"I got a visual on some bad guys," it could only be Battlefield: Bad Company 2. And it was my task to test the BETA and report back to SPOnG HQ.
If you liked the first Bad Company
but felt let down by the laggy multiplayer, youíll be pleased to hear that this time youíll happily be blowing buildings, tanks and other players up with no lag at all.
The part I played of Bad Company 2
was based around an online game type called 'Rush'. The idea is that you are attacking or defending two locations. As an attacking team, you only have 100 respawns to use. Getting through those before defeating the defenders gives victory to them.
Attackers must destroy sites A & B. Once that's been achieved, the battle moves onto the next battle zone and the respawn limit is reset. This makes an otherwise short match longer. This also makes the matches flow better because as soon as one lot of targets is taken out, the next two are only down the road on the same map. So, there is no necessity to load an entire new map, wasting gaming time in a lobby.
While the map shown isnít too large, itís of decent size for all types of soldier and vehicles. Squad respawn points and unlimited sprint means that soon after respawning you are straight back into the action of the battlefield.
Levelling up is ďnaturalĒ in that it works like most common FPS multiplayer games - for example, each level unlocks more guns and equipment perks.
There are four simple classes: Assault, Engineer, Medic and Recon. These work out as follows:
Assault is your standard class and comes equipped with rocket launcher and assault rifle.
Engineer gives you a tool that enables you to mend your tanks and other vehicles.
Medic is a great class to have in your squad. Not only can a medic give health packs to other players, they can also revive them. This means that the precious respawn limit doesn't deplete.
Recon is just another name for the snipers who come Ghillie Suited. Scoping is not made easy on Bad Company 2
, but if the crosshairs are centred on the enemy when you fire youíll at least get hit makers.
The Start menu is set up so you can easily play with friends or clan members. Also, when in-game it allows you to add them to your squad so they can always spawn near you. While Kill Assists don't change depending on how much you assisted with the killing, 20 points are awarded for a regular assist. However, if you help a squad member your unit receives a 'Squad Kill' assist of 40 points - a nice touch.
Many shooter games since Call of Duty
introduced Killcams have seemed to lack something when youíre killed. While many games make you follow one of your own teamís players, BFBC2
makes you watch you killer run around. When they are on screen, it states the weapon and equipment they are using with 'Your Killer' emblazoned across the top of the screen. Towards the middle/end of matches, occasionally it changes to the words "Your Nemesis" when a certain opposing player has killed you... lots.
The developers show their humour with the words 'EPIC FAIL' appearing in place of your killer after a suicide, which shows that the bad humour of the first Bad Company
continues. Your team mates shouting "I got a visual on some bad guys" means the game retains its fun, action feel.
One thing that made the realism of BFBC2
apparent is recoil Ė watch out for that. While aiming a rocket launcher at distant tanks you must aim above the target you wish to hit. Tanks will go down after a few hits from a rocket launcher unless fixed. There is, of course, a more exciting way to take out a tank: attach C4 explosive and then trigger it as the tank rolls away.
Blowing up buildings until they collapse extends the previous game's environmental damage with great effect. Although buildings donít collapse easily, when they do anyone left inside gets crushed by the ceiling. Collapsed buildings not only add a difference to the game but also supply immensely useful sniper spots for the closest team.
Sound and graphics are all great, as you would expect from a decent shooting game these days, with no dips in audio, or details of the graphics when running quickly from area to area. All guns have their own look and feel with different sights, strengths and weaknesses determining recoil and magazine size. Perk-like options can be added to classes to give extra grenades and magazines to players.
Bad Company 2
is certainly one game to watch this year, if not a pre-order.