2008-08-12 - Bad Company coverWhether you’re busy dodging grenades, shooting down trees (yes, shooting is the word I meant to use), or running over Communists with one of many vehicles, you’ll be busy at all times with Battlefield: Bad Company. Constant action seems to have been one of the game’s major areas of focus and Electronic Arts succeeds in achieving this.

From the get go there is hardly a dull moment as Preston (your character) joins Bad Company, a group of misfit soldiers who have all managed to get themselves into mischief which has lead them to the group. As Preston, you will have to work along with the rest of the company to accomplish set missions in communist Russia, all while looking for gold and any collectable weapons.

The game’s communist Russia isn’t exactly an open world, though, as you must unlock areas of the map by completing various missions. Venture out of the unlocked area and in a few seconds you’ll meet your end thanks to enough artillery fire to take out a small village. None of this is groundbreaking in the gaming world, but what is groundbreaking is the level of utter destruction and chaos. Explosions are frequent in this game and evading grenades becomes almost natural after only the first few missions. The game’s explosions aren’t your standard explosions either, and weapons will take out what they should be able to. Gone are the days of standing behind the wall of invincibility and firing around the corner, as a grenade may very well just make the wall or fence you’re behind disappear.

As if rockets, grenades, and large caliber artillery aren’t enough to keep you occupied, a nearly constant barrage of bullets will have you grabbing for one of your endless health shots more frequently than you’d like. Enemies aren’t left in clear sight either; an aggressive AI will have the Reds taking cover just like you and makes it tough at times to find where the shots are coming from. Bad Company brings you as close to the war’s chaos as you can get without having a tank roll into your family room.

The game’s world also offers a variety of settings. Open fields, small towns, and small forests can all be found on your map and all offer their own unique experience. Take control of an anti-aircraft gun and shoot down the trees in the forest or shoot down the fences in the towns; either way, you’ll have one hell of a time.

2008-08-12 - Bad Company

Firefights are exciting, but driving a big military vehicle into buildings, camps, and over rocks can be even more exciting. Vehicles can be found all over the world and range from large cargo trucks to armored vehicles. Large, unarmored trucks are amusing in their ability to muscle over terrain and objects, while smaller vehicles will amuse by means of their agility and weaponry. But regardless of your preference, vehicles are a must to get yourself around the map. Your fellow soldiers will even complain at times during the game if they get tired of walking.

The progression of the game’s story is smooth and cut away scenes are incorporated nicely, as is in-game dialog. Particularly interesting is the dialogue during drives, which gives you a chance to learn more about your comrades and what landed them in Bad Company.

2008-08-12 - Bad Company

The single player campaign isn’t the only mode that rocks in the game either, as you can head online where up to 24 players can join in ranked or unranked matches across eight maps. The vehicles and weapons are just as fun to use online as they are off, especially because each map requires unique strategies to be effective. Moreover the depth of unlockables and awards that are available while playing online really add to the multiplayer experience. Bad Company features a solid multiplayer that will keep you coming back for more long after completing the single player campaign.

Electronic Arts delivers a great game with Bad Company. Realistic explosion mechanics, a variety of guns and vehicles, and intense action are all wrapped up within a well implemented story and bring the Communists right into your family room for a nice dose of Yankee ass whooping. If this doesn’t get your adrenaline pumping then maybe you have bigger problems.