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Battlefield: Bad Company 2: Vietnam

As far as the DLC model goes, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 has been doing it right. 7 free map packs since launch is generous, and especially unusual for console FPSes. Vietnam marks the first real paid DLC for the game (the second if you include the underwhelming Onslaught mode), and the good news is that it's worth every penny.

A sucessor to the PC classic Battlefield Vietnam, BF:BC2: Vietnam introduces 4 new maps: Hill 137 (aka Hamburger Hill), Cao Son Temple, Phu Bai Valley, and Vantage Point (A fifth map, Battle for Hastings, will be unlocked once players have collectively reached 69,000,000 team play actions). Hill 137 is definitely Vietnam’s centerpiece, a fantastic map that hits all the bases: jungle combat, trenches, PT boats, rock outcroppings for snipers, it’s all here. 137 is also visually stunning; a massive waterfall silently rushes over rocks in the background, juxtaposed by Hill 137 itself, a smoldering crater covered in napalm, crowned with an enormous tower of smoke. Sorry about getting poetic there, but it really is a fantastic looking setpiece. The map may only have one vehicle, a PT boat in the middle of the map, but it can single-handedly turn the tide of a battle. 

Vietnam also includes 6 new vehicles and 15 new weapons, most notably, the flamethrower. While it’s a situational weapon, it’s devastating at close ranges, its power amplified by the fact that anyone trying to shoot you can only see an enormous fireball melting their face off. The flamethrower is made even more useful as the new maps are, appropriately, much tighter and intense than the original BC2.

Vietnam’s biggest success is that it manages to dramatically change the feel of BF:BC 2’s multiplayer without disturbing its core. The generally smaller maps are much more nerve wracking, filled with choke points, visual cover, trenches and difficult to defend areas; enemies can and will attack from multiple angles. While Cao Son temple and Vantage Point provide some good long range shooting options, sniping is generally less effective given all the visual cover; tagging your enemies is more important than ever, and good luck with hardcore mode. The focus on close range combat doesn’t diminish the teamwork element though, squads still need to work together to capture points, blow up M-Com boxes or, more essentially in Vietnam, break through the tight chokepoints.

Vietnam is filled with little touches that add to the experience: both the American and Vietnamese soldier models look haggard and battle damaged, and Vietnamese speakers constantly blare propaganda across that battlefield. The loading screen for each map is a pitch perfect vintage news reel describing the area, similar to the loading screens from Battlefield 1943. The in-vehicle songs are a neat touch, though they tend to repeat a bit too often. 

DICE has smartly made sure that Vietnam is fully connected with your regular BF:BC2 profile; experience gained playing Vietnam levels you up in both games simultaneously, so if you’ve unlocked all of a class’ weapons you’ll have all the equivalents ready to go in Vietnam. Kit options between the games are slightly different, but the weapons generally feel the same as their regular BF:BC2 counterparts. You’ll have to get used to using iron sites though, as reflex and red dot sites didn’t exist back then youngblood.

While BF:BC2:Vietnam is, at its core, a map pack, its attention to detail, period feel, and revised gameplay all combine to make it a much more exciting experience. If you have Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Vietnam is a must buy. 

Battlefield: Bad Company 2: Vietnam is 1200 MS Points/$14.99 and is available on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.

Dec 23, 2010

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21 comments

  • Robx - December 23, 2010 11:29 p.m.

    That's it, I'm getting it. P.S. A nice owning gameplay vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAwSMb1RfFs (It includes a badass scene with a guy chasing a tank with a car...)
  • iKOemos - December 23, 2010 11:31 p.m.

    Definitely getting this. It looks fantastic.
  • batmanboy11 - December 23, 2010 11:34 p.m.

    Glad to see it's good. Unfortunately, I won't have money (or time) for this for a few days...
  • GamesRadarMichaelGrimm - December 23, 2010 11:53 p.m.

    @Robx Have fun!
  • Denrok - December 24, 2010 12:11 a.m.

    I wish this was stand alone like 1943 was. :( I rented Bad Company 2 and while I liked the gameplay mechanics of the multiplayer all the guns were really boring to me and I didn't like the maps at all. This looks a lot more fun in both of those areas.
  • FOZ - December 24, 2010 12:21 a.m.

    Are the maps really tighter? Because I hated the maps like Atacama, the first two MComs on Arica Harbor, and when I came back to the game when they finally added new maps, all 3 of them were just huge open areas dominated by tanks.
  • TheCanuck - December 24, 2010 12:21 a.m.

    I got Vietnam when it launched at 3:30 am Central here, and have been LOVING it ever since. Its just... Right. It does everything it needs to, to make a great authentic Battlefield experience. A MUST BUY.
  • Turkeyboy094 - December 24, 2010 12:26 a.m.

    HEY HEY HEY! Do not rip on CCR!
  • FlyinHawaiian13 - December 24, 2010 12:44 a.m.

    Implying I wasn't hoping I could put Fortunate Son on repeat.
  • ssjMrFord - December 24, 2010 1:55 a.m.

    I love that DICE touts there's 2 hours of period music in the game but I've only heard CCR and Ride of the Valkyries like 9876 times each.
  • GamesRadarMichaelGrimm - December 24, 2010 3:08 a.m.

    @FOZ The only map that's got anywhere near the level of armor BC2 has is the Phu Bai Valley level. Everything else is way more infantry based and the chokepoints tend to centralize the combat a lot more.
  • RamenDragon - December 24, 2010 3:53 a.m.

    Just a note... Maybe the word "review" should be in the title of this article somewhere?
  • PS3pwns - December 24, 2010 5:10 p.m.

    How is Creedance Clearwater Revival a bad thing? Gotta say, you disappointed me this time, GR.
  • PushesPaperInACircle - December 24, 2010 5:47 p.m.

    @PS3pwns The CCR repeats itself when you are looking at your stats on the Main Menu. It gets real old, real quick. I love the song...in Rock Band, but not endlessly looped. The rest of the game is pretty tight except for the noobs who are just farming to get cheevos right now, instead of playing the game naturally. Things should calm down after "The Battle for Hastings" is unlocked.
  • excaliburps - December 24, 2010 9:30 p.m.

    Spot-on review. I thought Tyler was the one going to review this honestly. :) Bought it the moment it dropped and been loving it. It's more infantry-based. Less snipers. Although I did notice they seem to be multiplying. Because of map familiarity perhaps? I'm new here so be gentle! :D
  • irishriot33 - December 24, 2010 11:11 p.m.

    you know you can change the song while in the vehicle right? there should be no excuse to hate on CCR
  • Markstone - December 25, 2010 4:15 a.m.

    This makes me sad that I traded in BBC2, looks like a lot of fun.
  • shadowreaper72 - December 26, 2010 9:42 p.m.

    Hey there is nothing wrong with CCR GR! As for Vietnam pack while I did like BFBC2 the multiplayer wasnt really the best I ever played. It was decent at the most. As for right now Black Ops has my full attention mutliplayer wise.
  • JADENkOTOR - December 26, 2010 10:22 p.m.

    Hill 137 has a Jeep and a tank as well. This DLC is worth it and if you are VIP, you can count on free map packs further down the road. This is why DICE has the best multiplayer out there.
  • waffman11 - December 27, 2010 4:05 p.m.

    I want to buy Vietnam, but I don't want to let my PS3 sit for two hours and download the last patch so that I can start up the game.

Showing 1-20 of 21 comments

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