I dash for across the rusting deck of the half-submerged wreck of the ship leap over the crumbling rail and smile in grim satisfaction as my knife sinks into the neck of the unsuspecting ruskie below me. Sure I die a half a second later as his companion pumps hot lead into my back, but it was totally worth it.
Twenty minutes earlier I had sprinted across across the snow covered street of a Russian village to take cover in a ruined building. I barely had time to recognize the crash of artillery or the groan of overstressed supports before the entire building tumbled down on top of me.
There are about a thousand similar moments, most of them ending in a death either glorious or inconsequential, but all of them leave grinning like crazy. Its the type of grin that would have been worth the $60 I might have spent had I bought Battlefield Bad Company 2 new instead of used. It is both a sensation unexpected and hoped for and an encapsulation of everything I remember about the Battlefield series. While I owned and played Battlefield 2 I played Battlefield 1942 for much longer; in particular a wonderful mod called Desert Combat (despite being made by most of the same guys Desert Combat was, IMHO, better then Battlefield 2). I have many many fond memories of Desert Combat and Battlefield Bad Company 2 is the first game that comes close to living up to those memories and is well on the way to forging shiny new ones as well.
I’m not in a position to argue which of the modern shooters is better. My experience with the Modern Warfare series is relegated wholly to the first game and I was never heavily into it. Part of the problem is that I much prefer the Conquest style gameplay over the Deathmatch/Team Deathmatch that was so prevalent during my brief brush with Modern Warfare. Conquest, for those that don’t know, has two teams attempting to capture various points on a map. The team with the least points help loses respawn tickets at a faster rate when the tickets hit zero your team loses. It is a pretty tried and true experience that hasn’t changed much over the years. I love it as much today as I did back in 2002. Bad Company 2 also has a new Rush gameplay type which has one team attempted to defend communication station while the other team attacks. The best part is that rush maps are tiered. When all of the communication stations on a tier are destroyed a new section of the map is unlocked, the assaulting teams respawn tickets are refreshed, and the game continues. It’s a pretty fantastic experience that feels utterly epic whatever side you find yourself on.
Admittedly my console fps kung-fu is weak, and always has been, but Bad Company 2’s design means that I can earn experience (to unlock new weapons, gadgets, and rank up) by doing things other than killing people. Bad Company 2 has 4 main classes assault, engineer, medic, and recon. While I’ve dabbled in assault I’ve found my niche with the rocket launcher carrying engineer. Playing an engineer means I can earn points in all the standard ways (captures bases, kill the enemy, etc.) but also by repairing vehicles. Thanks to DICE’s implementation of bullet drop my ability to target and destroy enemy artillery at a distance isn’t that great but I take solace in the fact that my rocket launcher is equally adept I blowing gaping holes in the sides of buildings….snipers beware! Bad Company 2’s multiplayer is also an oddly silent experience with voice chat limited to in squad communication and even while in a squad is fairly chatter is rare. No name calling, sexual innuendo, or racial slurs shouted over my speaker. It is a curiously refreshing experience.
The single player is short and sweet. Not spectacular but not anything to garner much attention. The real fun is in the multiplayer and it is some amazingly tight gameplay. This is one of the best experiences I’ve had with a game and if you’re an FPS fan I can’t recommend Battlefield Bad Company 2 highly enough.