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PlayStation 3 Review: Battlefield: Bad Company 2

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It’s time to don your favorite pair of camouflage fatigues and lock the doors. No, we’re not doing a kinky photo shoot for the troops; we’re talking about tuning out the rest of the world and playing EA Games’ Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Once again, the four hapless schmucks from Battlefield: Bad Company are back in action (as to what became of their seemingly serendipitous and luxurious outcome from the original is anyone’s guess — or did I miss that exposition?.  This time they are being thrust into one geographical hell after another in search of a long-lost secret weapon that was believed to have been destroyed in World War II. But who really gives a shit about the plot here? I certainly don’t — but that may be partially due to the fact that there isn’t much of one. It is a video game after all. The objective is to shoot people, blow things up, and — if you’re really lucky — develop carpal tunnel syndrome in the process.

Despite some rather good marketing, 2008’s Battlefield: Bad Company left me with a rather unpleasant taste in my mouth. Each new level was staggeringly similar to the last one, but the thrill of blowing things up and shooting people was limited to the 20 accumulative hours or so it took me to finish the game. Perhaps that was the real problem: the game didn’t take too terribly long to beat. Granted, there was the option of replaying it on a harder setting (like most shooter games), but, in reality, that just seemed like a waste of time. Worse, I am not an avid-enough gamer, or enough in love with the title, that I wanted to go in for the whole “online multiplayer thing”  In the end, Battlefield: Bad Company did not leave me with the most favorable of impressions.

Sadly, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 really didn’t succeed in impressing me either…and, although I fear my reluctance to participate in a multiplayer game is partially to blame, a certain sense of déjà vu overwhelmed me to the point where EA Games’ latest combat title (developed by EA DICE) just came off as a bit of a rip-off.

On the single player end of the spectrum, Battlefield: Bad Company 2’s engine is surprisingly similar to the last game. Granted, for this sequel the game’s creators have made a few improvements. For starters, you can now completely destroy an entire structure instead of blowing the walls off of it (please, try to contain your excitement). Also, the storyline is no longer limited to fictional desert countries in the Middle East — this time we get to trot across the globe and kill people in the snow and jungles, too (yay!). And, while there are a number of other refreshing changes from the first entry, I couldn’t help but get the feeling that Battlefield: Bad Company 2 was molded way too close to Infinity Ward’s Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

There, I said it. I’ll say it again, too: Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is too much like Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. From its artwork to its cutaway animations, anyone who has been thrilled to the brink of a digital orgasm by playing MW2 will undoubtedly find themselves saying, “Hold on a sec…this looks awfully familiar” when they pop BC2 in for a spin. And perhaps the similarities will cause many players to cherish Battlefield: Bad Company 2; because it is so much akin to that other, far-better, title.

And my beef with Battlefield: Bad Company 2 doesn’t end there, either. The gameplay is too undersized once again (especially for single players). Our heroes are the same four guys from before: such a thing may save on character development (which is a particularly sneaky thing to do if you’re rushing a game out to compete with another!), but these individuals are just as boring and one-dimensional as they were before. I imagine that only the other single players out there will find themselves in agreement with my quibbles; with the extensive multiplayer options available, online gamers should get a lot more out of Battlefield: Bad Company 2.  In said online matches up to 24 people can play at once in a variety of match types.  These matches are team based and feature both traditional deathmatch fair as well as one called "Rush" which pits an attacking side against a defending one.

As the online play is extensive, I recommend this game for those who are interested in online multiplayer only: it doesn’t offer anything else up to keep a single player affixed for more than one run-through.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is rated M (Mature) by the ESRB for Blood, Strong Language, Violence. This game can also be found on: PC and Xbox 360.

 

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About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the disgruntled alter-ego of a thirtysomething lad from Northern California who has watched so many weird movies since the tender age of 3 that a conventional life is out of the question. He currently lives in Chico, CA with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.