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Battlefield Company 2 is one video game you really can’t miss. With the increased intensity and visual dexterity of its forerunner, it is absolutely one of the most gripping multiplayer games out there; you can actually call it the star of the Battlefield show.

The story is typical enough with a bunch of rag-tag soldiers tracking down a mythical weapon of mass destruction in an effort to save the world. These dubious heroes take you across a variety of locales as they trudge through ice-covered mountains and jungles so dense they’re almost impenetrable. The nearly photorealistic and panoramic setting blends each minute effects and dynamic game objects in the foreground with the more inert backdrops. The result: awesome cyclorama with intense profundity that not all video game scenes can provide. Things start to gather momentum and get even more extremely electrifying when the action kicks off.

The last Battlefield game has come a long way; and taking a few cues from the Call of Duty franchise, it has made some great changes and improvements to the sequel. The most noticeable change is the more cinematically updated and simplified approach to the action. The level design, for one, feels a lot more straightforward, holding the players’ attention from start to finish with plenty more fun than its predecessor.

The great mechanics shouldn’t come as a surprise. The guns and vehicles are definitely more realistic with terrific reactions and fantastic sound, making you feel like you really are the king of the battlefield; and the instant re-spawn and medical kits of before have been replaced with checkpoints and regenerative health bars that make the “feel” of war confrontations more authentic.

Bad Company 2 is intrinsically team-based and the very layout of the game is basically designed to encourage team work among players – right up to earning extra points for working with your teammates. But what’s most strikingly impressive is the flexibility of this multiplayer game.

The modes and maps included in this package, along with the class system allow you more options in choosing exactly the approach and kind of game you want to play. For instance, there’s a vast difference between the extended team Rush games (played out across expansive maps with vehicles featured more heavily) and the tighter Squad Deathmatch games (more like the standard frenzied and close-quarters shooter). Of course, you can always hop into a Conquest game, if you’d rather go for something in-between and try your hand at classic Battlefield fights. No matter what mood you’re in, Bad Company 2 has something in store for you.

The game is not perfect, that’s for sure and if you want to start nitpicking, there’s plenty of occasions to call out. Minute details like the environment streaming into view just a tad late; on the Xbox 360 version, the excruciatingly slow loading can get a player locked out for about 5 seconds from throwing grenades or picking up a new weapon. This issue can be resolved if you install the game into a hard drive. The real troubles are mainly on the presentation and pacing.

This brings up another feature that the developers must have been going for but sadly missed. Despite the streamlining, Bad Company 2 still failed to capture the “epic” feeling of the game, partly because of the cut-scenes direction; but most likely because of the high-intensity, non-stop approach of the game play. There are heaps and loads of variety and all of them are great fun, sure; but overall, they don’t quite come together as a top-level thrilling experience. The frenetic pace renders it over in short order and it often feels like an anti-climax.

There’s a collectible weapon system that can present some incentive to go back for a second or third run, but it’s not really the type of game that could keep you coming back for more.

Well, if the game isn’t enough grounds for coming back, perhaps you’d find the class upgrades system interesting enough to get hooked. You can unlock new weapons and gadgets and other little perks to give you the upper hand in the fight. It’s basically a system that rewards players for completing small challenges or for winning games or simply, for just playing well and earning a lot of skills.

All in all, Bad Company 2 is an explosive, action-packed game, although it probably can never turn into a campaign for the ages. As an online shooter, Bad Company 2 is really tremendously engaging and flexible, with several features that its competitors can only wish for. This is absolutely your game if you’re searching for a more strategic and team-based, fast-paced change.