Battlefield: Bad Company

A big dumb military shooter that knows that it’s dumb. The Bad Company squad is entertaining, and the three of them all feel distinct and interesting. Heck – two weeks after playing the game, I can still remember a couple of their names, which is vastly more than I can say for Call of Duty.

In a post-Red Faction: Guerilla world, the destructible environments don’t feel all that revolutionary. Nonetheless, it’s still rewarding to blow up walls instead of using doors, and shooters without that technology feel lacking in comparison. The rest of the gameplay is kind of dull and repetitive. Even though there were a lot of guns, they tended to have a same-y feeling to them. There wasn’t enough variety to encounters, and the load-out restrictions felt, well, restricting, and needlessly so. It’s interesting to remember that this is a game that came out a year after Call of Duty 4, and think of how much Bad Company lacks in intensity in comparison, despite the destructible environments.

The environments were kind of bland, though the one that stood out, and is emblematic of the game’s sense of humour, is the golf course level. Driving a tank down a fairway creates a delightful feeling of cognitive dissonance. But otherwise, it was a lot of fields and bland urban areas.

I didn’t play any of the multiplayer. I have been playing the multiplayer of Bad Company 2 on PC recently, another pick-up from the last Steam sale. I’ve been enjoying the scale of it, but it just doesn’t seem to generate fun and drama and a diversity of experiences at the same rate as Team Fortress 2, still my gold-standard for team-based shooters.

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