Company, always on the run. Destiny is the rising sun. I was born six-gun in my hand. Behind a gun, I make my final stand. That’s why they call me…Bad Company.
Oh hi, didn’t see you there. I was just enjoying my new cassette tape of Bad Company’s Greatest Hits, by international recording artists Bad Company. I find it inspirational and more than a bit fitting as background music when enjoying a spot of the hit new interactive video title, Battlefield: Bad Company 2.
Bad Company 2’s campaign revisits the four misfit squad mates. There’s some sort of secret weapon at stake here that was lost in a shipwreck during World War 2, then uncovered in the present day in the husk of the ship, now accessible due to the ocean apparently having been evaporated and turned into a desert. The game begins in WW2, which left a very sour taste in my mouth and set a bad precedent for the campaign. I didn’t come here to fire muskets and slingshots, and although it set the scene for the story, I could’ve done without it. It was funny watching old timey dudes punch each other out on the deck of a Japanese submarine, but all of this could’ve been wrapped up into a cut scene.
I could’ve done with more cut scenes, because it wasn’t clear to me where the story was going or why I should care. Sarge is mad that his retirement is delayed yet again. There’s that Scottish guy and the nerd. Some terrorist or government or terrorist government has a super weapon and you need to go and get it. If there’s all there is to get, that’s fine. This campaign mode is technically proficient but loveless, like a kid whose dad makes him practice piano five hours a day. It lacks the “holy sh**” moments of Modern Warfare 2, which I have come to expect from an exceptional shooter but should still come out of left field to surprise me. I know, I ask for a lot. But we are talking about AAA titles here, ones that some outlets are dropping 10’s on, so I’m going to get picky.
But like I said, there isn’t anything exactly wrong with the campaign: it’s a technically enjoyable adventure but nothing that’s going to knock COD off its throne. The story takes you through a few exotic locales, including South America, where you’ll drive a powerboat downriver. One major gripe I had with this is that powerboats do not stop on a dime. When I put the “brakes” on my boat in the game (real boats definitely do not have brakes), I could almost hear the tires squeaking. Though I was cruising well over what would be a highway speed for an auto, I was able to come to a complete stop in a microsecond.
There are some neat new features in the campaign, which is becoming an increasingly difficult thing to accomplish in this genre: war doesn’t change. While making your way through snowy mountains, you’ll need to spend minimal time outside or become overwhelmed by hypothermia. Darting from house to house where I could warm up by the fire, or blowing up a readily available explosive box or barrel for some heat in a pinch, is something I haven’t done in a game before.
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