When it comes down to multiplatform first person shooters, many think that Infinity Ward's Call of Duty has that market cornered. Well, they don't, because Electronic Arts and DICE have something to say about that with their all new Battlefield entry: Bad Company 2. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is truly a solid effort from a multiplatform game, an effort we'd really love to see more of from other developers and publishers.
As the game opens up, a prologue throws you back into time very briefly and sets you during a World War II event. Wait, no, don't scoff! This isn't a World War II game, it just uses that one scenario as a backdrop, as soon as you complete your first mission you'll be fast forwarded to a time that's much closer to the present where tensions between America and Russia escalates and an all new conflict breaks out. Without spoiling anything, this conflict relates to the established prologue, and the story will eventually take you out of Russia and into South American countries like Bolivia and Colombia.
The story is there and, for the most part, it's pretty decent. But you'll likely forget about it when you're completely enamored by the game's superb mechanics. Much like Killzone 2, Bad Company 2 gives you that sense of immersion that every gamer looks for out of an FPS. Every shot feels like it counts for something, as the feedback you get from your guns is spectacular! Not only that, but when those bullets connect with an enemy you get more feedback, as enemies will recoil from impact, fall, grab their wound, or perform various other animations that let you know you were successful.
Best of all, I noticed numerous other things about the A.I., and that's their attire and the effect it has on gameplay. For example, in the opening mission where armor is very weak or non-existent on your enemies, it will only take a shot or two to kill a foe. Where as when you're facing enemies that are decked out with protection, it may require 2-4 shots to take one out, unless you score a headshot. Now, even when you're in the present time of the game, enemies will vary in the amount and type of armor they wear, so you will still come across lightly-armored foes that you can level quickly. And it's that sort of realism that really makes Battlefield: Bad Company 2 click for me. Truly, the game mechanics are some of the best the FPS genre has seen this generation.
But, I'm sure, just like with other FPS games, most of you bought this for the multiplayer. And by all means there's nothing wrong with that, because Bad Company 2 boasts a tremendous multiplayer setup, that can hold even more players than Call of Duty can. A total of 24 gamers can run around, but be aware that BC2's multiplayer is a bit more strategic than other shooters. You've got four different job classes (Assault, Engineer, Recon, and Medic) that you can pick before spawning. All of them should be pretty explanatory, with the exception of Engineer, which boasts both Demolition and Specialist in one package. You can take control of tanks, remote helicopters, and other crafts/vehicles, all of which you can use to gain an advantage on the field. All of the action will unfold across four match types: Rush, Conquest, Squad Deathmatch, and Squad Rush. And yes, weapon customization and experience points are present.
Graphics are often the crux in multiplayer games. While Battlefield doesn't shatter any ground, or topple Sony's own Killzone 2, it still is a good looking game. For starters, BC2 runs at a proper resolution, a full 720p unlike Call of Duty. Lighting effects are also pretty impressive, especially when you're in a lush area full of greenery all around you. There are a high number of really sloppy and washed out textures, and you'll no doubt notice them when you're taking cover. But you will try to look past them when you realize the full picture is very sharp, runs well, and animates well.
Helping aid the game mechanics and the feedback of your gun shots is the audio, which successfully replicates every fired bullet with precision. Turning up the sound on this one is suggested, as it only helps the experience. Of course, aside from sound effects, there's a good amount of voice work that you'll hear all throughout the game, whether its during a cut-scene or during battle from either your squad or the enemies spouting hate in their language. For the most part, it's hard to find too much fault with the voice acting, so Bad Company 2 rounds out its score quite high across the board.
If you were one of the many disappointed by the last Call of Duty game, and haven't scored your copy of Battlefield: Bad Company 2, then I highly encourage you to do so. It is the first blockbuster FPS game of 2010, and it'll take a lot of effort for another game developer to top this. Employing some of the best game mechanics in the genre, terrific balance, terrific multiplayer fun, and a technical package you can appreciate, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is an FPS you need to play.