User Review: Battlefield: Bad Company

It can’t be fun to be cast off and ditched into a less-than-stellar company of soldiers.  Who would have fun being part of B Company aka Bad Company?  It’s filled with the not-so cream of the crop supposedly.  Well, don’t tell Sarge, Sweetwater or Haggard that.  The eccentric trio of expendable soldiers are at the heart of what Battlefield: Bad Company is about.  Kicking ass, taking names and tossing in a joke or two while you’re at it is their game.

You are Preston Marlowe, a young Private who gets to journey with this trio of misfits to take out threats across the world.  Lace ‘em up soldier!

Gameplay, Graphics and Sound

Battlefield: Bad Company had me bitten at the opening screen or rather had me “frost bitten”.  DICE’s decision to develop the game with the new Frostbite technology was a wise one.  If you listened in on my last show, you’d know that I love it.  The ability to destroy buildings and create a new twist to each mission was a real treat.  The gameplay was pretty solid during the campaign although lacking in challenge especially considering you had an endless amount of health (administered by a quick shot of adrenaline to the chest).

You’re tasked with cleaning up some political mess throughout the country alongside 3 other members of Bad Company.  The way you do it is entirely up to you as the game allows you a decent choice of tools at your disposal to complete each mission.  You could go guns blazing, vehicle crashing or make use of the gadgets.

The weapons in the game were very nice.  The controls were easy enough to get used to especially for veterans of first person shooters.  Right trigger to fire, RB button to cycle weapon attachments, Y button to knife someone etc.  The LB button controls your adrenaline (health) injection and your secondary weapons.  There was an assortment of assault weapons, sniper rifles and explosive devices.  One of my favorites were the air strike binoculars that allowed you to “paint” a target and then guide the missile straight to it for the explosion.

I also loved the automatic shotgun, the M203, the rocket launchers, M-50…okay I loved every weapon in the game almost.  I was a bit miffed at being allowed to carry only one primary weapon but it didn’t take from the gameplay.

You could drive any vehicle in the game including jeeps, boats, trucks, tanks, helicopters, golf carts and many more.  There’s even a nice little Achievement for working your way to drive each one of them.  Having the right vehicle on certain missions can be very useful as can having the nifty little repair tool that lets you repair the damage to any vehicle.  You’ll need that tool on the heli mission. (hint)  Vehicles have their own set of controls as well so pay attention.

Another aspect of the Frostbite engine that truly impressed me was the sound it brought to the game.  The subtle differences of firing inside a building and in an open area was stunning.  The way you could leave a vehicle and hear the radio drowning out as you got farther or getting louder as you got closer was great.  I have a nice 5.1 Dolby setup and it’s probably the best use of my setup that I’ve come across in a game.

Bad Company did have its share of shortcomings.  One of the things I have to point out is that your squad is pretty useless.  I love the Sarge and Haggard is hilarious but if this were a real battlefield, then you’d be better off alone because these guys offer nothing in support.  I can’t count the number of times I’d be under serious fire only to have my “friends” off in wonderland somewhere apparently waiting for me to find a way to kill everyone.

Another thing that puzzled me was having enemies survive huge explosions somehow.  I love the Frostbite engine but I was seriously wondering how in the hell someone survived my rocket launcher being fired (and shattering) the wall that they were directly behind?  You’d think that an exploding wall would spell the end for whomever was behind it but apparently Kevlar is way better these days.

Despite those things, Battlefield: Bad Company provided a unique experience that you can’t find anywhere else in such a crowded genre as the shooter genre.  It was great visually and even better in the sound department.  Had they tweaked the AI just a little bit more, it would’ve been near perfect in my opinion.

Xbox Live Extras

There are two modes for Bad Company; Gold Rush and the popular Conquest Mode which was released later after the game shipped.  Bad Company delivers a solid multiplayer experience with Gold Rush only.  The object in Gold Rush is to destroy or defend several gold crates/locations.  The team that defends the most or destroys the most wins the match.

It may sound like nothing special but when playing it, it’s a furious gulp of fun. There have been complaints about the team chat, clan support and boosting but DICE is working on patching those issues so the online fun should only increase in the near future.

You can even take screenshots to rub that perfect kill in your friend’s face.  Just press up on the D-pad to take the screenshot.

Conclusion

The humor that DICE was going for with this particular entry in the Battlefield series forced me to play the game differently and that turned out to be a good thing.  I relaxed and played the game as if I were a soldier stuck in Bad Company on the hunt for gold with a crew surrounding me like Sweetwater, Sarge and Haggard.  I threw all tactical thoughts out and embraced the humor and “questions last” attitude that Bad Company is supposed to have.

After that, I went around destroying things while laughing at how much destruction I was causing and wondering who was going to foot the bill.  That is what Bad Company is all about.  Have fun, blow stuff up, kick some ass and find the gold in the process.  It’s a win-win situation for anyone fighting with Bad Company.

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    [...] User Review: Battlefield: Bad Company [...]

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