See the Video version of this Review here..
Every now and then I run across a game that truly blows my mind, Battlefield Bad Company 2 is NOT one of these games.
For the remainder of this review I will be referring to Battlefield Bad Company 2 as BFBC2.
The reason this review is a Multiplayer only review is because I’m not into the single player portion of a game like this. For me the bread and butter of a game like this is the multiplayer. As it turns out EA/DICE didn’t really believe in the single player portion of this game either since it can be completed in about 6 hours. Whatever happened to the days of getting a nice long lengthy single player campaign? What kills me the most is why did EA/DICE even bother putting a single player into this game that’s only 6 hours long? I would have thought they could have taken the time and money that they blew on the single player and put that into making a better game browser, which would have been money well spent.
Before I decided to purchase this game I went on youtube and had a look around to see if I could find any videos on it. I also started to read the previews of it as well to see if they could tell me if the game was going to be any good or not. So after reading quite a bit of information on the game and also seeing the cool looking videos I decided I should go out and give EA/DICE my $59.99 Canadian.
The reason for the research before I purchase the game is simple, I don’t trust EA/DICE to make good quality games after seeing most of the other battlefield games, and seeing the problems those games had. However this time I figured maybe EA/DICE would have seen the light and started to make games that their gaming audience actually wants to play. One thing that did concern me a great deal about this game over any other EA/DICE battlefield game was this one was going to be cross platform.
You may be thinking to yourself why does cross platform matter? And the answer is, when you make a game like BFBC2 and it’s going to be cross platform you make the game based around the lowest common dominator and in this case I would say that’s going to be the Xbox360. For those that don’t know what cross platform means, it means that BFBC2 will run on the PC, Xbox360 and PS3.
This cross platform idea makes sense when you see how the game industry was in the past. Years ago if you had a PC only type of game and then wanted to port it onto the Xbox360 you would have to re engineer the PC version of the game to get it to run on a Xbox360 do to the hardware constraints of the Xbox360. When you consider the Xbox360 has a total of 512 megs of ram you soon see that you have to make big concessions in order to get a high end PC game running on a Xbox360.
So if you happen to be EA and want to maximize profits you need to come up with a better solution than trying to port PC games to the other consoles. So somewhere along the line here, EA noticed if they turn this process around they had a hit on their hands and what I mean by this is the following. If you take a game and make the dominant system the Xbox360 and make the game for that, porting that game to the PC is way easier since the PC from a hardware stand point can do whatever the Xbox360 can. This is why you’re starting to see a lot of these FPS games look the same regardless of what platform you run them on. Although the big winners in this way of doing things is the Xbox360 and the PS3 you soon see that the PC is getting screwed because none of the newer games are PC only titles. Note: when I say PC only titles I don’t just mean only released on the PC I mean the PC is not being fully utilized in terms of what it can do game wise with its current hardware. A lot of the newer games out there today are more like console ports to the PC, and that really does suck for the PC.
I think this porting of console games to the PC is ultimately going to put a big dent in the PC market in terms of sales. Aside from the PC being able to do higher resolutions and the fact it has a keyboard and a mouse there really isn’t a reason to spend huge money on a PC for gaming when the games look and play just as good on a $300.00 dollar console.
And now what you all have been waiting for, the review of Battlefield Bad Company 2. I’m going to start with the good points to BFBC2 first since there isn’t too many of those, and then I will get to the bad things about BFBC2, and there are lots of those.
Here is the Good stuff..
Two different ways to have the game authenticated. The first way is to have the game always use the DVD and that means you have to have the DVD in the drive all the time. The second way is you can do an online authentication and if you pick that option the game will not require the DVD in the drive every time you play the game. This way of doing the game authentication should have been done ages ago. I don’t know how many times I have had to hunt down a DVD just to play a game that I already have on the computer. I give mad props to EA/DICE for using this new way to authenticate their games, and I hope this becomes the standard in the future.
Another nice thing about the game is it now will AUTO update itself and that means the user no longer has to go to a web site and download patches and then manually install them. This feature should have been added to the battlefield games years ago as well.
The sound in the game is top notch. The sounds of all the tanks and the hand held weapons all sound really good. Even the explosions that happen around you in an intense fire fight all sound really good. I really like the sound of the sniper rifle as well.
In terms of graphics the game looks really good and this is the surprising part, because with the graphics you can see that DICE actually did some work. This game is far better looking than any of the other Battlefield games I have played. The one aspect of the new game engine I like is the fog you used to see in previous battlefield games is pushed way back in BFBC2 and because of this the maps look a lot better. Below are several screen shots of BFBC2.
One of the new things to BFBC2 is the new Rush mode for multiplayer. At first I wasn’t too keen on this mode of game play but after playing around with it for a while I started to like it more and more. Basically you have these M-COM stations that have to be defended or destroyed depending on what team you’re on and then you advance to the next spot on the map when that objective has been completed. The Rush mode leads to some intense fighting because you can’t advance on the map until the objective has been completed so everyone is fighting in one area.
The weapons in the game are also done really well from a graphics stand point. As far as the weapons go in terms of operation again DICE did a great job here and the weapons feel tight and responsive. One thing I’m not crazy about though is it seems like a lot of the SMG’s come with a silencer on them so they all have that silenced sound to them and that gets old.
Map design is also something that was done really well in the game. Most of the maps have a lot of detail put into them and that makes for a fun time running around on most of them.
Here is the Bad stuff..
No way to paste you’re in game password so you have to type it in. Once you have the password in the game you can select to have that password remembered.
Limited edition unlocks didn’t work right, every time I entered in the code it would say "wrong code or it was already in use. I entered in the Limited edition unlock code numerous times and not once did I see a screen telling me the codes were valid and that I got unlocks.
Game browser for the first few days was not working right at all. For several days after the launch of the game I could only see about a dozen servers to play on. If you were able to connect to a server you then might get disconnected for no apparent reason. Also sometimes you would select to join a server and the connecting to server screen would show up and then disappear not telling you the server is full or anything. Below is a screen shot of all the Conquest servers I had access to.
Game browser doesn’t have a way to enter in direct IP of a server. The filter settings also don’t get saved as well so every time you load the game up you have to go and select all your filter settings again. There is also no auto retry when trying to connect to a full server.
No way to delete a character but you can create a character and that doesn’t make much sense since in Battlefield 2142 you could delete characters with no problem at all in game.
Mini map is located on the lower left hand side of the screen. This was a mind boggling decision for EA/DICE to make when you consider every single battlefield game on the PC has their mini map in the upper right hand corner of the screen. Below is screen shot of where the mini map is located now in BFBC2.
The destructible environment isn’t as destructible as EA/DICE would make you believe. A lot of buildings in the game can’t take any damage. The tank can smash through a chain link fence and posts but can’t run over a steel hand railing and you have to go around that?
No character arms/hands grabbing a hold of the handlebars on the ATV/Jet Ski when you drive them around. It looks stupid to see your handle bars moving and nothing holding onto them.
Two different ways to see the game browser, one has filter options and one doesn’t. Why even have two separate screens for the game browser?
No mouse sensitivity settings for the land vehicles such as the tank or for the helicopter. This is a huge fuckup on EA/DICE's part here. All the battlefield games I have played to date allowed you to adjust the mouse sensitivity when on foot or in vehicles as well as for planes and choppers. Below is a screen shot of the only mouse sensitivity adjustment.
Selecting ranked filter in the filter list will sometimes put you on a server where you can’t get access to any of your unlocks. This could also just be a bug and nothing to do with the filter but I have seen this happen numerous times and friends of mine have had this happen as well.
Graphic corruption on the text that you see on the tab screen in game and also on the server browser sometimes. The text can overlap other words and makes for a nasty looking screen. I have even seen the scroll bar on the tab screen that was placed right down the center of the scores instead of being moved off to the side of the tab window where it should be. You can see the text graphic corruption in the screen shots below.
Sniper is way to over powered, they can run and gun and have no need to remain still while aiming to get a decent shot. DICE needs to make it so that you have to be prone and not moving in order to get any sort of accuracy at all with any of the sniper rifles. Too bad they removed the prone position from the game. The knife in the game is also way over powered and has like a 6 foot radius on it. Whoever balanced this game at DICE needs to get out of that line of work.
Punk buster support also disabled on most game servers do to an INIT bug. This is going to be fixed but as it stands right now the hackers/cheaters are having a field day, and have been doing so since shortly after the game came out.
The various classes like the medic start the game out with no medic packs or defibrillator pads. The same is true for the engineer since it can’t even repair vehicles until you have spent several hours grinding to unlock the repair tool. For EA/DICE to pull something like this just boggles my mind. I guess they really do want you to have to grind your character to even be able to do what the class should be doing by default without a grind. I think this whole unlock thing is a bunch of bullshit and needs to be removed from the game. I can see giving people ranks and or badges as they put more time in but giving people all kinds of better equipment based on the time played is really something that needs to be removed from the game altogether. One of the things I liked about Battlefield 1942 and other games like Counter Strike was, there was no grind everyone had access to the same equipment regardless of how long you have been playing the game. Another annoying aspect of the weapon unlocks, is sometimes you get rewarded a unlock such as a weapon and yet it doesn’t even show up in your weapon inventory screen. I have been awarded several guns now and I haven’t been able to use them because they aren’t there. I did some checking around on this and from as far as I can tell this is a fairly common problem with BFBC2.
I also think that because of the grind EA/DICE put into this game it’s going to encourage people to go out and find hacks/cheats in order for them to level up a lot faster, and that’s bad news for people like me who want to play in a cheat free environment.
The machinegun emplacements in game that have the shield on the front of them you can't even use because you can't see through the part in the shield you’re supposed to be able to in order to hit anything with the crosshairs. Below are some screen shots of what I’m referring to. After I did some testing on this I noticed when I played BFBC2 under windows 7 and DX11 you could see through the shield windows on the machine gun emplacements. Bad news is, if you’re using Windows XP and DX9 you’re going to be stuck with the useless shield window until DICE gets this resolved. I can’t believe that when the game was beta tested no one picked up on this glitch and got it fixed. There are a lot of gaming computers out there still running Windows XP and DX9 so to have such a glaring glitch like this in the game is really something else.
Maps are way too small! For a game that has flying and driving in it, you would have thought EA/DICE would have given us much larger maps on the PC version of BFBC2. DICE needs to add way more vehicles to the starting bases since right now each base may have 2 or 3 vehicles. I would like to see DICE triple the amount of vehicles, and make the maps several times larger and also get some 64 player servers going, like back in the day with the desert combat mod. One REALLY annoying aspect of the current maps is that they have the out of bounds area way to small for the maps. With some of the maps if you even divert a few feet off a foot path for example the game starts screaming at you that you’re out of bounds. The out of bounds thing really shows its ugly head when you’re trying to fly the choppers around.
Another issue is the game only comes with 10 maps and I wonder how long it will take before people get sick of them. I think this game should of had at the very least 30 maps. With 30 maps you could have a map rotation on a server that’s long enough that you don’t get bored playing on the same maps.
Game stability is an issue as well since the game has crashed to desktop on me and a few other people I know several times.
No mod support/map editor so it makes you wonder what type of future this game has if the users can’t make any new maps or mods for the game. I have done some searching around on this and have found several articles where DICE says the mod support is not likely to happen.
Next up is the game performance.
Over all the game runs around 50 frames per second on my machine at a resolution of 1680 x 1050. There are times when the frame rate will drop below 30 frames a second and that gets annoying. Graphic settings in game were set to High and the Anti Aliasing and Anisotrophic Filter were set to 1x. I think DICE may need to optimize the game a bit more, so that you don’t get such radical drops in frame rate some times. Overall though, the game runs pretty good.
Below are the computer specs I run Battlefield Bad Company 2 on.
-XFX Black Edition GTX 260 896 Meg 216 Core Video Card
-Evga Nforce 790I Ultra SLI Motherboard
-Intel Core 2 Duo X6800 Extreme edition CPU Rated @ 2.93 Ghz and running @ 3.09 Ghz
-4 X 2 gig sticks of OCZ DDR 3 Only 4 gigs of this is in use for XP PRO 32 bit version
-2 250 gig Seagate SATA 3Gb/s 8 MB cache hard drives
-1 500 gig Seagate SATA 3Gb/s 16 MB cache hard drive
-Audigy Platinum with Live Drive sound card
-Pioneer DVD/CD burner
-3 ½ Floppy drive
-750W SLI Corsair Power supply
-Windows XP PRO SP3 32 Bit
In conclusion this game is what it is, and that’s a port of a console game, and a bad port at that. I personally don’t feel this game was worth the $59.99 Canadian that I paid for it, but guess what? I’m stuck with this shitty game because there is no way to get a money back refund on an opened game. The game industry has it made for ripping off consumers and there isn’t a damn thing we can do about it. EA/DICE will be sitting back counting the millions that was made off this game and the only form of protest we gamers have is the EA forum, and that’s a complete joke. I think if gamers were allowed to return games for a full refund then you might see EA/DICE start to give a shit about the crap they pump out. I understand that games on launch day have issues and I can accept that, but to have so many issues and so many blatant things wrong with this game it makes you wonder what was the point in beta testing this game if all these problems were left unfixed? If you’re a gamer and you want to get a good looking game that has a ton issues I would say go for it and purchase this game. If you’re a gamer that wants a polished product, like the one EA/DICE promised, you won’t find that with this game. At the time of this review you could purchase Battlefield Bad Company 2 for $59.99 Canadian.
If you would like more information on Battlefield Bad Company 2 you can go to their web site here.
Below are a few more screenshots of the game enjoy!