Battlefield: Bad Company Review
The Battlefield series has been around for a while now, but Battlefield: Bad Company represents a number of firsts for the series. Bad Company is the first Battlefield game to be developed specifically for consoles, it's the first to feature a full single player campaign, and it's the first to include destructible environments. With this many firsts, the game's developers ran the risk of biting off more than they could chew, but they pulled the whole thing off quite nicely and the result is a very enjoyable game.
By far the biggest change for a Battlefield game is the inclusion of a full single player campaign. This isn't just the online game played offline with AI bots, either. It's a full campaign with missions, objectives, and a story. And it's not just your typical storyline featuring a lone hero saving the war. Instead you're a soldier assigned to B Company, and outfit to which the US Army sends its problem soldiers. When a dangerous assignment comes up, B Company's name always seems to be at the top of the list. As B Company's 'new guy', you join a slightly unbalanced heavy weapons specialist with a fetish for things that explode, a conspiracy nut of a radio man, and the gruff, all-business sergeant who holds the squad together. Pretty soon after after catching up with this odd squad you find yourself trapped behind enemy lines somewhere in Eastern Europe and forced to fight your way past the Russian Army and their cohorts of hired mercenaries. Finally, a chance to fight the Russians again instead of another entry in the endless Middle Eastern and Nazi enemies. You'll need to accomplish a variety of objectives as you make your way through the campaign, and there's plenty of action along the way. Firefights can get pretty intense on a battlefield that includes armored vehicles, aircraft and helicopters, machine gun nests, RPGs, artillery, and more instruments of death and destruction. The missions move along at a fast clip, never giving you much time to catch your breath after completing an objective and you'll love the game for it.
The AI in the game puts up a decent fight, and is certainly far better than the typical bots you find in online shooters' offline modes. Enemies have the sense to take cover, keep moving, take over a machine gun for a fallen comrade, etc., as well as knowing how to take advantage of the game's destructible environments.
It's the destructible environments that take the fun and kick it up a notch or two. There are plenty of heavy weapons in the game that will let you take advantage of the fact that when wall meets explosive, wall loses. Can't get into a building? Blow the door open. Enemies firing at you from within a cottage? Blow a hole in the side of it and pick off the survivors. Trapped in a building by enemies outside? Punch a hole in a back wall and make your escape. The possibilities are virtually endless. As I noted earlier, your enemies know how to use the destructible environments to their advantage as well, so ducking behind a wall and waiting for things to quiet down is not a tactic that will keep you alive for long.