DICE has been touting Battlefield: Bad Company, as the game that finally brings a solid single player campaign to the Battlefield franchise. Alongside the new Single Player mode, the game also showcases DICE's new Frostbite game engine. Many have said that this could be a winning combination, continuing the trend of excellent games in the Battlefield franchise. Is this game another spot on headshot, or is it dead on arrival?
Imagine being placed in a scenario that is so volatile that very military you serve has turned its back on you. In Battlefield: Bad Company, the player is place into the shoes of the game's protagonist, Preston Marlowe, who along with the rest of the members of the military's Bad Company, have been trust into the thick of civil unrest. Bad Company is not just any regiment in the army, it is the group of officers that have been so disobedient, distrustful and downright disrespectful, that they are now viewed as expendable bodies, at the mercy of the US Military. As the story does, the men of Bad Company have inadvertently infiltrated a non-existent middle eastern nation, in the search of Gold.
Gold you say? Yes, you see, one side of the political uprising is backed by a group of mercenaries. These mercenaries are know for the fact that they do not deal in cash, they are paid in solid bars of gold. Knowing that they are already on shaky ground with the military, the men of Bad Company decide to go AWOL, in search of money, fame and the pieces of ass that only bricks of gold can buy. This search for money leads them on a long winding journey, with about as many twists and double crosses as an Agatha Christie novel.
Though the subject matter of the plot is rather dark and sometimes downright depressing, the other members of the squad act as a buffer, injecting humor into otherwise crappy situations. For their first time out, DICE has managed to capture the essence and individuality of each character. The personality shines through as one of the true successes of the game. While progressing through the game, there is a genuine bond that is formed, drawing you further into the story, the despite its outlandish nature.
The biggest thing that Battlefield: Bad Comapny has going for it, is the technology going on under the hood. The Frostbite Engine's trademark is the ability for developers to design a completely destructible environment. Can't find the door or exit? A grenade launcher can also act as an automatic door creator. One grenade at the base of the wall, and and you have your own door. Though this is an interesting development and key component to the game design, there are some obvious faults that show up, the more you play the game. A huge issue is the fact that contrary to popular belief, not everything is destructible. This led to several situations where the enemy would hole up behind an indestructible item like a doorway or chimney and everything would turn into the same scenario seen in a standard first person shooter for the last decade.
Knowing the solid track record of multiplayer in the Battlefield series, many would expect this to be one of the best online games available. Sadly, this is far from the case. The two meager online offerings left me wanting much more. Even something like a traditional deathmatch would have been nice, but was notably absent. Game modes instead chose to focus on the teamwork aspect of the game. This can be fun when you are playing with friends, but when attempting to play it with strangers, has a tendency to leave you with a bad taste in your mouth.
Battlefield: Bad Company is not going to win any awards for an innovative story, but the destructible environments make this a must play for anyone who is looking to experience a new twist on the tired First Person Shooter formula. As long as you avoid the multiplayer, there will be enough action for a great weekend of fun. It is definitely worth a look.
Below is a trailer for Battlefield: Bad Company, featuring a special cameo: