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Tristan Kalogeropoulos
24 Jun, 2008

Battlefield: Bad Company Preview

360 Preview | Good Times.
DICE are an acclaimed developer with a lot of war in their past. Their most famed franchise, Battlefield, leaving behind a long line of frags and a string of fans. Battlefield Bad Company is the next title to carry on the bloodline. Unlike the previous games in the series, which are well renowned mostly for their quality multiplayer combat, Bad Company seems to want to get known, as much for this, as for its slightly offbeat single player campaign.

With a story that promises to be part Three Kings part afterschool detention, you play as a member of a group of misfit soldiers sent to an end-of-the-line squad that’s used more as human shield than a highly regarded regiment. Finding out that the enemy’s hiding away gold, you decide that there’s more to life than dodging bullets for your country and a wartime goldrush is set in motion. The game's playful, joking cast and its offbeat premise points to a title built around fun that may also have some insightful commentary hidden away in the folds of its humour and mayhem.

Oscar the Grouch goes postal.

Oscar the Grouch goes postal.
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If you like breaking things this new Battefield should get your blood pumping. The destructible environments that were promised by titles in years gone, such as Red Faction, are now a reality and from what we’ve seen it’s incredibly fun to watch the havoc you can reap upon Bad Company’s virtual landscape. The demo gives a great taste of how much of this world can be torn apart by rpg’s and machine gun spray. Trees tumble and brick walls, once useful as cover, explode, leaving behind a pile of rubble and a cloud of dust when hit by ballistics carrying enough force. The result may be visually stunning, but it also promises to prevent firefights from becoming static events and instead allow the action to roll on as new protection is sought. Unfortunately for originalities sake there are a few clichéd explosive barrels your foes have scattered around for some unknown reason – one can only assume it’s to allow themselves bigger and brighter deaths – but here’s hoping that the game’s over-the-top rambunctious storyline and action can make these arcade infused inclusions feel more like inspired additions than contrived explosion triggers.

Teamwork in Bad Company’s single player will not be a complex tactical Rainbow Six-like experience. Squad members appear to be made of adamantium, or a similarly indestructible material, and will not lay down and die no matter how much fire they come under. Similarly when hopping in and out of vehicles they will appear beside you to avoid you being distracted from the action at hand by errant squad members who simply don’t want to escape a firefight. All this should make for a fast paced, action based experience.

Oh @*#!.... I thought this was knife fight.

Oh @*#!.... I thought this was knife fight.
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Knowing that DICE’s finest moments have been when focusing on multiplayer opportunities we were eager to get into some online matches, and from what we’ve seen so far, it’s all scrubbing up quite well. Learning from both its own titles and other developer’s online games, Bad Company’s multiplayer looks to be offering up some great ideas that aren’t overly complex, allowing for a reasonably accessible experience. The aim of the multiplayer in the demo is to protect, or gain access to, stockpiled gold, depending on what side of the battle you are placed on. More modes are planned on release. As we’ve come to expect in DICE’s games, there are different classes available to the player, such as the typical assault class and the ghillie suit wearing recon class. Just as in former Battlefield games and Call of Duty 4, there will be unlockable weapons gained by scoring points in-game. One of the features that may prove most welcome is the fact that rather than choosing spawn points, or having the game arbitrarily choose where you emerge into the gameplay, you’ll be able to choose between spawning in the safety of your base or with your squad on the field of battle. Both of these give you a camera view of where it is that you’ll be dropped to prevent you from unknowingly appearing next to tank or similar danger. What DICE seems to hope this all amounts to is a multiplayer experience that has as few boundaries to enjoyment as possible.

The cheeky tone of Bad Company’s single player portion, along with DICE’s pedigree in multiplayer shooters, point to a game that will be incredibly engaging, yet not so heavy as to bring you down, or cause you to wake up, sweat soaked, from nightmares of the front line. If the demo’s any indication of the full game, it looks like there’ll be yet another console shooter worth adding to the pile of the already great list titles from which to choose from.




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The demo of Battlefield: Bad Company is available now on the Xbox Live Marketplace and PlayStation Network. Battlefield: Bad Company will be released on Thursday for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
Overall:
Bad Company looks as if it's going to be an action packed title with a cheeky tone and some great multiplayer to keep you engaged long after the single player portion is finished.

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11 Comments
5 years ago
Nice review, gives me some hope for this game. Don't know if the demo is worth the 1.5Gb hit to my quota though since I'll be getting it anyway.
5 years ago
I tried out the demo and was pretty impressed. The in-game cinematics are amazing, unfortunately the quality of the faces while playing isn't quite up to the same level. No kidding about the terrain destruction though. I was hiding in a house when *boom*, wall's gone. There was a sniper on top of a grain silo, just used an RPG to destroy it, *boom* no more silo, no more sniper.
5 years ago
I'd like to know more about the multiplayer details as this was one of the major pluses for the older version. I hope they have a decent lobby where your able to see the status of connections before you join. I also remember someone saying there was no dedicated server support in Australia for Bad Company (is that true). The last thing I want is major lag issues while online.
Just as a side note I thought this was a FPS alot of people would be keen on but gauging the response from PALGNERS there doesn't seem to be that much interest.
5 years ago
Sounds awesome.
Shame its not for the PC.

Also, i wonder how well the squad-spawning is going to work. Will the spawn be tied to one particular member, chosen at random, the team leader, or just based upon the health of the squad in general...
5 years ago
Question: is the demo single or multiplayer or both?
5 years ago
Both. I downloaded it yesterday but only spent about 10 minutes on the multiplayer as it was laggy as hell. Still shows a lot of promise though from the play time I did get in.
5 years ago
Played two matches, won't be buying the full game. Didn't suffer any lag though, from my point of view there was too much bloom (had to turn down the brightness on my TV) the controls are just "wrong" and the bullets don't go mildly in the direction they're supposed to.

I was impressed by the destructible terrain though, but I think perhaps it was too destructible... Fans of the console BFs will like I think, but me, definitely not a fan.
5 years ago
the captions in this article are made of win.
5 years ago
nikack wrote
the controls are just "wrong"
I found the default config in the demo just plain baffling. Both sprint and jump were not where I expected them, which led to some difficulty. Then I jumped in a vehicle and left trigger was accelerate, while left shoulder button was brake. What on earth were they thinking with that one?? Presumably you can reconfigure it though, I didn't take the time to look in the demo.
5 years ago
The controls are a bit weird but easy to change.

I am absolutely loving this game. I have always been a fan of the battlefield series and this is fantastic. The combat feels hectic and realistic, yet still fun, I love the weapon sounds and the gold rush mode you get to play is awesome. I will be buying this on release day.
5 years ago
Can you guys get in touch with EA and see if they'll have any Australian-based servers for the Multiplayer?

The lag is literally killing me. icon_sad.gif
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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  26/06/2008 (Confirmed)
Standard Retail Price:
  $99.95 AU
Publisher:
  Electronic Arts
Genre:
  Shooter
Year Made:
  2007

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