- Quality gameplay and visuals
- Doesn’t bring destruction 2.0 or multiplayer classes
- Multiplayer connectivity
- Iffy replay value
I still can’t believe I can play an online First Person Shooter on my iPhone 4. My how mobile gaming has changed. EA’s response to Gameloft’s Modern Combat series is a valiant one. While perhaps not quite as polished as the aforementioned game, Bad Company 2 for the iPhone is a quality title, especially now during EA’s holiday sale where each game is only 99 cents. Make no bones about it, this review will inevitably be a direct comparison to Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus as I have played both games.
Graphics and Presentation:
EA did a great job bringing a taut first person world to the iPhone 4. The retina display is positively a spectacle to behold. Draw distances, while generally pretty short, look beyond crisp and clear. The guns all look realistic in comparison to their console counterparts and enemy soldiers and vehicles also look great up close and from afar. Backgrounds look decent given the scope, and all the colors pop on the retina display. Gunfire is also quite competent looking with stray bullets hitting the environment and making their presence known.
The explosion and soldier animations sort of look like they’re running at half speed but I’m willing to make the concession due to the technical achievement of games like these. The detail of the level design isn’t quite as cultivated as MC2BP, but it still deserves an honorable mention nonetheless. Some of the major specifics found in the console versions of Bad Company are not present in the mobile game such as destruction 2.0 and classes in multiplayer, but that is pretty much to be expected given the platform. Also to be noted is that the environments are mostly recycled throughout the game as you progress from woodlands to snowy woodlands to desert locales. However, it must be said that the game tries to change it up as much as possible and there are other areas such as night levels as well as other indoor scenarios.
The menus and presentation are spot-on and use some of the same images found in the console versions. Not much can be said negatively about menu performance and you can tell that EA didn’t want the consumer to see the as a game cheap knock off of the Modern Combat series.
The sound in BFBC2 is nothing like it’s console brethren, but it hold’s its own on the iPhone’s tiny little speaker. The same voice actors portray the characters known on consoles and it’s cool that EA went for that level of synchronicity making BFBC2 not a cut and dry name recognition cash grab. If you’ve played any of the last two Bad Companies you’ll easily recognize Marlowe, Preston, and the gang as they engage in a run of the mill type of military scenarios. The guns don’t sound all that different from each other and explosions lack the thunderous applause coming from the iPhone’s tiny speaker. Using headphones will be to your great advantage as all sounds are heightened as long as you don’t mind the protruding plug. I’ve read some negative remarks in other reviews bagging on the crap sound in this game, but I must say that I found them to be decent across the board. After all, this game is only a dollar peoples!
Anybody that’s played a touch screen FPS knows that mobility and run-and-gun style gameplay takes some proficiency. While a true analog playability is still a ways off for touchscreen controls, BFBC2 plays pretty well. You’ll find your left thumb slipping around while trying to navigate the terrain leaving you a bit vulnerable at times, but the game doesn’t punish you for it. Regenerative health keeps you in the game longer than it would on consoles due to the lack of mobility. The game is linear for the most part and doesn’t really reward for finding empty rooms. There is a constant arrow at the top of the screen, which lets you know where you need to be going so deviating from the path is rather fruitless. Gunplay is decent with a nifty auto-aim to help you shift your reticle towards your target. Toggling the iron sights is helpful as well, but moving it around is painfully slow. Controlling vehicles is also a bit rudimentary, but it wouldn’t be a Battlefield game without them.
Multiplayer and Replay Value:
Multiplayer is actually pretty fun, when I could stay connected. Only deathmatch and team deathmatch are offered with just 4 players allowed to occupy games but still, like I said before, I’d never imagine playing games like this on my phone. The maps are large enough, but the gameplay isn’t like on consoles as there’s not a lot of running for cover once you get shot at and you usually die. It’s still a good time and when the connection is solid, so is the gunplay and lack of lag. I did have a problem staying in games over Wi-Fi and 3G, so I hope the performance will improve over time.
The story is nothing to call home about with your crew of rag tag military homies going from here to there trying to blow up stuff and following HVT’s. Again, you don’t really mind because everything else about the game is top notch. Helping the replay value is a fair amount of achievements and medals to keep you coming back for more, if you care about that sort of thing of course.
After the campaign is over, I can’t see myself going back for more, but the whole game only costs a measly 99 cents. Think about what you spend a dollar on, and you simply can’t beat this value. While not as awesome as Modern Combat 2, right now it’s at a fraction of the price. I really enjoyed all this game had to offer. Who cares about the story and character development when you can fire automatic weapons in lush 3D environments. As my buddy Shuggies says, “get after it”.