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Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Review

publisher: EA
developer: DICE
genre: Action

ESRB rating: M

release date: Mar 02, 10
» All About Battlefield: Bad Company 2 on ActionTrip

DICE knows mix things up and has a very clear idea of what it wants as a development team. If they have a concept they see it through and they're very good at what they do. Well, at least that can be said for most of their action games (whereas they weren't all too certain what they wanted to do with Mirror's Edge). Most developers nowadays (even the most prominent ones) are uncertain about what their game should bring to players. As a result, a lot of games become bland and lead to a generally lukewarm response from the public. Mixing genres can be good, of course, as long as it's done properly. However, with their multiplayer Battlefield shooters series, DICE was always on the right track and they rarely slipped up. Bringing the franchise to the realm of single-player first-person shooters seemed like a difficult step, but they saw it through. Battlefield: Bad Company may not have been a crucial cornerstone in gaming, although it still has a charm of its own, in addition to a pretty solid multiplayer (which was no surprise, given the devs reputation).

With Bad Company 2, DICE sought to improve upon nearly every aspect, on top of staying true to the original. In that sense, things haven't changed a lot story wise. It's all fairly predictable modern-day storytelling, with clich'd, albeit spirited and often hilarious, characters. In short, the narrative serves as a good foundation for a shooter, but certainly won't dazzle you with incredible, top-notch writing.

Struggling whether or not I should play the PC or Xbox 360 version, I finally decided to review the PC edition - so I have no clue what the game is like on the Xbox 360, just so you know.

The first few missions in this game brought quite an impressive array of visual effects into view, surpassing what I've seen in games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and indeed even technologically superior action games such as the Crysis series. Each area you traverse is crammed, top-to-bottom, with realistic-looking undergrowth and meticulously designed buildings, structures and vehicles. Apart from the vehicle models, which look fabulous and almost tangible, gamers are treated to a variety of special effects, convincing explosions, great animation and detailed character models. If you own a high-end PC, this game comes highly recommended, especially if your rig packs a powerful DX11-based graphics card. For those with more modest PCs, Bad Company 2 should still work and look okay, provided you spend some extra time fiddling around with the graphics settings. We also recommend you install all the updates and patches, to ensure a smoother frame-rate.

The gameplay mechanics in Bad Company haven't changed. It's still pretty straightforward. While the single-player campaign is linear for the most part, a lot of the levels offer a bit of sandbox-style gameplay, giving you a chance to attack enemies using a number of approaches. It's not exactly Far Cry 2, although it comes across as a nice combo of open-world gameplay and on-the-rails old-school shooting. Destructible environments lend a certain amount of suspense each time you play, because you change tactics depending on how you interact with the surroundings. Buildings and other objects can be damaged or destroyed either with an armored vehicle or with a powerful explosive. I got goose-bumps each time a building collapsed from all the gunfire and bombs - during such scenes of destruction, the fine-tuned physics and top-quality sound effects play an important part.

Marching into any fray was a unique and interesting experience. One of my favorite tactics was finding a proper recon spot to sort of check out the battlefield. Then I'd mark key targets such as explosive barrels and enemies with RPGs and snipers. Given my superior sniper skills (oh yes), I'd take out as much of those targets as I possibly could and then I'd join the rest of the squad down where the action is. Of course, enemy soldiers keep pouring in and will use battle tactics of their own, which means you'll have to displace often if you want to survive as a sniper. The moment you're in the thick of battle, everything will depend on how well you use handguns, grenades, shotguns and assault rifles. Also, using cover isn't always the safest course of action. Covers can be destroyed by the enemy, so whatever you choose to do it must be fast. In a nutshell, the combat mechanics are well-balanced, giving me plenty of room to improvise on the battlefield.

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9.0   Excellent

A shooter you'll remember and want to play again. It effectively offers one of the best multiplayer experiences, in addition to a pretty solid single-player campaign, and the graphics are top-notch, accompanied by superb sound effects and a thrilling soundtrack;

Various technical issues, which we hope will be resolved.


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