Battlefield: Bad Company 2 – hands-on

Can the bad boys get out of Modern Warfare 2's shadow?

The two-man tank combo is as devastating as ever. With one man driving and operating the turret to take down other vehicles, the second man on the machine gun mops up any sneaky beggars trying to place charges on you. Killy goodness. The arcade feel to the driving suits the game just fine, and makes rolling a vehicle fun instead of a pain in the ass.

Like all Battlefield games, there’s a near vertical learning curve. If you’re new to the series, don’t even think about going online without some offline practice first. If not, get used to respawning and super accurate snipers. As you gain ranks, you’ll attain more ways to customize your soldier, including familiar upgrades like more grenades and unlimited sprinting.

Luckily, the early guns are relatively lethal, so a skilled player will still have a shot at beating veterans, although some might opt for support classes before attempting to take on everyone toe-to-toe. Still, when in comparison to MW2, the guns are noticeably less powerful. The survivability of everyone is necessary so that Medics actually have something to do – if everyone died in a couple of shots, you’d never get a chance to heal anyone.

Developers DICE know that Bad Company 2’s long term appeal lies in the multiplayer but are keen to stress that the single-player campaign has also been given more attention than ever. As you’d hope, Sarge, Sweetwater, Haggard and Marlowe of B-Company return but the tone is darker and the attitude more mature – something highlighted by the fact that they’re in conflict with the Russians while simultaneously attempting to neutralize a substantial weapon threat in South America. Certainly more righteous than lining their pockets with gold...

Such a mission will take B-Company across Chile – from the snow-capped mountains of the Andes, to barren desert, to tropical rainstorms in central Chile. DICE want to deliver the feeling of open-world freedom but also put you in controlled, exciting situations and from what we’ve seen so far that’s exactly the case. Bad Company 2 looks like it will be very good company indeed…

Dec 16, 2009

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