Battlefield: Bad Company

Review

posted 9/2/2008 by Charles Husemann
other articles by Charles Husemann
One Page Platforms: PS3
What really makes Bad Company special is the new Frostbite engine developed by DICE for the game. The graphics look great but the big feature of the game is the destructible terrain. Almost everything in the game is destructible and it really impacts how you play the game. When most of the cover in the game is destructible it really changes how you approach the game as there are no longer safe spots to hide from heavy fire. It also creates new pathways through the map. On some of the village maps the buildings are close enough together that you can climb to the roof of one, blow a hole in it and then blow a hole in the building next to it. This allows you to then jump to the other building and ambush troops coming through the lower floors. You can also blow holes in the sides of some of the buildings to create impromptu sniping positions or create covering fire positions.

The destructible terrain also means that tanks are no longer stopped by trees, sign posts, or short fences, which fixes one of my longstanding issues with the series. Armor is now especially important in the game as they can help to quickly create paths to the gold or clear out nests of enemies. There's just something satisfying about blowing out the side of a building so that your machine gunner can take out people who thought they were safe inside.


Playing the game on my PS3 once again made me wish that microphones were standard issue on the PS3. There wasn't a lot of talking going on (which can be a good thing) which means a lot less cohesion. This isn't as critical as it used to be as the focused nature of the modes makes this less of an issue but the games are probably a bit more talkative on the Xbox 360 side.

From an audio standpoint, Bad Company is amazing. We've seen phenomenal audio from the series in the past but with Bad Company, DICE has taken their game to a new level. Battle are a cacophony of gunfire as you can quickly tell which weapons are being fired at you and which direction they are coming from. Each weapon has it's own unique sound and while DICE has always had good gunfire, Bad Company takes it to a new level. My only complaint is that they retailed the squelch sound from the demo which just grinds on me every time a radio message goes out across the coms.

The score of the game is also very well done and DICE has done a good job of weaving the classic Battlefield score into the game. Audio cues (especially in the singleplayer portion) are perfectly positioned and executed. It's not go out and buy the soundtrack good but kudos for coming up with a solid score.

I was a bit worried about Battlefield: Bad Company but after playing the game I've realized that the folks at DICE have managed to crank out another excellent game. It's not perfect and I wish there was a PC version of the game but if you're looking for a great mutliplayer game with solid single player you're not going to do much better than Battlefield: Bad Company.


B+
Despite a few nags in the single player campaign, Battlefield:Bad Company represents one of the best multiplayer shooters on the market. If you're sick of Call of Duty 4 or Halo 3 you owe it to yourself to check out this gem from DICE


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