IMAGES COURTESY OF ELECTRONIC ARTS
It’s hard to distinguish yourself in a gaming market that’s saturated with military shooters, and while Electronic Arts’ Battlefield: Bad Company doesn’t offer anything really new, it’s a fun game full of variety and wonderfully destructible environments.
Released on June 23 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Battlefield: Bad Company puts you in the middle of a war against the Russian Federation. The problem is that you’ve been reassigned to Bad Company, a team of insubordinate soldiers with a knack for blowing stuff up and telling bad jokes. Two of the guys on your four-man team are constantly making wisecracks that aren’t really funny, but their brand of humor does make for an entertaining transition from story to action.
The controls are easy to operate and very similar to other first-person shooters. The game sports some impressive graphics too. Water, fire and smoke are all realistic, though there is a bit of lag when the action kicks into high gear. The game autosaves after every checkpoint which is nice, but the fact that you have to continually inject yourself with a shot to replenish your health is extremely annoying after a while.
Bad Company’s real perk is destructible environments. Blowing up buildings, bunkers and trees to get to enemy troops is extremely exhilarating and gives you a sense of what a ground war is really like. Also, the gameplay is very open ended, giving you the freedom to experiment with different tactics. Get from Point A to Point B anyway you choose using an arsenal of weapons like your machine gun, rocket launcher and C4, or level everything in sight with an airstrike.
Unfortunately your thirst for ultimate destruction is hindered by the fact that buildings only crumble so much and you can’t shoot bullets through thin obstacles. This is a major problem in my opinion. Basically, if you want to shoot an enemy soldier through a wooden fence, forget about it. You have to level the fence first with a grenade launcher and then he’s all yours.
You get to do a lot more than run and gun in Bad Company. Game variations include shooting from stationary machine guns and cannons, driving and shooting from trucks, tanks, boats, helicopters and even golf carts. Though the vehicle controls are tight and hard to control, they offer some serious firepower that comes in handy (again, blowing up stuff with heavy firepower is fun). And much like your character’s ability to heal himself, you have to option of repairing vehicles to extend their lifespan and usefulness.
One of the coolest elements of Battlefield: Bad Company is the objective-based online multiplayer mode called “Gold Rush.” Play as attacker or defender with 24 online players (12 on each team) using all the vehicles and weapons from the campaign mode. The destructible environments really enhance the online gameplay and differentiate this title from other popular online shooters like Call of Duty 4 and Halo 3.
Overall Battlefield: Bad Company is a fun military shooter that will take you about 7 hours to complete (the campaign), leaving you plenty of time to spend online blowing up tanks and helicopters with your friends.