Review by Groves22
"Battlefield: Bad Company - Welcome to Bad Company!"
If you have read some of my other reviews, you'll realize I enjoy shooter style games. Next up on my list; Battlefield: Bad Company. Finally, I have a game to get me away from Call of Duty 4! BF:BC is the only game that will be in my Xbox 360 for a while now (except when my wife is playing Guitar Hero: Aerosmith).
Dice introduced their new Frostbite engine for BF:BC. Virtually everything is destructible in the games environment. You see an enemy run into a building, no problem. You load up your M203GL, blast a hole into the wall the size of a Mack truck and finish him off. Fences, walls, trees and so on are susceptible to crumbling into nothing. With that said, you can not totally destroy a building. You can take out roofs and walls, but the frame of the shamed house will still be standing. There are some other items, like wooden planks, that you would think could be destroyed, but can survive a mortar strike. Though the Frostbite engine isn't perfect, it is definitely fun to destroy everything you see!
BF:BC introduces a wonderful single player mode anyone can start with. The single player has 3 levels of difficulty. You play are Pvt. Preston Marlowe, whom has been assigned to the 222nd battalion, B Company, which is made up of soldiers the Army deems expendable. You are part of a four man squad including Sgt. Redford, Sweetwater, and Haggard. Each has their own story and personalities, which are apparent throughout the campaign. The group fights against Russians and groups of mercenaries getting paid with gold bars. Throughout the campaign, you will be drilled with several one-liners that will lighten up the game, and you seeing the shenanigans in the cutscenes between fire fights. Also throughout the single player campaign, you can search for unlockable weapons and gold bars.
On the hardest difficulty, the enemy AI are all 5-star sharpshooters. You will get hit even when you are hiding in a bush with thick smoke between. You need to find shelter quick and heal yourself with the injector, which restores your health back to 100%. You have an unlimited amount of heath injectors, so go nuts! The friendly AI are pretty much worthless. They will let you know when you kill someone, but other than that, you might as well be a lone wolf the entire game. At one point, there were two enemy soldiers, literally inches in front of Haggard, he would not fire at them, making me do all of the work, which I don't mind that much. A co-op mode would be nice, but is not present in BF:BC. The enemies are finite, so you can take as long as you want through a section, more soldiers will not spawn.
There are several guns and gadgets you can play with throughout the single player campaign. In order to use these guns, you must pick them up as collectibles. You will see several types of shotguns, assault rifles, small and light machine guns, sniper rifle and rocket launcher. You will also find other handheld devices; C4, vehicle repair tool, mortar strike, and laser designator.
Graphically, BF:BC does not make you say wow, but they are on par for the next generation gaming. I think the graphics needed to take the hit for the large destructible environments provided. So if that means I don't need to see a fly on a leaf of a tree to have a house's wall crumble in front of me, I'll take it!
The sounds in BF:BC are some of the best I have heard in a shooter in a long time. The guns sound as realistic as they can. Echoes can be heard all over the place during a huge gun fight. You will hear your teammates all around, as well as enemy soldiers. Footsteps sound great, as well as all the vehicles in the game. The rumble feature in the controllers also makes a big impact. And time a tank is near, you will hear it and feel it at the same time.
Battlefield games are known for their multiplayer gameplay, and Bad Company has a great one. Currently, there is only one game mode called Gold Rush. Gold Rush is an Attack & Defend game type. There are several crates of gold through out the map which once team (of up to 12) has to defend, while the other try to destroy it, either by planting a charge or constantly shooting the crate. The maps start out as a defender base, and the attacker's base. As the attackers get the two gold crates at the defender's base, the map will expand backward, moving the attacker's base up to the old defenders base, and push the defenders back to protect 2 more crates. The attackers only have a certain amount of lives per match, while the defenders have infinite lives. So if the defenders kill enough attackers without losing all of their crates they will get the victory. The attacks can only win if they destroy all of the crates. Matches can last anywhere from 10 to 60 minutes. A Conquest mode has been announced, and will be released as a free download soon.
You have your choice to play ranked or unranked matches. Ranked matches help you build up your rank to gain more unlockables. You gain rank by killing enemies, healing teammates, repairing vehicles, destroying gold crates and so on. You also get bonus points for headshots, avenging a squad member's death, assisting players, etc. You can unlock trophies, wildcards and patches throughout the multiplayer by completing several tasks. BF:BC definitely has a very addictive online mode.
Depending on the map (there are 7), you will have different base weapons to choose from. There are 5 weapons you will unlock when you reach the highest level of 25, and 10 weapons you can unlock with credits through ranking up, with 5 gadgets. The gadgets include anti-tank mine, laser designator, C4, auto health injector and mortar strike. Also depending on the map, you find a barrage of vehicles. The vehicles include tanks, jeeps, humvees, helicopters and boats. There will also be stationary weapons to help fight off infantry, tanks, or choppers.
There are five kits (classes) you can choose from in the multiplayer. You have Assault, Specialist, Recon, Demolition, and Support. Assault is composed of AR's, grenades, and grenade launcher. Specialist has SMG's, grenades, tracer darts. Recon is a sniper with a handgun and motion sensor. Demolition will have a shotgun, rocker launcher and grenades. Finally, Support is made up of LMG's, vehicle repair tool, and health packs.
You are grouped up in squads of 4 during the matches. You can invite 3 of your friends before a game starts to have a personal squad, or you can just enter into a random squad. A squad member can only hear his other squad members. This means out of the 11 other people on your team, only 3 can hear you. This can be frustrating when trying to work with someone next to you, that isn't part of you squad, but I guess it's nice to not have 8 people you don't know being there usual selves on LIVE.
Battlefield: Bad Company is my new crack. It has solely taken the place of Call of Duty 4 and is not letting me let go. With the huge sandbox warfare, BF:BC is a shooter you have to play. This is a must have!
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 09/01/09
Game Release: Battlefield: Bad Company (US, 06/23/08)
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