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BattleField-Bad-Company-2-Review

Let me just say this right now.  Bad Company 2 is the most fun I’ve ever had playing an online FPS.  Period point blank.  While the world is still fixated on all things MW2, BC2 doesn’t get the due credit it deserves.  From mind numbing action, to eye popping visuals and squad dynamics, BC2 is the definitive online shooter of 2010.

Coming into this review thinking I wanted to stay away from direct MW2 comparisons, I quickly decided that that would be near impossible.  With that being said, I’ve spent a lot of time playing both games, but as soon as I got wrapped up in playing BC2, I was consumed.  It’s the only game I’ve ever been able to convince friends to buy, and the only FPS I felt compelled enough to acquire all the guns and gadgets.

While there are some flaws that persist, nothing takes away from the level of immersion and squad camaraderie I felt while playing BC2.  Having played BC1 extensively, Dice has achieved enormous success with bringing BC2 face to face with MW2 and generally outshining it.

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Plot/Single Player Campaign:

IGN made a big deal about the single player campaign lacking wow moments and if you bought the game solely to play by yourself that you’d be disappointed.  I agree with IGN in terms of the single player campaign not being all that awesome, but I really doubt anyone buying BC2 even cares at all about that.

Most people will probably play through it once on hard to get the majority of the achievements and then forget about it.  It was far better than the first one, and sure Dice has a little way to go when it comes to immersion and resonance, but I’m more than willing to come them as much slack as possible.

The graphics are stunning in some places with gorgeous vistas leaving you with an unprecedented sense of depth.  The dialog, while still oddly random at places is more refined and less cheesy than the first but still a little questionable.  The plot is more tangible this time around to some degree, and I really liked the throwback WW2 opening sequence.

The whole campaign will last between 5-7 hours depending on your lollygagging, and there are the collectible weapons and M-Com boxes to keep you exploring the lush landscapes.  Beyond that, the story is of your normal “keep the super weapon at bay” type of scenario that is more interesting than that first, but not all that engrossing.

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Graphics:

Cornea bursting.  Coming from the muted tones of MW2, I was ripped in half by how awesome BC2 looked.  Everything about the visuals exuded this quality sheen that could not be denied.  The character models, landscapes, vehicles, and particle effects drove me into a frenzy of bliss every time I played.

The environments and foliage were done to great effect and the destruction 2.0 really allowed for some torn up battlefields.  Speaking of destruction 2.0, watching a building totally crumble in front of your eyes is quite awe inspiring.  Only some of the building are capable of this and it will be nice for Dice allow the decimation of all structures in BC3.

I did encounter some minor screen tearing here and there but I was really impressed with the way the game handled the massive amounts of destruction that was constantly going on around you.  The maps are large and beautifully detailed.  MW2 may have some more unique detailing with the one-off video camera in the corner of some back room and random knick-knacks strewn about, the maps in BC2 are easily between 3-5x larger in overall size, allowing for a true battlefield to develop.  The end result is that BC2 looks absolutely amazing and easily trumps the chalkboard visuals of MW2.

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Sound:

The sound design in BC2 is so ridiculously sweet it makes MW2 sound like a cat try to scratch its way out of a paper bag.  With explosions going off in all directions my sub-woofer sounded like it was giving birth to a pile of 40mm grenade shells.  All the guns packed a audible wallop and you could really feel the virtual kickback and overall sense of the weapon at hand.

The atmospheric effects are also sweet, like the wind and snow blowing by you or the squelch of the radio.  I recommend using the sound setting “War Tapes” for the most brutal EQ settings, just be wary of your sub-woofers level, especially if you have neighbors.

I did notice some level of peaking and distortion when you win or lose a multiplayer session but other than that I was astounded by the quality of the sound design.  Not much has changed from the first game but that doesn’t matter as BC1 had the same killer audio.

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Gameplay/MultiPlayer:

BC2 is the first time where I really felt the importance of character class and kit construction.  The squad mechanics are now super tight and dynamic and really keep the multiplayer sessions moving forward.  Spotting enemies for your teammates is spectacular and while a little cheap sometimes, (just pressing the back button repeatedly when moving your reticle while scanning the horizon will pick up dudes you don’t actually see) it is a great additive to cooperative team play.

The controls are responsive and the gunplay feels accurate and engaging.  The vehicles control better this time around and react better in the field of battle in terms of not being to weak or too overpowering.  The controls for the helicopters were a bit easier this year, but are still too difficult for my liking even though I applaud the players out there who have mastered the art of strafing runs.

At first I kind of missed the killcam replays found in MW2, but after a little while I became proficient using the live came of my killer to warn squad mates about the enemies location and where potential fire was coming from.

Sometimes it was hard to navigate the terrain because you get stuck on some of the environment.  That seems to happen quite often, and while annoying it only barely detracts from the immense amounts of fun your having.  The other thing I had a problem with was the lack of blast radius and accuracy found in RPG’s and 40mm grenade fire.  Way too many times a dude remained unscathed after I fired a grenade right on top of him or blew the walls out from around him.  Beyond that, I had no other problems with the gameplay and found to be completely fantastic.

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Replay Value:

While the single player campaign doesn’t offer a whole lot in terms of replay value, the Multiplayer modes will keep you gaming for months.  Between leveling up your profile to collecting all the insignias and kit gear, BC2 really gives you a lot to work towards.  I was hoping for some more guns and character skins (all the WW2 weapons, since there’s already a lot just in the first level of single player), but hopefully Dice will give us some more kit equipment in addition to some new maps in the months to come.

Loading between maps is kept to a minimum and respawn times aren’t that bad either.  Sometimes finding or staying in a squad can be a pain, but you learn to deal with it accordingly.  Time will tell when this game loses steam but I just logged my 48th hour of online play last night.

Final Endings:

Words cannot accurately describe just how much you will love this game.  If you enjoy online FPS games even remotely, you owe it to yourself to give Battlefield Bad Company 2 a try.  Huge maps with vehicles and objectives that keep the game moving.  Add bright, detailed graphics and robust gameplay into the mix, and you have an absolute masterpiece in the making.  Not a perfect game, Dice is certainly on their way.

Pros:

  • Stellar visuals and sound
  • Effective and accurate gameplay
  • Hours upon days of fun

Cons:

  • Some technical glitches
  • Short and uninspired single player
  • Weak blast radius

Buy Battlefield Bad Company 2 here for $53! (Xbox 360)










Jeff B