This game really shines in the multiplayer section. Along with the major changes, small but very significant improvements make the game so much easier, accessible and rewarding. Let’s first take a look at the different maps and gametypes you’ll encounter in multiplayer.
There are four different gametypes to play in Bad Company 2, and whilst there isn’t as many compared to games such as Modern Warfare 2, the lack of them does have positive effects. Rush, Conquest, Squad Rush and Squad Deathmatch are the four, each offering something different and unique to play. In Rush, attackers try to destroy M-COM stations whilst defenders protect them from destruction whilst trying to take out as many attackers as possible. Squad Rush is basically the same but a 4v4 gametype which requires slightly more thought and strategy. Conquest, which many of you would have encountered in Battlefield 1943, has 3 or 4 flags on the map which each team will try and take control of as many as they can and keep them under their control for as long as they can. Dependent on how many flags you hold will affect how fast your team respawn limit goes down. If your team’s hits zero, you lose. Finally, Squad Deathmatch has four squads of four fight each other to see which squad can get 50 kills first.
These gametypes result in high adrenaline, action packed matches, especially on Rush and Conquest where huge battles will take place at targets for control. The lack of gametypes means that you can also select whether to have any map or a specific map, and 99% of the time there will always be a match with your criteria you can jump straight into. Hardcore Mode can be activated for skilled and advanced player’s aswell for each gametype. You can enter games with Squads of four players; this allows you to spawn on players which can prove very useful indeed. Unfortunately, you can only have four players to a squad, even in gametypes where it is eight versus eight, but it would become a bit overwhelming having 7 players spawning on a player in the middle of a 1 v 1 showdown. A larger variety of gametypes would have meant more choice in what you play but wouldn’t give you the privilege of selecting what map you would like to play it on, which is often great if you are a fan of certain maps and don’t like others.
The result of having incredible matches means that maps have to be considerably big to play on. There is a wide variety of maps in different settings that can go from dull unscathed landscapes to lively warzones within minutes. Settings vary from the deserts of Afghanistan to the wide complex of rivers in lush jungles to freezing cold wintry maps that fog makes t difficult to see long range at times. Some of the maps can get quite tedious on some game modes, and some maps don’t even support all game modes, but EA plan to expand this via downloadable content, not just with brand new, fresh maps but with current maps on different gametypes for free. For instance, Map Pack 2 will be free for VIPs on March 30th, and will have Arica Harbour on Conquest, whereas before it was limited to Squad/Rush and Squad Deathmatch, and Laguna Presa on Rush, whereas before it could only be played on Conquest and Squad Deathmatch, which in this case will expand the map to new territory anyway. It will be interesting to see what EA have planned in terms of downloadable content. Also, some of the maps on Bad Company 2 are at night, giving you the cover of darkness which works effectively with snipers and UAVs.
Onto vehicles now; this is what makes games so action packed. When you’ve got Hind’s in the air raining death from above whilst tanks are tearing holes in walls to catch unsuspecting targets and ATV’s are zooming past trying to get to different locations quicker than others whilst a Heavy MG is trying to take them out, you can see where this would get quite exciting. Sizes of maps will usually portray what type of vehicles you will encounter on it, but the huge variety on land, sea and air is what makes this game very fun to play, with various different options of getting from place to place whilst kicking enemy ass. Obviously besides other vehicles to take out vehicles, there is all sorts from Stationary AT’s where you guide the missile to it’s target (and they can bow down in your superiority after you just took down their chopper with four occupants inside whilst on the move) to Anti Tank mines that can be placed on the ground to surprise unsuspecting tank drivers. Vehicle Specialisations are part of your classes and can vary from Alternate Fire to radar that can detect enemies and mines. Overall it can be pretty fun, although it does require a lot of skills early on to fly helicopters as the controls are very frustrating and with no private matches in the game to practice in, you need to be able to learn fast.
There are a LOT of weapons in multiplayer to use and unlock. There are plenty of each type of weapon; an equal quantity to satisfy all types of players. Class Customization is fast and very well executed. During games it takes a matter of seconds to scroll to each ‘segment’, choose your preferences and dive in, and these can be changed any time whilst you are dead in game. You have a Primary Weapon, Secondary Weapon, Gadget and three specializations. Primary Weapons are as usual in games, secondary weapons are all pistols to keep things balanced (referencing to Dual Models, for those who know what I’m talking about), Gadgets such as Grenade Launchers, Smoke Launchers (which are ten times more useful than they sound), rocket launchers, defibrillators, C4, you get my drift. The first specialization is attachments like sights, the second is for Marksman Training and the third is for vehicles. Sounds frustrating? It really isn’t. You can only use certain primary weapons on certain classes but then the specializations/gadgets adjust to that class. It is a shame that there are no custom classes, as if you want a big change in class it can take a while to go from one to another. Stats and Awards add collectible and competitiveness to the game, such as pins for different accolades i.e. best squad, kills with certain weapons.
You can also earn stars for getting kills with weapons/vehicles, showing just how much you use a weapon/vehicle. It will take a while to get a high star grade on a gun, but it shows your love for that particular weapon. Vehicles on the other hand are starred in groups, with an overall star for light vehicles, heavy vehicles, air, water and stationary. It a shame it doesn’t star each vehicle individually as it does give false impressions. If you see a person get a kill in a helicopter and it says they are a Gold Star 9 in that ‘category’, people will think “Hey that guy is really good in choppers!”, when he could have got that star purely from UAV kills. There have been issues since launch regarding servers, but this is a problem with EA’s poor estimations and not the game itself.
Overall, Battlefield Bad Company 2’s multiplayer does have its ups and downs compared to other first person shooters, but if you want a fresh but similar experience, this is certainly for you. Is it better than the high standard, very popular MW2 multiplayer? In my opinion, yes it is. Take it how you will, but everyone’s view will be different in this game. This is the definition of online warfare.
Multiplayer Review Score: 9.0
Reviewer: Ben Gray