How often is it you find a multiplayer first person shooter that isn’t just about shooting people in the face, but also focuses on the surroundings to make them as wonderful and as vibrant as they can? Well that’s what EA DICE have achieved with the breathtakingly brilliant looking Battlefield Bad Company 2.
With the massive campaign mode taking you to many different and beautiful looking locations such as Japan, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia and Venezuela, this second trip sees you not with the original Bad Company gang, but controlling another soldier in Japan 1944. You are on a mission called Operation Aurora to rendezvous with a Japanese defector where, of course, things do not quite go according to plan. The game progresses to present day when you are reunited with the Bad Company team in Russia, controlling the protagonist of the first Bad Company game, Preston Marlowe, in a mission to secure a weapon. Back at base the weapon is discovered to be a fake! Things take a dramatic downward spiral from here, and the Bad Company team take it upon themselves to find the real version of this weapon before it falls into the wrong hands.
The game takes on a whole new direction when it comes to destructibility. Whilst with most games you might see a tiny bit of debris fly about, in Battlefield Bad Company 2 you can shoot people through walls if you know their whereabouts, or if not you could simply blow the house up so it collapses on top of your enemies. All these things are possible with the Frostbite engine created by DICE. Having high levels of destructibility in a game, combined with the vehicles available allows you to ride quickly through parts of the levels, generally blowing things up just for the fun of it. Also rather than the traditional “health kits” dropped by medics in the older battlefield games, Battlefield Bad Company 2 utilizes a health regeneration feature. In multiplayer mode, the health kits dropped by medics only increase health regeneration, rather than outright healing a set amount.
Multiplayer mode offers a very wide and diverse range of maps based on those in the campaign mode. You have four “classes” to choose from: medic, engineer, recon and assault. Every class has its own collection of weapons and equipment, each serving a purpose for that class, although there are weapons that can be used by any class such as the shotgun. With each class there are unlocks you can gain specifically for it, and as you earn experience you gain the option to unlock extra weapons. With some classes it may be simply boosting your current equipment to offer better range or add more power, others may be gun unlocks specific to the class you are playing. Each class levels separately, and getting experience is pretty easy too. It’s not just simply about killing; as a medic you gain experience from healing people, and with engineers it’s repairing vehicles, so through the medic and engineer roles, Battlefield Bad Company 2 offers more to people who are not that comfortable with FPS multiplayers.
The multiplayer offers several different game modes including:
Rush: Players must defend or attack a set of M-COM stations, instead of a timer though, the server has a respawn ticket system, which goes down every time a player dies, when this reaches zero the game ends and the squad with the most M-CON kills after the attack and defend rotation wins.
Squad Rush: This is basically rush but with only 2 squads and one M-CON station.
Conquest: Players must capture flag points on the map by standing on them, the squad with the most flags captured when the respawn tickets run out, wins, the opposing squads tickets go down quicker though when a squad is controlling more than half the flags on the map.
Squad Deathmatch: There are 4 squads and the aim is simple, neutralize the enemy squads, the squad with the most kills at the end wins.
The first level of the game sort of acts like the introduction to the control system – you get commands from your squad leader and an icon pops up informing you what key does that action. All these controls resemble most FPS games though, so the basic controls will be familiar to most FPS gamers out there, however all these keys can be remapped in the options so if people prefer their own layout everything can be changed in the options.
Graphics and Sound
In Battlefield Bad Company 2 the graphics are clear and well thought of. It’s realistic when you start blowing stuff up, but can get overwhelming in the heat of battle. With dust flying everywhere it can get very hard to see and shoot at your enemies, but hey – in terms of realism, this is bang on! If you’re behind a barricade being shot at, of course you are going to get concrete in your eye! This is what makes the game realistic, although I did find that with the graphics set to high, in places like Bolivia, if the fight got to heavy then my system would lower the framerate. Also on the odd occasion for no apparent reason, the screen would start to tear and distort – like if a camera is being bashed with your fist whilst playing a video. This got rather disruptive, especially on some of the tricker levels.
In terms of sound, the realism was awesome with the weapons. They did not sound synthetic, and would echo in all the right places, giving the sense that you were in a real battle. Hearing footsteps would help you locate your enemies in houses as you could hear them clambering about on the wood. Simply shooting through the wood towards the source of the noise could kill those enemies – the realism provided by this is very enjoyable! The music score for Battlefield Bad Company 2 was composed by Mikael Karlsson and fitted in perfectly with the levels.
Battlefield has an average lengthed single player mode, albeit with awesome graphics and the ability to break and blow up just about everything. The multiplayer mode however is fun and very addictive, meaning that the longevity of this game is immense. Multiplayer first person shooters will not see things that battlefield has to offer for a long time, and that’s superior graphics with a gripping storyline and an epic online mode.