GOONL!NE Advent Calendar 2010: #13 – Battlefield: Bad Company 2

By James Love.

It’s a hard life for Battlefield: Bad Company 2, it’ll be the first shooter with a modern setting to come after Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and inevitably comparisons between the two will be drawn. After a recent hands-on with the beta trial on PlayStation 3 however, BF: BC 2 is shaping up to be more than a match for Infinity Ward’s MW2.

The strength of the last Bad Company game lay in it’s online play, the single player was a fun, if unforgettable adventure that meandered along without any real sense of urgency. This time around after witnessing the tour-de-force that was MW2′s single player (and the general bore that was Flashpoint’s) DICE will have to step it up a notch.

The Frostbite engine is capable of some kick-ass explosions so expect the single-player to make use of that, “Destruction 2.0″ could literally blow your socks off. Co-operative play is big in games at present so expect either (or possibly both) local or online co-op modes through the main story.

Seeing as much ain’t known about the story, let’s get back to what makes all Battlefield games awesome, the multiplayer. After the successes of the first game and 1943 online, DICE can’t afford to frig it up and going by the beta, they haven’t. Simply put, it’s wonderful.

MW2 online has turned into a spam-fest of grenades and campers, and with glitches galore it isn’t the most tempting place to go unless you’ve a party of friends with you. Now compare that to BC2 where you’re in a squad from the off, where team-work is rewarded and your friends could save your life, it’s heaven.

You’ve got 4 main classes, a rifleman where you just go around shooting the hell outta’ things, there is the medic which is pretty self-explanatory, in fact, all the classes are, the other two are engineer and sniper. Simples.

With the variety of classes, and the fact that their so straightforward, everyone knows their role. As a medic, you’ll hang back to support your mates, as a rifleman you’ll lead the charge and take out what’s put in front of you. This gives the online a great sense of balance and encourages you to play the game as a team.

Like MW2 (told you’d there’d be comparisons) as you progress up the ranks there are perks to unlock, or as they’re called in BF, “specialization slots.” Initial guns aren’t as powerful as the ones you get in MW2 so it’s best you take a supporting role to those who rank higher than you. You might think “frig that” but actually it’ll help you learn the ropes online and not end up getting bitch-slapped by the enemy.

Control-wise it’s ‘heavier’ than MW2 but not so much that it feels like Killzone 2, it’s sort of in-between them both, with the guns have a satisfyingly meaty feel when shot.

Battlefield is coming in March, and frankly, that’s too long a wait. The beta was frankly excellent even though it only demoed one game type and map.

To some (myself included) MW2 was a disappointment. Bad Company 2 could well be the sequel it should’ve been.