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.

Bad Company: Squad

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.

Beautiful Destruction

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.

Bad Company

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.

Rating: 4/5

Battlefield Bad Company

6 Responses to “In Good Company”

  1. Great review, I enjoyed reading that. I just got this game in from Gamefly, but I haven't played it yet. I'm always apprehensive about playing FPS on a console, as I suck with a gamepad and get frustrated (I feel like I have a neckbrace on in these games.) I look forward to the day when mouse/keyboard is supported across all consoles.

    I also have to admit I miss seeing your own personal gameplay videos. It's what inspired me to do mattplays.com (down right now during a server move.)

    I did, and do, the exact same thing with multiplayer on both console and PC, I make excuses. Most of the time I can't stand the 13-year old racist, homophobia every Live game seems to have, but mostly it's because it seems everyone else spend hours a day playing that particular game and I can't compete with that. Occasionally a gem will come out where I get sucked into MP, such as Team Fortress 2, but for the most part, I'm a singleplayer gamer.

    • It definitely takes a bit of getting used to, when you're trying to make the transitions from PC to console. Especially for shooters. I couldn't be more comfortable with a controller in hand now, though.

      I miss doing the gameplay videos. While time consuming, it was always a lot of fun compiling some of my favourite moments from a game I was enjoying. It's just too much of a pain in the ass to capture on an iMac. Makes the process even more time consuming and tedious.

      I hear you on the horrendous dialog you're forced to digest on Xbox Live. I rarely play with my headset on. Only if I'm playing with friends. Even then, I normally end up muting half the people in the game. I was in a squad with a couple or real asshats the other day. I couldn't believe the shit coming out of their mouths.

  2. I've been thinking about picking this up… I've never really been a big Battlefield fan, but have a few buddies that love it. I think Halo is just ingrained into me from the years I've played it. I think I'm sold on this one tho 🙂

  3. I'm a crazy big Battlefield fan and have been since 1942 (one of my first every reviews for nvmax.com when I had the Gaming Editor role).

    The game has come a long way and it's only flaw in my eyes was 2142, they took it a bit too far away from what the whole BF generation was. I was a bit suprised to play the Bad Company demo on the 360 and enjoy it. I had the thought of FPS's on a console being utter rubbish as you're supposed to play them with a mouse and keyboard however I was genuinally shocked at how well they'd put it all together.

    I picked up the full game yesterday and have only played MP since, not even started the SP. It's just totally awesome.

    The only bad thing, like you've said Matt is the amount of crazy 13 year olds who are intent of slagging off each others mothers.

    Overall it's a cracking game and can't wait to sit down with it again.

  4. I can say now, that I've put some decent amount of time in it and loved every single minute.

    I can even risk the statement that it's more fun than Call of Duty 4 – maybe it's because of the destructible environments (single player), and HUGE maps with vehicles (multiplayer).

    Great review – you've nailed it. The game is a masterpiece (all weak spots can be forgiven).