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Game Profile
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
PlayStation 3
PUBLISHER:
EA Games
DEVELOPER:
Digital Illusions
GENRE: First Person Shooter
PLAYERS:   1
RELEASE DATE:
March 02, 2010


IN THE SERIES
Battlefield 1

Battlefield 3

Battlefield 3

Battlefield 3

Battlefield: Bad Company 2

More in this Series
 Written by Kyle Williams  on February 11, 2010

Hands-On Preview: This ain't your daddy's dirty dozen.


?We want you to do what you do best. Be unorthodox. Be lethal. Can you do that for me??

These are the orders laid down to you and the rest of Bravo Company ? Bad Company ? in the recently released single-player trailer for Battlefield: Bad Company 2. This line just about sums up the team that we were introduced to in 2008's Battlefield: Bad Company. They are misfits. They screw up. When tasked with the impossible, they find a way to get the job done.

No, these guys aren't superheroes. In most circumstances, you wouldn't even call them regular heroes. They are just a group of guys that signed up for the army and are trying to stay alive until they get out.



This time around Bad Company, Preston, Sweetwater, Haggard, and Sergeant Redford, will travel from Alaska to South America in an effort to stop a new arms race before it escalates into a full-fledged world war. With the world-hopping deployments, the combat locales will range from jungle villages to snow-covered mountain tops. The combat promises to be intense, with early comparisons being drawn between the jungle level and Apocalypse Now. If DICE can keep up that type of intensity over all ten hours of gameplay, then we are in for a gaming treat.

Don't expect that Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is going to be a significant departure from the core gameplay of the original game. Expect more of the same action, weapon variety, and destructibility that made the original a successful single-player game. This time around, DICE is promising 46 weapons, 15 land, sea, and air vehicles, and a more improved destruction engine.

Speaking of destruction, what really set Bad Company apart from its contemporaries was the company's Frostbite engine that allowed players to annihilate buildings, structures, and vehicles. As you might imagine, the sequel is expanding on that functionality, too. While the original game allowed you to blow out walls and cover with explosive weapons, there were always specific structural points of the building that would survive, sometimes in defiance of real-world physics. This time around, the environment will be even more malleable and allow you to completely raze buildings and other cover. This shift in functionality should also prompt a subsequent shift in tactics, both in single and multi-player modes.

Since this is a Battlefield title, you know that the multiplayer side of Bad Company 2 isn't going to be slighted either. EA and DICE are promising more than 15000 kit variations - based around 46 weapons, 15 gadgets, and 13 character specializations -to keep the action feeling fresh as you progress through 50 online ranks. Of course, what good is a 50-level meta-game if it isn't any fun to get there? They are looking to deliver there, too, with game modes both new and old to tickle your fancy. As highlighted in a multiplayer preview on IGN last month, one of the new modes is Squad Deathmatch. This will be a four-on-four-on-four-on-four duel that will require you to develop new strategies to dominate your opponent. Combine all of this with a perk system, not entirely unlike that found in recent Call of Duty games, and the gaming community may be giggling with glee come the game's March release.

As a side-note, I have to admit that I love the community involvement that Bad Company 2 is already boasting. A great example of it is the Achievement Challenge that was recently run on the game's official website. They polled the community for ideas on Achievement/Trophy ideas and are actually including the winner as an in-game award. It's a pretty good one, too. I mean, scoring a headshot with the repair tool, which is basically an impact wrench, is worthy of note. For a franchise that is so deeply rooted in a multiplayer experience, keeping the community involved is paramount and is very well executed already.

After getting a chance to spend some time with the recently released Bad Company 2 Demo on the PS3, I can happily report that the pieces are coming together nicely for the pending release. Those that played the original game will feel immediately at home with the conquest-styled gameplay that the demo boasts. One of the biggest things that jumped out at me is how Destruction 2.0 works in the Frostbite engine. Where in the original game you could (almost) get away with hiding inside a building and picking off an unsuspecting opponent as he came running through, this time around the enemy can drop the building on top of your head. It is a little bit surprising the first time that it happens but it allows a resourceful team to find an alternate means to destroy a target when the defense is just too well dug-in.

While the demo isn't quite full-featured, it does give a nice glimpse into the progression system of the BC2 multiplayer experience. To sum up the experience as best I can, I would describe it as a cross between the leveling systems of the original Bad Company and the aforementioned recent Call of Duty titles. Even though there are only two primary weapons available per character class in the demo, I found myself constantly playing just, ?one more game,? trying to unlock that next weapon or reach that next rank. It is the kind of meta-gaming that will keep the hardest of the core online for weeks and months.

Final Thoughts
In a recent interview with GameTrailers TV's Geoff Keighley, Karl Magnus Troedsson, the executive producer for Bad Company 2, extolled that, ?We're always trying to make the best game possible.? Their track record shows that they don't miss that mark, but it is going to take an impressive delivery to dethrone that other modern combat game that everyone is playing. Doing so will be a tall order but, after seeing what DICE has in store for us, they just might have a shot.


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