Reviewed: July 12, 2008
Released: June 23, 2008
EA and DICE move the Battlefield series into the single player first person shooter with an engaging if not wholly believable storyline. The usual, but great, multiplayer content that the Battlefield series is famous for is still here and Battlefield: Bad Company is up to the usual fantastic Battlefield standards.
I have been a big fan of the Battlefield series since I first played the game a few years ago, I have had all the series games but the one that really hooked me was Battlefield 2142. Now the series goes back again to the modern day first person war and adds in a great campaign mode with a very good story.
You start off your single player adventures as Preston Marlowe, just another reject that the Army wants to throw out but they give you the chance to redeem yourself and stick you into Bad Company or the 222nd Army battalion, B Company. You follow along in the footsteps of Sarge, real original, and more often than not lead the group of soldiers who are every bit a misfit as you on the hunt for gold.
Your quest for riches did not start out in the game, it just sort of happened along the way as you follow the campaign through several not so linear levels fighting in a fictional war against fictional soldiers of a fictional country. Although all the weapons are real, or ones that would have been had they not been canceled in development or production, you have plenty of choices in firepower.
The war is not going good for your company as it seems the Army continually calls on your band of misfits to do all the dirty work and leave the easy stuff to the rest of the soldiers. You are constantly tasked with going in first, scouting areas and leading the charge for the first several missions. In the first mission one of your squad does a highly reckless stunt and you all find yourself trying to stop him and then following as he goes for the gold.
The mercenaries that the leader of the fictional Eastern European country is using are being paid off in gold and you find some on one of them after an assault. Haggard, one of your company, sees some trucks taking off with gold and rushes after with the rest of you in tow only to realize that you have inadvertently invaded a neutral country with your actions. When the Army declares you AWOL and then killed in action they first abandon you then use you for more dirty work.
Throughout the missions you have plenty of weapons caches and gold to find but the gold is not a required collectable. There are two ways to die and continue in the missions depending on the objectives of the mission; respawn from that point in the game or restart at a checkpoint. In some missions you have a failed objective due to time or an enemy reaching a specific point you will have to start back at a previous checkpoint.
Most missions simply have you respawning just like in the multiplayer back at a specific start point with everything in the game staying the same. This makes for an easy way to complete some missions where you just keep knocking off the bad guys and not worry too much about dying off because any mayhem you have created will continue.
The single player gaming is very fun but the AI is not all that fantastic, just pretty good. The bad guys often stand around without taking cover or not going through parts of buildings that you or others have just blown up. Yes, thatís a real great part of the game that so many are taking a hard look at, the highly destructible environment. About 80 percent of any building can be blown apart and destroyed leaving a frame and floors so you can quickly clear buildings and rooms with high explosives or artillery.
This goes against you just as well as for you in the enemyís zeal to get you they can also blow up entire rooms with artillery and tanks. More often than not you can simply standoff and blow things up pretty well from a distance with artillery calls, directed smart bombs or tanks from a distance. This may not be the fun way but it is just as easy as going in and doing things the hard way and getting your hands dirty.
The stand off approach works pretty well for many missions but some do not give you the chance or the time so you do have to make use of whatever tools of destruction they give you like rifles, machine guns and rocket launchers. Many missions have some pretty weak objectives and you can go about them pretty much how you want with the gold collection more of an afterthought to the game play.
The single player campaign is pretty good but just not over the top or fantastic although it does carry plenty of lasting value for me. I enjoyed the story as a divergence to the same old good soldier type and the fun parts of goofing around with your fellow soldiers adds to the simple fun.
The multiplayer is very different from the previous Battlefield version in the single game type and simple join mode but pretty much the same in the Battlefield tradition. You have your choice of soldier classes with a single main weapon and alternate for each class until you gain rank and unlock more choices.
The game mode is a simple one but fun with one side defending caches of gold and the other trying to blow them up. With the highly destructible environment adding to the lack of cover after time and high explosives you find plenty of action to keep you on your toes.
The games are a bit too simple to join with only two choices in game servers to join and two choices in each server type. You can start a game by choosing the Create Match or join using a quick match feature but you have no choices on anything else like number of players already playing or maps. This is probably the only disappointing part of the Bad Company multiplayer, not being able to pick a particular game or server like the other Battlefield games.
Other than that the multiplayer is quite fun and promises to get better with a new game type being added sometime in the future. EA has promised a conquest game type as a download sometime and I am sure they are hard at work on it. Overall the game play is your typical Battlefield style and a fun time for enthusiasts of the first person shooter with a new destroy almost everything and campaign addition.
With some very good but slightly hazy graphics Bad Company looks very good with some great effects and I just love all the bombing and destruction. I enjoy the standoff type of gaming you can perform in the single player campaign and just sit back and watch the fireworks with the artillery strikes and using tanks or rocket launchers.
The graphics and textures look nice but are similar to the Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter in the slightly hazy looking or grainy appearance. This does not really detract from the game all that much but it is worth mentioning and I think it does add a nice touch to the game in a war style feel.
There are some small problems that I also felt mentioning but they do not take away from the game all that much, just donít elevate it to a fantastic or must have game for everyone. The game has some clear problems with explosion effects and physics but nothing that is a deal breaker when you get used to it.
This is one of the best games in sound I have heard all year and adds so much to the style and class of the game. There is a definite sound track playing in the game but it doesnít repeat itself or get annoying at all. In some scenes like when driving a jeep you have this radio that plays one of four stations with classical, surf rock and gospel music.
Add this to the great sound effects and the High Dynamic Range Audio and you really have some great sound going on as you play your way through the single player or multiplayer games. The reverb and other sound effects are very realistic, about the best I have heard in any game.
The weapons and gadgets also have some very great sound to them but the effects when using them is really the best, shooting from inside buildings or in closed in areas really is amazing. You can hear the sound reverberating back to you from the walls nearby and hearing explosions and debris falling makes the game so realistic.
This has to be one of the best if not the best audio and sound in a game that I have played in all my video gaming whether itís on the PC or a console. I truly like the work they did with the audio in Battlefield: Bad Company and it does set a standard that will be hard to match in the future.
What can you say about a game that adds in the quality game play, fun single player as well as the added difficulty of playing against real opponents and a great audio? The game is fun and just does not slow down whether youíre playing online or in the single player campaign.
The multiplayer has the unlock and rank system to add more of a weapon and gadgets choice while the single player adds the fun of replaying and doing things differently with all the various weapons. You can also try for all the weapons unlocks of the single player and the gold bars for an added difficulty while going through the campaign.
The PS3 version of Battlefield: Bad Company may not be the best looking game on the console but it is very good with a fantastic audio. While this is the first Battlefield on the consoles Dice has added in enough fun and challenges to make it a worthy addition.
The games single player and multiplayer are both strong enough to warrant a look and together make for a great game with plenty of value. Battlefield: Bad Company proudly continues the Battlefield series and does a great job of entertaining all us would be soldiers.