by Joseph Barron
reviewed on X360
Nowhere to hide! (cntd)
Cover never lasts for long in this game. Instead of waiting for enemies to pop out and take their shot, you can blow apart their cover with a well-placed grenade and they resulting debris could take them out for you. You could even bring a building down on top of them by setting explosives on structural outer walls. It works very well and really makes you feel like you are in an actual warzone. After a huge fire-fight, take a moment to survey your surroundings. Chances are that there will be very little of the area still standing! The only hitch with the destruction is that when you come across structures that aren't programmed to take damage it can break the sense of immersion. Destroyed vehicles often disappear as well, rather than leaving charred wreckage behind.
Setting standards for online warfare
Though the campaign is short, the online multiplayer is where the meat of any Battlefield game lies and Bad Company 2 certainly doesn't disappoint. Modes include the classic point-capturing battles of "conquest," the objective based "rush" mode and "squad deathmatch," which is team deathmatch with multiple teams of up to 4 players. Anyone who has ever played a Battlefield game before will feel instantly at home on the multitude of massive, well-designed maps. There is the usual mix of character classes as well, such as assault, medic, recon and engineer. Weapons are unlocked through a levelling and XP system, as is customary in most FPS games.
The difference in Bad Company is that playing as a certain class only unlocks weapons for that class to use (with the exception of a few which can be used by any). The benefit of this system is that you will gradually get better with your chosen class the more you play, so most online teams should have a balance of each class as people pick the specialities that they've been working on the most. You also unlock special items and abilities, the most interesting of which is the defibrillator for the medic, which is used to revive team-mates who are waiting to respawn, or, in a hilarious twist, electrocute enemies to death!
If you are new to Battlefield, you may find playing online to be a shock initially as you have very little health and just a few accurate bullets will be enough to take you down. You definitely need to be methodical in your approach to the huge battles, rather than run in all guns blazing. Expect to be sniped a lot to begin with, before you get used to finding your way around the maps and making the best use of your class' abilities.
Though many people will argue that Modern Warfare 2 is the definitive online shooter, you should definitely give Bad Company 2 a chance. If you do, you will discover a very different game that commands significantly more teamwork and planning from its players. Factor in the awesome destructible environments too and you have a game which can easily stand up alongside the biggest and best in the genre and comfortably hold its own.
Overall, though the single-player is short it has certainly been improved on since the first Bad Company and the online multiplayer is truly second to none. Have DICE reclaimed their FPS throne? It is hard to say for sure, but this is definitely their best game for some years. If you are looking for a new and different first person shooter to fulfil your war-mongering needs then Battlefield: Bad Company 2 should definitely be on your radar.
Sets new standards for online team-based shooters.
Very short single player mode.