Battlefield: Bad Company is the newest installment in the ongoing “Battlefield” franchise. It boasts 90% destructible terrain, and for the first time, a single player campaign. But is this a battlefield worth fighting on?
In the new story mode, you take the role of Preston Marlowe, a competent and alert rookie with the odd ability to sprint full speed through water. Though the single player campaign is a new and appreciated feature in the series, its relaxing comic relief and unique storyline is crushed by robotic AI, brainless teammates, and repetitive objectives. Though it is entertaining to make a crater in the ground or demolish a wall, you’ll get an overpowering feeling that it is all scripted; you’ll feel you aren’t actually tearing a hole in the frame of the building, but rather your really just forcing out preset pieces of it. This is still a unique and useful system, but the fact is that destructible environments are more or less just building blocks that you can push out of place.
When comparing yourself and enemies you’ll find damage is very unrealistic. Three shots or more in an enemy’s shoulder and it’s a straight kill, while six shots to the head will merely bring you to the verge of death. Beyond this, the new health regeneration system, which involves jabbing a syringe of god knows what into your chest, comes off as a cheap gimmick.
The campaign was a significant letdown, and by DICE’s standard, it’s disappointing. What’s worse is that I really wanted to enjoy the single player component, but rather it felt like an unrewarding task; a tedious one at that.
Don’t think for a second though that all is bad with this company. The controls are intuitive, easy, and very well mapped out to the controller, and the multiplayer is a riot!
The Bad Company multiplayer consists of two modes and various large-scale maps; and believe us when we say large! The maps are similar in size to many open-world games to give you an idea. Despite the fact that only one multiplayer mode was available at launch, it makes up for it in addictiveness and fun factor, this mode is called “Gold Rush”. It consists of two teams, Attackers and Defenders, each trying to protect or claim as much gold as they can, while the attackers attempt to capture the crates by blowing them up (the logic is silly but it makes for interesting gameplay) the defenders attempt to deplete the number of reinforcements the attackers have.
The second mode, which was released free of charge after Bad Company came out, is entitled “Conquest”. This mode was a popular addition to past Battlefield games, and was ported over by popular demand. In Conquest, either team must capture various flags around the map. These flags act as spawn points. Obviously if the opposing team captured all flags, you would be incapable of respawning, resulting in the loss of the round. The mode also includes the reinforcements feature, adding a second path to victory (exhaust the enemy’s spawn count). Two game modes may seem like a small selection, and therefore no value, but on the contrary, the modes will offer hours upon hours of indisputable pleasure!
Players can also easily define their Gameplay style by which weapon kit they choose. The kits are similar in style to Call of Duty 4’s classes, but differ in their mechanic. First of all, the player chooses a kit which has different weapons available. Players must then choose between individual weapons in that kit, each one with a different ability or attachment coupled with it. This customization is handy and useful; it also applies a tactical perspective to the gameplay.
The ghastly health syringe can also be found within the multiplayer (tied to the assault kit once you’ve unlocked it) but in this hectic battlefield, it is a necessity. Destructible environments are also borrowed from the singleplayer, though still useful, it doesn’t work as well when online. It takes several seconds for it to register. For example, you may have shot a grenade at a wall, but in the split second that follows you could have been shot to bits and your planned escape route through the newly constructed door doesn’t open up until it’s far too late. The destruction also seems to only work effectively with under slung grenade launchers. Fragmentation grenades won’t leave a mark and tanks barely scratch the surface. It seizes from the immersion, but with all that is going on throughout this virtual battlefield, you may not even notice.
Battlefield: Bad Company is saved by its near flawless multiplayer, enough to warrant a purchase. Though it may not be the first person shooter of the year, it enters the ranks of Call of Duty 4 and Resistance: Fall of Man, which by standard, is saying quite a lot! So for those searching for an enjoyable multiplayer experience, or a side-splitting storyline, this game should be one of interest.
Reviewer’s note: The Playstation 3 version was tested for this review
This game looks good, that’s a given!
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Gameplay is fun online, but stumbles during the campaign.
Each and every sound feels real; from the crack of your pistol, to thunder of a tank
The multiplayer online is certainly some of the best we’ve seen all year!
Bad Company has shaped up to be a solid game, it’s a definite buy for any multiplayer enthusiasts.