Review by Vesamau

"BFBC Multiplayer Review: Can BC compete with all the other shooters already out? Unless things change, most likely not."

"BFBC Multiplayer Review: Can BC compete with all the other shooters already out? Unless things change, most likely not."

Gameplay - 6/10

The destructible environments are the first thing that drew me to this game, and after playing it, it was done pretty well. Some people were angry at the fact that the destruction was just objects swaps with smoke, but in this case the limitation was justified. I don't think the game would be very fun if everything was blown out of existence and all that was left was a flat prairie of a battlefield. There are no customizable controls, and no south paw options. I hate that you have to hold down the LS to run. When near death the players screen will get very hazy and every sound gets muffled until you die or are healed, it will not gradually go away. There is no prone function, so those players looking for an extra edge in sniping or a little bit of extra cover, tough luck. Looking sensitivity is off, lower it enough to actually be able to aim and you take forever to turn around, jack it up and your character reacts like it's in fast forward. The gunplay is feels very arcade-like, you'll find yourself often unloading 10+ bullets from into an enemy at close range to just to have them turn around and shotgun/lucky headshot you.

The Kits - 7/10

When players spawn, they choose from 5 different Kits, with each filling a different role. The only thing you control in the Kit is the main weapon you use. While the Kits do feel evened out here, I really had wished we would be able to create our own custom classes. Bad Company has also cut out some equipment that is standard for most war games (most notable are smoke grenades, flash bang grenades, claymore mines, and ammo packs). The weapons are not very balanced. Every AR has 50 bullets in a mag, every SMG has 60, every LMG has 150, the only difference's are the damage/accuracy/recoil/range. So basically, the best gun for each kit tends to be the one with the highest damage and accuracy.

Assault - Good for frontline advancement with their ability to fully heal instantly and a nifty grenade launcher that can be used to create makeshift paths through buildings. However, don't expect to be killing anything with the Grenade Launcher. Low damage and practically no splash damage - a direct hit will not kill a player.

Demolition - Excellent against vehicles, and their shotguns are very deadly in CQC. Some people think the shotguns have too large a killing range, however rockets need a direct hit on a player to kill them and the pump action shotguns have pretty low rates of fire, so I feel it balances out...sort of. Light vehicles do not trigger the Anti-Tank mines. Only Kit capable of solo destroying a gold case from full health (mines + rockets).

Recon - The Sniper Kit. Now, compared to previous Battlefields, the Recon is a bit different on BC. Instead of having Claymore Mines, they now have a Motion Sensor "grenade", that when thrown will highlight any enemies within the radius on the map. They also have a Laser Designator to call in air strikes - the player takes direct control of the bomb after it drops, and steer it to their intended target. There is a known glitch that when spawning on a squadmate using the JDAM, players will sawn with the bomb and plummet to the ground for a suicide. The secondary Pistol is overpowered, beating out AR's and SMG's in some cases.

Specialist - Although best utilised in CQC scenarios, they have some abilities that let them contribute in other situations. The C4 unlock is good at destroying tanks if you can get close enough, setting traps, or using them to blow the gold case. They also have a Tracer gun that when fired at vehicles will highlight them on the map, and Demolition rocket launchers can home in on tagged vehicles (they will have a yellow target box).

Support - Basically, it's the Medic, just renamed. Like the Recon Kit, this kit has been changed slightly from previous Battlefield games. They no longer have Ammo Packs and Defibrillators, they retain the Med Pack and gain a Mortar Strike designator. Their LMG's are especially good at taking down the helicopters.

All in all, I find Bad Companies kits are merely adequate. The omission of staple equipment, coupled with the fact that each gun only gets one sight (you can't unlock attachments and customize your guns, like in Call of Duty 4) really hurts the overall feel of the game. I know this is a Battlefield game, but if it works, why not add it?

Squads - 1/10

Simply put, this is the worst squad system I have ever seen. Ever. You can only have 4 people in a squad, and you can only chat to the people in your squad during the game. That's right, 12 player teams and you can only talk to 3 of them. Now, if you are not part of a pre-made squad when entering a match, your randomly put into an open squad on the team. You can't change squads while ingame, so if you are unhappy with your teammates, you'll have to quit or wait it out until they leave and you get stuck with another random. You are able to create your own squads before hand so you can play with friends, but even that has problems.. Most of the time when a full squad joins a match, members will end up autobalanced onto other squads/teams, and you'll have to wait until next round to play with your squad (sometimes it takes more then one round). There's no proximity chat, no voice clip shortcuts to shout stuff to teammates like in the PC titles. The squad spawn system is a neat idea, poor execution makes it infuriating though. You can't choose which member you spawn on, so if your whole squad is dead except for a sniper who is camped back near the start of the map, you are forced to spawn far away from the action, or at the base (which usually means far away from the action lol)

Maps - 8/10

Overall I like all of the maps. The amount of vehicles and stationary emplacements for each is pretty dead on, the large variety ensures players who like different types of battles (large, vehicle based battles versus small, cramped closed quarters combat) will find at least one map they like, and the general feeling of playing a Battlefield game is definitely there. A few complaints, I wish we had the option to turn off the Grain effect, and on some maps the fog density makes it almost too hard to really see what's going on. The out of bounds time limit is 5 seconds, which isn't so bad all around, but it kills wayward helicopters a lot. We can expect different versions of the maps when the Conquest patch is out to go along with the new game mode.

Game Modes - 7/10

I can't remember the last time ANY game was released with just one online game mode, and while Gold Rush is decent, it's not enough to keep me interested for very long. Gold Rush is basically an Attack - Defend scenario, with the Attackers having to destroy the Defenders Gold Crates, which always come in pairs and must both be destroyed to advance to the next set. However, with only one game mode, most games are filled with people wanting to play in a TDM setting. This makes it hard for the attacking team to win, since everyone is gunning for kills instead of the objectives. As it is now, Defenders definitely have the greater chance of winning. DICE is set to release a patch in the future to add a new game mode, Conquest, for free. This is the original Battlefield game mode, teams fight for bases to control the spawn points until the other teams tickets are reduced to 0.

Vehicles - 7/10

Once again, no custom controls and south paw options. Most of the vehicles are well balanced , although the Buggy could be a tad faster. The big vehicle issue comes from the helicopters. The controls give a steep learning curve to new players, they take ridiculous amounts of damage from LMG's and Machine Gun turrets (they kill a heli faster then the AA stationary turret at closer ranges), and the missiles are underpowered for how fragile they are. There are no transport helicopters, and players do not have parachutes, so the only way out is to land or die. The rotation speed on the tanks turrets/turning is a bit slower then most people would like.

Sound - 8/10
While the games sound effects are generally very good, especially when inside buildings (the echoes of bullets and just reloading your gun are amazing), sometimes when a vehicle is approaching from behind you you cannot hear it, and this results in a team kill a lot of the time.

Features and Replayability - 6/10
There are 25 ranks, and it should only take about a week or two of online playing to reach the top rank. A lot of the rank symbols are inaccurate. Once you reach rank 25 there is an additional Skill Rank system, which no one seems to understand at the moment. The only unlocks are different main weapons and 1 special unlock for each kit, there are no lobbies, no private rooms, you cannot record videos but you can take screenshots. There are a multitude of awards, but some don't really promote the whole "squad" mentality while others are crazy hard to do (Grenade Launcher Trophy anyone?). The guns are stuck using the sights the programmers gave each gun, there are no unlockable scopes. You can only choose wich map you play on once, when doing a Custom Match. After you enter the battle the map cycle picks up as usual.

Final Score - 6.25/10

Departing Blurb - I enjoyed the demo, and I'm still enjoying the game as much as I can (even though I only last a few matches before getting bored now). The game had lots of potential, it's too bad DICE and EA decided to neuter the franchise. I don't think I can even recommend a rent, as the demo is EXACTLY the same as the full game, just with one map and limited unlocks. Try it out, if you like it rent the full game and see if you like the other maps, because if Oasis is your favorite map, don't bother getting the full game.
Reviewer's Score: 6.25/10, Posted: 07/11/08


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 07/12/08

Game Release: Battlefield: Bad Company (US, 06/23/08)


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