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Veteran Member - Level 12
*DISCLAIMER* If you don't want to know about Battlefield Bad Company 2 (Singleplayer) then don't read this blog as I might spoil it for you.
I wouldn't necessarily call this a review per se...but I suppose it kind of is. I just finished Bad Company 2 last night and now I'm going to blog about it, so I guess that's kind of like a review. But if you're expecting a score, an approval rating or a recommendation (or warning)...I don't really do that. I try and evaluate each game on it's own merits and while I may compare it to other games, I seldom try and say Game A is better or worse than Game B. Oh yeah...rarely do I just totally trash a game. As a novice modder and wannabe game developer, I know how much hard work goes into making a game, so the last thing I want to do is bash the efforts of others. However, if there is an obvious flaw or significant issue with it, I'll be honest and report it (kind of like my assessment of Modern Warfare 2).
A few comments before I begin...I played through the game on the PC Version. This is JUST about the singleplayer portion of the game and these are just MY thoughts. If you agree, yippee. If you don't...feel free to comment. All I ask is that you be constructive with your comments and not just call me a *** bag. (You can call me a *** bag, just tell me why LOL).
Okay...here we go...buckle up and enjoy the ride.
Bad Company 2 is good game. A great game even. It's certainly not perfect...it has a few flaws...a few annoyances and quirks that bothered me, but nothing so critical to keep me from loving the game. From start to finish it was mostly an enjoyable experience.
The thing that impressed me the most about the game was probably the graphics. Each level was stunning. Maybe not quite the same caliber as Far Cry 2 or Crysis...but close. Each map immerses you into the story with realisism and detailed settings. I don't know how many times I'd be riding in a HUMVEE, tank or even walking on foot and instead of paying attention to the bad guys I'm looking at my surroundings (nature, architecture, vehicles, etc).
Another equally impressive quality of the game was the characters, at least the core group of main characters. I thought the primary bad guy was kind of blah and the good guy helicopter pilot was a bit much (let's just say I wasn't too bothered with the last scene you see him in)...but the 4 main characters were very well developed. They had unique personalities made even more real with their accents and mannerisms. The language was a bit rough, but that's the way it is...so it was a nice touch. The dialogue and verbal exchanges were perfect and quite entertaining. I would often sit and wait just to listen to the dialogue. Of course there was the recently publicized piece about the soldiers of Bad Company 2 mocking Modern Warfare 2's heart beat sensors and special operations...which was kind of a "ballsy move", but that wasn't the part I thought was funny. I liked when the group discussed the Predator movie and also when the satellite came tumbling to earth and the one guy says, "That is the coolest thing I have ever seen". Bad Company 2 might have the best dialogue in a First Person Shooter game that I've ever seen.
I also enjoyed the cut scenes and thought they did a wonderful job meshing the sequences and gameplay into a unified story. It was refreshing to get far in a level and then be treated to an awesomely animated scene to transition to the next phase of the map. I thought it was perfectly balanced - the cut scenes weren't so long that you lose focus, and not so short you felt like you were missing something. It was basically a "catch your breath and get ready for more" moment.
Let's see, what else did I enjoy...
Oh yeah...weapons. Bad Company 2 has a great selection including the classics, like the AK-47, and some of the more modern day real world guns, like the XM8 or SCAR-L. They are beautifully modeled. They sound very real. Hearing the crack of the sniper rifle echo after making a ridiculously long shot is very rewarding. (Fist pumping and triumphant battle cries ensue).
While the destructible environments was a neat effect and added to the realism, I wasn't blown away with it. I think having already played a few games that have this feature resulted in the "wow factor" being slightly less. It's cool. It's neat. But it wasn't jaw dropping. Well okay...maybe a little. The one sequence where you're in the back of the HUMVEE manning the machine gun and driving alongside the river...you start mowing down everything in sight...trees...buildings...cars...oh yeah, and people too.
A few of the game scenes were pretty spectacular. I really enjoyed the airplane level - from start to finish. From blasting through each section of the airplane with seat foam floating in the air to jumping out of the plane without a parachute...it was a great level. Very memorable. I also liked the ship out in the desert, climbing around in it and rummaging around. A wonderful map.
So what didn't I like?
Well, this is going to sound bad...but the story was...kind of...hmm...it was just...meh.
I know. I know. Story is a very important part of the success of any game. The story was merely okay. It wasn't great. It wasn't original and earth shattering. But it was entertaining. While I expect a certain amount of "ridiculousness" in any game, there were a few things that really made me think, "Wow, that's stupid." The satellite level definitely comes to mind. While I thought shooting down the helicopter once was okay...it happened again and again to the point I was tired of shooting down helicopters.
There were a few little quirks that kind of got to me. I don't know how many times players would get caught up on various items and end up dragging it along for far too long, which would require me to try and juggle the guys around until they were finally free of the item. Maybe this just happened to me...but it happened with a piece of chain link fence a couple of times, a tree once and some other piece of rubble or debris. Again...minor...but just a little annoying.
It also seemed like you could skip part of the level if you just ran (or drove) past where all the bad guys were and got to the next check point. I didn't necessarily do this on purpose...but sometimes when you're taking heavy fire and you're trying to get clear and the next thing you know a cut scene comes up and moves you along to the next scene...it gets a little annoying...because all those bad guys that were just shooting at you are now gone.
Another thing I thought was a shortfall was the length and difficulty, granted I played it on the middle difficulty level...but I beat the game without much sweat. It's like reading a good book...the game just plays through smooth sailing. In a way its good because nobody likes a game that is a struggle to finish. This game certainly isn't a struggle to finish. As far as the difficulty, if you stay back (like with a sniper rifle) and dispatch the bad guys from a distance, there isn't much of a struggle. Sure, they'll take you down pretty quickly and efficiently if you get too close. So don't get close.
One other thing that bothered me was some of the military inaccuracies. The game included some specific military concepts yet some of them weren't entirely accurate. I mean, if you're going to research it and include it, then at least make it accurate. I know this is kind of nitpicking...and a lot of it has to do with me being in the military...but when the game includes something specific and it's wrong...it's a little annoying.
There is a point where you're driving in a convoy and the squad leader says remember your 5 and 25 or something along those lines. While it would be fitting on the bridge where there are a lot of wrecked cars and the convoy is attacked, it wasn't really appropriate when it was said...or at least I didn't think so.
The 5-and-25 refers to distances to “clear” any time a patrol or vehicle stops. Soldiers should look out for anything suspicious within a five-meter radius if they’re in a vehicle; if their vehicles stop, they should clear a 25-meter perimeter around the vehicles. In addition to bombs striking moving targets, patrols have been hit after being stationary for as little as four minutes, officials said.
I also didn't really get the whole "rogue" soldier mentality or "hippie" helicopter pilot...I know real special forces guys grow beards and don't always adhere to uniform regulations...but there were times when I felt like Bad Company 2 was taking place in the Vietnam timeframe instead of modern day.
While I'm at it...while I thought the main characters were modeled very well...gritty and realistic...I thought their weapons always looked "too perfect". Clean and perfectly polished. It was also annoying no matter what gun you were carrying...when it transitioned to a cut scene you were always carrying the same gun.
Again...the annoyances were very minor and didn't really detract from the overall quality of the game.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the game and am looking forward to playing the multiplayer side of it now that I've finished the singleplayer side of it. I've heard a lot of good things about the MP, so I'm sure it will be a load of fun.
I've heard some people say this is a potential Game of the Year contender. Maybe. Maybe not. I don't think it's that good. It definitely has a lot of competition in an otherwise flooded market of military themed First Person Shooters.
(Oh yeah...there is no built in screen shot capability - that sucks!)