As with most online FPS’, you sometimes wind up in a game crippled by lag. Approach an enemy defusing the M-Com station charge, unload a clip into their head only to have them get up, kill you in one shot and go back to defusing the charge. Kill-cam pops up showing you dying without ever getting a shot off. Sometimes your RPG fires – but it doesn’t. Suddenly it’s still loaded, no ammo expended, almost like it never happened. And the tank you were aiming at has now finally spotted you. Then there’s the push-back lag. Take cover behind a wall, only to have the lag ‘rewind’ you about 3 metres so you’re out in the open again – and now dead.
Thankfully the answer is squadding up with local mates – which now works exceptionally well – and/or trying another game that pairs you up with people closer to home. One does wish it was possible to choose from Country-specific servers or games allowed you to see visual ping stats before getting deep into a game though.
For the most part, the experience is solid, only occasionally marred by a laggy game (which leads to some unbelievable kill fails), or a match turning into a Sniper-fest. Bad Company 2 has vastly improved in its online presence, somewhat at the cost of its campaign offering though. This is a little disconcerting, especially as the original Bad Company was a deviation from the typical online groundwork of the Battlefield series, with the intention of offering a ‘special’ offline experience. Despite the return to online focus, it has paid off – Bad Company 2 is a remarkable online multiplayer game.
Graphics & Sound
There’s a definite graphical improvement over its predecessor as you’d expect. The first thing you notice, particularly in the campaign, is the new attention to detail and design. Just the simple act of crouching through the snow looks great. The new environments, snow (Russia) and thick jungle (South America) compliment the series well and are done justice in campaign and online.
DICE have gone for a more cinematic feel this time around in Bad Company 2’s campaign. Segments of player control are broken by fade-to-blacks, followed by big screen cutscenes littered with brilliant camera angles and focus. Chase sequences are bigger and better, full of action and more explosions. The prologue level set in the Sea of Japan, assaulting a base by night has some incredible atmosphere.
Campaigns are often over-looked in current-gen FPS’, but the story in Bad Company 2 is most definitely one worthy of your time. It may not be as loveable as the original, but it’s still damn good fun. While the graphics are excellent, they’re not mind-blowing spectacular, take into account the scale of the maps and environments though and you can truly appreciate what’s been accomplished.
Sound however, is Bad Company 2’s masterpiece. Every weapon has its own sound, a very different sound to pretty much every other weapon you’ll encounter in the game. They’re all surprisingly unique. Distance and physics are also complimented well by the sound department – bullet and rocket fire sounds different at varying distance, there’s echo and fall effect. Bullets ‘whip’ past you and even sound different when fired into flesh and material. Ambient noise encountered in the jungle is especially immersing. You can tell that the sound guys put a lot of effort into this one.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 builds on everything its predecessor had to offer and vastly improves the original’s pitfalls. While not a focus point for most people, the campaign is more polished and prettier, but feels a little less special. Online is where the real development advances are felt however. Problems in the original with voice chat, squad creation/joining and game selection is much smoother now and works 99% of the time.
The new unlock system online rewards the regular players and makes much more sense for class unlocks and weapon/perk usage. While at times some of the perks and class-specific special attacks feel especially overused (games containing a team of snipers turns into a mortar strike-fest for example), in Bad Company 2, its generally those players’ loss – they’re missing out on the action and up-close excitement that’s now on offer.
While still capable of raising the blood pressure, Bad Company 2 is ridiculously addictive.
It’s not without its faults, that’s for sure – but for the more serious team-oriented FPS gamer, Bad Company 2 is where it’s at.