The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
Nothing improves competition like a great rivalry. After years as
the kingpin of military multiplayer, Battlefield creator DICE found its
title in jeopardy as FPS gamers abandoned PCs in favor of consoles and
Call of Duty became the gold standard. At the core of Infinity Ward’s
world-beating shooter was the Battlefield blueprint. The studio
borrowed the persistent rankings and unlockable weapons concepts from
Battlefield 2, refined them to unprecedented levels, and matched its
robust online offering with an expertly crafted single-player campaign
featuring thrilling scripted sequences that put action flicks to shame.
Not content to settle for second place, DICE throws down the gauntlet
with Bad Company 2, delivering its best multiplayer package since
Battlefield 2 and a remarkably improved single-player campaign that
openly mocks its rival while cribbing from them at the same time.
with all Battlefield titles, a phenomenal multiplayer mode serves as
the heart of Bad Company 2. The game successfully blends many
innovations from the series’ past with impressive new features to
create a robust experience that rightfully challenges Modern Warfare
for the multiplayer crown. All the Battlefield staples return – player
progression, rankings, squad groupings, unlockable weapons, and huge
maps that allow players to attack via land, air, and sea. The deep
progression system constantly dangles the carrot of achievement in
front of you, offering a wealth of unlockable weapons, gadgets, and
specializations with nearly every round. An impressive array of pins
and insignia document your battlefield prowess, and the dog tags return
as boast-worthy incentives to knife unsuspecting enemies.
and Rush still serve as the multiplayer pillars, but Bad Company 2 also
introduces two new change-of-pace modes. Squad Rush places a
four-player team in the role of attackers who must best the four
defenders by destroying two crates. Squad Deathmatch, on the other
hand, pits four teams of four against each other in a battle for kill
counts and bragging rights. Both modes feature more intimate maps and
take much less time to complete than the standard Rush mode. Teamwork
and coordination are stressed to new degrees as well. Keeping close
proximity to your squad is essential for reviving fallen teammates,
which can spell the difference between successfully defending a crate
and losing it while half your squad waits to respawn.
multiplayer modes are complemented by a fantastic array of maps. Many
pay homage to great maps from Battlefield’s past, and the diversity in
locale and terrain assures every battle plays out differently. Some
concentrate on vehicular combat, where controlling the air with
choppers or mounting an assault with tanks are the keys to winning the
war, while others stress infantry tactics in tighter urban locales.
These expertly crafted environments are a far cry from their cramped
and frantic counterparts in Modern Warfare 2, giving players room to
orchestrate coordinated assaults.
A pair of useful new tools
bolster the team tactics. The spotting mechanic helps improve
communication by allowing players to mark enemy positions as they
identify movement on the battlefield. In addition, the overpowered
artillery from Bad Company has been removed in favor of a player-guided
UAV that allows you to track and mark enemy movements from above
between missile barrages.
DICE made many logistical changes to
the multiplayer experience, but failed to address some other minor
hindrances. You can finally kick unwanted players from your squad to
make room for a buddy, but large groups will gripe when their party
gets split by the sometimes unaccommodating matchmaking system. The
sketchy statistics updater still takes awhile to post the results from
your most recent match (a legacy problem that’s plagued Battlefield for
years), and the annoying kill cam is sure to anger players using the
recon class because it gives away sniping positions. Snipers also won’t
be pleased that DICE once again doesn’t allow players to go prone.
Thankfully, you can ditch the kill cam in the new Hardcore mode, which
also turns off many HUD elements and increases the damage to deliver a
more realistic war experience.
As great as the multiplayer is,
DICE takes its biggest strides forward with the drastically improved
solo campaign. The follow-up to the Swedish studio’s first attempt at a
crafting a meaningful single-player experience finds success in
mimicking some of the best games to date – keen gamers will notice
borrowed elements from Call of Duty and Uncharted 2 sprinkled
throughout the campaign. The most drastic improvement comes with its
renewed sense of pacing. By ditching large open-world environments in
favor of a more linear path, DICE is better able to craft memorable
scripted sequences that the first game sorely lacked. Amazingly, DICE
pulls this off without sacrificing the player’s sense of freedom – the
levels are still big enough to offer several tactical options for
players to explore.
The jokers from B Company resume their role as the loveable heroes, but DICE trades in the humorous Three Kings storyline
of the first game in favor of a more somber mission. When the U.S.
learns the Russians are after a secret WMD the Japanese developed
during WWII, a routine mission turns into a globetrotting escapade that
takes B Company from the jungles of South America to the peak of the
Andes mountains. Though the stakes are higher, that doesn’t stop Sarge,
Sweetwater, Haggard, and Marlowe from cracking jokes at each other’s
expense. The comedic dialogue shines throughout the game; these
eccentric soldiers have more personality than all the protagonists from
Call of Duty, Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon, and Medal of Honor combined.
number of subtle improvements keep the campaign moving along with the
clip of a Hollywood blockbuster. DICE ditched the health syringe from
the first game in favor of a regenerative health system, the forgiving
checkpoint system doesn’t punish players, and you never have to babysit
your more-than-capable squad during the intense firefights. The only
thing the campaign lacks is co-op; since four heroes are already
fighting side-by-side throughout the game, this was a missed
opportunity for DICE to one-up the competition.
campaign doesn’t top the brilliant set pieces found in Modern Warfare,
the drastic improvements bring it near the level of Infinity Ward’s
juggernaut. Placed in tandem with the exceptional multiplayer, Bad
Company 2 is a memorable shooter that should be a favored destination
on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network for much of 2010.
Email the author Matt Bertz, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.
Wow, what a fun ride. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 brings the boys from
Bravo Company back and sets them on another crazy adventure they didn’t
ask for. Delivering an experience on par with a summer blockbuster
movie, the single-player campaign took me on an adventure through South
America that spanned snow-covered mountains and rainy, dense jungles.
Explosive set pieces, mysterious weapons, and wisecracking squad
members kept me hooked through to the end – but the real star is the
amazing multiplayer. DICE has brought the magic of Battlefield 2 to the
living room with some of the most balanced and addictive online
multiplayer I’ve ever seen. With the blend of new ideas and
improvements from the previous title, Bad Company 2 is set to become a
juggernaut in the multiplayer space.