With the recent release and having been able to play though most of the campaign and enjoy a fair amount of MP I felt I should make as fair a review as possible.
Many of you know that Battlefield has had a long history on the Market and the way EA has sold it on the PC has been strange but good. The game is free but the patches cost money... Or something to that extent as I am told. It has been a successful franchise for the most part but is Bad Company a worthy follow up?
Well let me go over some fine points. I will be reviewing this game with very little background on the Battlefield Franchise. I have played it on PC but only for a few minutes at friends houses here and there. It was enjoyable but nothing I was about to go get a new PC for especially with the slew of other games that have been out that I, for the most part, enjoyed more then the short stints of playing previous Battlefield games.
Notice how I did not say Technical issues as there are some but I feel its all for a reason. How is the game technically? Destruction, Mayhem, Environments, Graphics, Controls?
Environments. Well from what I had seen from Dev Diaries I thought it would be completely open. It's not. Now thats not to say it's linear by any means. The more you do the more opens up. Most areas are pretty big to begin with and only get bigger in single or multiplayer. Lots to explore with some easter eggs and collectibles around.
Destruction. Well I think the Dev's could have easily made it so you could completely level buildings and dig holes in the ground if you wanted ala Red Faction I feel the reason behind keeping support walls and stairs from being destroyed was for tactical reasons as opposed to capability. More snipe points and higher ground makes for an interesting fight as opposed to artillery taking out areas completely and just fighting on a flat map. The physics seem very scripted with explosions. The walls seem to blow out the same way no matter what angle you hit it at. This however does not turn me off the game. It looks good and plays fun and is a nice change of pace. The fact that some walls are stronger then others and need a few grenades to destroy is cool as well.
Graphics. The game is not a powerhouse like many others we have these days but it's still good. A touch above the average but nothing to drool over. Especially because of the physics engine and otherwise.
Mayhem. The game seems to be able to handle a lot. A few online matches seem slow at times but I don't think it's the game as opposed to gamers using their WiFi to host games or maybe having a poor cable service area. Lag can be a killer but it's usually not bad at all.
Controls. There is a learning curve if you are used to many other shooters but it is not too much of a curve. Tight and fairly well done. I only wish I could map my buttons.
Single Player Campaign.
From the very beginning you are introduced to your squad and right off the bat you set out to join the fight. Your squad seems to get shoved off to do the dirty work while others take credit which I feel is one of the underlying tones of the game as it flows over into most of our lives. Basically after your introduction to the controls, which I thought was very well done, you move on through the story progression. not the best in terms story writing or humor throughout the game but enjoyable none the less. The controls are tight but there are some issues I have found. Once you get your mortar strike weapon you won't want to let it go. It makes almost everything a walk in the park if used correctly. Also some parts of the game seem to jump from very easy to very difficult in a split second. What the single player mode does however is get you ready for online. You get to learn how to use and drive every vehicle it seems so your not crashing your chopper into the ground from the beginning of online. Or dropping artillery on yourself. Overall a good, not too short experience you may or may not play again depending on how many unlockables you want.
12 vs 12. 7 maps with lots of variety and huge areas. Only 1 mode "Gold Rush" which is fun but it's only 1 mode. I heard they would be adding more soon.
This is where the game truly shines I feel. It is a formula that has worked with many games, a few of the most notable being the Star Wars Battlefront games. They copied the formula that has worked with the other Battlefields and it truly is a good way to make an online experience. It is very fun and easy to jump in and out. There are 7 maps to start off with all unique and fun with different advantages depending on the class you took. You have 5 classes and you can modify them after leveling each level similar to COD4 except you get to choose which class or weapon you upgrade instead of the game choosing for you.
On the upside as well this game is a much more team based then others on the market. If you have a squad that talks to each other and has a variety of classes like a support class or otherwise you can do some great damage and be a force to be reckoned with. Many COD fans may be upset as they can't really camp certain spots and go off alone. Team play is key to this game so depending on if you like to play on your own or not this game may or may not be for you.
Balance is great. You can excel at what your good at and be a great asset to your team if you play your class well.
The downfall is as I said above lag can be a killer. "I know I got him" may run through your head a few times but thats with any game on any system. Sometimes it can even slow up really bad for a few seconds but it is still rare. Spawn points can be killer. I can tell you in the short time I have played the game. Tanks seem to get me on some maps every time I respawn without even a chance to live. However you can choose to spawn by your team or in a different area so sometimes it's all on you.
The other Downfall is that you can't talk to anyone outside your team. This can be good or bad. Good in that you can be more coordinated and efficient and bad in that you can't tell that other team not to go in the building you just called a mortar strike on(You do lose EXP for fratricide).
Finally. Controls can seem strange as you may feel you get hung up on a corner trying to run out of a building or maybe a little plant slows you down. Sometimes if someone runs in a room it's hard to tell if they are a bad guy or good and then you just fall down dead and realize "Oh I guess he was bad" however I feel this is just getting used to as well. I had the same issue with Russians and SAS when I first tried COD4 and now it's kinda weird to think I ever felt that way. The same with controls and getting hung up on things. I feel it's just a "getting used to" thing.
Overall the game is a worthy experience for me and hopefully for you as well. Some may not like the game as it's a little more tactical then COD4 but still nothing like Rainbow Six or SOCOM. A good middle ground that you can make what you like of it.
I hope this helps in your gaming choice guys. If you have a choice between this and other AAA titles I would say wait and see but if you got the cash to spare it's a buy in my book. Game on!