The bad boys of Bad Company are back.
The quartet of misfits are called into duty again – this time facing off against an enemy who intends on invading the United States.
Back are privates Preston Marlowe, Terrence Sweetwater and George Gordon Haggard, Jr. and Sergeant Samuel D. Redford, all assigned to Company B, also known as Bad Company, due to various military transgressions. You play as Marlowe, the newest member of the company.
As with the original Bad Company, released in 2008, the group is front and center, battling in a war with gallows humor and not-so-conventional tactics.
This time, however, the joviality is dampened a bit by the seriousness of the task at hand.
In the first game, the gang spent much of the time battling mercenaries and gathering gold, which they had no intention of giving to the government.
Second time around there is no gold, just a high-tech weapon originally developed by World War II Japan that they must find before it can be used. The mythical weapon has the power to devastate large areas with a powerful electromagnetic pulse.
Needless to say, the gang faces an onslaught of enemy troops, with oodles of high-tech weapons and cunning.
The single-player mode is short, but provides plenty of action and is a good training ground for playing in multiplayer matches.
Because, being a Battlefield game, Bad Company 2 is more about online multiplayer than the single-player experience. It’s the series’ strength, because online action in Battlefield: Bad Company 2 shines.
Starting with four basic game modes, BC2 gives gamers looking for an experience that allows for team play and strategy plenty of opportunity.
Chief game modes are Rush and Conquest.
In Rush, two opposing teams have different objectives. The attacking team has to destroy eight M-COM stations on the map – two in each area of the map. Asthe pair are destroyed, a new area opens up. The defending team is charged with protecting the stations.
In Conquest, the two teams compete for control over flags located throughout the map, with the teams controlling the majority of them longer – and killing more enemies – winning.
The other two game modes are Squad Deathmatch and Squad Rush, although the latter is initally locked for all but those who pre-ordered the game through GameStop.
Squad Deathmatch pits four 4-man squads against each other, while Squad Rush is a smaller scale 4-on-4 Rush competition.
Players assume one of four battle types in multiplayer:
Assault – an all-around soldier carrying a grenade launcher
Engineer – soldier equipped with a tool to repair tanks and the means to destroy enemy tanks
Medic – soldier capable of healing or reviving teammates
Recon – sniper with mortar strike capabilities.
Each of these specialties can be upgraded as time and effort online begins to add up. For instance, the medic cannot immediately revive comrades using a defibrillator, but that perk is unlocked during action. Medics can earn big points in combat by reviving players, nice touch by the developers that encourages more players to take on the healing role.
Also a long-time Battlefield staple is access to vehicles and this game is no exception. Tanks, helicopters, speed boats, ATVs and more are available and help make the battles fast, fun and fierce.
Destructible environments again take on a key role online, with some objectives attainable simply by pounding buildings until they collapse. Strategic demolition can be the key to winning a match.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is multiplayer combat at its best, especially if you fancy taking a spin in a helicopter or pounding your foes to rubble in a tank.
Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Manufacturer: Electronic Arts
Score: 9 destructible chilies