EA Games Battlefield: Bad Company

Battlefield: Bad Company marches onto next-gen consoles with unbelievably polished gameplay.

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EA Games Battlefield: Bad Company
  • EA Games Battlefield: Bad Company
  • EA Games Battlefield: Bad Company
  • EA Games Battlefield: Bad Company
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5

Pros

  • Non-stop, varied action on foot, behind a wheel or in the air; gorgeous, fully destructible environments; incredible attention to detail

Cons

  • Campaign slightly repetitive in spots; standard multiplayer modes not included

Bottom Line

Hold up your white flag and surrender to this fine, fine shooter.

Would you buy this?

Dynamic action, tons of features, and highly detailed visuals come together for the first significant step forward of console first-person shooters since Halo: Combat Evolved. While there are a few minor quibbles, you're assured to become addicted to Battlefield: Bad Company's twitch gameplay.

Love is a battlefield

The unlikely story of Preston Marlowe fills the half dozen missions of the single player campaign. Part of a small four-man squad in the US Army's outcast regimen nicknamed 'Bad Company', Marlowe becomes embroiled in a crazy quest for mercenary gold. From being disavowed by the Army to joining arms with a mad dictator, the platoon's journey is equal parts hilarity and lethal action. Bad Company is a near perfect mix of weapons and wit, which is refreshing given the series' multiplayer roots.

Expansive, fully destructible levels set Bad Company apart from any other console first-person shooter. Shoot out a window or blast out a brick wall; lob a grenade at a concrete wall or call in a mortar strike onto a bridge — everything deforms realistically according to the amount of physical force applied. A semi-automatic rifle can't take out a bridge, but artillery sure does the trick. It's an impressive display of engineering, but what truly makes the destructibility so fantastic is how intimately it's tied to the action.

Method to the madness

The ability to wreak havoc at will hasn't been inserted for the sake of a bullet point on the back of the box; on the contrary, destructibility has real meaning, real impact on how you play the game. For example, a sniper camping out in an attic can be obliterated with a well-aimed rocket, eliminating the need to navigate through the building in search of the sniper's vantage point. Of course, you're welcome to climb into the attic if that's how you want to roll. You could also hop into a tank and just turn the entire structure into a pile of rubble.

The ability to dispatch enemies in so many unique ways comes as a result of sophisticated level design and a glut of weapons. Dozens of firearms have been painstakingly replicated for use in the game. A great number can only be equipped once you've found them within the single player campaign, which can be quite the undertaking. Along with bonus gold crates hidden within each mission, there's an enormous amount of content to locate and unlock.

The more the merrier

All of these finely tuned elements — the non-stop action, fully destructible environments, huge arsenal of weapons — transfer into multiplayer. A maximum of 24 players can join up for matches on half a dozen well-balanced maps. Right now, only one mode of play is available: Gold Rush. This objective-driven game splits players into two teams, one charged with defending gold caches against the other, which is tasked with blowing them up with explosives. It's intense, challenging and fresh. Conquest should have been included as a second mode, but you have to download it separately.

Aside from the unnecessary omission of Conquest mode from the disc, Bad Company does pretty much everything right. It sweet talks its way into your heart with visceral first-person combat and a sharp story, but it's the multiplayer that you'll cherish for years to come.

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