Saturday, 10 April 2010

Completeion Update: Battlefield - Bad Company 2

After starting several games which fizzled out after only a few sessions, (namely Dirt 2 and Red Faction Guerrilla), I finally found a single player game good enough to hold my attention. I wrote yesterday of how Bad Company 2 has saved my online multiplayer soul, and now it seems it's done the same in single player campaign mode. I'd already bought the console version before I got the message to try it out on PC, so when it came to the campaign I figured I'd try and get some of my moneys worth by playing through the campaign on the XBOX, giving me the added bonus of all that lovely gamer score!

The game starts off with the obligatory training mission, presented here as a World War II based prologue to the main story. The tutorial is pretty much spot on for what it needs to do. There's plenty of action without ever overwhelming the player, and the gameplay guide is well integrated into the mission. From this promising start the game just gets better and better. The rest of the campaign is set in the present, as you take control of Pvt. Preston Marlowe, part of a four man team who in turn are part of "Bad Company" as they head off into the jungles of South America to try to stop a rogue Russian colonel getting his hands on a piece of secret and deadly weapons technology that could spell disaster for the good ol' U.S of A. Ok, so the story is about as unoriginal as it gets, but it never takes itself too seriously and it certainly makes a hell of a lot more sense than the plot of Modern Warfare 2's single player campaign! A smart and funny script, (including some cracking little jibes at MW2's expense), and some fine voice talent in the four main characters makes it easy to overlook the shortcomings of the plot itself.

The game is played out over a variety of terrains, from steamy jungles and snowy mountains, to barren deserts and ruined city's; mostly on foot, but often gunning helicopter mounted mini-guns, driving tanks or racing ATV quad-bikes. There's plenty to see and do, and, despite the generally linear gameplay, usually several ways to do it. The obligatory collectibles come in the form of weapons that you take off fallen foes or find lying around the maps, ticking one off on your collectibles chart every time you pick up a gun you haven't encountered before. A neat little feature also sees the guns you find added to your weapons caches that are placed at the beginning of each level, and at other useful points along the way. Thus enabling the player to try out new weapons combinations if the one they are currently using suddenly becomes useless for the task in hand. The other type of collectible hidden throughout the game are the M-COM satellite uplink stations, (pictured below), which need to be destroyed. There are 24 of these hidden throughout the game, and despite their rather large size they are indeed well hidden! I got about 15 of them on my first play through and had to go back in with the aid of a guide to find the last few... I know, I know... I feel bad about it, don't look at me like that.

The achievements are split 30/20, with the former being campaign based and the latter obtainable through online multiplayer. I managed to pick up most of the campaign based ones on the first run through, which is always nice, and coupled with the fact there are no "Kill 10,000 enemies" or "Find 500  pointless things" type achievements, it's good incentive to play through again to try to pick up the ones you missed first time. Fortunately the game is fun enough, and the campaign short enough, for this to not feel like a huge waste of time as it so often does in other games. One small gripe would be that the campaign feels a little short, but it's probably a couple of hours longer than the one in MW2, and like that game, the meat of BFBC2 is its massive online multiplayer. Having some achievements tied to multiplayer isn't always a good idea, but there aren't any here that are too outrageous, (such as "Beat one of the Development Team in a race" Yes Dirt 2, I'm looking at you), and i think they'll probably have the effect of enticing a few people who wouldn't normally touch a multi-player FPS with a barge pole into giving it a bash. I don't feel the need to espouse too much on the virtues of the online experience, as I've already hailed it as my savior of the genre in my last post.

Taken as a whole, this is a hell of a game. EA/DICE really did a fine job with Battlefield: Bad Company 2, and if you are even remotely interested in the First Person Shooter genre then you really should play it. Bring on the new Medal of Honor game I say, and let's see if these two companies can bring something new and exciting to the table once again!

No comments:

Post a Comment