Review: Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)March 16th, 2010 | Written by Josh Schwartzman | Topic: PC, PlayStation 3, Reviews, Xbox 360
Battlefield has been around for a long time now and throughout the years we have seen the series evolve from standard multiplayer matches to gigantic 24 player onslaughts complete with vehicles (both land and air), various class integrations and solid campaign modes. While the single player campaign is nothing to write home about, Bad Company 2 does exhibit a very well-tuned multiplayer component that at times can be frustrating but ultimately rewarding.
Bad Company 2’s single player is probably not the highlight of the game for many, but it is solid enough to warrant a run-through. It does not matchup to Modern Warfare 2’s quality or sheer sense of adrenaline, but it has its moments that make it shine. What Bad Company 2 does have to call its own is a very diverse and comedic cast of soldiers for you to interact with and each one is as crazy as the next. Still, these dialogue moments between your comrades are about the only thing to keep you entertained throughout the campaign.
The campaign itself is a shallow affair of running from Point A to Point B and wiping out all the enemies you see in your way. The cheeky comments your squad mates blurt out make the tasks more bearable, but it doesn’t help that every level basically follows the same ornate path of linearity. The story, while contrived and highly predictable, is barely ever present at all and although you fight in different countries for the entire game, every battlefield looks the same with lush jungles, wooden shacks and tanks that come barreling in from the wayside. There are some neat moments, such as sniping enemies right as lightning strikes to silence your shots or assassinating a guy while skydiving, but these moments are far and few between and get lost in the mixture of repetitive gunplay.
Bad Company 2 does feature some nifty destruction textures that allow you to level anything you see. Can’t hit that sniper pinning you down? Simply aim a grenade at the beam holding up his perch and watch him fall to the ground. Everything around you can be reduced to rubble, and depending on if you are the shooter, or being shot at, it could end up being in your favor or against you. But as mentioned above, although these destruction mechanics work quite well and show off the game’s somewhat messy visuals, most of the game takes place in wooded areas and buildings that can be knocked down serve no purpose other than being backdrops.
But while nagging on the campaign could be seen as hate, DICE obviously spent most of their time polishing the multiplayer mode and it shows. The multiplayer is hands down the reason for picking up Bad Company 2, and although there are some technical issues, it is still better than 80% of the other multiplayer games out there. Bad Company 2 features four modes, Conquest, Rush, Squad Deathmatch and Squad Rush. Conquest is what Battlefield does best and this mode is the most popular and heavily played of any mode in Bad Company 2.
Conquest mode puts opposing teams on opposite sides of a gigantic map in efforts to capture flags scattered around the world. Simply enough, the team to capture and hold the most flags for the longest time wins. Capturing flags not only gives you points but allows members of your team to respawn at that location as well. Rush is similar to “bomb” type of matches where one team defends and one team attacks. The attacking team must scout out various M-COM stations to destroy while the defending team must try to stop them. Squad Rush puts a spin on the mode by having both teams attack and defend at the same, creating some truly brutal mayhem.
The destruction from the single player can also be accessed in the multiplayer mode and buildings can topple during any firefight. But perhaps the biggest intrigue of multiplayer is controlling vehicles, and no game manages vehicle warfare combat better. Tanks, helicopters, RV Quad, Armored Cars and more can be used to help you kill the enemy or simply traverse large areas of land. Each of the bigger vehicles (such as the tank and helicopters) has weapons that definitely can help turn the tide of the battle into your favor. But like all good things, there is always that one person who can take you down just as easily.
Bad Company 2 also features an expansive class system that lets players choose the style they would like to play as. Assault class lets players use powerful rifles with grenade gun attachments, Recons use sniper rifles and C4, Medics can revive downed allies and pack light machine guns, while Engineers can fix broken vehicles and shoot down enemy vehicles with rocket launchers. Determining which class is needed for any specific situation is key to winning battles and sometimes you will find yourself playing a class you don’t normally like just to get the benefits of killing an enemy.
The multiplayer matches are all gigantic, fast paced battles that tend to last ten minutes or more, but there are still some technical issues that hamper all this fun. For starters, knifing an enemy could be an excruciating ordeal and even when you get right up next to an enemy and swing wildly right at their face, the game never registers your impact until it’s too late and you usually end up shot. Some vehicles had various glitches that caused some teammates to get stuck in the vehicle without being able to get out and weird texture pop ups that caused us to get stuck on rubble numerous times. Needless to say, in a giant 24 person war, encountering these technical issues could be frustrating.
Visually, the game does a good job considering the amount of action going on at once, but there is still room for improvement. The minimaps that show enemies, flag points and other important data are really small and hard to read and sometimes never really help you at all. Texture pop-ups happen far too often, both in the multiplayer and single player modes, with buildings that appear as soon as you walk next to them or enemies that pop into sight the moment you enter a new area. It gets really noticeable on levels with a lot of destructible objects, as these frequent texture pop-ins seem to happen more frequently than in the other more spread out levels.
The single player mode, although excellent in its own right, never really goes anywhere and many of the segments felt repetitive and uninspired to the very end. Bad Company 2 definitely gets its biggest strengths from the multiplayer mode, but that too is jarred with technical issues that could hamper how you play. If you can look past these issues and set out to just have fun with the massive 24 player battles, than Bad Company 2 will keep you hooked for quite some time.