Battlefield Bad Company Review

August 11, 2009 at 1:44 am | Posted in Reviews, Xbox 360 Reviews | Leave a comment
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Link to review

There’s gold in them there trucks!!!

Lets get this straight from the get go, Battlefield: Bad Company is definitely not your serious, gritty story telling of unsung heroes doing their duty in war. This is, whilst realistic and action packed a more comic tale of 4 guys who just want out with some good payouts at the end. Oh, and to blow a lot of stuff up on their way.

Welcome to B-Company Solider. You, Preston Marlow have been transferred to this regiment as act of punishment. B-Company, also known as Bad Company, the place where all the misfits and bad behaved soldiers get sent. You’re the most highly expendable men within the army. With that said….your going to be joining one hell of an interesting squad.

The game begins where you met the rest of your squad, Redford, a down to earth sergeant who was switched to B Company in effect to shorten his time on tour. Sweetwater the brains and straight thinker of the group, followed by Haggard, the demolition guy, who no matter what loves to see things blowing up, that and gold.

Whilst starting with your routine sessions out on the field you and your team begin to find something more interesting about this war, and about a certain Legion of Mercenaries who are connected with a serious amount of cash in the form of Gold Bars, from here, your team go all out on their own to try and find this Legion and bag some of that golden goodness for themselves.

Its safe to say everyone is awhile of the depth in how much you can mould the environment to your playing styles, or in fact how you as a FPS gamer may have to evolve in your playing styles. Any game has ‘destructive environments’ but this is truly the game where there is no where to hide. Your first encounter with a tank will definitely be a shock to the system. Hiding behind houses and walls to reload only to have that face of the building completely ripped off my tank shells only to leave you stood there bewildered. Buildings, the ground, vehicles everything can be destroyed, you can even cut down trees with your gunfire. This is what brings a true brand new experience to both the single and multi player sides of this game.

The 7 missions are very big, and using the vehicles sometimes available will make your travels a lot more easier, all weapons are usable and easy to maneuver, but if you break them…beware for quite a long walk in some levels, to add a little exploration to the levels, hidden boxes of Gold are laid about in special places around the Single Player levels meaning you’ll have to keep a sharp eye out and be sure to explore all areas of the maps you might not normally need to go to.

The AI in this game sadly aren’t the cleverest of bunches, for both friendly and your enemies. When it comes to the harder difficulties the enemies aren’t so much hard to defeat, but more overwhelming as you fight your way through awkward positions both urban and country settings.

The friendly, being your 3 fellow team mates sometimes don’t make much of a difference in battle and you’ll find yourself doing a lot of the work, whilst they stand around like melons, at one point your fighting on your own to rescue your 3 friends, when I got them back, I couldn’t really tell much of a difference and when doing this on hard, this means you’ll be spending a lot of your game time trying to find ammo for your weapons which isn’t an easy task.

The game has plenty of opportunities to apply some stealth play to the game, sadly, things like silencers are only found on select guns, and because of the AI not being familiar with the term stealth, the moment you step into a certain radius of that enemy, they’ll always know your position, and your Solid Snake moment flies right out of the window, followed by some hand grenades and perhaps a spent magazine to fend off those coming at you.

Online play has its ups and downs. To begin with, the game so far only has one game type, Gold Rush. This is an attack and defend style game play where attackers destroy two cases of gold in each area to push the defenders back till the last 2 cases are destroyed, the defenders must hold out for as long as possible killing the attackers till the attackers reinforcements run out. This game type is fun and always sets a new challenge to each map, though we’re promised a game type ‘Conquest’ very soon.

Weapons online are the same as offline, but some must be unlocked through upping your rank in online play, every so often going up in rank will give you 1 credit which can be used to unlock a new weapon.

It’s not so much noticeable offline but online you do tend to question your weapons during battle. I’ve often found the sniper rifles to be way to slow between shots and the shots you do get off are about as useful as a water pistol. Yet I’ve had some encounters where the same rifle will deal an appropriate amount of damage. However some of them, to get the max potential, you will have to take some time to master.

The classes online are well thought out, the 5 classes, Assault, Demolition, Recon, Specialist and Support all come with 4 items to begin with, some of these items may need unlocking using credits, however each has been carefully selected so that no matter what every player is useful, to ensure strategic and co-operative team play for example Specialist classes can ‘tag’ enemies and vehicles, which then allow the demolition class to lock onto that target with their rocket launchers as a homing device. Much more choices are available provided you have the team mates to help out.

Now with a lot of games like this a popular addition is being able to take a select few of your friends online and join in a battle together, this is available as ‘Squad’ whether with friends or on your own, your team of 12 players is broken up into small ‘squads’ of 3 or 4. These are your squad members for that round, which you will be able to spawn on and talk to throughout the round. However…

Because after each round our squads are randomly selected I can set up a squad of 2-3 of my friends, and then search for a match. We will be able to play as a squad for that match. Then, I and my friends will be split up into new squads, which really isn’t what we’d intended seeing as public chat is limited to that of your squad members. So although were in the same team and playing together, where not able to communicate unless in Private chat, or were joined up in a later round.

The graphics have a very realistic tone to them, some of the areas can be very dark, and even in the sunny bright areas just seeing the enemies can be quite difficult, whether out in the open or encased in trees and shrubs.

Having said that, at some points in the game where your moving between sections of all the fun and action you’ll find yourself gazing across the giant playground at your feet, at these points your able to really take in the impressive visuals of all the levels.

Detail in the destruction is probably the most notable of things, with having a perfectly sturdy house wall one second and a grenade or artillery shell later nothing more than bricks and plaster left hanging in its wake.

Dice put a lot of work into sounds and the effects sounds have in the game. Ill say now this game should definitely be played with some surround sound equipment if you have them, as the way sounds around you and the effect of distance of where the sounds coming from is really something for Dice to boast about. A good example of this is from the radio in the vehicles, and how the sound plays out with taking fire or things exploding around you.

The Single Player side to the game only has 7 missions which can last from around 20-40 minutes each, coming with 3 difficulties, Hard will definitely keep you going at it for awhile. The online side has plenty for you to get out of it, with the 25 online ranks to achieve with XP, and all the online awards to collect the online side can keep this game in your collection for quite a long time. And if your after all those achievements, your going to have to keep going to get the Gears of War/The Club joke of attaining 10,002 kills online.

You can also track your stats with an in-depth look on your multiplayer gaming with EAs take on Bungie.net’s stats though their website.

An enjoyable game through-out the single player, the games comic take to things and the characters really bring the game to life on a story telling level, the character writing alone is more than enough to keep you coming back to the story of it, just as much as you would your favorite book.

All 4 characters you will grow to love and you’ll definitely want to hear more from them in the future. The online side, whilst having its downsides which may be fixed with easy patches, if fixed the games easily an 8.5. Yet BFBC is more than enough to keep your Battlefield joys fixed and entertained.

Rating 8.0

Published by: Electronic Arts
Developed by: Digital Illusions CE (DICE)
Release Date: June 27, 2008 (UK)
Genre: First-Person Shooter
No of players: 1-24 players online

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