Battlefield Bad Company - first look

Battlefield Bad Company, however, hopes to transform war games with more than just plot. It offers freedom too. Beginning a mission, you can hop in a jeep and head straight to the objective marker, but you can also veer off the main road at any time and do some exploring. Drive along smaller dirt paths, plunge through thick forests or climb up and down rocky terrain. The level we played was 32 x 32 kilometers (400 square miles) and entirely unrestricted. By attempting to cover every inch, we even managed to discover a hidden radio station with optional enemies, weapons, gold and Achievements.

Still, the biggest way in which Bad Company plans to change the battlefield is by utterly obliterating it. That's right - destructible environments. But while so many games promise this feature, Battlefield Bad Company is one of the first we feel might truly deliver it. When we started our demo, we were gazing upon a heavily fortified town surrounded by concrete walls, dotted with guard towers and populated with strong brick buildings. By the end, we were standing in a smoldering skeleton of debris.

The fenced barriers were the first to go. After creeping up to the edge of town and seeing no obvious entrance, we decided to make our own. One grenade and a cloud of smoke later, we strolled right through the newly created gap. When a guard tower gave us trouble, we fired a rocket at its wooden legs to collapse the entire structure. When a group of soldiers took pot shots at us from a nearby window, we blew up their entire side of the building, killing the lot of them at once. And when we had wiped out all opposition in town, we blasted the houses and statues just for fun, leaving nothing more than bare framework and broken stone bases in our wake.