When DICE start working on a new game, be it Battlefield related or not I begin to sit up and take notice. Iíve enjoyed the majority of the Battlefield games that have come along, in one form or another, either on console or on the PC. So itís the turn of the Xbox360 and DICEís latest Ė Battlefield: Bad Company to vie for my affections. Bad Company puts you squarely in the shoes of a new recruit to the US Armyís most dysfunctional squad.
Youíre Preston Marlowe and youíre teamed up with the likes of Haggard and Sweetwater, two characters who could have been cookie-cutter morons if it wasnít for the fact they have genuinely funny and likeable personalities. A testament to the strength of the gameís writing. Bad Company attempts to put a fleshed out single player story of sorts into the series thatís more often than not known for the excellent online multiplayer versus modes and teamwork potential.
The single player is more like training for the multiplayer usually in the Battlefield games, but in this case it really does have a cohesive story, packed with cut-scenes, characters, dialogue and all those things that actually keep you interested in the single player. There are various US Army weapons; the inventory has been kept slim so you canít walk around with every gun in the game and several special weapons that you can pick up, like targeting systems that allow you to call in support options, like mortar attacks and so on.
Like in any real Battlefield game though the meat of the game will be found between the balanced factions online, DICE are good at this and whilst thereís only one mode: Gold Rush (an attack and defence mode), the other mode(s) are planned as DLC. The game would have scored a lot higher for me if the Conquest mode shipped in the box so to speak. The maps are massive with support for 24 players and there are numerous vehicles, tanks, helicopters, apcs and so on. There are also static emplacements like artillery that can be crewed with a top down view to allow you to rain destruction on the battlefield.
One of the newest innovations to the Battlefield series this time around is the highly destructible environments. The gameís selling point could be hung upon these and the system works really well, lending a war-torn aftermath to the game that allows for some different tactical choices in combat. Now those bridges that could allow tanks to cross can be turned into useless piles of rubble with the correct explosive force or a direct strike from a manned artillery piece.
The level of destruction is based on the weapon you use; donít expect to cut down a wall with a rapid hail of bullets. Expect to punch a big hole into the side of the house with an m203 grenade launcher however. No longer is cover a viable option when that kind of firepower gets used, you can quickly find that the wall you were using is nothing more than a useless pile of broken masonry. The same counts for your enemies on and offline: so donít be afraid to use grenades and explosives in this game to remove cover, blow a hole through a wall to get through to the other side.
This can also make tanks extremely dangerous, they need to be handled pretty quickly as they can rapidly turn the tide of battle against a weaker armed defence force. Always be on the lookout for weapons like the rocket launcher to even the odds in that respect, you can find weapon drops and caches in sp scattered around the levels, of which there are seven and they take a good 45 minutes or more to complete.