Battlefield: Bad Company Xbox 360 Review

May 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, Xbox 360, Xbox

Battlefield has always been a multiplayer focused series, though obviously with the freshest entry, Battlefield: Bad Company, effort has been spent on both the single and multiplayer components. But at least in regards to the campaign mode, it seems DICE’s old habits die hard.

The story of Bad Company is surprisingly one of the driving points for advancement through the single player. You are the brilliantly named Preston Marlowe who is part of Bad Company: a four man squad, an expendable team of mildly unsavoury types, who due to the temptation of gold go AWOL. Perhaps you expect this lot to be part of a dark story, but it’s all light-hearted humour and cheesy action film cliches, that for once doesn’t have a cringe worthy script that liberally uses nasty and needless words, and it’s all the better for it.

To play, Bad Company is an FPS with sandbox elements, which has an emphasis on vehicles, thus you can easily cover ground over the sizeable environments that make up each of the seven levels.

The scale of these environments is impressive to say the very least, all the more so when you consider that each one has a high level of destruction (thank DICE’s wonderful Frostbite Engine for this). Apparently they’re around 90% destructible and for once, this doesn’t seem to be too far off the mark. Buildings can be heavily damaged, craters can be left in the ground and even trees aren’t impervious to gunfire and explosions and will topple over convincingly. Suffice it to say, each level really does look like a war zone once you’re done with them. Mention must also go to the audio of the game, all the chattering gunfire and booming explosions further draw players into the many battles, whilst the voice acting is solid and really fits the tone of the game.

The way your deaths and healing are dealt with in Bad Company are a bit controversial and obviously not everyone will be satisfied. To heal your wounds, there’s no recharging health here, instead you inject yourself with a magic needle which completely recovers your body almost in an instant. This in itself makes things a little too easy, but what’s more is that dying here has no more penalty than just driving or walking back some distance, as you’ll just simply respawn (just as you do in the multiplayer, old habits die hard, see?) with all the same weapons and tools in your hands, whilst all the enemies killed prior to your dying will stay dead. It doesn’t exactly encourage cautious play (though on this 360 version there’s an achievement for staying alive in any level) and results in the campaign largely lacking in any form of challenge. This dampens the impact of what is an otherwise massively enjoyable offering.

The multiplayer side of things isn’t without its problems either, though nothing half as bad as the respawn problem of the single player mode. At the moment, there is just one mode available, of which is Gold Rush, a team based mode, where the attackers are tasked with destroying crates of gold, whilst the defenders must stop them. It may be limited in its multiplayer options, but Gold Rush is an excellent mode, whilst further modes are promised for some time down the line. The heavy destruction has also been carried into the multiplayer, which makes the online offering quite unlike anything else on the market, whilst in my experience, games largely ran at a silky smooth pace.

Battlefield: Bad Company, with its excellent, though flawed single player campaign and intense Gold Rush multiplayer mode is pure gaming gold (joke very much intended). Bad Company certainly makes for good company on this occasion, just don’t tell your loved ones.