Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Review

FPSGamer goes duck-hunting in EA’s biggest Battlefield to date. Can DICE bring the house down a second time?

By Edwin Evans-Thirlwell, March 25, 2010

“B” Company themselves are still as likeable a bunch of devil-may-cares as you could hope to find in any given foxhole. Each man – straight-faced white boy Marlowe, drawling redneck joke-butt Haggard, the nerdy, highly strung Sweetwater and ‘Sarge’, whose personality and physical traits can be deduced from his rank alone – has been sliced from the same chunk of All-American apple pie as Modern Warfare’s interchangeable squaddies, but these boys have something Infinity Ward’s cast don’t: a sense of humour. There were times when the twinkly what-the-hell-ishness of it all made us queasy, but more often than not we found ourselves chuckling along. Hag’s relationship with a certain hippy helicopter pilot is worth treasuring.

Enjoy the view while it lasts, 'cause we're packing C4.

Enjoy the view while it lasts, 'cause we're packing C4.

Beyond the cutscenes, though, the campaign is standard fare. Some reviewers have found the levels broader than the norm, even to the point of (drum roll please) non-linearity. They’re certainly broad, but the basic design principle is still to reach the end of a corridor; scripted trial-and-repetition bits make frequent appearances (I’m looking at you, mysterious out-of-control jeep, and you, helicopter-in-tunnel); vehicle or turret segments, not 360 degree exploration, are DICE’s pace-changers of choice; and the moment-to-moment is ruled by that long-grown-tedious back-and-forth incumbent on a recharging health bar.

At times the sandbox feel is more noticeable, as when you must capture a trio of satellite stations scattered across a desert map (though all this really amounts to is choosing which of three linear battles you take on first). At another point, you’re tasked with making your way down towards a large jungle encampment, freeing captive troops as desired to aid you against lookout towers, buggies and rocket turrets.

The presence of aforementioned Important Crate-like Objects and new weapons – which the game dangles briefly before your eyes on collection, like a stripper flashing his wares – are instrumental, as in other games that aspire to open-endedness, to getting players off the beaten track. Without these tempting trinkets, we’d have seen a lot less of the environments than we did.

One definite downside to all the demolishing of buildings, kicking over of fences and so forth is the confusion incurred on partner AI, and the often hilarious obviousness of the developer’s attempts to correct this via surreptitious respawns. “B” Company might be the toast of CGI, but they’re about as convincing in action as Dr Who’s special effects, stopping dead for no apparent reason before tally-hoing into the crossfire, teleporting all over the place at the drop of a hat – or more accurately, roof.

Never get out of the boat. Absolutely goddamn right.

Never get out of the boat. Absolutely goddamn right.

Example: having cleared out a network of raised wooden shacks with the aid of a tactical shotgun, I started up the dirt track beyond only to realise that my squadmates weren’t following. Returning to the shacks, I discovered that Hag had got himself wedged below floor level while Sarge was staring fixedly at a palm tree. Exasperated, I set off up the track solo – only for the three men to erupt pugnaciously from a bush as though they’d been waiting for me to catch up. Nightcrawler could learn a thing or two from these guys.

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7 Responses to “Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Review”

  1. Brush says:

    I really like the look of this, however, I think I’ll wait because of EA’s ‘project ten sterling’

    I was not at all worried about this when i bought Mass Effect2, as i wanted the game new anyway (and do realise 2nd hand sales go entirely to the shops). Buuuut…now i would quite like to trade it in for something like Battlefield…i realise it’s me not said shops that take the hit in this menage a trois, the trade in price is rubbish.

    So…it’s making buying Battlefield…more of a risk should you not like it. In some ways i support the principle of what they’re doing, but games just cost too much.

    Anyway, i’ll keep it in the memory bank and make sure i pick it up sometime.

  2. Dan Dreyer says:

    It shocks me that you could play this multiplayer for more than a few minutes and conclude that it focuses on tactics no more than it’s genre’s predecessors. Blowing up buildings and driving tanks through (close to) real physics means SO much more than just giggly fun. With Bad Company 2 you have so many ways to do EVERYTHING you do. In previous games, you try to flank your enemy, hit him with a grenade, or shoot him quicker (usually this last). The winning team in Rush has little to do with technical skill. This coupled with each class’s distinct roles make for a multiplayer experience that is second to none when it comes to tactical game-play. I looked up a clan once I realized this, started playing with 8 ppl on a team, and now MW2 feels like an empty shell fit for playing only while intoxicated (for stupid people).

    This game does suffer from some little bugs, but when you compare it to it’s predecessors and keep in mind that it’s something like 20 times more complex… they are nothing. Remember the javelin glitch in MW2, the infinite crate glitch? Walking below the lvl in World at War? Getting your foot stuck on a piece of concrete feels tame compared to that.

  3. hassan says:

    moi mää haluna optla pisää psp peliä

  4. bob says:

    “Giggly fun”? You destroy my cover for giggly fun? What the hell. The game is only as complicated as the person playing it. When I go in with a full fireteam playing rush, you are the sort of person I order a cease fire on just to see where you will go. People who don’t understand the tactical aspects of BC2 screw everyone over. You didn’t once mention enemy highlighting in this game, a key feature. You didn’t bother to mention weapon balance, weapon customization, weapon variety, class use of gadgets or anything related to the multiplayer game in any meaningful way except for a few of the key innovations. Are you reviewing the playability of the multiplayer, or the durability of the gimmicks?

    • Eh, you make good points. The sparsity of fine detail on multiplayer in this piece has been bothering me, though I think I’ve expressed the gist adequately and no, I would not change the score/verdict on the basis of playtime since review. Fancy writing a more in-depth ‘pro-gamer’ piece for us about BC2 online as it stands today? Can’t pay you, but you’ll have the satisfaction of bitching at me in a semi-official capacity. I’d do it myself, but revisiting titles is a luxury we can seldom afford…

  5. ChazMaz says:


    Fix the lag!

    The game is really sucking.


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