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Denny Markovic
11 Mar, 2010

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Review

PC Review | It's Bad to the bone with the right Company.
So let’s face it; The Battlefield franchise by DICE will and always will be viewed primarily as a massive Multiplayer FPS, rather than an FPS with a great Single Player campaign. Ever since it took its first steps into the gaming world and set a standard for the scale of Warfare in FPS, everyone knows the name of the game, and everyone knows what it’s all about: multiplayer.

But DICE has recently had a slight change of heart and have actually attempted to bring in Single Player greatness. Their first big effort came along with Battlefield: Bad Company (which was disappointingly, only on consoles and never saw PC release), and while it was pretty damn fun and had an awesome engine behind it, it fell short compared to the pantheon of great Single Player shooters out there. DICE is now back though with the sequel, Bad Company 2, and they’ve taken themselves to new heights, not just in Single Player but in the Multiplayer too.

The story takes off with a trip back in time, where you playing out a Spec Ops mission after World War II. Your mission is to find a scientist and discover what kind of secret weapon the Japanese have, and essentially take the plans for exploitation. Things quickly go awry though and the mission is lost and the plans with it. Cut back to the modern day, and you’re back in the shoes of Marlowe again, coupled with the Sarge, Haggard and Sweetwater, and your mission is to stop the Russians from discovering the supposedly ‘lost’ plans to a secret weapon.

Single player is great fun.

Single player is great fun.
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While not entirely original (nor particularly deep), the story gives a pretty good excuse to go to various locations and blow the hell out of everything, and that’s exactly what you do. The campaign plays out similarly to Crysis, where the objective is fairly linear but the way you approach it is fairly dynamic. Want to sneak around and pick people off? Go for it. Want to just blow through walls in houses and level the entire village? Sure thing. The campaign has a constant feeling of intensity and thrills, and simply does not stop until the very end credits roll (and for Battlefield fans, there is a clever ending that interlinks with another title). Chaos and death are constantly at play in the 8-10 hour campaign, and there is rarely a moment where you’ll be able to take a breather.

The frenetic pacing isn’t always so frenetic however, with moments where you stop and pull off some very cool stunts triggered by the game. One particular moment early on in the game has you in a tower, sniping militia as your squad sneaks by. The twist though is that there’s a thunderstorm, and you have to time your shots with the crackle of thunder so you can hide them and avoid alarming the entire camp. There are quite a few moments like this where the game makes you feel like an absolute bad arse, and DICE have clearly learned what makes a single player campaign memorable. This is also aided by the return of the humour of your squad, which pull off some seriously hilarious idle chatter at points. It adds a lot of personality to what could be deemed as just another shooter, and reminds us much of the greatness of Uncharted 2, which brought a lot of humour to a serious situation.

But as solid as the Single Player is, the real star is the Multiplayer, which we dare say has taken online warfare to a whole other level. Battlefield has always taken pride in itself for its excellent Multiplayer, and Bad Company 2 only solidifies this with the return of many traditional modes, but with a newfound flair.

Crysis, anyone?

Crysis, anyone?
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The original Bad Company’s Multiplayer while good, didn’t quite sit right with most players, and felt different to how Battlefield had always felt. Bad Company 2 on the other hand brings back the Battlefield feel and on a massive scale. PC supports up to 32 players, while console 24, and the game has several different modes to choose from, including the classic Conquest mode, Rush (destroying objectives that defenders must stop), Squad Team Deathmatch, and other variations. The atmosphere and flow of the Multiplayer is simply put, incredible. Scale of each map is exemplified very well and designed with expert knowledge, and visual effects such as dust and whatnot are used to awesome effect in melding with gameplay. The game is class based once more, with you being able to choose from The Engineer, Medic, Recon and Assault. Each class is enormously different from one another and are pivotal to victory with their respective abilities, and most of the time teams will need to work together and use their classes as they should in order to achieve victory.

And this is why the Squad System works so well. Much like Killzone 2, Bad Company 2 gives you the ability to make your own or join squads in a team, which allows you to set objectives for the 4-man group that give extra points, so incentive is certainly there. That and each squad member acts as a spawn point, so if your buddy is in need of assistance and you just died, you can spawn right on top of him to help him out. It’s very well balanced and extremely effective in getting people to work together, as teamwork really is a make or break thing in the world of Bad Company 2.

The combat itself is utterly sublime in execution, with explosions and debris flying everywhere, and rarely ever is there a place to hide. Bad Company 2 has essentially neutralised chronic camping, because if there’s a guy in a house picking people off, you just need to blow the house down to take him out, and even then on many servers the kill cam shows where he is. The game presents you with the most random and insane moments as well, where you might suddenly have an entire building collapse onto you because of too much fire, or your pilot in the Heli gets shot in the head by a sniper and you suddenly plummet into the Earth. It’s the dynamic feeling and the sheer chaos of the game that keeps you coming back for more, and PC gamers can rejoice, as the game supports full Dedicated Servers, which certainly made us happy.

Multiplayer = ultimate win.

Multiplayer = ultimate win.
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On a technical note, Bad Company 2 looks pretty amazing, namely for its use of clever effects and smooth integration. While other games boast a more highly detailed environment at a close range, Bad Company 2 is expansive and consistently gorgeous, with clever tricks utilised in the engine to create some simply stunning backdrops. Animation is also excellent, particularly in the particle effects, as explosions and debris have really never looked better than this. DICE have done an incredible job with the game’s engine, and there’s no real area where the game faulters. It also runs very smoothly on PC as well, with a Quad Core, 4GB of RAM and 8800GTX running it quite smoothly at 1920x1200, maxed out (apart from some super high end settings, like HBAO), so PC gamers can smile knowing the game will run fairly well.

It’s not the visuals, but the sound however, that is really the biggest technical showcase. It’s a big call, but we firmly believe that Bad Company 2 has some of the best sound effects we have ever heard in a video game. Subtle touches, such as wind chaffing in your ears, the deafening blast of a tank, and the muted and dazed feel of an explosion ripping up a wall next to you all add to make you feel like you’re actually in a war zone. It’s further enhanced by random comments from team mates, who’ll yell expletives without any player trigger if being shot at, to let you know that there’s someone firing at them. The effects also change in sound depending on where you are, with a gunshot in a building possibly sounding awfully loud as it echoes and bounces off all the walls. It is seriously insane how damn good the sound actually is, and DICE deserve some kind of medal for producing such an authentic and thunderous sound setup that will blow many gamers away.

You’ve probably already established that we really like Battlefield: Bad Company 2. The game is a huge step up from its previous iteration in all aspects, particularly the single player, as now you have a very enjoyable and fairly memorable experience to play through on your own. But once again, DICE show that their craftsmanship lies in the Multiplayer, which is something that gamers will be playing for years to come. The game has had some setbacks, such as issues with the servers going down due to an unexpected amount of players playing, and there are some minor technical hitches in game such as a few glitches which can cause frustration. These things however are quite minimal and detract only little from what is an absolutely outstanding shooter. If you’re a Multiplayer gamer, Bad Company 2 is a must, as it’s certainly an early contender for the best MP game of 2010, and dare we say, outdoes Modern Warfare 2 by a mile.
The Score
Bad Company 2 is a great single player experience, but a near Godly multiplayer one. A must play for shooter fans, especially in the PC community. 9
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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19 Comments
4 years ago
Single player is average at best in my opinion but the multiplayer is where it is at. Most fun I've had playing a multiplayer shooter in years.
4 years ago
I think it is probably the best multiplayer experiance I have ever had. I am lovin it!

Haven't spent much time with the single player side but it seemed good, I usually know who I need to be shooting at, unlike MW2, which is a plus.
4 years ago
The single player is better than I thought it would be. The most annoying thing about the single player is the checkpoints are situated so far apart but its a pretty good single player game.
4 years ago
Best multi hands down. I hate it when teams get stacked though, even balance fail.
4 years ago
For me, I didn't think the demo on PSN was all that great, even when I did manage to get online (mostly to do with my connection). What do those who were kind of "meh" on the demo think of the full game?
4 years ago
sobriquet835 wrote
What do those who were kind of "meh" on the demo think of the full game?
I thought the demo was a bit Meh.. But I am thoroughly enjoying the full version of the game. It's great fun.
Single player was a lot better than what I was expecting also.
4 years ago
Yeah multiplayer is awesome. If you can actually get into a game.

Worst Server Browser Ever... EVER
4 years ago
MAXp0wr wrote
sobriquet835 wrote
What do those who were kind of "meh" on the demo think of the full game?
I thought the demo was a bit Meh.. But I am thoroughly enjoying the full version of the game. It's great fun.
Single player was a lot better than what I was expecting also.
I played the crap out of the demo got up to level 11 and unlocked everything for my classes that I could except the 12 X scopes for the weaps. Now I'm in full version on level 8 and just cant be arsed. They really should have had the facility to carry over the beta profiles or at least given beta players a special marking or something.
4 years ago
If they iron out the bugs (which I haven't seen that many of) and do a makeover of the server browser, I'd give this game a 10/10. It's just incredibly fun.
4 years ago
I thought the single player was pretty average and not really memorable at all, so I'm gonna have to disagree wtih you there Denny.

But multiplayer is multiplayer and DICE know large scale battles like nobody else, so as long as people know what they're getting into they'll love it.
4 years ago
Games great BUT i have found multiplayer to be laggy with limited australian servers.
There are also a few bugs which are quite annoying at times (e.g Fail to load, kicked from servers, game drops out)

a bit more QC would have solved these problems icon_wink.gif
4 years ago
defcon420 wrote
Games great BUT i have found multiplayer to be laggy with limited australian servers.
Most of the Australian servers are back up again, iirc.
4 years ago
Review is spot on, except it's not a 8-10 SP experience. I finished it in ~6 hours on Hard.
4 years ago
Finished the Sp. The ending is kind of bad/bland. I though they would mix it up a bit but it turns into a corridor shotter which is a shame as it works best when its open. However the last level is a visual treat just in the way everything explodes and disintegrates.
4 years ago
It's true I heard many times the sound effect are incredible in this game, and love the last sentence of the review. I still like COD but this time BF seems to be the winner in this round of competition between IW and Dice.
4 years ago
Is it laggy on consoles too? Particularly on the 360, in my case?
4 years ago
It's not laggy once in game, just the server browser is struggling under the load
4 years ago
PS3 version isn't laggy at all, it's great. This really is the best multiplayer game I have played in a long time. I don't think anything will take me away from it for a while either, at least not until Reach. Plus it doesn't get boring like a lot of games, as the levels are constantly changing with the destruction, all the different weapons and equipment, vehicles etc. I can see myself playing this for a long time. The single player isn't too bad either. My only complaints with the game are so minor, and things that a lot of people wouldn't notice or care about. And the sniper problem already seems to be getting better, had a lot of games with only 1 or 2 snipers a side today and yesterday.
4 years ago
This review is incredibly awful.

PALGN wrote
Bad Company 2 on the other hand brings back the Battlefield feel and on a massive scale.
Wait, what? To many it's a smaller scale: most of the BF2 games I played were on 64 player servers, and the 'feel' is totally differently because BF2 was rarely the twitch shooting spam fest that BC2 can revert to much of the time. This review has got it completely backwards.

PALGN wrote
Much like Killzone 2, Bad Company 2 gives you the ability to make your own or join squads in a team...
Killzone 2? What about BF2 and BF2142, which came out long before KZ2?

And what does
PALGN wrote
Scale of each map is exemplified very well
even mean? Not to mention all the meaningless platitudes, constant repetition, phrases being rendered largely meaningless by unnecessary qualifiers and misuse of cliches... *shudders*

Don't get me wrong, the game is great, but this review is tripe.
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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  4/03/2010 (Confirmed)
Publisher:
  Electronic Arts
Genre:
  Shooter
Year Made:
  2009
Players:
  1
System Requirements:
Minimum requirements:
- Processor: Core 2 Duo @ 2.0GHz
- Main memory: 2GB
- Graphics card: GeForce 7800 GT / ATI X1900
- Graphics memory: 256MB
- OS: Windows XP
Recommended requirements:
- Processor: Quadcore
- Main memory: 2GB
- Graphics card: GeForce GTX 260
- Graphics memory: 512MB
- OS: Windows Vista or Windows 7

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