Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Preview
The original Battlefield: Bad Company was one of 2008’s better titles, so it comes as good news to learn that EA’s talented DICE development team is currently working on the sequel. If you’ve already forgotten, DICE was also responsible for Mirror’s Edge so we have plenty of faith in the Swedish studio right now. Furthermore, after last week’s Game Developers Conference, more information has crisscrossed the Internet, and that includes a couple new screenshots (just click above). We were happy to see the change in environment; we dislike it when sequels seem to be placed in very similar locales; the atmosphere is a big part of every video game experience, so it needs to vary for a sequel to feel fresh. Well, it doesn’t get much fresher than the intimidating wintry landscapes we see depicted in those new pics. Forget about the standard war-torn grassy plains that are so often associated with WWII Europe…the boys of Bad Company are gonna have to dress warm.
You will be near the Russian border at the start of this promising sequel and thanks to a demo EA recently displayed, attendees like IGN saw a “panning shot of the environment, showcasing the improved draw distance in the new version of DICE’s Frostbite engine.” After that, we’re reintroduced to our characters, who are the same naughty boys who tore everything up in the first title. Now, the team may be providing us with a slightly more linear experience, because the first gameplay shown presented the chaotic streets of a small village with only one direction to travel. In the first Bad Company, you could often wander far and wide and while we expect some of that to return, your path may be pre-set more often, which may or may not go over well with the fans. It all really depends on your own personal gaming tastes. FPSs don’t always follow the same formula these days, and many next-gen gamers are often clamoring for more freedom and character customization. Where do you stand?
Anyway, it’s a definite universal plus to say that environmental destruction will return in full force. In the demo, radio towers fell, vehicles got blown to smithereens, and rockets tore open gaping holes in stone walls. There was a time when damage to your surroundings was a novelty but it’s absolutely essential in this new generation; the intensity of a FPS takes top priority, and when a tank shell can’t knock over a telephone pole, you know something is amiss. In this sequel, it seems that nothing in the environment is safe and when you’re done blasting through a particular area, you should be able to turn around and view the satisfactory destruction you left in your wake. Then there’s the always-present vehicles (aren’t they in all such games now?), as the demo clearly showed off a dude in the back of a truck, lording over a mounted machine gun. All kinds of baddies give chase – including enemies in ATVs and an irritating attack helicopter – so you’ve got to spread some serious bullets around.
DICE has promised a “level of fervor to vehicular warfare never before experienced in a modern warfare action game.” The initial press release spoke of the crew’s pressing need to push forward at all costs, taking down anything that might get in their way. The exact quote was: “With a heavy arsenal of deadly weapons and a slew of vehicles to aid them, the crew set off on their mission and they are ready to blow up, shoot down, blast through, wipe out and utterly destroy anything that gets in their way.” …sweet. And Karl Magnus Troedsson, Executive Producer of the Battlefield franchise, added this quote: “Bad Company 2 takes everything that players liked in the original and ups the ante – more vehicles, more destruction and more team play.” Oh, and if you want a taste before the game comes out, prepare yourself for Battlefield 1943, which is a brand new multiplayer experience that will be available on the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Marketplace, and PC some time this summer. You rewarded them when Bad Company first came out and they’re just trying to repay the favor with more, more, more!
Stay tuned for more information and details as they become available. We’ll be sure to keep you in the loop regarding anything related to Battlefield: Bad Company 2 as the year progresses.
3/31/2009 Ben Dutka