|System: X360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: EA DICE||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Electronic Arts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 2, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1 (24 Online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
For me, the best part of the campaign was the interactions between the characters of Bravo Two. The dialogue scripting is tight and hilarious, and the delivery by the actors and their obvious chemistry made for innumerable laugh-out-loud moments. The timely cutscenes and in-mission banter between the guys makes the game believable, heightening the immersion significantly.
As much as I enjoyed the single-player action, with its quick pace, challenging objectives, and great characters, the multiplayer aspect of BBC2 is where I had the most fun. There are only four game types out of the box, but they're so fun you don't really need any more (though I expect more are inbound via DLC). Rush, Conquest, Squad Rush, and Squad Deathmatch bring a little something different to the multiplayer table.
In Rush, the two sides of the conflict will take turns playing as attackers and defenders. On offense, you'll have to try to destroy two command links in order to advance. Once Alpha and Bravo have been destroyed, a new choke point with two new objectives will crop up. On defense, you'll have to try and kill as many invaders as you can while protecting the comms. If you can successfully mow through 100 opponents as a defender before giving up the objective, you're team will be crowned victorious. Team Rush is played the exact same way, but rather than squaring off in two-sided 24-player battles, each side will be divided up into four-man squads. This changes the dynamic significantly, as you'll have to play in a much more strategic fashion.
Conquest is a seemingly typical territory control mode of play. However, things are shaken up mightily by the fact that the controlling side will be awarded with vehicle spawns the longer they hold the position, essentially turning the tide of battle in their favor. Finally, Squad Deathmatch pits four squads against each other in a team-based free-for-all. Working in concert is truly important, especially if you find yourself beset upon by a squad controlling the single infantry fighting vehicle. The first squad to secure 50 kills wins.
Like in most modern online multiplayer games, players will be able to choose between a handful of kits (Assault, Engineer, Medic, Recon) that define their role on the battlefield. The more you play the more experience you will garner, eventually opening up perk-like bonuses and customizing equipment. Ranks and titles are also conferred upon players. There are eight very different multiplayer maps to play in (10 if you pick up the first-run/Limited Edition copy of the game), all of which are easily learned but are so large in size it never feels like anyone has an unfair advantage. Moreover, because terrain is constantly changing throughout the fights, people digging into "favorite" locations and just sniping away the whole game is not really feasible.
The multiplayer component of BBC2 also feels really different because of the amount of teamwork that needs to be employed by players, even outside of squad play. Furthermore, being able to re-spawn alongside a teammate, in a tank or helo, or at a secure location means you'll be able to get into the fight quickly, protect your teammates, and get into devastating positions even though you just fell in battle.
BBC2 is a great game that has honed its gameplay both in the campaign and multiplayer to a razor's edge. The only area that doesn't seem to be refined is the grainy graphics. Don't get me wrong; the environments look great, the explosions are awesome, and the physics are uncanny, but I was hoping to be treated to crisper visuals and better textures this time. Alas, graphics look decidedly similar to those found in BBC.
There's a ton of fun to be had here whether playing alone or with gamers online. The combat is fun, the characters are great, and there is a ton of gaming value shoehorned into this disk. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is a worthy sequel to the original; I'll be excited to see where this franchise goes next.
CCC Editor / News Director