BFBC2: Thoughts And Demolitions

I was playing Borderlands yesterday, and an enemy dived behind some cover. Naturally, I pull out a missile launcher and squeeze off a rocket. As the smoke clears, something strange happens. The cover is still there, untouched by the explosive death I spat at it. It stands, defiant and unmarked. This is what Battlefield: Bad Company 2 does to you. It ruins everything else.

If you look back at pretty much any FPS in recent memory, and make a quick check of all the weapons that should have blown big chunks of masonry around, and didn’t, it’s a pretty long list. It’s enough of a list to make me feel a little reluctant to go to a world pre-Frostbite. It’s enough of a thing that it’s going to mess with people’s preconceptions of future games. Hell, it’s done enough to mess with my memories of past games.

The Battlefield games have always done war pretty well. Bad Company 2 exudes war brilliantly. There’s so much attention paid to creating the feel of combat here that everything else pales in comparison. Sure, ArmA 2 might get the fidelity and pace of war perfectly, but it’s not catering to the Hollywood ideal of deafening explosions, blinding dust and the pure frenetic adrenaline of being inches from death constantly. The Modern Warfare games managed to do a pretty good job of creating the illusion of that feeling, with all it’s particle effects and the constant attack from all sides, but it was a thin veneer; you take a closer look at it and the whole thing starts to fall apart.

Bad Company 2 nails everything about it. You dive behind cover, and a grenade turns it into so much detritus and dust. So you run for a building, only to hear the gargantuan moan of it as it finally gives up and comes crashing down, the ceiling and floor creating a sandwich with you as the gooey centre. Bad Company 2 creates the idea of war, the cinematic caricature, just as we want it to be.

Other things support this: the sound work, for example, is masterful, and it sells the experience. There’s a moment in the first level where you walk into a submarine bay, and the submachine gun you’d been toting for the earlier parts, which had been vindictively spitting out bullets suddenly becomes a roaring monster of a weapon, each round sounding as if it’s fired from a medieval cannon. The acoustics, you see, they actually have an effect.

Hellicopters are deafening. The crack of a tank cannon is enough to pop the eardrums of anyone standing nearby. And that high-pitched ear-ringing aftershock of a grenade that just went off nearby is something you’ll have to become very, very used to. It’s not that the game is full of people lobbing grenades; it’s more that it’s full of enough people, lobbing enough grenades to have at least a few land near you each game.

And the dust, oh the dust. There’s dust in Bad Company 2. Enough that the one desert map makes seeing anything beyond about ten or twenty feet nearly impossible if anyone or anything has walked past in the last few hours. A grenade goes off and throws up a cloud of dust. A missile hits a building, and the whole place is choked with it. When mortar strikes, well… Not that you really care about seeing when a dozen high impact, high explosive shells are detonating around you.

When I last wrote about Bad Company 2 I focused enough on the destructibility offered by the Frostbite engine. The big difference now that the game has been released is that there are considerably more maps, and there are enough of them that offer far more populated residential areas that the destruction is that much more impressive. Atica Harbour, a map that moves from motorpool to town, to bridge, to industrial district, is perhaps the best example. As soon as you reach the town and the tanks go to, erm, town, the whole place becomes a meat grinder, with each of the classes abilities strained so far that you can only just survive, let alone kill anything.

When I think about how BC2 engenders team play the closest rival that comes to mind is Team Fortress 2. There’s a structure and level of thought that places each of the four classes in a specific role that really works. The Assault class has the assault rifles, and is thus a good all rounder for helping whereever. And with his ammo box, he needs to be near everyone else to keep them stocked up. The medic has a light machine gun, meaning he stands a little further back, able to rush forward and revive anyone who drops, and spew out medkits to keep those around him alive.

The Engineer has submachine guns, missile launchers and the repair tool, so obviously he acts in the dual roles of supporting vehicles and taking out the opposition armour. And finally the Recon has the sniper rifle. So people climb up hills and buildings and take potshots at other people. People who can’t see them. People who sigh when they get shot, and wait to respawn. Oh, and sometimes they drop mortar strikes on you, as if that wasn’t enough. So basically, when they called it ‘Recon’, they basically meant ‘Dick’.

It’s okay though, because they’re rarely at the top of the leaderboard. Where Team Fortress 2 made you play your class by making it only natural given the tools you have, BC2 does it through scoring/xp. Engineers get points by repairing their vehicles and taking out the enemy equivalent. Medics can wrack up insane numbers of points by resuscitating and healing, and the assault can do rather nicely by restocking their mates with ammo. Even the Recon gets an equivalent enabling tool, in the motion tracking mine, which marks enemy troop positions for your friends to take advantage on. The problem being that if you’re a sniper up a hill, you’re not close enough to throw one anywhere it would be any use.

So basically, the person at the top of the scoreboard is the person who’s played their class the most effectively. They’re the guys who healed the most teammates, or blew up the most enemy tanks, or kept the front line supplied with ammo. Basically, they’re not the people who are best with their guns, but the people best at helping their friends. And that’s an important dynamic.

This is still Battlefield. Just because it’s got a different subtitle doesn’t mean anything’s significantly changed. A lot of the flab of the previous game has been removed, with the bloated six class system replaced with something far more streamlined and versatile. This is still the game that’s going to provide you with the best war stories this year. It’s still a game that allows you to electrocute someone to death with defibrillators. Or maybe drill them to death with power tools. It’s a game that allows you to place tracer darts on infantrymen and then track a missile onto them. It’s a game that allows the gunner of a Black Hawk get hit by a tracer dart, realise what’s happened, then bail out and save millions of pounds of equipment by sacrificing himself.

And that’s the kind of game I want to play.


  1. guigr says:

    And it’s the game I’ll receive in the mail tomorrow. I can’t wait!

  2. Magic H8 Ball says:

    But does it have Titans?

    • unangbangkay says:

      Indeed. Just because 2142 got a bad rap (some of it deservedly so), I hope they don’t just up and abandon sci-fi. I loved those mothership-assault missions. Except when some dick just up and steals an APC you had parked under the enemy ship for pod-launching purposes and runs it straight into the enemy engineers’ sights. That’s not something to love.

  3. Spacegirl says:

    It’s fun, possible balance issues brewing though..

    Medic’s LMG’s are pretty murderous….

    • Lobotomist says:

      There is only one thing i dont understand about BFBC2

      EA wanted to make MW2 killer. Check. BFBC2 blows MW2 and any other online shooter , out of water.

      But than they go on and release it with broken connectivity on Day 1 ?
      It takes them 2 weeks to fix it, and still people are experiencing problems connecting.

      Now the game world lives by hype and initial buyers impulse. Word of mouth.

      I have recommended the game to all my buddies (while i was in beta). Now i had to tell them that they should wait with the purchase. For half of them that means that they lost the impulse and will not buy the game at all.

      Statistically. This way EA lost 20% of potential customers , even more. Just because they never properly beta tested the game ( beta version was different than release version for some reason – and it had none of the problems )

      Shame really. I really wonder who these days makes decisions in game companies. And why are they so damn stupid.

    • HexagonalBolts says:

      LMGs may be crap but you can easily stock up more points with the medkits and revives than any other class on the field, and you help your side a lot through that anyway – if the guns were any better there wouldn’t be any point to the assault class

    • Nick says:

      LMGs aren’t crap at all, the m60 may be the best but the rest are far from bad.

    • OgunBadbooks says:

      Would heartily agree with the complaints about connectivity/the server browser (here and all over the interweb) and that the ticket system needs to go back to the old method where controlling most of the flags affects the other teams ticket rate – but i hope the next update doesn’t introduce anything severe in the way of actual gameplay changes.

      this is the first video game i’ve gotten addicted to in years. it reminds me of the heyday of the true combat mod for q3 but with vehicles and destructible environments thrown in.

  4. toni says:

    aehm, destructible terrain was featured in Guerilla and Crysis as well. How is the frostbyte engine the first at doing this ?

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      It’s not the first, but I think what Phill is getting excited about is the implementation, which is pretty extraordinary for this type of game. (And he doesn’t say it’s the first…)

    • Web Cole says:

      Phil never says it’s the first to do so.

    • pcgneurotic says:

      I don’t recall destructo-terrain in Crysis. Trees falling over is one thing, but it’s not destructible terrain. Taking chunks out of the ground or causing brick-and-mortar buildings to die is, though. Maybe it’s me though, I was much more impressed by Far Cry 2’s explodable tin shacks than Crysis’s feeble flora.

  5. Scuzzeh says:

    I had no intention of buying the game at first but towards the end of last week I was rather bored and picked it up after learning several friends of mine had already done so. I’m pleased to say I do not regret it at all as it has been brilliant fun although it does tend to crash on certain servers.

  6. Magic H8 Ball says:

    Anonymous Coward said:
    aehm, destructible terrain was featured in Guerilla and Crysis as well. How is the frostbyte engine the first at doing this ?

    It’s funny you mention Guerilla and omit Red Faction.

    • toni says:

      i didn’t omit, I just gave some examples without any “plan” behind it.

      “If you look back at pretty much any FPS in recent memory, and make a quick check of all the weapons that should have blown big chunks of masonry around, and didn’t, it’s a pretty long list. ”

      yeah, he doesn’t say it’s the first but it somehow implies that. Well, it’s nothing to get hung about, I do like the destruction as well but I can’t find it to be such a big thing that it renders all other mp shooters obsolete. the game is just very good at playing to its own strength through the maps, it is a very good product but like everything done by DICE and EA: totally unplayable due to their servers crashing, the browser freezing and kicking players out and this goes on for days and days. Just like BF2 was unplayable until patch 1.6 which cam 1 YEAR LATER.

    • Phill Cameron says:

      Yeah, it’s not a ‘first’ thing, but a ‘first time it’s done right’. Red Faction Guerilla did do destructible buildings well, and while it was incredible fun to destroy these buildings, the rest of the game did suffer somewhat; it was purely about destroying the buildings, with not much else to deal with. The game was still fun, but it was pretty clear what it was about.

      What’s great about BC2 is that it’s there, and it makes sense, but you’re still dealing with shooting other people, and getting shot at. So when cover gets destroyed by a wayward rocket, it’s incredibly atmospheric because that’s what would happen, rather than the entire point. The buildings get destroyed in the crossfire, almost as an afterthought, and that’s what’s important. It helps that it does a bloody good job of making convincing destruction, rather than the somewhat match-stick like buildings of RF:G.

  7. Forceflow says:

    Multiplayer is rather fun, but the server browser is shit. I guess it will get fixed in the first patch.

    • squirrel says:

      I am kind of worrying about the nature of the problem. It’s widely believed that the issue was a simply overload of servers due to poor prediction of the demand. One thing keeps bothering me is that while I could not log in, many of my friends could. By the time when I and some of my friends could log in, some did not. That meant, the servers did not go down from time to time. They simply accept some and reject some by different occasions. I seriously suspect if there are some bugs in the network codes. Given the simple overloading problem, EA could simply install more capacity for their servers (it will be rewarding, after all they are planning for Battlefield 3). If there are bugs, they will need time to debug, and we will not know exactly when it is completely resolved. Currently, the issue is only under control, not goes away.

  8. Mike says:

    The war stories are always the dealbreaker for a game with multiplayer. And BC2 really does deliver. It’s frantic and frequently unfair, but it’s a game that’s good at apologising. It redeems itself by giving you another behind-enemy-lines sabotage spree, or a dash through MG fire to revive a squaddie.

    It really came out of the blue. DICE are a genuinely underrated developer.

  9. Ffitz says:

    It’s the medic’s M60 with red-dot scope that’s murderous. The earlier guns are pretty poor, I think. But the M60… it’s insane. It’s a good feeling to kill an enemy medic, pick up his M60 and turn it back on his team.

    I mostly play dick recon, but in support of my squadmates. Spotting targets, mortaring dug-in troops, sniping flanking enemies and knifing stupid camping enemy snipers who think they’re invisible. Squad play is very rewarding, even if no-one seems to use voice-comms at all.

    It’s a great stop-gap between BF2 and what I hope BF3 will be, but I really, really appreciate the lack of any bloody jets.

    • EaterOfCheese says:

      Re: Jets


    • Skurmedel says:

      I do a fair amount of recon with shotgun, it works rather well as an assault type of guy as well. Although the sight of a guy in a ghillie suit with a shotgun kicking in a door is a little amusing.

    • shalrath says:

      When I played the demo (on PS3 at work, yes hold your boos) I tended to play a sharp-shooter style Recon; at least that was my favourite. My ‘style’ was to sit about 20 feet back from the front line and pick off anyone trying to throw grenades, or counter-assault, or sniping in the distance, etc.

      I got a lot of ‘thanks!’ because that also meant I was tossing those detection-nades in front of my teammates, and they were quite pleased with that.

  10. Ben Udashen says:

    Its not so much about Bad Company doing destructible environments first, its about them doing it well and it not overwhelming other aspects of the game. It is a relatively well balanced experience (well, at least compared to its main competitor, MW2).

    That, or I suck so much at it I can’t tell where the balancing is broken.

    Also, good to hear I’m not the only one with heavy misgivings about the Recon class.

  11. AndrewC says:

    Hey there, Phill! Milk, no sugar please.

  12. Ovno says:

    I’m loving it at the moment, though the server browser does need to die….

  13. Jonas Brodin says:

    I’ve been playing bc2 BETA, DEMO and now the final game, and it’s awesome in every way.
    I must say that Im proud of my fellow swedes who created this game. It is and will be for a long time the best wargame I ever played.

    Remember guys, teamwork is the key to win!
    See you on the battlefield!

    PSN: SKlTSPEL (i is an small L)

  14. gulag says:

    Such a good refinement of what made BF2 multiplayer the (back then) pinnacle of multi-player man-face-shooting. Nicking all the best bits of COD4’s unlock/progress mechanics, yet keeping the pace and variety of BF2’s giant maps and interesting classes has made this one of my best purchases this year, and considering the strength of the competition, that’s quite the thing.

  15. nutterguy says:

    I’m sorry but nobody should buy this game for the singleplayer.
    The game engine is fantastic as Phill says with excellent destruction, physics, sounds and ok animations but it is totally let down by having a horrible story (far worse than Crysis or Farcry), horrible dialogue, bad voice acting and rubbish AI (both team and enemy).
    Also while the smoke/dust/fog is pretty it is insanely annoying, what happens a lot: I can see 10m yet I’m getting shot by people I can’t see at all.

    The squad AI is rubbish, they seem to run pretty much on rails and will gladly run all the way to the end of the level without you or get stuck at some point and never help you. Pretty much one or the other…
    Enemy’s do almost exactly the same thing every time and are placed in exactly the same places.

    The guns, are ok, large selection of them although they all feel pretty similar and different ammo counts as a different gun.

    Also inside walls of building cannot be destroyed so you can never actually level a building and also wooden guard towers are indestructible!

    Environments consist of dessert, tundra, urban and jungle and it tries to do the Call of Duty, let’s go kill people all around the world thing but doesn’t really pull it off well at all, mainly let down by the story I suppose.

    So while BFBC2 does take some good steps it also take a lot of backwards and sideways steps.
    I would recommend COD:MW2 or Crysis over this any day. It annoys me that it got a 90% metacritic score.

    • nutterguy says:

      Also I would like to say this has nothing to do with the multiplayer.
      I’m quite enjoying the multiplayer actually…

    • Ffitz says:

      Seriously – if it says “Battlefield” on the box, it’s never going to be about the single-player. Especially if you’re playing on a PC.

    • AndrewC says:

      Oh don’t be mean, the single player is lots of fun, and its slightly daft 80’s action movie tone is far more agreeable than the super seriousness of COD4. But I am old and cynical, and am simply not looking to take the stories of these games seriously, so would prefer one that ackowledges its basic silliness.

      It is, however, stuck together with sticky tape just as much as COD4 though – its veneer is just as thin, and it’s scripting just as obvious.

    • EaterOfCheese says:

      Played beta, pre-ordered, loving it, would recommend it to just about anyone.

      And I haven’t played 1 badly written, linear progressing second of single player :D

    • nutterguy says:

      There is a singleplayer though.
      It wasn’t really mentioned here.
      Though I might as well say something about it.

      I know Battlefield games are not bought for the singleplayer but this is trying to have a decent singleplayer and in my opinion it is still failing.
      I’d say quite a lot of work was put into the singleplayer part of BC2 and I really had to force myself to finish it… where as COD:MW + MW2 may have had silly stories but I found them fun to play, this was not.

      Also as far as forcing myself to finish it, I like to finish games, especially when they cost €40-€50!

    • drewski says:

      I’ve not played BC2 but dude, are you serious? The Modern Warfare 2 story is awful – it makes absolutely no sense, it jumps around chaotically and nothing is ever explained.

      Infinty Ward clearly came up with the set pieces first and shoehorned the story in around it. Which is fine, it plays as well as you can expect from an arcade shooter, but the story’s absolute rubbish.

    • nutterguy says:

      @drewski: Your comment, just replace Modern Warfare with BF:BC2 and Infinity Ward with DICE!

      “The BF:BC2 story is awful – it makes absolutely no sense, it jumps around chaotically and nothing is ever explained.

      DICE clearly came up with the set pieces first and shoehorned the story in around it. Which is fine, it plays as well as you can expect from an arcade shooter, but the story’s absolute rubbish.”

      Exactly! :-D

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      If you buy a Battlefield game for the single-player you are a fool. Just thought you should be aware of that. It’s getting 90 because the real component of the game is fantastic, the single-player is an afterthought, bonus content if you will, just like MW2.

    • Spork says:

      I agree with AndrewC, the story’s silly but it’s got a fair bit of variety and introduces you to most of the weapons and vehicles. Good for when the servers are offline, and for some reason I really dug the soundtrack.

      Also: the phrase ‘hippie space muffin’.

    • Primar says:

      You cannot knock the dialogue of a game where one of the lines delivered by a Texan is “Aw hell, outta my way, I gotta go save me some cheerleaders!”.

      This is an immutable fact of the world.

    • Nalano says:

      You can’t be serious.

      MW had a fun, somewhat silly storyline but MW2’s was shit.

      BC2’s storyline is as hammy as ever but at least I could follow it: Secret EMP-bomb superweapon is developed and detonated during a hot Cold War. (spoilers). AND it had me doing crazy things that were fun and not stupid: I’d rather run through El Barrio during a mortar attack, watching as buildings crumble around me, than hit civvies in an airport in an ill-considered Tom Clancy wet dream.

    • Wisq says:

      BFBC2’s singleplayer plot was so forgettable that I literally forgot it, repeatedly. I would stop playing for the night, go to bed, start playing the next day, and literally have no idea where we were or why we were there. I’d just follow the waypoints and that was that. Heck, a couple weeks later, I can’t even remember any of their names.

      The only memories I do have were not terribly flattering. Funny groaning noise that made me think more of some sort of Godzilla monster than a superweapon. Your squad’s resident techie guy somehow having the expertise to bring a satellite down out of orbit right overhead with just a few seconds of fiddling. Said satellite being the size of a bus and not burning up on re-entry. Etc.

      And then there were the scripted ambushes and other surprises where literally your only defence was to know about it ahead of time, because it killed you the first time and you’re doing it over again. Or the part where you have to run through a prolonged mortar strike and it’s basically about luck. Or the rather bad pacing of enemy waves and “boss” vehicles versus save checkpoints, often forcing you to repeat a long battle because you made a tiny mistake at the end.

      I have no idea how MW2’s SP gameplay was, since that game is permanently on my boycott list. But I can definitely say the SP was nothing compared to MW1’s. Thankfully, I got BFBC2 for the MP, and that hasn’t disappointed.

    • Psychopompy says:


      As a Texan, I approve. Now, if only I wasn’t so flabby, then I’d save me some cheerleaders.

    • Springy says:

      I agree with nutter, the single player is an absolute catastrophe.

      I’m thrown from one arena to another at breakneck speed, with explosions rocking my world, Russians threatening the existence of the good ol’ USA and three wise-cracking squad mates backing me up. Great! Except the set pieces are limp, recycled and entirely lacking any sort of excitement, the story is gibberish even by action game standards (I have no fucking clue why I went to Bolivia, I’m perplexed as to why I was made to walk up the damn Andes, and no-one wants to enlighten me why I’m driving through a desert), and the AI, friend and foe, is pathetic.

      Oh, and the dialogue stinks. There’s a strong, swaggering sense that the game thinks it’s really witty, but it just comes off as bad as any old crap in Gears of War or Call of Duty; worse, actually, because at least those games didn’t try to be funny when they knew they didn’t have the ability. The cutscenes are tedious and too regular, and for some reason when they initialise half my screen is black bars. It’s riddled with painful game problems, bad checkpointing and unfair insta-kill shootouts, enemies that can’t fly helicopters and soldiers that get stuck on the scenery and shoot at the floor.

      Oh, and the environmental effects you mentioned? Yeah, it sucks when you’re being shot by people you can’t even see.

      Fortunately, the multiplayer is among the very best available, and the game deserves all the accolades it gets.

    • Flimgoblin says:

      Single player seems about what I expected for a silly modern shooty game (I suppose CoD has set my expectations well there :p though afaik no silly controversy-inducing levels in this one).

      But I didn’t buy it for single player….

      You can’t destroy buildings completely? Tell that to the roof that landed on my head last night… might well be some models that can’t be destroyed, but you can definitely blow up some of them… (the south american maps where you have towns made out of sticks are particularly prone to being cover-less at the drop of an angry T-42)

      Server browser isn’t brilliant, it needs default region-filters or something. Random tip till they bring that in – you cancel it then set some search parameters and click search rather than hitting the enter key – it’ll come back a lot lot faster, the lag seems to be in the retrieving data from the umpteen million servers at once.

    • drewski says:

      @ nutterguy – then I don’t really understand your problem with BC2. It sounds like you were expecting some grand storytelling opus, which fair enough, you didn’t get…but then you compare it negatively to Modern Warfare 2, which has one of the worst and most poorly explained stories in gaming history.

  16. Spiny says:

    Gah, this game as made me rediscover pc gaming & looking at spending money on graphics cards :)

    • Bursar says:

      My 3 year old PC is running it quite happily at medium settings at 1600×1280

  17. Heliocentric says:

    You need a dick class, or would you rather they all played as medic and confused matters? Of course that medic won’t revive you. He’s camping.

    I do want this, but its the kind of game i play with the missus and we only have 1 pc which can handle it, so we need to wait a while, but by then I’ll probably jump straight to bf3.

    • HermitUK says:

      Actually the medic won’t revive you cause he’s not unlocked the defib yet.

      If I had one complaint about the multiplayer it’s that far too much stuff is locked out behind points, and that a lot of the unlocks are clear upgrades to the absolutely nothing you start with.

    • Heliocentric says:

      Oh my god, did they not learn from 2142? Medic is a friging dfib on legs, how can you take that away?

      In cod4 triple grenade unlock was a crime. Usually after you’ve used all 3 you have artillary, which gets you the heli *sigh*. At least in bfbc you don’t get call ins. But really? I hate the unlock mmo crap which makes level 99 guys over powered.

      But its good business apparently, so what do i know.

    • Nick says:

      I really wish they HAD stuck with the 2142 class layout, Assault having the medic unlocks to choose (say the bag always and the defibs replacing the GL if desired) and there being a support class with LMGs and the ammo bag. As it is there are so many assaults sitting on ammo bags noob tubing everywhere it gets very tiresome, not to mention the best bullet firing weapon in the game belonging to medics so you have a lot of medic squads that are nearly impossible to kill thanks to the few seconds after you are revived making you immune to harm.

      It is brilliant fun but it is in dire need of some balance patching.

    • Wisq says:

      The class layout is a bit weird, yes. Engineers are in charge of blowing things up, yet they get silenced weapons? Recon are supposed to operate as snipers (unless you go shotgun / WW2 weapons) but have a sensor ball ideal for close range combat? Medics double as machine gunners?

      IMO, here’s how I’d consider changing things:

      Split “Recon” into “Spec Ops” and “Sniper”. The former gets the sensor ball, the silenced weapons, the C4, the spotting scope, and a dark uniform for indoor or jungle ops. The latter gets the sniper rifles, the mortars, maybe some traps or anti-personnel mines for personal defence, and the ghillie suit.

      Add a “Support” class with the LMGs and the ammo boxes, and probably C4 as well.

      “Assault” loses the ammo box but still has plenty to recommend it, seeing as how it gets the best weapons and the 40mm grenades.

      I guess that means the Medic and Engineer classes would have to use more generic weapons — maybe unsilenced carbines. So maybe that’s why they picked those funny combos (engineer+silenced, medic+LMG).

      Also, I really do wish Assault could trade in the 40mm grenade launcher for C4 without having to use shotguns. I frequently use C4 against the objectives, but that means I’m stuck with the Saiga or the (horribly modelled) SPAS-12, and all my unlocked assault weapons go to waste.

    • Springy says:

      You can use the Thompson, M14 or G3 with the Assault and retain C4. I know what you’re getting at, though. It would be good if you could just turn in your M203 and keep your M416 or AN-94 or whatever your death-dealer of choice is.

    • Mman says:

      “The class layout is a bit weird, yes. Engineers are in charge of blowing things up, yet they get silenced weapons? Recon are supposed to operate as snipers (unless you go shotgun / WW2 weapons) but have a sensor ball ideal for close range combat? Medics double as machine gunners?”

      Considering it’s consistent across all classes it’s pretty obvious the seemingly contradictory abilities are intentional and done to allow each class to be played in very different ways (and cultivate many different playstyles). The game would lose a lot of its flavour if the classes were split up for the sake of “making sense”.

    • Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

      I agree with Mman. That each class has features that encourage different styles of play than the default is a good thing, I think. I, for one, quite like playing an in-your-face Shotgun Sensor-Man Recon. More than a few Assault and Medic players see a Ghillie Suit running at them and get lazy, thinking he’ll be an easy kill.

      Then they get a SAIGA to the face.

    • Dante says:

      There’s some very clever things going on with BC’s class system. Consider for instance that even the most lone wolf, camping bastard sniper actually helps his squad by acting as a forward re-spawn point when they die by actually trying to achieve an objective.

  18. HermitUK says:

    Picked this up on release and I have to say it’s easily the best multiplayer FPS I’ve played since TF2. There’s some technical issues and some weapon balancing which DICE need to be fixing soon, but those are your usual teething troubles and no major issue.

    Easily one of my favourite things is helicopter crashes. Not sure I’d ever be able to play a game without the debris from a helicopter falling out the sky, knocking down trees and taking out buildings. Though taking out a building and crushing half the enemy team’s snipers is a close second.

    It also bodes well for BF3, which will no doubt run on further improved Frostbite tech.

    • Primar says:

      I think the best Black Hawk Down moment I’ve had was on the map where you attack/defend the little island to start. I hear my mate muttering to himself over Skype, then let out a cackle as he informs me that he’s just sniped out the pilot of the helicopter that was buzzing around overheard. A couple of seconds later there’s a massive BOOM as the chopper hits the ground less than a meter in front of me.

      According to him, I let out a little girly scream before I realised I wasn’t dead. :(

    • Springy says:

      Having now had the opportunity to fire an RPG-7 at a Black Hawk helicopter, I have a newfound respect for those Somalians who managed to do it properly twice.

  19. Corrupt_Tiki says:

    The game looks good, what I’ve played is good, but alas I cannot get it to update properly, and It crashes quite often (In singleplayer – have to update for MP)… Im a sad panda =*(

  20. moot says:

    It is mostly ace. Mostly.

    As briefly mentioned, the turgid, unreliable and occasionally deceitful server browser is a bit of a bind. Given that other games in the BF series have also suffered from similar issues at launch, I am a little peeved that this wasn’t ironed out ahead of release. Still, I have faith that it will be sorted in time.

    My biggest gripe concerns the damage modelling. Most weapons – make that 99.99% of weapons – don’t offer a one-shot-head-shot-kill. Which is rubbish.
    Three shots to the bonce with a machine gun to bring a man down? 5 or more body hits for a kill with a dirty great LMG?

    What is worse is are those times when I hit someone 1…2…3…4 times with a flame-spewing, tank-mounted MG and they run off into the sunset, flipping me the V’s….

    I find myself regularly frustrated by the following vignette:

    SURPRISE! Myself and an opposing player realise we have simultaneously entered opposite ends of a small room.

    Uhuhuhuhu/ratatatatatat/BRRRRRRRRRRaaart (insert playground MG noise of choice here) goes my gun as I lay down a good 3-5 hits on my opponent.

    *Run*…*stab* goes my opponent, as he pirouettes across the room, a flailing human colander, but still hail and hearty enough to shake of the trifling facial bullet wounds and dispatch me with a swift face/knife interaction.

    That just…ain’t quite right.

    Yes, I know there is a hardcore mode which addresses this for the most part – I just can’t find enough low-ping hardcore matches for this to be my solution.

    What is odd, is that I don’t believe this type of modelling is much different to BF1942, Vietnam and BF2 – all of which I played an awful lot. The problem seems to be is that it now feels out of place here when everything else about the combat modelling seems to have evolved and grown up.

    I shall ignore the inevitable cries of “well go play ARMA/MW2/Whatever” – I like the game. I like it a lot. I like it for all the reasons above and more. I just wish…

    Small changes – that’s all. Would make it perfect rather than just “great”

    • Nick says:

      It wasn’t tat way in BF2/2142 either, the one hit win button knife is a complete game crime too actually. There was nothing wrong with the old system of having to take it out and it not being a 1 hit kill, this knife that sprints you a few feet, auto aims and insta kills is just pathetic, especially as you can absorb so much close range gunfire.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Hahah I have almost the complete opposite gripe. I don’t mind the damage people take. What bothers me is that I’ll pump a ton of lead into an opponent only for him to turn around and take me down with a single shot. (Not in Hardcore Mode).

      Also, I REALLY wish I could fiter for game modes and options when looking for a game. I’d like to be able to just enter a game using the match maker that fits my parameters – mainly Hardcore/Non Hardcore/Both and Spotting.

      Having said that. Undoubtedly the best MP I’ve played in ages. Looking forward to when they iron out the kinks.

    • suibhne says:

      It’s exceedingly easy to dodge in a knife fight – there’s no knife auto-aim as in MW2, and the knife takes longer to pull off. I don’t know what’s occurring in your case, obviously, but most people who complain about the knifing seem to think they can stand still and not suffer any consequences. If you incorporate basic back-and-forth strafing into your gameplay, you’ll find you only get knifed by surprise.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      @ suibhne: aha! Well, to be fair I am always constantly being knifed by surprise at the moment. Mind you, i don’t mind the knife mechanic so much.

    • Zombat says:

      I knifed someone through a wall yesterday

    • suibhne says:

      @Zombat: True, that’s a real problem. I’ve done the same.

    • Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

      Me too. I accidentally knifed someone on the other side of a destructible door once. This was amusing as I was trying to actually knife said door. To destroy it.

      Well, it got me a melee pin, so I’m not complaining.

  21. nickski says:

    Agree wholeheartedly about the medic class, in BF2 you had to be a wiley chap as the medic, hang back, dart in, ZAPPP IT LIVEEEEES, and dart out again. Now it’s like facing the bleeding terminator, or a whole pack of them, they can seemingly hit you from a mile away with a LMG!!!! ripe for a balancing i’d say. Absolutely loving Rush though, when you get a team playing together it’s immense, if it’s every man for themselves then it’s game over pretty quickly. and the destructible scenery just WORKS. lovin it all, when I can connect of course, this is DICE, what did anyone expect?

  22. mensaap says:

    Excellent review, allready played 47 hours of bc2 :)

  23. theSeekerr says:

    This. BF1942 through BF2 (and maybe 2142, never played it) didn’t even have a proper campaign, just a series of bot matches. There was more fun to be had in jamming helicopters into places they weren’t supposed to go, or trying to basejump onto enemy planes.

    The fact they wrote a story is a start. Maybe BF3 will do it too, and maybe they’ll remember to hire someone with some talent.

    • Ffitz says:

      Really, if you want a campaign, get ArmA. BF has always been “there’s your objective, now get to it”. Have a few single-player missions as a training aid, sure, but battlefield=multiplayer, and, to quote the girl, nobody does it better.

  24. Spandex says:

    Tracer darting snipers has to be the best thing ever. Do you get a lock on warning if you get tracer’d on foot? If not, you really really should do, just for the comedy aspect.

    Also, accidently tracer’d a medic yesterday that was running next to a tank, he then laser guns me with his scoped M60 (grr). I respawn, lock on, fire my CG stright up in the air. 5 seconds later, 1 dead medic :D

    On the subject of the repair tool, anyone seen the new award they are adding? ‘The Dentist’ – Get a hs with the repair tool, lol.

  25. Jakson Breen says:

    Did we all forget about the original Red Faction? It had destructible terrain, but it was used to a much lesser effect…

    Good to see explosive destruction finally make a welcome returned…

    • drewski says:

      It was entirely pointless, they started using magic indestructible walls, office partitions and, well, everything after about a third of the game and, well, it was absolute rubbish as a game.

      “Oooh, I can blow things up! Cool! Oh, that’s the only good thing about the game.”

      The point is that is works in BC2, not that it was first.

  26. ShineDog says:

    I have enjoyed the SP far more than the MW2 SP, for what its worth. I am however, a little sad that they changed the tone so much from BC1. It feels wrong hearing them swear after the first game, which had a few shits at worst.

    It’s weird seeing haggard acting like a professional (Everyone is much more of a professional now though really) and his animosity to Sweetwater seems ramped up for no real reason.

    And the biggy.

    What happened to the gold? Do they even mention the gold? (For PC exclusive gamers, Bad Company 1 had the group fighting a mercenary legion who payed their troops in gold – they go AWOL with the intention of stealing gold, end up trucking from some kind of fictional Georgia analogue down to the middle east to fight the MEC, and finally get their hands on a truck load of gold and the game ends with them driving over the horizon, into a sunset, to retire on a beach)

  27. DazzeL says:

    The server browser isn’t THAT bad. The Battlefield broswer’s have all been rubbish, not that this excuses Bad Company 2, my point is just that it was expected. It’s ok if you add in some favourites and go from there. After all, we did demand dedicated servers now didn’t we?

    I agree with the medic problem though. It’s such a difficult class to get right and the LMG’s are probably slightly too good at the moment. The problem is that the game is genuinely better off with medics who heal and revive. But, if you take away their killing ability then you run the risk of no one playing the class at all. It’s a game after all and every class has to be fun. Perhaps just decreasing the range might do the trick but then no one wants recon snipers to be even more powerful either!!

    • Heliocentric says:

      If shock paddle is not default equipment you are breeding a problem into the player base.

    • Surgeon says:

      Nah, it isn’t that big a deal Helio.

      At first you’re all like, what the feck, I’ve got to unlock my paddles?
      But then when you do get them, it is all the sweeter because you’ve earnt them.
      And it is then, as Phil says, time to say hello to stupidly insane amounts of points.

    • Stupid Fat Hobbit says:

      What bothered me wasn’t just that the defib had to be unlocked, but so did the frickin’ medkit! Really? You want me to play for how long as a MEDIC without any ability to perform the role of the class!?

    • Heliocentric says:

      Fine. But i came into 2142 late, and led a hard scrabble existence against people with things like homing mines, antitank rifles, turrets, hovering gun bots, placable respawns… Utter bullshit when you consider you start without grenades.

    • battles_atlas says:

      The earlier medic guns suck balls, pure and simple. The third one is half decent, but can’t speak of the better ones as I haven’t unlocked them yet.

      Also the browser is useless – favourites doesn’t work for me, it just thinks about it for a while until I click ‘Cancel’. The Friends thing only works half the time. Ping usually doesn’t work either, and unlike BF2 the server info doesn’t seem to update when you click on one, so to find a server with a space is just a case of labouriously clicking on all full games until one lets you in.

      My other bug bear is that you only get info on the server settings once you start loading (and can’t quit) – I got three servers in a row yesterday which had disabled the gun reticle and minimap. I personally like knowing where I’m aiming.

    • Dante says:

      In general I’d say the vast majority of Medics take their healing duties very seriously, and there’s plenty of them a refreshing change.

      People sign up for the big ass machine gun, but then they realise how many points defibs and first aid boxes can get them and they slowly become real team players.

  28. Shakermaker says:

    The Rush game mode has been the best improvement in the Battlefield series since the iron sights of part 2.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      I seriously doubt I’ll ever play Conquest mode. Rush mode is incredible.

  29. Stupid Fat Hobbit says:

    The nice thing about Recon is you don’t have to play it as a sniper. Take a shorter-range gun instead, and you can actually make good use of your motion detector. Also, blowing up tanks with C4 is way too much fun.

    • Ffitz says:

      All true – I unlocked the little silenced minisniper rifle last night, and was having great fun playing almost as an assault class with it. Silenced semiauto + red dot sights = lots of close-in kills and lovely, lovely points. And people really don’t expect to see a wookiee in the thick of the action, so they assume that you’re one of them until you kill them, ho ho.

    • Skurmedel says:

      Very true, Recon + automatic shotgun is a blast… The (Chinese ?) sniper rifle with red dot works pretty well in medium range as well.

    • Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

      Nobody seems to use the Vintorez, as everyone sees its low-damage, mid-accuracy, high-RoF stats and thinks “This is a shite sniper rifle” and doesn’t bother with it.

      Which is a shame, because with a Red Dot sight it’s a silenced AN-94 in disguise.

  30. Sobric says:

    Aww come on Grumps. The single player is far from bad. It’s not great, but it’s not gunning at great. It absolutely nails the tacky, cheesy action movie feel and the dialogue is fine. It’s more than fine in fact, it’s quite funny at times.

    The obvious digs at MW2 aside (“snow-mobiles are for pussies”), I found the little part of BC2s single player a thorough romp.

    • Sobric says:

      @ nutterguy that was.

      bloody reply.

    • nutterguy says:

      @Sobric: I guessed you where replying to me, comment replies are still broken then.

      I just found that the voice acting was a bit too bad, the dialogue just too cheesy and some of the set pieces, just too…copied from other games.

      I did laugh once or twice but mostly I was groaning and wishing they had hired a decent writer.

    • Nalano says:

      Decent writers? It’s an action game, and they had tons better lines than MW or MW2.

      I know they took the characters from various action movies – hell, the Texan is quite obviously the Nawr’Leans chef from Apocalypse Now – but the one-liner from him when you approach the satellite crash site made my day.

  31. Magic H8 Ball says:

    Anonymous Coward said:
    Gah, this game as made me rediscover pc gaming

    …the fuck

  32. Shadrach says:

    I’ve drooled over the gfx, been awed by the destruction and seen a lot of my Steam friends play it. But I still cant work up the enthusiasm for this. Don’t we have enough of these kinds of games now? To be honest I don’t really see the difference between them anymore…

  33. Dan (WR) says:

    Great write-up. The sound, destructible terrain and dust/weather effects all give the combat such a wonderfully visceral feel. It’s difficult to describe how awesome the sound design is, especially with a good speaker setup or quality headphones. I think I’ve deafened the whole neighbourhood by cranking up the sounds of explosions seguing into burst eardrums and machine-gun chatter echoing off walls.

  34. battles_atlas says:

    My only gripe with the single player is there is no chance to fly the chopper in it. Clearly the only point of single player in BF games is to get you up to speed so you dont embarass yourself too greviously once online. At least in BF2 you could practice in the chopper on a couple of bot maps.
    I find learning to fly a black hawk when there is half a dozen (real) guys in the back and several missiles heading towards me a rather uncomfortable experience.
    Admittedly its damn funny when it happens to someone else.

    • Dante says:

      I too would appreciate the chance to fly a chopper outside of battle, I’ve always embarrassed myself so far.

      The controls are very strange, but what’s stranger still is that the UAV has much simpler, much better controls, yet they decided not to use them for the heli.

    • Rive says:

      Just hop on an Conquest: Atacama Desert Server with no ppl playing. You can testpilot the helis as much as you want and you wont piss anybody off.

  35. Ravenger says:

    I’ve never known a game that is so fundamentally split between a horribly broken front end and server browser, which crashes frequently, and a sublime multiplayer game that’s very stable and has remarkably few bugs or performance problems.

    Now that the majority of EA’s server side problems have been fixed I’m really enjoying the game, mainly playing as a medic and getting huge scores because I’m one of the few medics who actually stick with a squad and support them properly.

  36. Tei says:

    There are some cons:
    – The concept of balance has been replaced by a equal oportunity to grief other players.
    – No airships. Very few vehicles.
    – Ground can be destroyed, walls can be destroyed, but the “bones” of this world are impossible solid. Is like stuff like some buildings have a enormeous invisible hp bar, and you’t destroy one of these bones till that hp bar is zero, moment where the whole building collapse. There are other of these bones all around the map, you don’t really know what next thing will stop your tank in his track ..humm. Maybe commenting is unfair, because BC2 do it better than all other games, but I feel I have to say it.
    – The unlocking system may create a ecology of haves and havent nots, since the unlocks weapons and skills *made* classes. You are not useless with the base soldier, but you are not usefull to your group. This may hurt casuals. It also helps the winners, winners more.
    – Kill Ratio and other MW malarkies ( your team don’t lose any ticket if the whole map is conquered by the enemy faction, It only lose tickets if peple die and are not res’ )
    – Rage quitters upgraded to rage swappers..

    The game has not shame to be “chessy fun”. It has all the toys, and give all the toys to everyone, and let the following thing resolve itself.

    The new “rush” gamemode is interesting. The map is big, but you fight in a section, once that section is conquered (by destroying 2 items), you move to the next area. This adds a sense of “minicampaign” that all other BF games don’t seems to have.

    By doing some chessy things, like giving players the freedom to design his class via weapons/upgrades, BC2 could have created more what intended. A sniper guy with shotguns, that like to place bodytraps on the MC-COM? doable. You can even get other people kit, If the doc gets killed, you take his kit, revive him… continue with his kit (that may have interesting weapons).
    Vehicles have infinite ammo, so If you are a good tanke driver, you could make so your tank last 40 minutos blasting dudes.. collecting maybe 5.000 points of XP. Since the game is optimized for infantry, It seems the potential for overpowerness of the tank is ignored. Is not overpowered if you can get flanked by infantry ..impossible in a urban area, but on a open area you feel King, and feeling King is good.

    • Nick says:

      If you are talking about conquest Tei, then you do lose tickets for having less points under your control. The lack of jets is a good thing, they added nothing but a massive unfun pain in the arse to 90% of BF2 players thanks to ineffective AA meaning jet whores were all but invincible and raked up stupid points at the expense of everyone else.

      I would say the conquest maps need to be a bit bigger, there is no real use for the transport choppers in the maps they appear aside from gun platforms and occasonally a parachute drop into almost certain death, the one map with a long run up to the enemy base where one would be useful naturally doesn’t have one.

      There are definitly too few non armoured/ATV vehicles, things like vodniks or whatever should be more common on some maps I think.

    • Flimgoblin says:

      The fact you don’t have the medikit, repair kit or ammo box for medic/engineer/assault respectively is a bit odd.

      It’s probably only a night or two’s play at most to get them (assuming you stick with the one class) but given they’re what makes the class….

  37. Quine says:

    While I normally detest snipers with a passion I’ve been having lots of fun as Recon.

    Not so much the sniping (which I’m rubbish at), but actually playing as a supporting class doing, you know, reconnaissance type stuff- spotting troops for your side to light up, bagging the odd emplaced gun operator, and bringing down mortar fire on rampaging armour can all help your side a lot in the overall game. Similar fun can be had with the UAV, which is sadly overlooked.

    Although that time I lucked out on a Blackhawk pilot and got 4 kills was also good…

  38. sad-o-lom says:

    no prone no lean…talk about backward gameing…this game is for people that obviously dont like tactical games…

    • Ffitz says:

      Imagine leaping towards a dying team-mate, defibrillators sparking in the cold, mountain air.

      Where we’re going, we don’t need “lean”.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      That was a comment for people that obviously don’t have any common sense.

      Did you ever play BF2? Then you’ll know prone was stupid. See an enemy? Both of you dive to the floor and fumble around for the few pixels you can see over the grass.

      Go play ARMA2 if you want that nonsense.

      Lean is also stupid in a multiplayer environment and BF2 didn’t have it either. It’s far too lag sensitive. Pop out, shoot, pop in, other guy didn’t get a chance to fire back due to latency. Easily exploited and utterly worthless.

      How about we just ignore everyone who hasn’t actually played the best thing to happen to PC online FPS since TF2?

    • Trousers says:


      It’s already hard enough to see snipers with all the dust, grass, and shrubs surrounding them.

      Removing prone really did benefit the game as a whole.

    • Nick says:

      The prone on connection with enemy problem was prett much fixed in 2142, it gave you a few seconds of terrible accuracy, meaning dropping to one knee was the smartest thing to do. Prone itself was not a problem in either game beyond the dolphin diving exploit that was fixed and the instant accuracy in BF2 meaning close range proning was too effective.

      In this game I’m not sure how it would play out, the maps are much more tightly focused which makes snipers more of a problem in general, as does the relative lack of vehicles.

      Lean was never in a BF game and isn’t missed at all.

  39. TotalBiscuit says:

    Red Faction Guerilla is not an FPS, so your point is moot in that regard. Re-read what he said again.

    I’ll give you Crysis, not that it’s anywhere near on this level.

  40. Korben says:

    Re: jets

    Love that not jets are in there (just the static ones that lights the place up for a brief time)

    Re: no prone no lean

    Yes, finally, no diving idiots anymore. It makes you more exposed and makes the enemy also more exposed.

    Loving the game

  41. Trousers says:

    Yeah, not even to mention that there is no more god awful jump-diving.

  42. groovychainsaw says:

    This is absolutely the best multiplayer shooter I’ve played for a long, long while. I accept its not the most realistic in the world, but it gives you good opportunities to score by using your brain instead of twitchy reflexes (and why, for the most part, I’m glad there aren’t too many 1 shot/instakill weapons about). Playing defensively is rewarded, attacking with your squad is rewarded and you score more XP for doing the things your class should be doing, which is great reinforcement of proper player behaviour (and seems to be keeping the idiot ratio down so far…).

    The medic is a bit of an odd one. I normally never play as the medic in this sort of thing, but once I noticed he had the heavy machine gun, I started playing him and he is awesome. Probably a bit too awesome. The heavies are not good at range (too erractic) but the gun is much more vicous than those of the assault class, and although they slow you down (and slow your knife and grenade throws accordingly), they displace the assault class almost completely for me, as they seem to have that role. Plus once you’ve got the medic kits (bit odd you don’t start with these?) you basically unlcok many many points. But then I guess you are doing useful stuff for your team , so it should be encouraged? Plus you can only level up the medic by doing medic stuff (the Xp doesn’t really help the other classes), and its definitely diminishing rewards on the unlocks (after 3 or 4 levels, you’ve got all the fundamentals in place to be competitive). I haven’t found them to be overpowered yet, but come round a corner and meet one, you’re almost certainly dead. Unless you’ve got a shotgun out. Or a grenade launcher. Or you’re very quick with your sniper rifle :-)

    I must admit though, I’ve had more ‘war stories’ from this game than from all the other shooters I’ve ever played put together so far. Which is saying something. Using a motion detector to ID bad guys in a house, C4 the walls, then backstab the guy on the other side is something you literally cannot do in any other game. And it makes you feel cool. Oh yeah.

  43. jackflash says:

    I love this game. I’m too busy to pay full price for games, so I usually wait for a sale, but this one I pre-ordered on steam for $50, and I don’t regret it for a second. A definite improvement over BF2 in a lot of ways (though a step back in a few others).

  44. squirrel says:

    Its singleplayer sucks, but ITS MULTIPLAYER RULES!! At least when you can connect EA servers.

    Anyway, I am rather confident EA will resolve this connectivity within months. However, one thing is certain, this game needs more multiplayer maps. Besides, you guys think it worths to buy flight sticks for aircraft piloting? I heard some really do that for Battlefield 2.

    • Ffitz says:

      The only problem I have with BFBC2 is that they’ve totally fucked up the joystick controls for choppers. No idea why, they had it spot on for BF2. As it stands, you can’t map your throttle (and what joystick doesn’t have a throttle these days?) to the collective, and the yaw controls are reversed by default.

      You can fix the yaw problem by editing one of the controls files manually, but it’s not simple, but the throttle issue has made helos unusable for me. I’ll fly when and if there’s a patch that fixes the problem, but for now helicopters are dead to me.

      Which is a real shame, because some of my best BF2 memories came from acting as a taxi driver, ferrying squads around the maps in a Blackhawk for no points but much thanks.

  45. groovychainsaw says:

    Speaking of flight sticks, I wish there was a sandbox mode where you can have a little practice on the helicopters. I’ve only been brave enough to pilot one once, thought I was doing well until I ditched into the sea…. Now I’m afraid to pilot one, as they can really turn a game and don’t deserve to be flown nose first into the ground by a n00b like myself. A bit of practice would go a long way. Shame the singleplayer doesn’t give you a grounding in every vehicle and weapon, would make it more useful :-)

    • Ffitz says:

      Sign in to an empty server that’s running a heli-friendly map and fly to your heart’s content!

    • groovychainsaw says:

      @Fitz /whispers I’m on the xbox, don’t have that luxury …./runs away

    • squirrel says:

      They did try to give you some trials on one model of each type of vehicles, though not every model in that type of vehicle. I recall that in singleplayer (yep, I finished singleplayer because there were a few days I kept getting myself kicked by every online round by PB, or some times I simply could not log in) you will have to pilot tank, (unmanned) attack helicopter, mount machine gun on humvee (surprisingly difficult to turn the turret), 4-wheel motor. But I agree with you that those are trials only, and opportunity for practice is not enough.

      I also find pilot helicopter by mouse and keyboard to be somewhat tricky in BC2, but at least not infeasible in singleplayer (at least not as damn crazy as in Crysis, I found it almost unplayable). In multiplayer, however, we are in a battlefield we are not expected to practice in a battlefield. BTW, being a gunner for an Apache in BC2 is really an amazing experience.

    • Ffitz says:

      points at groovychainsaw and makes Invasion Of The Bodysnatchers howling noise

    • Ravenger says:

      I had to learn to fly a heli on an empty map. It doesn’t help that the joystick binding system is broken in the game, causing your inputs to be reversed, and not allowing you to map all your joystick buttons. With a bit of config file editing and flying on empty maps I’ve now managed to learn how to fly the choppers well enough not to crash all the time.

    • groovychainsaw says:

      @Ffitz – pointsd to his newly upgraded, SLI’d, crysis-beating PC box, then makes some feeble excuse about all his friends playing the xbox version. ‘I’m one of you, don’t you see, don’t you see? I’m working from inside the system, educating them, until that time that we can take over….PCs will rule the world one day, you see if they don’t…’

    • Wisq says:

      I tried hooking helicopter control up to my flight stick and throttle. I was dismayed to discover that the helicopter controls were so mouse-oriented and hyper-responsive that using a real stick pretty much doomed me to fly off the map or crash directly into things on takeoff. Plus the throttle was reversed with no option to reverse it again, and the game wouldn’t recognise more than three axes from my stick (which has upwards of eight programmable ones). So yeah, not exactly the highest fidelity of simulation there.

  46. Evernight says:

    I have played every BF game that EA has put out (much to my own pain and suffering) and I have alos played both MW’s extensively… all I will say about BC2 is this: Its better than MW2, but prolly not as good as MW1.

    The problem with BC2 is that its doesn’t play as “tight” – the accuracy is spotty, the knife is hit and miss, and the whole thing is just…. .well loose. Its not always a bad thing, and doesn’t take away the fun factor of the game, but it does make it less than perfect. It has, completely taken over my time, however, and I am loving the game. Its about time EA/Dice make a game that I don’t regret buying after a week.

  47. Lucas says:

    Amazon has BFBC2 for PC on sale for $37 today, but having played BF2 and 2142 at launch I’m not at all impressed with the long list of shoddy polish issues this has. DICE also seem to have the longest possible turnaround on actual working patches that fix things. Until it seriously shapes up, I have to pass.

    • Ffitz says:

      Lucas, really, I’m not on commission here. It’s really a great game, in very good shape, no show stopping bugs or balance issues, and the only ones whining about “overpowered” weapons are the ones who either aren’t playing in squads or are unable to adapt to anything.

      If you can find a good price for this, you’d be mad to deny yourself the pleasure of playing it.

    • Nick says:

      “the only ones whining about “overpowered” weapons are the ones who either aren’t playing in squads or are unable to adapt to anything.”

      Thats not true in the slightest.

    • Ffitz says:

      Yes, it is.

    • Nick says:

      Look, just because people are capable of noticing obvious imbalances in weapons or mechanics doesn’t make them whiners. As for ‘adapting’, the term is thrown around in response to such things so often its frankly pathetic. I have rarely played the game outside of squads of friends on TS, we have played BF games (and many others) together since BF2, we are perfectly able to “adapt”, but it only takes a few seconds of picking up or unlocking an M60 to realise just how much better it is than any othe bullet firing weapon in the game. Or that most of the assault rifles are nearly worthless in comparrison to submachineguns/carbines.

      The fact the very games files themselves prove this makes anyone mentioning it a whiner who can’t adapt, right?

      Its a great game, it just needs a few balance tweaks and believe me, it will get them. Will that mean DICE are the whiners who can’t adapt?

    • groovychainsaw says:

      There’s certainly weapons that are better for better situations, but on the whole the weapon balance seems pretty good to me. Everyone will have a preference, but I’ve enjoyed playing as all 4 classes, even when there are some poor matchups. The best player the other day was running round with a shotgun with the magnum slugs mod, 1-shotting people from anything up to about 20 yards away. Brilliant house defence, but caught in the open, he was toast. No one weapon seems to dominate at all.

    • Ffitz says:

      I was being a little facile, nick, so apologies for that.

      I suppose I’ve got two points about this. The BC2 multiplayer isn’t so appallingly unbalanced as to be unplayable, and that being the case, it’s actually fairly simple for players who are working together in squads (as the game is intended to be played) to counter the problem of, for example, an enemy squad of four M60-wielding medics. It’s far less infuriating that BF2, where four jet pilots could make an entire map unplayable for anyone else by simply bombing the crap out of everything with impunity.

      That leads me to my second point, which is that sure, there’ll be balance patches coming along if something really is proving troublesome, but in the meantime, players can either moan and whine about it, or just get on and play, and show the M60 and 40mm grenade monsters (my pet grudge) that good squad play will beat them, and is actually more enjoyable and rewarding.

    • jackflash says:

      Frankly, I think each class has its own “overpowered” weapon in certain circumstances. The M60 is definitely the Medics’ best gun. Frightful in good hands. I play assault 90% of the time, and I can see how people would think the grenade launcher is “overpowered.” Get me in a high, defensive spot and I will take out 5 guys in a row buy just shooting down grenades at them. It’s almost too easy. I don’t have it yet, but the high-level M16 also seems extremely accurate and powerful. Recon has mortar strikes, which seems ridiculous to me (why should snipers get an uber powerful gun AND mortar strikes?). Engineers are the only class that I think get a little shafted. All their stuff is kind of weak. Each class gets stuff that, in certain circumstances, is really, really powerful.

    • Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

      Engineers might seem a bit weak but they’re absolutely vital. Also, AT rockets work perfectly fine against people, which means hell for any defenders trying to defuse a charge in Rush.

      Sure, Assault can do the same, but RPGs do more damage against the actual M-COM station. They’re also a bit more accurate. I don’t know if you can Tracer the station, but dangummit I think I’m gonna try.

  48. drafting says:

    Unfortunately, I had to shelve Red Faction early on after I blew out the supports, block by block, of a building until only one small panel connected it to the ground and it still stood as if nothing was wrong. …kinda destroyed the magic, I thought.

    Bad Company 2, meanwhile is as magical as Phil’s writeup makes it out to be, and I haven’t felt this much adrenaline from a game in a long time…

  49. Casimir's Blake says:

    I went back to the Borderlands Knoxx DLC after playing this. And after realising that if you fail the last quest and don’t escape from the bombs, you restart at the bloody T-Bone junction and have to fight Knoxx again I also realised that Borderlands feels utterly fake, rigid, lifeless and arcadic. It’s a fun game, but if I play it any more I’ll end up hating it.

    BFBC2’s destructible scenery is one of its best features, as well as a GREAT single player campaign. Not over-acted, over-scripted, over-written… just a lot of well-linked, fun set-pieces one after the other. Utterly linear, but involving and memorable.

    Borderlands feels, again, so lifeless by comparison.

    • Tei says:

      Borderlands feels like a dead body, patiently waiting for a mad doctor to get resucitated. Do you see all these doors and npc’s that let you click [E] but do nothing?.
      *spoilers* crawmerax drops a million items wen killed *cheats* theres a leak on the end of knoxx that could let you enter on the storage area withouth the timer (so you can pick your weapons, withouth rushing..)*end cheat* *end spoilers*

    • CMaster says:

      You can’t escape from the bombs. You will get blown up. But you have beaten the final mission.

      The lack of fast travel in TSAOGK is perhaps the most annoying thing about what is otherwise a very, very good expansion to what is yes, a very shallow game.

  50. Fillem says:

    How is this game when NOT using Steam?
    I can get it pretty cheaply using the EA download manager…anyone have any experience with that? Does it subtract anything when not using Steam?

    • Ravenger says:

      The game doesn’t use Steamworks, so Steam integration is minimal.

      When playing with friends I run the game via a Steam shortcut to get the Steam overlay. In-game voip is pretty poor – I’ve not heard ANYONE speak yet – so my friends and I use Steam voice chat instead, which works really really well.

    • suibhne says:

      Do keep in mind that games purchased from EA’s online store can only be downloaded for one year from the date of purchase. If you need to reinstall after that point and haven’t backed up to physical media, you’ll have to buy the game again. Might be worth considering this downside with a multiplayer game like this, as it could have a very long community life.