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Thread: Ntruder's Battlefield: Bad Company 2 review

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    Default Ntruder's Battlefield: Bad Company 2 review

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    Battlefield: Bad Company 2



    Xbox 360, PS3, PC

    Shooter, multiplayer


    Related in name only, Battlefield: Bad Company, developed by DICE, is a spin off from the original Battlefield series that is pretty popular for PC players (I guess). The first Bad Company set the stage as an original concept for an FPS military shooter. You were part of B-Company, AKA Bad Company, where the army sent all the shitheads to man the front lines. The game featured unique controls, excellent shooting mechanics, a non-linear sandbox approach to FPS, a unique death respawn system, an above average multiplayer, and humorous story/dialog. Not to mention the best audio of any game ever.

    Bad Company 2 utilizes what appears to be the same game engine, but streamlined the controls and campaign. Now instead of the non-linear sandbox approach, the campaign very much parallels the ultra linear, scripted Call of Duty approach. This is both good and bad, but mostly, this shows how much EA is gunning for Call of Duty's spot atop the military FPS genre. Still intact is the humorous dialog, outstanding visuals, and absolutely top of the line sound effects, along with a fun multiplayer, making Bad Company a great package once again.


    STORY & PRESENTATION

    Some terrorists hijack a nuclear weapon or something, and Bad Company is sent in to take care of it. You know the story; same shit, different day. Basically, it adds up to Bad Company fighting in a wide variety of terrain, not unlike MW2, with multiple objectives that all involve fighting your way through lots of bad guys. The real gem in the storytelling is not the story, its the characters. Your character, Marlow, is added to Bad Company, which consists of the Sarge, Sweetwater, a tech nerd, and Haggert, a classic Texan. The fun in the story comes from how the characters deal with the situation. Sweetwater is usually apprehensive about whatever plot is being hatched by Haggert, while the Sarge is trying to keep everyone together. There were some very funny lines that got a laugh out of me.

    Haggert:
    "Nothing like an ambush to get the blood circulating"

    Sweetwater:
    "They're wearing cowboy hats? When was the last time that Cowboys were at war?"
    Haggert:
    "Dallas Cowboys go to war every Sunday. Sometimes on Monday"

    Haggert:
    "If we don't do this, they'll send in some special ops pussies with heartbeat sensors on their guns!"

    Outside of the context of the last Bad Company game, BF:BC2's presentation is extremely strong. The level variety is outstanding. The storytelling method is effective and fun. The cutscenes are good. However good BF:BC2 is, I have some major gripes about the design decisions. Their decision to remove the sandbox approach in favor of a linear game is questionable. In BF:BC1, you had an objective to reach, and a huge map in front of you, with infinite routes to take. A true sandbox game. Tanks might roam some areas, while foot soldiers patrolled others, checkpoints on the roads, etc. So you might take an APC through the checkpoints and risk hitting a tank, or you might go on foot through the hills and attempt a stealthy approach. This was fun because the game is different every time you play it. Now the game is 100% linear; the enemies spawn at set points at set times, and every playthrough is going to be very similar. Instead of having open worlds that you could take vehicles through, and carry vehicle repair tools, now all the vehicle sets are totally linear. I thought that the sandbox style of BF:BC was bold and brave, and ultimately paid off. And I feel like the move to the linear COD style is a major wimp out. I say stop trying to be MW2; be something better. Sandbox shooters are an evolution of linear games, and it shouldn't be the other way around. It all boils down to gameplay variety, and I feel that BF:BC2 took a huge hit in this department compared to its predecessor.

    Secondly, BF:BC1 used a health meter, 0-100, and a rechargeable stim-shot thingy that revived your health to 100. You take a lot of damage, so you use your shot often. But it worked, and it worked well. BF:BC2 abandoned health all together, and went with the Halo/COD system of simply "take too much damage all at once and you die." I feel like too many games are doing this now, and having your own heal system on hand that recharges was a nice change from the Halo style invisible health system that everyone is using now. So I was disappointed to see this gone.

    And finally, BF:BC2 utilizes standard checkpoints now, instead of the innovative respawn in the same world you left system that BF:BC1 used. I think this was a mistake. It makes the game slightly more challenging, but on the other hand, I appreciated the innovation of being able to respawn and have the enemies not respawn.

    Again, outside of the context of its predecessor, BF:BC2's presentation is great. But when you see what you are losing, I'm not sure it was worth it. The game is now more friendly to the mindless hoards of dummies who don't like games that require brain use, which means it will appeal to a bigger crowd, but that doesn't make it better; just more profitable.

    GAMEPLAY & MECHANICS

    This game excels in this area, bigtime. The game has a very unique feel to it... Very realistic when compared to the Call of Duty franchise. Your character bounces when he moves, his running feels very real, the guns react predictably in your hands... The shooting mechanics are superior to most other shooters, with the exception of the Halo series. But killing people is much more fun in this game than any other. Oh, and virtually everything is destructible.

    See a guy in a building hiding behind a window popping shots off? Switch to the grenade launcher and blow a huge hole in that wall. And this rule extends to multiplayer. One time, I was crouch walking up a stairway on the inside of a building, when all of a sudden, the entire outer wall blew away, and there I was fully exposed to a big ass tank that promptly killed me. This works both ways of course; your cover can be destroyed as well. This mechanic really adds to the game experience, and I really hope more developers catch on.

    The multiplayer is, in my opinion, far and away better from a gameplay standpoint than MW2, but it isn't nearly as robust. There are only 3 game modes; a team deathmatch, Rush, and Conquest. As opposed to the nearly 2 dozen playlists found in Call of Duty/Halo/etc. So there is a lot of untapped potential in the multiplayer component. There is very good character progression in place, with weapon upgrades, ranks, etc. But the mechanics of the game make the multiplayer a winner. Sniping is incredibly fun, as is just about everything else. They just need more variety of gametypes.


    GRAPHICS

    BF:BC2 is towards the top of the graphics spectrum. The game features great character animations and remarkable level backdrops. Textures are top notch, as is shading and shadows. The destructible environments run perfectly and cause no hiccups. This really is a good looking game.

    The game also runs very smoothly. I cannot remember any graphical glitches or framerate hitches whatsoever.

    So in the interest of keeping this short and sweet; Graphics = great


    SOUND

    I'm not going to bullshit. Bad Company 2 has hands down, the best sound effects of any game ever. There will be no debate on this topic. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (and BC1 for that matter) raises the bar. Finally a developer understands that noises over there don't sound the same as noises over here. And justifiably, those noises sound different in BC2. Not like Modern Warfare, where the gunfire uses the same sound effect as the ninja sword slashing sound from the original NES version of Ninja Gaiden. These guns actually sound like guns.

    And guess what else? When something really loud blows up near you, there's a wicked awesome sound effect for that and it severely disrupts your hearing for a few seconds. You really have to hear this game on a nice 5.1 surround system to understand how amazing it sounds.

    Here's another thing; bullets travel faster than sound waves. DICE understands this, and certain guns demonstrate this clearly. My favorite weapon was a marksman rifle/sniper rifle that came in 2 different configurations; scoped and red-dot sighted. When you fire this gun, you hear an initial crack, and about a wooshing sound followed by another echo'd crack. Yes; dice factored in the speed of sound into their game. First developer that I know of to do so.

    Sound waves also reflect off of things. I remember in particular one stage where you stood at the top of a town set on a C shaped hill, extending all the way down. When you fire your weapons, you hear a magnificent echo effect that is stunningly realistic.

    The whole game is filled with marvelous sound effects. Bullets and tank rounds whiz by your head, explosions and gunfire accurately echo inside of buildings and off your environment, grenades and explosions rumble your subwoofers. Voices off in the distance can be heard faintly.... This is the best sounding game ever, period.


    LONGEVITY

    Medium length campaign with a few difficulty settings, full multiplayer with 3 game modes supporting a lot of players (16+?), downloadable maps.

    The campaign is very straightforward and very fun. I have my gripes with the dumbing down of the campaign that DICE chose to do, probably to put them into more direct competition with Modern Warfare. Had DICE hired me as a consultant, their game would have been significantly better (as is the case with 95% of video games). With that said, they did a pretty good job on their own, and the campaign is worth a couple playthroughs at least. Co-op would have been a nice addition.

    The multiplayer can hold its own; I think its better than MW2, because MW2 felt stale and old and boring. BF:BC2 has better mechanics, better sound, destructible environments, better sniping, and similar everything else. The lack of variety in playlists is the only downfall. I'm sure this game will be an online leader for quite some time.



    OVERALL

    STORY & PRESENTATION

    8.5


    Design choices that dumb down the experience hurt this game and put it into the bland categories held by Call of Duty.

    GAMEPLAY & MECHANICS

    9.5


    Awesome mechanics, destructible environments, FUN weapons to shoot, realistic movement and combat are all major highlights. This game has the framework to be a killer franchise.

    GRAPHICS

    9.0


    Very pretty, runs well. Some room for improvement, but definitely a looker

    SOUND

    10


    Best ever. Period.

    LONGEVITY

    9.0


    Multiplayer could use more options, but could catch on bigtime.

    OVERALL SCORE

    9.0


    In my opinion, this franchise is in the top 5 shooters (Halo, Half Life, Call of Duty, and Crysis) and has my recommendation for any shooter fan. The first BF:BC game (at its $20 price tag) is a must buy.








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    bravestime (05-09-2010), BUYLONGTERM (04-28-2010), Pinoy (04-28-2010)

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    I have logged many hours in BF BC2 online MP and it is amazing!! (24 players on one huge map = AWESOMENESS!!)

    The only thing that keeps the game from being great is the community who are playing it, this game is very team/squad oriented and it totally kills the game when you are playing Rush/Conquest and you have a bunch of lone wolves or half a team of snipers, it is just frustrating. I know its fun to snipe and all but this is not Team DeathMatch (or Squad Death Match in BC2s case), I have run into a lot of idiots who will sit back and snipe while we are trying to defend our M-COM station and they do nothing when someone arms it, as if their K/D ratio is more important than winning...

    Aside from that, I have had as much fun in this as I used to have in Halo which I still love...
    Last edited by Mase; 04-28-2010 at 01:13 AM.

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    Those are PC screenshots, right? Good review.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GLOW View Post
    Those are PC screenshots, right? Good review.
    No idea, grabbed them off IGN's site. Probably PC.

    I started writing that a couple months ago and never finished, so I thought I'd finish it up quick and post it
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    I messed around with the 1st one some, I need to finish that one and check this one out. The problem is I suck at shooters so bad. Just get in a hurry I guess.
    L2W you will be missed.

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    I suck at shooters too but I still have fun with them provided they are quality games...

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    Great review Ntruder.
    I own some stuff.

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    Great review!!! I will publish this on the front page!
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    Good review, Ntruder!!!

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    Nice review Ntruder, pretty much spot on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mase View Post
    I have logged many hours in BF BC2 online MP and it is amazing!! (24 players on one huge map = AWESOMENESS!!)

    The only thing that keeps the game from being great is the community who are playing it, this game is very team/squad oriented and it totally kills the game when you are playing Rush/Conquest and you have a bunch of lone wolves or half a team of snipers, it is just frustrating. I know its fun to snipe and all but this is not Team DeathMatch (or Squad Death Match in BC2s case), I have run into a lot of idiots who will sit back and snipe while we are trying to defend our M-COM station and they do nothing when someone arms it, as if their K/D ratio is more important than winning...

    Aside from that, I have had as much fun in this as I used to have in Halo which I still love...
    Yeah it is a pain when you have a team full of idiots, very very frustrating. But man oh man when you got a team that knows what they're doing and just start steamrolling people it's very very fun :D

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinoy View Post
    Yeah it is a pain when you have a team full of idiots, very very frustrating. But man oh man when you got a team that knows what they're doing and just start steamrolling people it's very very fun :D
    Its one of the best games out there when you get a solid team, if I am on my own I will usually just run SDM as I can win a game on my own and teamwork doesnt count for much in that game type.

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    Sadly, I've only played online by myself. I really need to jump in with some people I know; I'm sure its substantially more fun
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ntruder View Post
    Sadly, I've only played online by myself. I really need to jump in with some people I know; I'm sure its substantially more fun
    My GT is Legnd K1ller, feel free to add me, I still this a lot and the people I play with are laid back and just have fun, all you need is a solid 4 people working toward the objective and you can have a whole lot of fun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mase View Post
    My GT is Legnd K1ller, feel free to add me, I still this a lot and the people I play with are laid back and just have fun, all you need is a solid 4 people working toward the objective and you can have a whole lot of fun.
    Alright, will do. Maybe this weekend before the Reach beta starts... After May 3rd, I don't expect anything hitting my Xbox tray except the ODST disc until May 19th
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    Add me too. My gamertag is in the sig
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    I'm not gonna lie, there's about a 5% chance I'll actually add anybody in a timely manner. I'm just too lazy and I'll forget for at least a month. So you'd better me; "Rambo IIII"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ntruder View Post
    I'm not gonna lie, there's about a 5% chance I'll actually add anybody in a timely manner. I'm just too lazy and I'll forget for at least a month. So you'd better me; "Rambo IIII"
    Done.

    I will also be playing nothing but Reach until the beta is up, if we can get a solid crew of 4-6 we should own!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mase View Post
    Done.

    I will also be playing nothing but Reach until the beta is up, if we can get a solid crew of 4-6 we should own!!!

    I won't be in the Reach beta, but looking forward to what you guys have to say about it. Add "Disco Batman" on XBL. Mostly playing MW2 online.
    I own some stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Disco Batman View Post
    I won't be in the Reach beta, but looking forward to what you guys have to say about it. Add "Disco Batman" on XBL. Mostly playing MW2 online.
    I sent you an invite, I love xbox.com I can manage my friends online, send messages and see what games they have played... I wonder when the PSN will have this capability.

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    Played a couple hours of BC2 multiplayer last night. Was good times.
    I own some stuff.

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