Review by SteelCity61
"Great 1P Game, Online Great But With It's Flaws"
Battlefield Bad Company is one of the best FPS games to hit next generation consoles. With the destructible environments and variety of vehicles and weapons no online or 1 Player game will ever be the same. While Call Of Duty 4 set the bar for how smooth and graphically perfect a FPS can be, Bad Company ups the ante on how diverse and varied a FPS's gameplay and strategy can be. But with all this innovation there are still the flaws.........for the PS3 version the flaw is the useless mics and unstable servers online. Here's the biggity break down.
1 Player Game (8.5)
The 1 player portion of Battlefield Bad Company was surprisingly entertaining and longer than I had expected it to be, which is always nice when you feel you are getting your dollar's worth, especially in these dismal financial times. The story and characters will keep you engaged and motivated throughout the campaign and will regularly provide you with some laughs. The maps and environments in this game are highly detailed and expansive and the variety of vehicle and foot combat strike a surprising balance. One level will have you engaged in tank battles, while yet another will have you tearing through river valley in an attack chopper living out scenes from Apocalypse Now. The one thing that resonated throughout all of the game and all the combat varieties is balance. No obstacle is ever too easy or too hard to complete and the way in which you complete your goals is entirely up to you. There are no set paths and no rules. If you want to shell a town with mortars until all the buildings are rubble and all the enemies are snuffed out you can. If you'd rather rush in guns blazing Gung Ho style you can also do that as well. It's the sense of freedom that makes the game fun, but it's the set objectives and story that push you forward to your goals. I have recently played some FPS that had very cinematic and intense gameplay. Battlefield might lack that movie theatre BOOM moment you might find in a game like Call Of Duty 4, but it makes up for it by delivering a constantly evolving and constantly changing battlefield. On top of all this it's FUN! The game never becomes frustrating and never loses it's fun factor.....a solid game in the 1 Player department.
The visuals in BF:BC are very well done considering the size and scale of the game. The vehicles and buildings are very well detailed, the water looks great and explosions and building damage looks great. We have to understand that visually this game was not going to be as polished as Call Of Duty 4, but the sheer size and destructibility of the levels is something to be cheered. The visuals are not as photo realistic as in other shooters and there is no blood.....but what the visuals do accomplish is translating the chaos of the modern day battlefield. From convincing explosions, to kicked up dust clouds and wonderful smoke and fire effects this game delivers a visceral experience in an ever changing and ever dynamic gaming experience.
The sound in BF:BC is unmatched in a shooter as far as I'm concerned. Echoes and reverberations of your gunfire play off the sided of buildings and valleys giving an audio signature to your surroundings. Artillery batteries can be heard rumbling in the distance announcing the shells inevitable arrival on your dug in positions causing you to run in fear from your foxhole. Tank rounds whistle and cut through the air as they wizz by you. Bullets tick off the bricks of the buildings and tink off the concrete you are using for cover. Every gun sounds as it should, especially the heavy guns mounted on vehicles and choppers. Air Support chimes in as they announce the drop of laser guided bombs on the armor you have targeted. Inside the choppers you hear radio chatter and lock on warnings......all little details that further delve you into the convincing battlefield experience.
They variety of gameplay scenarios in BF:BC is unmatched in any shooter, especially in the online portion of the game. There are 5 different soldier classes (Assault, Recon, Demo, Specialist, Support) each with their own special abilities.....like Snipers being able to target enemy tanks and vehicles with a laser designator, or the Support class being able to heal team mates, call in mortar barrages and fix vehicles. You may, as I have come to like a few classes for different situations in a round. I like to run with RECON and SUPPORT depending on the situation. Recon is good when a team is farther from a position you are defending and Support is better when they are up in your grill, as you have a heavy machine gun and the ability to heal yourself. On top of all this is the vehicular aspect of the game.....Tanks, Choppers, APCs, Jeeps, Hummers, Light Armor, Boats.......expect some Tank battles as well as Air to Air Combat. As well as all this you still have Artillery Guns and Stationary Weapons like Grenade launchers, Rocket launchers, and heavy machine guns at fortified positions and bottle necks......so remember to duck and cover!
This might be the strongest and weakest portion of BF:BC for the Playstation 3. There is no finer team military game on next gen systems than BF:BC. That being said there is also no other game with such a variety of technical issues holding it back from being the best team shooter period. The first and most glaring problem is the mics not working. In a team tactical shooter communication isn't just a nice feature to have, it's a feature that effects the way the game is played. Part of the fun is missing due to the fact that you can't communicate information to your squad mates. In a game that really features and ever evolving battlefield I would like to think communication is a MUST! It would be nice to call in chopper support if you were pinned down by sniper fire, and as the chopper lays down rockets and mini gun fire into the sniper's den you are able to advance out of danger. But no....you won't get that here. The mics are useless and it takes the community aspect of the game away because in a sense you are playing a fancy 1 Player Game in which those around you and those in your squad are silent partners. The other disappointing aspect of this is that even if the mics did work properly you still are only able to talk to your other 3 squad mates and not the entire 12 man team. Very unforgivable.......this was a standard PS2 feature......can I say Socom? The next Item up for complaint is the unstable servers. I routinely get booted from games as do a large cross section of people I play with online, this included east coast USA to west coast USA as well as eastern, central and western Canada...so it is not an isolated problem with one Internet Provider or region.....as far as I assume it's the lackluster EA Servers and shoddy game support......no different from the mic and connection problems that plagued NHL 08 in my opinion. Nothing is more frustrating as a gamer to anxiously await the arrival of a shooter of this magnitude through the months and months and delays to finally get to play a product that is marginally stable at best. EA has the resources and the funds to correct these problems.....there is really no excuse, especially when the PS3 is it's biggest profit machine in Q1 of 2008. It's time for them to step up and deliver for their paying customers, there is really no excuse. The final online gripe, as with every other shooter out there sans Socom is the party and lobby systems. When are games seriously going to look at SOCOM's Clan/Party system. There is really no excuse for a game that supports 12 vs 12 play to only allow me to invite 3 of my friends. Why can't I round up 11 of my friends and go tackle another team of 12 players? Why can't I create a private room with a map rotation of my choosing? Really simple basic needs in the eyes of online shooter gamers that rarely if ever get delivered to us.
Make no mistake, Battlefield: Bad Company is a Grade "A" FPS. This game really innovated the FPS genre even more than Call Of Duty 4 in my mind. The destructible environments alone are truly a technical achievement to be welcomed and applauded. The environments and how you use your environments are really what lend the air of unpredictability to this shooter and set it apart from all the other shooters on the market. The mix of foot and vehicle combat as well as the variety of soldier classes and weapons ensure that no two games are ever the same. With this being said, there are a lot of online shortcomings and problems that keep this game from reaching the stratosphere of and elite next gen online shooter. Lets hope Dice, Electronic Arts and Sony are working tooth and nail to correct these problems and deliver the caliber of game we all know Battlefield can truly be.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 07/31/08
Game Release: Battlefield: Bad Company (US, 06/23/08)
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