The Battlefield series has always been a staple in most PC FPS-gamers’ diet, from the original – Battlefield: 1942, to the more recent incarnations – Battlefield 2, Battlefield 2142 and the constant stream of updates that appeared for each. It’s a massive franchise that demands respect, despite it’s abandoning of the PC world with the release of Bad Company in 2008.
A sigh of relief could be heard by the PC community when EA/DICE announced that Bad Company 2 will be released for PC as well as the usual consoles, but does it stand up to our elitist views of the genre? Kind of.
Bad Company 2 uses DICE’s Frostbite engine, which elaborates on Bad Company’s destructible environments with the ability to level entire buildings. This is the first time PC gamers will be able to destroy the environment in the Battlefield series (unless Battlefield: 1943 comes out soon), and it’s a welcome addition to the franchise. The feeling of being able to level a building is nothing short of fantastic, knowing that you can simply destroy the building to get at the enemy is by far a more appealing option than hopping out of your tank to run in and shoot them – a safer one too!
In practice, the destruction of buildings isn’t quite as effective as you’d like. While you can destroy buildings, it leaves no rubble. This was a concious choice by EA/DICE, intended to keep the game free-flowing and fun. This does mean that you can’t tumble a building onto a tank, or crush the inhabitants, but it does mean that if a target is within a building, it can’t be buried, so in the long run, it’s for the best. DICE have worked hard on making the game more enjoyable to play, creating a more playable experience overall, however it seems to have backfired a little. The hardcore PC crowd currently playing hands-on are bewildered by some of the ideas implemented in this latest incarnation, which appear to result in a strange, new direction for the tactical shooter.
As with all Battlefield games, the key to success is that of good teamwork and clever use of your available arsenal. To promote the use of squads, DICE have implemented the squad points system from previous Battlefield instalments; stay close to your squad and every kill and action will result in a squad bonus. This can be a little difficult when you have a four man squad and a 2-man helicopter, but someone has to fly those damned things!
You can spawn on any member of your squad, which is a total bitch when it comes to defending. Leave one member of a squad alive and all of a sudden you could be screwed seven ways from Sunday when the rest of the squad spawn in. The old method of having a squad leader seemed a much more elegant solution than the resulting ‘frag-fest’ from spawning in on squad members.