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Battlefield Bad Company - first look

The newest Battlefield game doesn't seem like a Battlefield game at all. Luckily, that's exactly what its creators had in mind - something different.

To begin with, this entry in the acclaimed multiplayer-focused series is much more interested in single player. Everyone knows Battlefield can handle intense online competition, which is why the makers of Bad Company are eager to prove that it can also excel at storytelling and characters.

Soldiers at your control aren't generic avatars anymore. You'll fight alongside distinctive personalities like Sweetwater, the brainy fellow with glasses and a cautious, calculated approach to every situation; Haggart, the redneck who prefers blowing every situation up; and Sarge, their gruff but lovable commander. Each will have a back story as well, one that reveals how they came to be assigned to the dredges of the American army, the appropriately titled Bad Company.

The missions stray even further from the expected formula. Forget saving the world, a war or even a princess. Here, your motivation is pure and simple greed. You and your squad, stationed in Eastern Europe as expendable cannon fodder, learn about a nearby shipment of gold and decide to steal it. To do so, you'll bend rules, break laws and battle any army, regardless of allegiance. In the level we played, the goal was to invade a completely neutral country against official orders.

As Bad Company's developers put it, "This is a war game, but it's not about the war."

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