Combine a clich? premise and stereotypical roster of characters with a phenomenal multi-player mode and vibrant graphics, and you get Battlefield: Bad Company 2 for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, the sequel to Electronic Art?s 2008 first-person shooter Battlefield: Bad Company and the next installment in the Battlefield: 1942 series. Bad Company fans everywhere have been emptying their wallets for the highly anticipated shooter, and it has received above average ratings from Game Informer magazine and 1Up.com.
The campaign starts off rather unpredictably, as the entire introductory level and prologue take place in the midst of WWII, in the Sea of Japan. The player takes control of Wyatt, a member of an elite army squadron in search for evidence of Japanese construction of a weapon of mass destruction (WMD).
The game then fast forwards to the present day, in which the United States is at war with the Russian Federation (how innovative). The gamer assumes the role of Preston Marlowe, the protagonist of the Bad Company series. Along with Bravo Squad, and elite military squadron, the player travels through various environments ? from the Amazon rainforest to the mountainous terrain along the borders of Russia ? in an attempt to beat the Russians to a super-weapon, the very same WMD constructed by the Japanese during World War II.
In terms of plot, the game could not be more clich?. The ?apocalyptic war with Russia? is a premise utilized in far too many games nowadays, and video game companies are milking this plot line far too often. The roster of characters in the game is also run-of-the-mill; you have the techie, the about-to-retire Sergeant, the physiologically traumatized Veteran and the trigger happy maniac who likes to make things go ?boom?. Essentially, the game is Military Story 101. You can see plot twist coming a mile away, and the abundance of Russian and Latino racial stereotypes highlights the lack of creativity of the game designers.
The graphics department, however, is where this game really shines. From the prologue, the cinematic cut-scenes are realistic and lush, and the facial expressions of the characters are also very well-developed and detailed. The default contrast and brightness settings are a bit to high, however, so adjust the sensitivity settings on your TV or game console do prevent headaches and eye squinting. Bad Company 2 also does an excellent job of re-creating environments in general. High attention to detail is clear, as the jungles of South America and mountainous, snowy borders of Russia actually represent what they would look like in real life.
Controls in the shooter are very easy to grasp, and are just like any other FPS. If you?re a veteran of shooters, you?ll master the controls without any difficulty. If your new to the genre, you?ll need some practice.
Overall, the game moves at a very fast-pace, and you have to be very liberal in your actions if you want to progress through each level. That being said, the game is definitely not good for campers who like to stake out in one area and wait for the perfect kill.
Multi-player mode is another area that makes the game worthwhile. The multi-player mode has eight playable maps, with a code to download two more. Each map is a fully destructible environment, so camping points can quickly be eradicated. A classic multi-player mode from previous Battlefield games, Rush, returns in Bad Company 2, where one team must defend an area of the map from the opposing team. The various multi-player modes are all addicting, and will have you on your living room couch with your controller in your hands until the early hours of the morning, making the game worth the $50-$60.
While the campaign is a flop, the multi-player modes are where Bad Company 2 delivers the goods. Combine the multi-player mode with great attention to detail and impeccable graphics, Bad Company 2 is sure to provide hours upon hours of entertainment. If you?re only interested in the campaign and not the multi-player mode, settle on a rental for this one.