Battlefield Bad Company scores a 9 from GameDaily
Battlefield Bad Company scored yet another 9, this time the review score came from GameDaily:
“Most military-themed first-person shooters have the same kind of ultra-serious attitude, where soldiers charge into a war zone with a “win or die trying” mantra and shoot anything that moves. There’s nothing wrong with that (as the superb Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare proves), but seeing something with a change of pace wouldn’t be a bad thing for the worn-out genre. In this regard, Battlefield: Bad Company stands out from the pack, bringing lots of gun-toting excitement and cleverly fusing it with a dark, humorous attitude. As a result, it’s one of the best shooters you’ll play this summer.
In Bad Company’s main story mode, you play as Preston Marlowe, a newbie in the 222nd Army battalion placed in the B-Company team. Leading the team is Sergeant Redford, a gruff, worn-out soldier who accepted this assignment with the promise of a smooth retirement. Also in the pack is Sweetwater, a nerd who has the hots for the radio dispatch girl. Then there’s Haggard, a bazooka-carrying grunt with a tendency to blow things up, even when it’s not necessary.
B-Company handles most of the Army’s dirty work, sneaking in undetected and taking out Russian forces. Somewhere along the way, however, gold bars appear, inspiring the team to work for their own personal gain. What begins as a mission for freedom and liberty soon becomes a quest for revenge and profit, with each member of the team cashing in. There really isn’t much to do with the gold by the game’s conclusion, but its involvement in the storyline, along with the constant bickering of your squad mates, keeps the story fresh all the way to the end.
DICE put a lot of effort into the game’s development, building it from the ground up rather than porting over an earlier effort from the PC. Bad Company features outstanding visuals, from its wide-open environments to its nifty-looking explosions. The fact that you can destroy almost anything in the game is welcome addition. Fire a grenade launcher at a house and watch the explosion leave a gaping hole in the side of it, which you can jump through. (This turns out to be a helpful alternative to the front door.) Watching piles of sandbags and armored vehicles crumble is great, too, even if you don’t necessarily have to destroy them to proceed to your next mission.
What’s cool about the level design is that there’s more than one way to your objective. If you feel gutsy, you can go with the front-door approach, driving up in a tank and firing at anything that moves. You can also sneak around, taking enemy forces by surprise and apprehending ammunition and gold. The vehicular driving stages look great, although occasional camera problems do get in the way depending on which position you take. The map system is easy to read, clearly highlighting where your next objective is, as well as the red “kill areas” that mean instant death if you cross the lines.
Audio plays a huge part in the game as well. The actors filling the roles of your squad-mates do excellent work, yelling at each other as Sergeant Redford tries to get a handle on each situation. It’s also funny to hear some of their side comments, such as Sweetwater’s crush on the dispatch girl (”Tell her I said hi!”) and Haggard’s observations on the team’s current transport (”It’s no Truckasaurus Rex!”). The in-game music, which plays intermittently, is also good, and the sound effects deliver as expected.
As for gameplay, it’s pure Battlefield action. Although you can’t switch to different soldiers on the fly like you can in Modern Combat, it’s still very deep and satisfying. The controls are tight and responsive, letting you shoot with the right trigger and aim with precision with the left. You can also change weapons and firing mechanisms with the press of a button, so you can set up a grenade launcher with no problem (unless you’re out of ammo, in which you’ll need to refill at one of the many ammunition crates). Vehicular controls are smooth, too, although we can’t figure out why acceleration is on the left trigger instead of the right. That said, it’s not as big a deal as the slightly inept artificial intelligence. On occasion, your fellow soldiers will shoot like mad and leave themselves wide open to damage, especially in vehicles.
Also, Bad Company takes a refreshing break from the “auto-heal” function that most other first-person shooters possess. If you’re running low on health, you have to hit the left shoulder button to pull out an adrenaline syringe and restore your energy. However, you only have access to so many of the syringes. Overuse it and you’ll find yourself in a fatal situation. Fortunately, you can respawn with very little penalty.
Bad Company’s single-player campaign takes several hours to complete, but it’s always fun to return to. Blowing up stuff is just as fun the 20th hour as it is the first, and there are always collectible items, weapons and gold to find. If you’re more interested in multiplayer, however, you’ll enjoy Gold Rush mode.
Here, up to 24 players compete on a battlefield, with half of the soldiers defending the gold and the others proceeding to blow it up. There are multiple class levels available, including Assault, Specialist, Recon, Demolitions and Support. Each one provides an advantage to their team, with their own specialized tools and weaponry. Sure, you can be a selfish lone gun, but you won’t survive very long. This game is all about working together. Find some friends and have a great time with it.
There should’ve been more to the multiplayer, though. DICE promised an additional mode, but still hasn’t confirmed when its release. It’s not like what’s here isn’t sufficient, because it is. It just would’ve been nice to have something extra, like a Conquest or co-op mode. After all, there are four members in the B-Company team, and your friends should be able to control them.
Those minor issues aside, Battlefield: Bad Company is awesome and there’s plenty to do, both by yourself and with friends online. This is definitely Company worth keeping, even if it’s a dumb ass like Haggard.”