Battlefield: Bad Company review

Is this summer shooter the game to keep you away from COD4?

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And like previous Battlefields that came before it, there are plenty of vehicles for you to get to grips with including jeeps with mounted guns, tanks, armoured trucks, helicopters and boats; all of which come armed to the hilt and operate fairly straightforwardly. Acceleration and braking are confined to both the left shoulder buttons while steering stems from the left stick with multiple point of view options, including third and first-person options – best for raging around the map. There’s nothing quite like running amok through a map in a tank, crashing through walls, crushing enemy troops and leveling entire buildings with deafening cannon blasts. There are more vehicles too; at one point in the game when we had to storm a grand palace via a golf course, we found ourselves hurtling down the green in a rickety golf caddy. Sure it’s silly, but it’s still a right giggle. The map itself is pretty extensive with each mission confined to particular zones on the expansive space with your objectives laid out on the map by way of a distinctive thrumming marker.

In order to keep the battle somewhat under wraps, the game requires you to stay within said designated battle zone – stray outside and you’ll have an allotted number of seconds to step back inside. Areas vary from huge open fields to small towns, the aforementioned golf course, a palace and long stretches of open rivers. One of our favourite levels was spent entirely in the air battling gunships, boats and ground troops on a mission to chase down and obliterate fuel trucks en route to your enemy – a team of mercenaries led by an elusive legionnaire, who is shamefully wasted as your arch enemy, re-surfacing in the game’s final moments alluding to an inevitable sequel. Good times.

Even though the key focus of the game is repeatedly nabbing the gold, each map comes complete with multiple hidden goodies such as bars of gold and weapons that can be unlocked for use in the multiplayer mode, so make sure you explore the empty shacks, barracks and raid enemy corpses for any new means of firepower. It’s always worth the effort. Aside from the obvious firearms, machine-guns, and explosives on hand, DICE throws in a few slick gadgets including a handheld device that allows you to call in mortar strikes and a laser guided missile launcher where you get to control the missile from the air once it’s launched. It’s tremendous fun.

These war toys come in really useful when you’re under attack from a barrage of tanks and enemy troops. And frankly, it’s just a whole heap of fun to steer a missile from the sky right down on top of an enemy’s unsuspecting dome. Another addition to the series is the inclusion of GTA-style radio stations in the vehicles. There’s a pretty diverse range of tunes on offer here from gospel stuff through big orchestral pieces and 60’s surf music. It’s not breaking any new ground, but it certainly adds a quirky personality to the shooting.

More info

DescriptionA Battlefield title that steps aside from the series' usual online warfare for a squad-based, single-player experience with a highly destructible gameworld.
Franchise nameBattlefield
UK franchise nameBattlefield
Platform"PC","PSP","Xbox 360","PS3"
US censor rating"Teen","Teen","Teen","Teen"
UK censor rating"16+","16+","16+","16+"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)