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Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam - hands-on

February  10, 1967

Excerpt from the journal of Private First Class ~p4nDa4sSaSiN84~, 5th Infantry Division:

It’s starting to get to me, all of this. The heat, the jungle, the death, the respawning. I can’t sleep at night anymore, all I can think of is Charlie waiting in the trees, waiting for me to close my eyes so he can make his move. My commanding officer keeps making me change classes every 5 minutes, one minute I'm a sniper, and the next minute he wants me to perform field surgery on a guy who just got ran over by a tank. The weird part about it was that all I had to do was stab him with a syringe and he came back to life.


Above: That sure is a pretty waterfall in the background.

I don’t even trust my squadmates anymore. Every time Sgt. XxHal0420xX gives me an order these days, I just want to beat his face in. I think the communists have gotten to him. I threw a grenade in his tent the other night while he was sleeping and saw it explode. It went off right under his bed, but he stood up without a scratch on him. He looked at me and said "Lol! Friendly fire is off n00b! L2P!" I can't wait to get out of this place, I'm losing my mind.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam has been a long time coming. The successor to 2004’s popular Battlefield Vietnam, BC2V revamps BC2 into a tighter, more intense experience, stressing the brutal tunnel and jungle warfare that defined the actual Vietnam conflict. Indeed, the first thing you’ll notice while playing BC2V is how restrictive parts of the maps are. For the most part, BFBC2’s maps were very large and open; only the urban areas favored close combat. BC2V's underground tunnels and heavy foliage make spotting your enemies much harder, leading to tighter, more chaotic conflicts.

The two maps we got our hands on definitely felt distinct from BC2’s, they seemed much tighter than before. Like BC2, BC2V rewards players who flank their opponents instead of running up the middle. One map was set up around a river, forcing the attacking team to approach either via a heavily trafficked chokepoint or via "PBR" boats that spawned at the attacker’s base. After getting shot in the head one too many times at the chokepoint, we decided to try the PBR. It was a good call. The PBR Boat features mounted twin machine guns that very easily cut through the enemy cover and dealt a huge blow to their defenses. As is the usual case with BC2’s vehicles though, they immediately draw the attention of your enemy; even the most scattered team will quickly unite up to take out a tank or boat. Even though the boat was quickly destroyed, we had drawn the enemy's attention away from the choke point, which had given our allies enough time to push their way through to the objective.


Above: "Don't mind us, just lookin for Vietcong!"

BC2's target tagging mechanic is still in play, allowing players to spot enemies and tag them by pressing select/back. This makes them appear on everyone's minimap in addition to putting a big orange SHOOT ME triangle above their head. Given BCV2's ultra dense visual cover via all the jungle plants and ferns, tagging will be more important than ever, lest you want some crafty VC/G.I. Joe sneaking up on you from behind.  

BC2V will feature 4 new maps, 6 new vehicles and 15 Vietnam era weapons including the fan favorite flamethrower. While the basic classes and Rush/Conquest objectives are the same, it’s neat seeing the little changes; the Medic gets a syringe of adrenaline instead of a defribulator, and the Engineer gets a blowtorch instead of a magic drill. BC2V will also feature licensed music in some of the vehicles you drive, so you can ironically blast Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son" out of your tank while shelling the enemy.

At $15/1200Microsoft Fun Bux, BC2V looks like it'll be a no-brainer for anyone that's tired of BC2's standard multiplayer, and given all the free updates BC2 VIP players have already gotten, paid DLC is totally reasonable at this point. While the multiplayer only action may lack the psychological impact of Apocalypse Now or Full Metal Jacket, creeping through the dark jungle trying to fight an unseen enemy should be intense enough. Bad Company 2 Vietnam will be available Winter 2010 on XBLA/PSN and PC.

Nov 11, 2010

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