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Posted by moonhead on Mar 9, 2010
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 / Xbox 360 / EA

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 / Xbox 360 / EA

To say I have had enough of war based FPS would be an understatement. So why I went and spent £35 on this generic piece of turd is beyond me. But I did, so I now feel honour bound to write this review. This is not a bad game per se  but it is totally generic and so derivative of things that have gone before it feels as if I have played it a thousand times.

The Battlefield series is one that over the years has fared much better on the PC than consoles. In fact Dice the games Swedish developers have almost completely cornered the online market for this type of multiplayer FPS on PC. The Bad Company spin-off series was their way of shoe-horning a story in and making it appeal more to the console crowd. The first BFBC game was okay and its main hook was the massive destructibility of the scenery. It was let down by a poor story and repetitive gameplay, neither of which have been rectified here and in fact the sequel has seemingly gone out of its way not to build on any of the decent things in the first game at all.  Bad Company’s characters all return for this sequel but their bad language and banter have all been toned down. Which, whilst I understand the reasoning behind it as it was load of poorly scripted old rubbish, has had the undesired effect of giving the game one less individual selling point. Because like or loathe the original games swearing and team banter it was at least something to differentiate it from the crowd.

Dice have really gone out of their way to ape every war based FPS out there but the main target for their imitation is the Modern Warfare series of games. In fact it feels like whilst developing this they did so with a Modern Warfare check list that could have gone as follows-: Snow based sniping level? Check; UAV drone mission? Check; Copy of best FPS level ever ‘All Ghillied Up?’ Check and so on. I think at this point you must be getting the picture. Even the games now only unique selling point, the massively destructible environments, now called ‘Destruction 2.0’ (sounds like a really bad name for a caffeine loaded energy drink) has been reduced to a mere gimmick. Sure it can be fun to completely level scenery and blow holes into the sides buildings but surely this should have added a tactical element to the gameplay. It does not, in fact all that happens in the game is you blunder from one checkpoint to the next almost blindly firing at completely inept enemy AI. Also you constantly have to blow holes in the side of buildings or shoot doors through as the inept goon you control cannot actually pull a handle and open a door.

I’m not going to bother going into detail with the story as neither have Dice. Needless to say if I tell you it is Yanks vs Russians you will be able to fill in the generic blanks. It really is quite poor, I know Dice specialise in the online arena but if they are going to add a story they really need to do better than this rubbish.

Graphically the game does look the part but nothing we have not seen before. In fact I would say that Dice’s own ‘Frostbite’ engine  is starting to look a bit dated. Though the aforementioned ‘Destruction 2.o’ does look visually very impressive the first few times something goes bang it soon looses its impact. The sound and voice acting are all of a decent standard but have definitely been done better in similar titles.

So is the games saving grace going to be the online multiplayer the area where Dice’s expertise should shine through. Well the answer is yes and no, because even here instead of playing to the games strengths such as the vehicles and emphasis on good team play, they have again been too busy copying Modern Warfare.There are loads of variants of game modes, including the series’ much-loved Conquest mode which is in from the beginning this time around. Added to this are new modes, squad rush and deathmatch all of which include a whole raft of character classes to pick from. Strangely though there are odd limitations with the vehicles in the play modes that feel really prohibitive. But I will say the online side of this game works really well and fans of this genre will be more than happy and dare I say it they may even prefer it to the game Bad Company 2 so desperately wants to be.

As I am sure you can tell from this review I really have not enjoyed this game very much at all. Although I must say it is more than competent in what it does and is by no means a complete dud. But, and it is a very large but, it all just feels very average and in the last 3 or 4 years I have played a lot of games far too similar to this one and I am now starting to get bored. Very very bored!

Rating 6 / 10

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