23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Blowing stuff up has never been so much fun,
This review is from: Battlefield: Bad Company (PS3) (Video Game)
Pride will get you killed.
Never has a game demonstrated this concept more effectively than Battlefield: Bad Company. Some games are challenging in their difficulty, some are punishing, and some take genuine delight in making you suffer and die for your stupidity. Bad Company belongs firmly in the third category.
Oh yes, I was no stranger to the blurry red screen of death on this outing - something that came as quite a surprise to a man who romped his way through Call of Duty 4 with nary a backward glance. In some sections I died so often that the game ended up feeling sorry for me and actually completed the objective itself, as if my presence was nothing but an unwanted hindrance. Still, I stubbornly refused to reduce the difficulty setting, partly because it felt like conceding defeat, but mainly out of some misplaced faith in my own gaming prowess.
Yes, pride will get you killed.
Plot wise, Bad Company centres around a squad of US Army soldiers caught up in a war in some unspecified Eastern European country. Made up mostly of criminals and other below-par rejects, they are usually hurled straight into the most dangerous of situations to serve as cannon fodder. Along the way they chance upon a cache of gold bullion, and decide to abandon their duty in search of further loot.
I'm sure anyone who watched the movie Three Kings will be fairly familiar with this plot, and yet it's hard not to enjoy the exploits of these morally flexible soldiers and their often hapless efforts to win a life of fortune and happiness for themselves. These aren't upstanding officers with impeccable records, but selfish mercenaries who are only willing to fight for personal gain - in short, they're everything most gamers want to be.
Two of the big draws of Bad Company are the sprawling maps and the fully destructible environments. And despite some reservations, I must admit that both of these elements pretty much live up to the hype. Some maps are so large that they genuinely make you feel like you've got total freedom to roam at will - a stark contrast to COD4's linear and tightly constrained environments. Surprisingly, the graphics don't suffer much as a result - textures are detailed and varied, and some landscape views are impressive enough to evoke a wistful sigh and a single tear rolling gently down my cheek.
The ability to destroy scenery isn't just an amusing gimmick either, but a genuinely useful gameplay mechanic in some situations. Got a couple of troublesome bad guys holding out in a house? No problem - just blast a hole in one of the walls and storm in. Naturally the game provides ample opportunities to use this feature, and sometimes you can't help but feel it's nothing more than the programmers showing off. Still, who cares when you can systematically obliterate an entire oil refinery?
Combat is a slightly more frustrating experience, however. Those fresh from the pinpoint accuracy of Call of Duty 4 (i.e me) had best brace themselves for a shock, because using most weapons in this game is somewhat akin to trying to thread a needle when your hands have been replaced with bowling balls. Firing from the hip is a waste of time, and taking a few moments to aim usually results in you being scythed in half by a burst of machine gun fire. Enemies are able to put a bullet squarely between your eyes from half a mile away, while your indestructible AI buddies are little more than occasionally useful human shields, reluctant to advance without your reassuring presence.
Still, these flaws, while irritating at times, shouldn't detract from the fact that Bad Company is a genuinely enjoyable and imaginative game. It's the kind of game that actually makes you feel like you're part of a realistic world, the kind of game where you can revel in the sheer uninhibited joy of blowing stuff up for that sake of it, the kind of game other first person shooters should aspire to.
Buy it and enjoy it. But remember, pride will get you killed.
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Initial post: 7 Jul 2009 12:19:43 BDT
Mrs V. Gilbert says:
Excellent review- thank you. Having purchase a couple of dire shooting games it is great to get such a detailed review.
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