In Good Company
While my history with the Battlefield series has its ups and downs, my experience with Bad Company has been on the up side of things from the get-go. While many things have changed, it still feels very much like a Battlefield game. Even the single player campaign plays like a multiplayer game – when you die, you don’t have to restart from your last checkpoint, you merely re-spawn and pick up where you left off. It’s sort of odd, but it beats constantly re-doing things. I’m now heavy into the multiplayer end of the game, and loving ever match.
Finally, a Decent Single Player Campaign
Bad Company isn’t the first in the series to have a single player campaign. But it’s the first to have a real single player campaign. Any of the previous titles that did have a single player mode, were nothing more than bot matches which got old real fast. Bad Company has a story driven campaign, which takes you and your three squad mates on a quest for gold through fictional countries in war-torn Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Russia. The story is minimal, and told through short cut-scenes which essentially just reveal your next objective. The mood is light and humorous, ala Gears of War. But the characters aren’t quite as memorable and likable as Dom, Cole, and Baird.
What makes the campaign worth playing though, is how it plays out. The battles are quite different from what you’d find in multiplayer. Exploration plays a big part, in that they have you looting houses and abandoned buildings for collectible weapons and gold bars. I found this to be a bit tedious about half way through the game, when I was doing a lot of exploring, but only finding very sporadic rewards. It started to feel like I was just wasting my time, but surprisingly, it didn’t get to the point where I just gave up and didn’t bother looking any more.
As far as visuals and audio are concerned, Bad Company is right up there at the top of the ladder. The character models are incredibly detailed, and it runs smooth as butter – even with buildings being blown to bits at every turn. Weapon and explosion sound effects are some of the best I’ve heard, so much so that it’s gotten me into trouble a couple times as I often play Bad Company louder than most games. But where it really shines is the destructible environments. Sure, we’ve been breaking wooden crates and shattering windows for a few years now, but this is the first time we’re clearing out small forests with a light tank, or taking out entire buildings leaving only the foundations in our wake. The destruction in Bad Company truly is a beautiful thing.
I’m Actually Playing Online!
It’s no secret that I usually skip the multiplayer end of games these days. I always blamed it on my living situation – in a house with three girls, not much uninterrupted time to dedicate gaming, etc. But I’m thinking that most of those were excuses, since I’ve been able to find plenty of time to play Bad Company online. Aside from Halo 3, I really haven’t spent more than a few hours playing any other game online since I got my first Xbox 360 two and a half years ago.
Whatever the case my be, I’m really enjoying BC’s Gold Rush. It’s a take on Battlefield’ conquest mode, where you have to claim points on the map to succeed. But in every round, one team is attacking while the other is defending. The objective for the attackers, is to destroy the enemy’s gold crates. Each base has two crates and when both are destroyed, the defenders have to fall back to their next base until the final base has been taken, or the other team’s reverse run dry. When you join a game, you’re automatically added to a squad of four. When it comes time to re-spawn, you can do so back at your base, or with your squad. The latter is super handy if your squad is on the front lines and want to get back in the action right away.
I have still have quite a few Achievements to claim and am really enjoying the multiplayer, so it looks like I’ll be playing Bad Company for a while yet. Also, the developers have mentioned that they’re working on improving areas that people haven’t been totally happy with, as well as adding the tried and true conquest mode in an up-coming patch.