It’s only March and already we’ve had some blockbuster releases this year. The hardest decision has in fact been which of these amazing titles to purchase; God of War III, Final Fantasy XIII and BioShock 2 to name a few. Well just to complicate matters, I’m going to throw the recently released Battlefield: Bad Company 2 into the mix.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2, or BC2 for short, is the sequel to the 2008 hit series which was created specifically for the next generation games console, rather than the PC format it’s more commonly known for. BC2 expands from the greatness that was Bad Company and you know what that means; more destruction, more guns and overall, much more mayhem.
Not known for its long and detailed campaign, the guys at DICE offer a decent job in the single player campaign. The tight squad of soldiers known as the ‘B’ company return and they are ready to do what most war FPS games do; travel to exotic locations as well as some of the not so exotic landscapes, in a search for terrorists who are trying to destroy some part of the world with a nuclear weapon. Throughout your experience you’ll encounter many challenges and objectives, as well as getting to hear some witty comments which is forever present from the squad. My favourite remark from the ‘B’ company has to be when they talk about the "Pussies who go into battle with heartbeat monitors attached to their guns". It’s 100% comic genius.
The single player is quite short and very linear, not to say it’s a bad thing, but for those looking for a very in depth open map style of gameplay, you best head to the online side of the game. With only one way to go through each level I managed to complete the game on the hardest difficulty within the 6/7 hour mark. I really enjoyed how action packed it was and there was very little walking around wondering what to do next, which is my style of game. As I did find it relatively easy, in terms of AI and also being the pro FPS player I am *big headed-ness*, I wanted to see how hard it would be on easy. This is more for achievement/trophy whores but I reckon you could literally run through the whole game on the easiest setting in little under 2 hours.
The great thing about it being linear and with it being a game based on destruction, is that a lot of the missions involve getting behind the wheel of a vehicle, or behind the unlimited supply of ammo on a turret in a helicopter. This allows you to participate, see and appreciate what Battlefield does best; destroying stuff that you quite simply want to destroy. See a building that looks at you in a funny way? Destroy it. Can’t find a route through the area? Create one. That's the best approach to the single player
Now while the single player is fun and enjoyable, and admittedly easy and short, the main reason gamers will be forking out the dosh to buy this game is for its multiplayer action. Up to 24 players can join in some online carnage and play the popular game modes Rush and Conquest which both return. For the new BF players Rush is where when attacking you have to arm several different M-COM stations in order to advance, before running out of lives. Obviously when defending your aim is to stop the aforementioned. Conquest mode is similar to that of BF1943 where gamers control flag points while also playing Team Deathmatch. The more flags your team controls the more points are removed from your opponent when you gain a kill. These matches can take a while and depending on the map, the Rush modes aren't so 'rushed' after all.
The multiplayer is by far the best aspect of the game and with the games ability to choose from a different kind of player, it makes teamwork crucial. Squads of up to 4 players are able to each attain a different skill set be it sniper, assault, engineer or the life saving medic. Playing as each category allows you to unlock future weapons and gadgets and certainly adds life to the multiplayer aspect as you try to max out all categories. So far I've unlocked the defibrillator as a medic which is great fun going around reviving team mates and the Mortar bombs as a sniper which triggers Mortars to fall over your designated target. It can be frustrating at times when playing rush mode if one of your team mates is hiding at the back just sniping, more so when you really need some help with arming the M-COM stations. There are tips to avoid this which is also good fun to do (click here to find out how to stop campers on your own team).
Gameplay aside the graphics and audio are equally impressive throughout the game especially some of the backdrops that are found in the single player. Although you might not be able to trek across the luscious land you are able to stop and sometimes just say "wow". Watching a map being destroyed in online play is also satisfying on the eye and maps can completely change graphically from the start to finish. Having surround sound is also a must to experience the full warfare enjoyment of the audio, however, should you only have the ability to use your TV speakers, head into the settings and change the audio setting to 'wartape'. You will notice a massive difference and you'll even be able to hear people sneaking up behind you.
Overall Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is a sequel worthy of taking your attention away from other shooters out there. Multiplayer and FPS fans will not be disappointed and while the single player campaign is short and sweet, it's also action packed and generally quite enjoyable. This should definitely be included in your list of must buy games of the year.