Battlefield: Bad Company 2

by on Mar.10, 2010, under Reviews

Those of us at PSKL who enjoy a good first person shooter have been having mixed feelings about the games currently on the market. Let me preface this by saying we’re not new to FPS games. Our love for them dates back to the DOOM/Castle Wolfenstein days, but really took off around the time Unreal Tournament hit the shelves. Since then we’ve tried just about every one of them to hit the pc market (don’t even bring up consoles), most recently with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

While MW2 is entertaining, it’s lacking. It’s lacking a lot. The single player compaign, while good, is very short. Normally the quality of the single player campaign is in direct relation to the pure awesomness of the multiplayer. The shorter and more unforgetable the single player game, the better the multiplayer is. Usually. Not so in this case. Their matchmaking system is complete garbage. The amount of cheating that goes on in that game is something that’s so blatant and unprecedented that I’ve been speechless numerous times at the amount of cheaters per game. It seems to take their VAC system days to ban players who cheat and even then getting back into the system takes nothing more then 20 dollars on a forum to get a new cd key and signing up for another free Steam account. There have been lots of problems with their P2P game hosting setup where you wait for the 60 second timer to count down the start of a new game only to be kicked from the game for some unknown error or you end up playing a game on a machine that’s apparently on a dial-up connection. All of this leads to an amount of frustration that makes the game more of a job then fun.

Enter Battlefield: Bad Company 2. I’ve been an avid fan of the Battlefield series since the very beginning. I’m not a huge fan of playing games based on military history like Vietnam or World War II. That’s not to say I think the previous games were bad, it just didn’t appeal to me as much as something based on new technology. Everyone has a preference for the games they enjoy and mine happens to be games based on modern or near future warfare. While this game is a sequel, the original Bad Company was only released for consoles (awful idea) so I really don’t have anything to say about that game. I don’t play FPS games on consoles. Period. Bad Company 2 managed to take the Battlefield series and make it fresh again yet also capitalize on the mistakes of IW and the COD franchise.

Let’s start with the single player campaign. It’s ‘OK’. I know you were probably expecting me to rave about it because of my previous statements about Modern Warfare 2, but honestly it’s just ‘OK’. It’s a short campaign that brings back the team from the original Bad Company yet doesn’t really explain what happened previously or why they have the name “Bad Company”. Since I haven’t had any experience with the original, it would have been nice if the two games were tied together a little bit better to bring new players up to speed. It also managed to not get me hooked on the team. The characters are decent, although full of cliche, but at the end of the campaign I still felt like I could care less about what happened to any of them.

With the single player campaign down, it’s time to move on to any FPS fans favorite part. The multiplayer. I’ll admit that I hate EA with such a passion that I normally refuse to play any game they have a part in. They manage to gobble up interesting games and franchises, then fire the original team and turn great titles into crappy games before moving on to the next hot item. I wasn’t thrilled with Dice using EA to distribute the game, but my love for Battlefield trumped my hatred for EA.

All online games have problems at launch. It’s inevitable. Whether it’s MMORPG’s or FPS games or even RTS titles, if they have a centralized server that needs to be contacted to play, chances are it’s going to be overwhelmed on release day and cause problems. BC2 was no exception. Log in problems, server kicks/restarts, lost points, poor performance. All these things plagued BC2 in the first couple of days. If this was any normal title, or a series that was new to the market, it would have spelled doom for the title and franchise. Dice managed to escape by making the best game of the year, and I’ll even go so far as to say the best game in the history of the FPS genre.

BC2’s game play is more immersive then any game I’ve played to date. Everything is done with such thought and detail that it’s hard not to get lost in it. From the deafening noise of a rocket going off next to you, to the creaks of steel support beams of buildings that just had it’s last load bearing wall blown out, everything sounds and looks amazing.

The Frostbite engine gives this game a level terrain destruction that is unprecedented. Everything can, and will be, destroyed. Is there a sniper camped out in a building causing trouble for your squad? No problem, bring the building down with some tank fire. Having a hard time keeping the enemy squad from disarming your m-com charge? Then lace the building with C4 and blow it up while the other team rushes in to try and thwart your efforts.

Everything in this game is hyper-realistic and done very well. The vehicle combat is difficult to learn yet engaging and rewarding. The 4 types of classes are all done well and serve specific purposes while also being able to compete with each other. That’s not to say there aren’t some balance issues, but for the most part they’re well thought out. The reloading animations are some of the best out there and the maps are gigantic. They give the Modern Warfare 2 maps a claustrophobic feeling.

After playing BC2, I’ve gone back to MW2 exactly 0 times. It was a decent game in a good franchise, but I realize now that what made me like Modern Warfare so much was that it was almost what I wanted to play. It was the best game in it’s market at the time and for that I enjoyed the hell out of it. The problem for MW2 now is that Battlefield: Bad Company 2 IS exactly what I wanted from this genre of game. It’s a modern millitary themed game that not only takes personal skill to play but also requires a level of team synergy that makes the multiplayer game much more enjoyable.

Check out the details of our PSKL dedicated BFBC2 server!

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