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Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Preview

Look sharp solider! It's time to return to the Battlefield. Well, almost. With just a month to go before release, GameOn have had a chance to check out the multiplayer beta of Battlefield: Bad Company 2. The sequel to 2008's console-only Battlefield: Bad Company, the game sees the series' first full PC release since Battlefield 2142 from 2006 and is the first PC edition to feature a fully-fledged single-player campaign.

Fans of the classic Battlefield games may feel a little short-changed, especially the pilots; like its predecessor, BC2 focuses on infantry and armoured combat with only the occasional helicopter thrown in for good measure. Flyboys will most likely have to wait until the as yet unseen Battlefield 3 to get their air combat fix.

 

Part of reason for this smaller scale is the destructible scenery, which would most likely cause performance issues on the wide open maps of the early titles. A refined Frostbite engine brings even more destructive possibilities to the environments with the ability to completely flatten a building rather than simply taking out sections of walls - a feature being touted by developers DICE as "Destruction 2.0".

Players first got the chance to experience the new game back in November with a PS3 only beta featuring the Arica Harbour map set in the deserts of Peru. This month Xbox and PC gamers get the opportunity to get in on the action with the significantly colder Alaskan Port Valdez map. Whilst the console version of the release is slated as a demo, the PC build is still officially a beta due to the complex variety of hardware that will require testing for performance and compatibility.

 

As with the original PS3 beta, the current build focuses on the Rush game mode. Based on the Gold Rush mode that initially shipped with the first Bad Company game (albeit it with 100% less gold this time around), the attacking team must destroy a series of crates. Once the first pair of crates has been destroyed, the play area shifts and the defenders must fall back to the next set of crates. Attackers win if they successfully destroy all four pairs of crates, whilst defenders must hold out until the attackers run out of tickets.

Other confirmed game modes currently include Squad Rush - a smaller 4v4 variant of the standard Rush mode, Squad Deathmatch - a 4v4v4v4 free-for-all, and the traditional control point based Conquest mode.

 

As with all previous Battlefield games, players pick from a selection of classes, this time narrowed down to a choice of 4 - Assault, Engineer, Medic and Recon, each with a variety of weapons and upgrades available to unlock. Interestingly, DICE have seen fit to give the Medic class an LMG (light machine gun for those not so familiar with military acronyms) - given the prevalence of medics on the infantry heavy maps of Battlefield 2, it seems strange that they would be gifted with such a significant piece of firepower, potentially increasing their numbers even more.

 

If anything, the decision to concentrate on smaller scale engagements rather than the larger open play areas has only served to increase the intensity of the action. Parachuting into the initial spawn point as the attacking Russian team, players get a brief view of the objectives before being engulfed in anti-air flak. Fighting your way through the oil refinery, your view is often obscured with smoke and mist from the sea; tracer fire and bullets whistling passed your ear serve as a reminder of which direction you should be heading.

Alongside the traditional mix of light and heavy armour, there are a number of new vehicles to play with - the quad bike provides a quick transport for two, whilst the new UAV (a personal favourite) is ideal for covering advances. Unlike the Commander asset from Battlefield 2, the UAV in BC2 is remotely controllable by a player. Capable of spotting distant targets and calling in a missile strike, it is also very fragile and has a long respawn timer so it must be treated with care.

 

Despite fears amongst PC gamers that the game may have been watered down for their console counterparts, it only takes a couple of rounds to find that, whilst streamlined slightly, this is still classic Battlefield at heart. I personally, will be eagerly counting the days until release and hoping nothing major changes in the meantime.

 

Beanz | 31st January, 2010
Wedgeh's picture
Cannot bloody wait , though I dread rasher using any form of explosives in this game, I can just picture him making a building collapse ontop of his team as he mis-judges his grenade rounds
Betty_Swallocks's picture
That's not the half of it. They have helicopters.

Have you SEEN Rasher in a helo?
Beanz's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by Betty_Swallocks View Post
That's not the half of it. They have helicopters.

Have you SEEN Rasher in a helo?
For anyone that hasn't...

Dead Alive's picture
That's about as good as I can fly.
Bobster's picture
its been 4 years since i last took control of a helo in BF2.. might have to come out of retirement for this!
Bobster's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beanz View Post
For anyone that hasn't...

YouTube- Rasher Flying
where is has this gone?! :/
Rasher's picture
there is more copies of it knocking around, will take a look see if I can find some

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