Thursday, January 28, 2010

Battlefield: Bad Company 2

If you’re reading this, then you’ve managed to find a spare few minutes to drag yourself away from Modern Warfare 2. Yes, we know, it’s difficult – you’ve just got the Ninja perk and launched your first Tactical Nuke. But you also have the intelligence to appreciate that Modern Warfare 2 isn’t the absolute and final word in war-based online multiplayer.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 was always likely to be dogged with comparisons to Call of Duty. But the simple fact is that the Battlefield series has always presented multiplayer on a much grander scale, and for a longer period of time.

The dusty, bleached-looking level we sampled, set on America’s Pacific coast, has typical Battlefield magnitude. An evolution of the original Bad Company’s ‘Gold Rush’ mode (now just called ‘Rush’), your mission to defend or destroy two important locations will, as always, rely as much on transport as on-foot soldiers.

Gordon Van Dyke, producer of numerous Battlefield titles, admits to us that vehicles have felt a little fragile in past games. Not so here – tanks feel thunderous and weighty (not to mention devastating), while armored trucks and quad bikes are rapid but not quite so unstable. Of course, the finely honed ‘paper, scissors, stone’ nature of Battlefield games (Bad Company 2 being “the best tuned Battlefield to date”, according to Van Dyke) means these vehicles aren’t invincible.

Each of the four classes (Medic, Assault, Recon and Engineer) has explosive methods to dispatch armor. Plus, tactically maneuvering the fight from open, treacherous land to intense street combat is a specialty that DICE have been perfecting nicely since Battlefield 2 back in 2005.

In our hands-on we got a chance to play in two teams of five (rather than the full 24 players), so the colossal maps did feel a bit empty. Respawning back in base could mean a huge trek to get back into the action if you’re an invading force. This did, however, give us the opportunity to try different approaches of attack; storming in with a tank, sneaking round the flank on an ATV or advancing quietly up through cover on foot, for example.

The two-man tank combo is as devastating as ever. With one man driving and operating the turret to take down other vehicles, the second man on the machine gun mops up any sneaky beggars trying to place charges on you. Killy goodness. The arcade feel to the driving suits the game just fine, and makes rolling a vehicle fun instead of a pain in the ass.

Like all Battlefield games, there’s a near vertical learning curve. If you’re new to the series, don’t even think about going online without some offline practice first. If not, get used to respawning and super accurate snipers. As you gain ranks, you’ll attain more ways to customize your soldier, including familiar upgrades like more grenades and unlimited sprinting.

Luckily, the early guns are relatively lethal, so a skilled player will still have a shot at beating veterans, although some might opt for support classes before attempting to take on everyone toe-to-toe. Still, when in comparison to MW2, the guns are noticeably less powerful. The survivability of everyone is necessary so that Medics actually have something to do – if everyone died in a couple of shots, you’d never get a chance to heal anyone.

Developers DICE know that Bad Company 2’s long term appeal lies in the multiplayer but are keen to stress that the single-player campaign has also been given more attention than ever. As you’d hope, Sarge, Sweetwater, Haggard and Marlowe of B-Company return but the tone is darker and the attitude more mature – something highlighted by the fact that they’re in conflict with the Russians while simultaneously attempting to neutralize a substantial weapon threat in South America. Certainly more righteous than lining their pockets with gold.

Such a mission will take B-Company across Chile – from the snow-capped mountains of the Andes, to barren desert, to tropical rainstorms in central Chile. DICE want to deliver the feeling of open-world freedom but also put you in controlled, exciting situations and from what we’ve seen so far that’s exactly the case. Bad Company 2 looks like it will be very good company indeed.


Post a Comment


  © Blogger templates ProBlogger Template by 2008

Games Never End

Back to TOP  

Enjoy Your Games