2010 Reviews

Battlefield: Bad Company 2

  • Review Date: 2014-03
  • Release Date: 2010-03
  • Developer: EA Digital Illusions CE
  • Rating: 8.5

Note this is a review of the single player campaign only.

I very nearly didn't bother with this game. I tried 2005's Battlefield 2 but only played for half an hour before uninstalling. It seemed like a game with a steep learning curve, feeling like every key on the keyboard was mapped to something. A open game with multiplayer type objectives rather than a more linear, story-driven single player mode. Single player and multiplayer with bots are two very different things! I also tried Battlefield Heroes but thought the graphics were bad. Yes, I said it, despite the acclaim, they didn't impress me!

Not one to give up, I tried Bad Company 2 and discovered it actually features a full, 7-8 hour single player campaign. Which means Battlefield joins the tussle with Call Of Duty and Medal Of Honor as top realistic FPS franchise.

The next COD and MOH titles were yet to be released in 2010, coming late in the year. Which means I'll be able to compare BC2 to Modern Warfare 2, which itself is a fantastic game that I only just played through last week.

MW2's main issues were a story that had been put through the blender and a very short single player campaign, coming in at under 6 hours. I see BC2 also got some complaints about length, but it's a good couple hours longer than MW2, so I don't think you can complain too much about length.

Story is also far superior in BC2, although it was a much simpler plot, it allowed the story to be properly told instead of bouncing all over the place. Put in short, you follow four American soldiers during a Russian invasion on USA, trying to stop a Russian Colonel from using a weapon that would disable America's power grid. You get to know each character in well done cut-scenes and great dialogue.

The visuals are also fantastic. A fine level of detail but with some huge eye-opening scenes. A few times you stand overlooking what's coming up and just have to stop and stare. One of the most impressive was a jungle level earlier in the game, where you stand above a village base within a valley with a magnificient mountain behind it. There are more scenes like this, such as when you arrive at an overwhelmed, smashed city running up a mountain which you'll soon be a part of.

The game looks more realistic than MW2. Part of this might be the locations, but MW2 was a bit more colourful. However, I don't feel that EA used the engine quite as good as Infinity Ward did with their engine in MW2, as there were more spectacular locations in MW2. It really went all out, whereas while BC2 could look just as good, they didn't have locations such as the bombed White House at twilight or running down Rio slum rooftops.

The other problem with BC2's visuals is visibility. Never is the game clear, it's always coated in dust, smoke, fog... sometimes you can barely see where you're going and it often hides enemies. This does make the game more realistic though, visually.

In terms of combat, the two games are on equal footing. BC2 is a bit more difficult. You really need to work for each kill and cannot go balls-in. The style is often using cover, from large distances and getting those scoped shots from afar. You can't go sprinting in because enemy fire will rip you apart quickly, and the game often employs shielded MG's (which are very deadly) and rocket launchers. So just about the entire game my two weapons of choice were the scoped sniper rifle and a scoped automatic. Shotgun? No thanks I'll never get close enough to use it! I did miss using other weapons a little. While it is played slower than BC2, it's still every bit as fun.

One other thing I really noticed in BC2, and it's something I don't normally talk about in games, was the score, which was great. Music showed good variety, built up the mood very well. At one point my partner said "scary", referring to the music. I hadn't noticed but it made me realise the music on that level had changed to quite a suspenseful, horror-themed score.

To conclude, Modern Warfare 2 is slightly better than Bad Company 2, but only because of it's more spectacular locations - and I'm a sucker for graphics. Music and story are certainly better in BC2, which means I have another realistic shooter franchise to look forward to each year!

Battlefield: Bad Company 2