Battlefield: Bad Company 2 - game review
What's the best way to invest $ 23 million? First you need to be foresight and start working with a promising Swedish developer. Then buy most of his shares, and finally, for the above-mentioned amount, take full control of a capable and ambitious team. Stockholm's Digital Illusions CE (DICE) has thus become part of the great family of Electronic Arts, which has shown more than once that how few people can eat, chew and finally spit out. Fortunately, the Swedes are doing very well and keep surprising with better and better productions. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 hits the market some time after the best-selling Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 , so you can't escape comparisons, no matter how much you want to.
There is probably no player who would not have heard about the Battlefield series. It enjoys great recognition among both PC and console players, although this favor is primarily due to the great multiplayer mode. The single-player campaign consisted of either a strange patchwork of a dozen missions ( Modern Combat ), or what was intended to be a satire on the military, and came out with a television theater with talking heads and huge maps that took a lot of time to drive through and along. Nevertheless, four nice gentlemen from the first Bad Company hit the hearts of players enough for DICE to give them one more chance.
After playing gold diggers, the Dirty Company is sent on a mission to acquire a powerful weapon. So we jump into Preston Marlowe's skin again, and for the next seven hours of fun we have to endure the company of barked Sweetwater, overactive Haggard, and Sergeant Redford, who has given up all hope of making it to retirement. Of course, not everything goes as planned by the scribblers from the headquarters and in the next mission we land in Bolivia, looking for the missing agent. The circumstances of nature change like in a kaleidoscope. Once we wade knee-deep in the snow, only a moment later to absorb the moist air of the South American jungle, and a moment later to roast in the desert scorched by the sun. The authors did not try to elaborate on a sophisticated plot and served the standard set of most shootings in which we chase bad guys who want to destroy America. People who previously completed the campaign in Modern Warfare 2 will experience deja vu at least several times. Another thing is that Infinity Ward hasn't really pushed for originality either, but going both games in the order in which they appeared in stores may leave the impression of borrowing this and that by the DICE team. This and the similarity of some missions is actually the only element of Bad Company 2 that matches the works of the competition.
However, to fully show what the single player mode is in the latest Battlefield, let's not give up further comparisons. This will make it possible to demonstrate that two games that are ultimately similar in terms of genres may use completely different means to achieve the intended goal.
The characteristic feature of the first part of the BFBC was humor. This time the wings of the people responsible for the dialogues were slightly cut, which in the general context of the game reception turned out to be the most appropriate choice. At the same time, it is not that suddenly four funny dudes were made into pompous big boys preaching to the player about the rightness of punishing all the "bad guys" in this part of the Milky Way. The gentlemen from the Parszywa Kompania have only acquired a bit more social manners, although their language is still flexible and in simple, soldier words, conveying what the head will think. It gets a little happier during the chats between shooting, all you have to do is stop and wait, and the jokes and interesting comparisons will start to fall out of your sleeve. It's a nice change from the pretentiously serious Modern Warfare 2.
After the gimmicky, bombastic glamor served by the latest Call of Duty, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 feels pretty ordinary. The television theater from the "one" was replaced by well-directed cutscenes. During the mission, we are unlikely to observe any particularly dramatic events. We do our job, we cut the taboos of slightly dull opponents, whose artificial intelligence, however, is not always doing the best. The one responsible for the behavior of our companions is also not so much - it happens that they stand idle or exchange fire for a few minutes with the only remaining enemy, until we step into action ourselves and eliminate him. CoD's monumentalism clashes with Battlefield's moderation and economy - in my opinion, the latter title emerges victorious from this battle. And at the same time, it is more realistic. MW2 is strikingly artificial, in Bad Company 2 everything has its place and time at best.
DICE boasts of its graphics engine called Frostbite for a reason. Its capabilities were already shown in the first part of the BFBC, but there, due to the huge script, it did not turn out as effective as you would like. The programmers had a lot of time to improve it and what we see in the "two" looks much better. In spite of everything, destruction cannot be done everywhere yet, because there are places that are even resistant to an atomic bomb.
Above I mentioned similar missions in the Modern Warfare series and the game Bad Company 2. However, in order not to spoil the pleasure of exploring the plot on your own, I will only mention the bombing with UAVs (in MW, the firing took place from the board of the AC-130 aircraft) or sending to the sand a thug with a hostage. In the campaign mode, however, the use of all gadgets, be they weapons or vehicles, is justified by the fact that they are later used during online gameplay. This form of training. In short: see what this toy can do and do your best to be able to play with it in an equally sophisticated way in the mutliplayer.
The Swedes realized that they had slightly exaggerated the size of the maps in the campaign in the first part. They decided to fix it and as a result (with one exception) the prepared missions are classic "sleeves". We go in on one side, shoot and exit on the other. This simplification resulted in an intensified player experience, a faster pace to the fun and a slightly larger number of scripted events. Don't worry, there aren't as many of them as in MW , although most of them are noticeable at the first attempt to play.
The end completes the work. In this case, this end is the excellently prepared polonization of the game. It was mainly attended by Cezary Pazura, who played the role of Sweetwater, and Mirosław Baka, who voiced Haggard. Anyway, EA boasts wherever it can. And rightly so. What I will write now, I do very rarely, but the actors did their best. Well, maybe with the exception of the one who plays the role of a bald, tall robber, who draws in a thin voice like a Kresowiak - I know, this is supposed to be an alternative to a clearly Russian accent in English speech, but the end result is highly unsatisfactory. The other gentlemen adequately empathize with the spoken issues and without unnecessary, but unfortunately common, emphasis on the text, as if it was intended for seven-year-olds. Maybe sometimes it is a pity that Mr. Czarek apparently got so used to his role in the 13th Outpost that he will probably always speak the same way - but surprisingly, it does not bother the game at all. Anyway, what I will unnecessarily incense. I believe that what the Bad Company 2 localization team has done at the moment is the championship of the world and the surrounding area. Dot. However, it is worth knowing that both during installation and afterwards, in the main menu, you can choose the full Polish version and the English version with or without Polish subtitles. Oh, don't give the game to people who are sensitive to the so-called bad language. From the very beginning, backyard Latin flows out of the screen.
In terms of sound, the game is great and it is no different in the case of the graphics. It is true that the jungle may not look at the level of Crysis, but the appearance of the models, their animation, all graphic filters, the possibility of destroying the environment and explosions are extremely fun. The field of view is very large, nothing is suddenly drawn. And for a relatively small price, because the game with the highest graphics settings should run relatively smoothly even on mid-range equipment.
So far, there has probably been no one who bought any of the earlier parts of the series solely because they wanted to go through the single player campaign. And even if someone did, well ... sympathy. Bad Company 2 is the first game from the Battlefield family to break with the past and is even suitable for an excellent purchase for someone who does not want to compete on the Internet with many years of FPS stagers. If, however, he would like to try his hand, he has an excellent opportunity to do so.
So far, DICE has prepared ten maps for multiplayer. The winter scenery of Port Valdez could be admired by all beta users. The full game also includes other winter maps: White Pass and Nelson Bay played at night. Players will surely like the desert climate of Port Arica, the well-designed Atacama Desert, in which in the center of the town lies the wreckage of a large ship buried in sand, or the beautiful, rubble-like railway station on the map of the Panama Canal. Fun in green surroundings is guaranteed by the least interesting Isla Innocent so far, the fantastic Laguna Alta and Laguna Presa with a huge dam overlooking the lake, and my last favorite, Valparaiso, where one Bradley is basically the key to victory.
In multiplayer, as well as in the single, some maps have been trimmed on the sides, which on the one hand contributed to increasing the pace of the game, and on the other hand limited the room for maneuver. First of all, vehicles. Since there are two parallel roads leading to the enemy base, then without proper cover, and with effective opponents' resistance, there is no chance of breaking through. In addition, the second part introduces the possibility of joining a specific team by yourself, which is a clear improvement in relation to the machine from the "number one".
War in multiplayer has never been so beautiful and so intense. It is a pity that DICE did not think about the balance of the characters. In BFBC2, we can play one of four classes: stormtrooper, mechanic, medic or scout. As each player progresses, he scores points that increase his military rank and unlock new weapons, gadgets or an ability that influences, for example, the quality of the armor or the fire power of the vehicle. An ill-considered balance basically concerns the medic class, which not only has a huge firepower at the start, but also scores points most easily by throwing first aid kits and defibrillating partners. The result is a herd of paramedics running around and packets of first aid everywhere.
There are four game modes available to players: Team Deathmatch, Team Rush (these are rather dedicated to clan competitions) and the classic Conquest, which consists in gaining and maintaining control points, as well as the usual Rush, already known from the previous BFBC. In the latter, the task of one side is to destroy a few relays, and the other - to protect them. Some maps are common to both of these modes, some use only one of them, although if you believe EA's assurances, the company intends to release new maps in the future and work on adapting them to both game modes.
In addition, and the rather sluggish operation of the server search engine, I do not have any objections to the multiplayer. I was just having a lot of fun and absolutely no weariness. DICE has once again proved to be the company that produces the best online shooters that are then played for years. There is no competitor on the horizon that could compete with the Swedes in this class. War plus vehicles equals Bad Company 2.
The new Battlefield is an excellent game. It's a lot of fun in the single player mode, which can successfully compete with the single player from Modern Warfare 2 and if it does not exceed it, it will definitely be equal to it. At the same time, it outclasses its rivals with a great multiplayer. About seven hours of a very good campaign and many days of explosive online struggle is probably the best incentive to reach for your wallet. Buy and play. Until the release of Battlefield 3, nothing else with the same caliber of FPS experiences will not surprise us.
Przemek "g40st" Zamęcki