Review by kain920411

"Why does everything explode around me?"

Battlefield Bad Company is in my opinion a two part game. The first part is the Solo player story mode (Basically its there for a laugh and to help learn the controls) then there is the second part that most people probably bought the game for, The online. I will get into both of these more in this review. Bad company is from Dice with support from EA. Its the latest of the series for the battlefield games. Since the other Battlefields have nothing to do with this review I wont bother listing them. The battlefield games have always been fun though for many reasons. The main one I like is that you can Drive or pilot any vehicle you see on the battlefield. These include; Tanks, Choppers, Jeeps and Boats. There are many variants of these but the main point here is the fact that you can drive them. You can take control of a few different troop classes with different weapons and skills These include; Assault gunner the Basic infantry man, Demolitions expert the guy who runs around with the rocket launcher and Land mines (after you unlock them) for blowing up Tanks, Recon unit A.K.A Sniper who has cool little motion detector globes that help pinpoint enemy's, The Specialist is also a favorite he has C4 and a Submachine gun and can be very deadly in the right hands and last The Support Unit, This guy is the Medic and Mechanic for the team and runs around with a Mini gun, in the right hands this guy can keep your squad alive for a very long time. Bad company has a new feature that was missing in the other versions though and that's Destructible environments. Almost everything in the game can be blown up or smashed so there is never a problem with a door. So now that the Basics are covered lets get down to the meat of the review.

Story 8/10
The game revolves around B-Company (Bad company) a small group of misfits who at some point in their career Messed up big time. Instead of being sent to Jail the Army transferred them to B-Company who basically serves as cannon fodder for special ops. They are the first ones sent in to die to prevent the expensive guys from biting it. The game is from the POV (Point of view) of Preston Marlowe. This is the guy who you will be for the entire game. Marlowe is not alone in the squad though, he also has Sarge the leader, Sweetwater the techy guy and communications Specialist and Haggard the explosive expert or the guy who likes to make things go BOOM! The story takes place right after Marlowe gets transferred to B-Company, with a strange turn of events the squad finds a great reason to fight on. I will not spoil it for you here but its pretty obvious when you get to that point. With this reason though the team goes on their own little crazy adventure to reach their goal but end up getting tossed deeper and deeper into the war. The story line is kind of short, its about 20 hours at best but this is only part of the game like I said earlier. B-company has a lot of comedy involved from the funny comments to the events and actions they go through. Its also a great help to play solo if you got the game for the second reason I mentioned, the online. There are a few things to collect on each mission, Guns and the story goal items. With the ability to pick up weapon kits dropped by enemies you will never really be short on ammo unless you like to spray and pray. The game it self is pretty easy if you take it slow, since there is a health injector that you can use to keep your self alive. If your careless though you will find your self dead and having to start over faster then you can say "What hit me". The story kind of ends suddenly and has a few things missing but other wise is worth the time.

Game play/Controls 9/10
When you start the single player mode it gives you basic instructions, Other wise read the book or controls section. At first it seems a little complicated but once you get the general layout its almost as easy as breathing... Unless your a fat guy like me. You can choose what set up you want but its easy other wise and makes for a lot of fast passed action. The characters move with ease and the only time there ever seems to be a problem with the controls is where to aim. There is a different set up for on foot, in a chopper and in a Tank/Jeep/Boat. They are all pretty basic and soon you will find your self driving down the road with not a care in the world... until you blow up, It happens. The Ai in single player is smart depending on the difficulty you play. If on easy they will stand there like statues and just shoot around you. On normal they will make you work for your goal and on Difficult they will swarm over you like ants at a picnic. You can use anything as cover by crouching or running behind it, you can't lay prone so get that out of your head, but bewared it can explode. The environment is 90-95% destructible. Walls can be blown apart, doors and fences blasted off their supports, trees knocked down, roofs ripped open and even the ground can be turned into a crater if you blast it enough. So if you think hiding in a building and shooting rockets at that tank will save you think again. Chances are that tank will just drive through the wall and run you down. This also adjusts a lot of strategies in the game and makes you think twice before you take that pot shot at the chopper flying over head. IN the choppers you have a nice little red box over enemies that are detected so you can track them with ease are you bring on the rain. There are no parachutes this time... so if you think jumping out at that last moment will save you, Wrong.

Graphics 9/10
The graphics are great for a FPS with almost fully destructible environments. Since you will run around a lot trying not to be blown apart you might not take the time to actually stop and look around you. When you get the chance try it. The trees actually look like trees instead of paper cut outs and you can use them for cover or to hide. The faces on the units actually look like they mean business or are hurt when shot and the mouths move when they talk (In multi player with the mics or when they call out where the enemy is). In single player the characters are well designed and move flawlessly thanks to animation actors. The weapons and vehicles looks like real ones instead of some made up thing. When something explodes the fire and smoke it creates really make you think "Wow, that had to hurt" and you can even use that smoke to run for cover. The water could have been a little better since it just seems life less, but otherwise the game was well designed.

Sound/Music 9/10
The music in the game has a catchy beat and really fits the situation. When you are running around and the music suddenly changes from an upbeat tempo to a low beat sound of doom, you know why. Each gun makes its own sound when fired and you can actually tell the difference between them and the distance from where they where shot from. When your running through the hills and you hear the faint pop of a sniper rifle or a whistle of a grenade launcher you know what to expect soon. Sometimes the sound may cut out due to an odd glitch but I'm pretty sure Dice will fix it soon. Online has a small flaw with the microphones though, it only allows you to talk to your squad of four you're teamed up with and every so often cuts out completely. That's the main reason why I give it a 9 instead of a 10. Otherwise it's great, nothing like sniping in the hills and suddenly hearing the rumble of a tank behind you to get your heart racing.

Playtime/Replay value 9/10
The single player mode will give you about 20 hours of game play. You might go through it 2 maybe 3 times if your a perfectionist and want to gather all the collectables. With the story though it gets boring after the first run though. The main replay for this game though is the online and that will probably be the main reason for a lot of people to buy it like I said earlier. With the online you will spend literally hundreds of hours trying to get all the Trophies, achievements, Wildcards and patches. With The new feature of dog tags you might even find your self on knifing sprees to collect other players names. Dog tags are basically trophies saying you knifed that person. It will tell you the time you got it and their rank in the stats screen online. It's a lot of fun and a good way to hold one over on your friends. Nothing like saying I got your tag when you're chatting with them in game.

Online 9/10
This is the main point of the game. Most of the battlefield games revolve around the online combat. This one is not different. With the Frost engine making it possible to blow almost anything up and the large levels making it possible to snipe with ease you will find your self almost always in action. If you think hiding in a building will save you your wrong, it can and probably will be blown apart rather quickly. Tanks and jeeps can get to pretty much any part of the map that's not on the second floor so running away does not always work either. The main advantage you will have is the fact that enemies only show on the mini map if spotted. So you can use stealth and sneak around the map stabbing and shooting people to your hearts content or until your seen. With a good recon unit at your back you can spot the enemies before they find you and get the drop on them. You can sneak into enemy lines and just blast them apart as they try to get to your base. Right now there is only one online mode, its called Gold Rush (conquest is coming soon). There are 2 teams. The attackers and the Defenders. As the Attacker you need to go to the Triangle attack points and blow up the crates. As the defender you need to defend these crates. When the two crates are blown up at one base the defending team is pushed back to another base to defend while the attackers get more reinforcements and start their assault from that point. If all the crates are destroyed the defenders lose the game. If all the Attackers reinforcements are killed then they lose. So cooperate with your team and
have fun.

The ranks are a little messed up at the moment, at one point you go from a 5 star general symbol down to a lieutenant symbol, not a big deal but can get annoying. I'm not sure if was intentional or if its a glitch thing. Either way as you gain points you will rank up and start unlocking new weapons. Points are gained in a variety of ways. Damage or blow up the crates, Heal units or vehicles, kill enemies. You lose points by killing your own team and damaging your own crates. If your the attacking team a good strategy is to blow up any cover around the crates and bring in some tanks to damage it. As a defender your best bet is to hold the enemy attacking team off with well placed explosives or getting to their base and keeping them trapped there. I'm sure you will find your own style of play but its worth working with your teams. Just remember the main point of your class and you will do fine and gain lots of points. One thing to watch out for is game freezing. Sometime the action gets so intense the game will lag to the point of freezing. That can and will probably get you killed. It does not happen a lot but if you find it happening all the time in the game your in exit out and join another one. I'm sure it's a glitch that will be fixed at one point. The glitches are the only reason the online does not get a 10 right now.

Overall 9/10
If you get the game for solo player only you will not get as much enjoyment out of the game as you should. So get it with the intent of playing online. Remember things can and do blow up, Stealth can be your friend and good team work saves the day. The game will not disappoint you if you go in knowing you can and will be killed or blown up randomly but that you can also do the same to them. Nothing like knifing a guy who thinks driving out into the middle of the field to fix his tank will save him. Think fast have fun and see you on the field... or maybe not if you don't watch behind you.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 07/07/08

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

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