Battlefield: Bad Company 2 GamesCom 2009 PreviewBy Andrew Pfister - Posted Aug 21, 2009
My only experience with the first Battlefield: Bad Company was with the Xbox 360 demo. I was immediately terrible at it, which meant that I quickly moved on to other things -- unfortunate, because I heard that it was really quite good.
But in the last couple of weeks leading up to GamesCom, I had spent a few late evenings/early mornings playing Battlefield 1943 over Xbox Live and not entirely sucking at it, so I was in a much better frame of mind going into the Battlefield: Bad Company 2 demo at the show.
There's a heavy emphasis on vehicles (naturally) and encouraging players to work together in their squads. You now have the ability to spawn right on a squadmate's location, so no more long sprints or jeep rides to rendezvous with your mates, just in time to get sniped and do the whole process over again. They're also building in VOIP for squad chat and context-dependent communications that will help clear up what you need to be doing.
On the vehicle side, we saw Blackhawk helicopters, tanks, ATVs, and armored personnel carriers -- there are 15 modes of transportation in all (boats included), each having the ability to transport other characters, and some with heavy firepower for troops not in the driver's seat.
The Frostbite engine that was introduced in BC and implemented in BF 1943 gets some upgrades, highlighted by more destructible surfaces (shooting through wooden fences, concrete cover chipping away) -- stuff that should be standard in pretty much every online shooter these days.
BC2 is going the Modern Warfare route in regards to weapon and gear loadouts: there are 40 weapons with over 200 variations/modifications in total (if you're a BF 1943 owner, you get access to three more exclusive weapons -- how that'll affect game balance remains to be seen). In addition to weapons, you also get to use an array of support tools like tracer darts, mortar rounds, and if you're a medic, a defibrillator. The game's four classes (Assault, Medic, Engineer, Recon) are enhanced by 13 different specializations (i.e., perks), like the ability to carry more grenades, increased clip capacity, improved scopes and armor, and so forth.
The dangling carrot comes in the form of ranks, pins, stars, and insignias -- comprising an array of rewards and recognition for quality play. The marketing quote of the demo was that Bad Company 2 is going to provide "the best all-out war experience," which means that DICE has Modern Warfare in their sights. That's an uphill battle for sure, but it looks like their arsenal is solid enough to make it an interesting fight.