniping strangers in the back of the head.

Much like the PC games of yore, the Conquest mode involves capturing and holding key locations on any given map. Doing so nets you more victory points and starts draining them from the other team. It's classic Battlefield gameplay, complete with squad tactics and customisable classes - it's just combined with buildings that fall apart. Personally, I really love the ability to neutralise a damn sniper by blowing up the tower he's hiding in.

Rush is a slightly different kettle of fish, involving sometimes ginormous maps and a lot of vehicles ot get around with. There are also the usual deathmatch modes if you like to keep things standard - but seriously, if you can deal with the typically steep learning curve found in online shooters, I can't stress enough how fun Conquest is.

Graphics, sound, music: they're all good. What else is there to really say? It's a triple-A shooter, after all - you expect things to be polished. BC2 does feature some really beautiful vistas in the game - if you can avoid being shot at for a minute, take a moment to sit back and soak it all in. The voice acting ranges from okay to cheesy, as you might expect. As usual, it's the sound effects and dramatic sweeping music that are the aural stars here.

Do we recommend this game? That's an easy one. If you're a fan of military shooters like Modern Warfare, and/or are looking for an extremely solid multiplayer game, look no further than Battlefield: Bad Company 2. If, on the other hand, you get overly bored by generic (if polished) storylines, or are sick of FPS gameplay that doesn't really change much - well, I'm not quite sure why you're still reading this review.


The Score

Battlefield: Bad Company 2
"Come for the multiplayer, stay for the multiplayer. "
8.8
Great
Rating: R16   Difficulty: Medium   Learning Curve: 15 Min

 

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Comments (16)

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Oliver
On Wednesday 3 Mar 2010 11:58 AM Posted by Oliver
Nice review. Will be picking this up at some stage, but not sure how I am going to afford it yet!
 
 
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Takuyafire
On Wednesday 3 Mar 2010 12:29 PM Posted by Takuyafire
I cant afford to get this game.

But Im getting it regardless...debt be damned.

I still think its going to be another BF game in that it will be a wee bit dodgy until about 1.4-1.5 patch...the BETA sort of gives that much away.

But if anything, buy this game for the sound...it just sounds cool...in every way
 
 
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Moneyshot
On Wednesday 3 Mar 2010 3:05 PM Posted by Moneyshot
Who buys any BF Game for the single player ??
The Destruction is key in this game you dont have to defuse the bomb or target, just blow the building up, plus punching holes in the side of a building to get a clear shot works wonders.
The frost bite tech that creates this shouldn't be just just a single line of comment as it changes the battlefield over the course of time, it is a big move up from other FFS of the same elk.
Also the ranking system is a big key.
 
 
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Asmodeus317 NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Wednesday 3 Mar 2010 3:20 PM Posted by Asmodeus317
3 March 2010, 03:05 PM Reply to Moneyshot
Who buys any BF Game for the single player ??
The Destruction is key in this game you dont have to defuse the bomb or target, just blow the building up, plus punching holes in the side of a building to get a clear shot works wonders.
The frost bite tech that creates this shouldn't be just just a single line of comment as it changes the battlefield over the course of time, it is a big move up from other FFS of the same elk.
Also the ranking system is a big key.
I would buy it for both the single player and the multiplayer, if I get sick of fighting less than predictable online players I'll just unwind and blow up some AI.
 
 
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Hato-kun
On Wednesday 3 Mar 2010 3:25 PM Posted by Hato-kun
I'm surprised there was no mention at all about the squad focus...
 
 
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Deanology NZGamer.com VIP VIP Gold
On Wednesday 3 Mar 2010 3:30 PM Posted by Deanology
I can't afford this either..
But i shall get it... maybe.... later on...
 
 
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SmurfWorks NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Thursday 4 Mar 2010 12:14 PM Posted by SmurfWorks
I think it earned a bit more than 8.8, considering MW2 earned 9.5! And you're saying it's better in some ways and worse in others - then it should really get the same score.

Considering MW2 wasn't much of a new game, and this definitely brings a new multiplayer experience to the original bad company.

I'd just like to add that the sound in this game is so intense with 5.1 surround, it would only get better with 7.1 and better. So why is the sound score so low?
 
 
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Soyerz NZGamer.com VIP VIP Silver
On Thursday 4 Mar 2010 8:39 PM Posted by Soyerz
Would be so much fun if I could afford it. But Final Fantasy XIII takes top marks unforcently (for BFBC2)
 
 
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BlackRetina
On Thursday 4 Mar 2010 9:01 PM Posted by BlackRetina
The first paragraph is fairly irrelevant in the context of Bad Company 2. It may have been inspired by Modern Warfare 2 to the effect where Dice and EA got together and agreed to make sure that the Dedicated servers they had planned didn't not happen. And I fail to see how Bad Company 2 borrows from other games to a point worthy of mention.

Later on in your review you even manage to spurt out "if you can deal with the typically steep learning curve found in online shooters" which implies this is one of those shooters with a steep learning curve. The game mechanics say otherwise.

As for your conclusion, this is largely based around the mutliplayer experience so mentioning so implying that a generic storyline is one of the deal-breaking downsides to this game is just horribly misguided. As is 'sick of fps gameplay that doesn't change much'. It takes pre-existing gameplay conventions, many of which the Battlefield series has had a huge hand in creating and simply advances them (and streamlines them for consoles). Those advancements are the reason why Bad Company 2 is a different game from Battlefield 2.

I realize you must have wanted to get this review out early but please take more care in future reviews.
 
 
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icequeen
On Friday 5 Mar 2010 9:24 AM Posted by icequeen
I want couldnt afford march always sux >:( god dammit but i will get!!!!........hopefully one day soon :D
 
 
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SpawnSeekSlay NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Saturday 6 Mar 2010 12:05 PM Posted by SpawnSeekSlay
Am keen to give this a go, certainly will try before i buy one friday night. But still too many games to get through and FFXIII will take priority on next buy
 
 
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ChatterboxZombie
On Monday 8 Mar 2010 4:48 PM Posted by ChatterboxZombie
I wonder if it'll actually let you break trees now
 
 
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BlackRetina
On Monday 8 Mar 2010 10:54 PM Posted by BlackRetina
8 March 2010, 04:48 PM Reply to ChatterboxZombie
I wonder if it'll actually let you break trees now
It only takes a sniper rifle bullet to knock a tree down.
 
 
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GayMan3000
On Wednesday 28 Apr 2010 8:04 PM Posted by GayMan3000
I love you Retina
 
 
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HiddenNijaNZ
On Monday 31 May 2010 9:30 PM Posted by HiddenNijaNZ
I am suprised you gave the sound a 7.5 when that is one of the amazing things about the game
 
 
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SkinBintin NZGamer.com VIP VIP
On Sunday 6 Jun 2010 9:02 PM Posted by SkinBintin
Game sounds great in all the reviews I've read, and played great in the few hours I played with a rental copy. I'll be picking this up for sure once I've got bored of Modern Warfare 2.

I have only recently found the time to get back in to gaming. And my first goal is to at least see level 70 in Modern Warfare 2. Investing my limited time in a different online shooter will take away the precious minutes from that goal. ;)
 
 
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