Sunday, July 23, 2000

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 | 9.0

Quick backround on me - I'm an avid console FPS player. I achieved top 1% once and top 6% for 3 solid months on Killzone. I've gotten my kill rank as high as 91000 on MW2 (good enough for top 2%). I also played a fair amount of Resistance. I LOVE COD:MW2. I love the graphics, the speed, the twitch reflexes required to be good. I also do not play the single player games, so my review is aimed specifically at the online portion. I will say the 2 hours spent on the single player were very fun and the graphics phenominal (noticeably better than multiplayer). I also play with a clan that has carried over several games, that also weighs into my opinion. Finally, I played both the BETA and the DEMO, and about 48 hours online in, so I have a fair amount of experience with BFBC 2 .

Based on DICE & EA's own admission, they are aiming to be the best, better than COD specfically. Do they succeed? Yes and no. Here is my comparison/opinion:

Play is class based - Recon, Medic, Assault and Engineer. As you play as each character, their specific abilities are unlocked and enhanced. The leveling is slow. Unlike MW2 where getting hot could mean 2000xp and a quick couple of levels. Not so in Battlefield. You will need to play and play well as one class for an extended period to really get into the meat of the characters. You can customize your player, but not in the same fashion MW2. Edge: Draw

Modes include Rush, Capture the Flag, Squad Deathmatch and Gold Rush. The HUGE advantage BFBC 2 has over MW2 is that playing like a one man army is useless and you will probably lose. You CAN do it, but camping and playing as a lone wolf simply do not work in BFBC. Again, a stark contrast to MW2, the maps are enormous. And that is putting it lightly. Squading up is imperative if you want to move quickly across the map (and spawn with a squadmate). Edge: BFBC

Mechanics - The players move in a similiar fashion to COD:MW, i.e., like the player is on skates. This is in contrast to Killzone that moves more like Saving Private Ryan. The guns feel good, but do not have a weighty feel to them. The player can run for days and jump abnormally high. The bullets have drop at long range, wich is awesome. As opposed to a wobbly reticle, you have to aim based on distance to the target. You don't get much of a notice when you are getting hit or hit someone, and getting killed can be a bit jarring and abrubt. Players can regain health, but slowly, so as a sniper, you can get those one shot kills, especially if you snipe behind your tank. Speaking of vehicles. They are tide changer and vital part of winning the game you are playing. We're talking choppers, tanks, humvees and quadrunners. As far as the actual shooting goes, MW2 still just feels better, but that is going to be a strict opinion, as both work just fine. Edge: Draw

Matchmaking - It's easy to jump into a squad and more importantly, hook up with friends. You can customize the map you play and all of the modes. The game also plays on dedicated servers supported by EA. Again, big edge: BFBC.

Graphics / Sound - This is going to be very much debated. I like how COD and KZ looks. BUT - Battlefield has vehicles, 24 players, 10 maps that dwarf COD and KZ's maps and the big enchilada - fully destructable environments. Like the tanks your in, they change the game. If a sniper thinks he's going to camp, think again. The building he's in or tree he's behind will eventually fall. Near the end of some matches, the level of destruction is incredible. If you are a pure graphics fiend, youll probably think it's ugly, if you love the size, scope and destructability, you'll prefer BFBC. As far as sound - COD is like a Bruckheimer movie, BFBC is like Saving Private Ryan. More pops and thumps. Every gun in COD sounds like a cannon (which I love with my Turtlebeach P21 Headphones). Edge: Draw

Overall - I personally prefer the gameplay of COD:MW2 by a wide margin over BFBC 2. However, if you've spent any time with MW2, you know it's full of lone wolves, campers, cheaters and glitchers. The matchmaking is inferior, clan support is nill and playing with friends online is very difficult because of constant drops. Playing as a team is paramount to having a good time on BFBC, and there in lies the rub. I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because I'm afraid the game will not have that pick up and play, jump right in replayability that COD:MW2 has. Ginormous maps played with strangers not playing together could end up being just as bad (or worse) than the faults of MW2. At the end of the day, I like the overall idea of BFBC2 BETTER than MW2, but narrowly. Time will tell where the support from players lies and the longevity of the game.


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