EA’s first big attempt at a first person shooter. Bad? Good? Decent? Read on…
The console version of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 set a very high standard for EA’s same titled iPhone game. Is it as good as the console version? No. But it is still a very decent iPhone game. Set in what seems to be the middle of an ongoing mission, BFBC2 starts you out looking for a stolen “server,” which contains information necessary to the creation a Russian “super weapon.” Not much for a story, but the gameplay is fun enough to keep things interesting. BFBC2 offers 14 single player levels, a 4 person online multiplayer, and a huge pile of weaponry.
The solo campaign takes the player to several different locations, such as jungle and snow environments as you chase down the enemies in possession of the stolen server. The voice acting is pretty decent, mostly because one of the main characters is a replica of “Sarge” from Halo who fancies saying damn as often as possible. As usual, you play as the rookie who is somehow the hero of the game. I am always worried about the controls in a FPS, but the simplicity of the controls kept the gameplay easy. Every once in a while I found myself aiming down my sights on accident, but not enough to be a big nuisance. The main thing I disliked about the single player was that I couldn’t move on until all of the enemies in an area were dead. I’m no wimp, but getting killed for “leaving the battle area” can be obnoxious. Also, because there is no jump or climb feature, I would get frustrated when I had to go around a sand bag or a tiny step that I couldn’t climb or walk over.
I greatly enjoyed the variety of weapons and vehicles. I counted at least 14 different types of weapons including popular video game weapons such as an RPG or an AK47. Some weapons even had different setups, such as a sub machine gun with a silencer, or a machine gun with a grenade launcher. I got all giddy inside when I started a level with a bolt action sniper rifle. Vehicle levels are pretty fu, although the tank controls can be bothersome. Controlling a mini gun from a helicopter was just plain fun. One thing I was very impressed with was BFBC2′s saving system. Every time you complete an objective, your game saves. No more worrying about having to redo a difficult part because you died from one random guy you couldn’t find.
The single player offers 3 different difficulty levels. Unfortunately, no matter which level you play on, the AI seems kind of stupid. You can get pretty dang close to a guy before he notices you, and they rarely move from their positions. There are 3 different ways to control the game. The default controls require the player to either tap for single fire or double tap for full auto. The second control scheme has a fire button (which is much easier but can sometimes lead to accidental discharge), and the third scheme has a fire button as well as a joystick. Once you complete the game, you can replay the campaign to hunt down 6 different “Beret soldiers,” each with a different colored beret. This creates some replay value as well as an addition to BFBC2′s 34 single player achievements.
The multiplayer in BFBC2 works well enough but only supports up to 4 people per game, which can make it difficult to get into a match. It’s not nearly impressive as Modern Combat 2, or the recently released N.O.V.A. 2, but at least it works via Bluetooth, local wifi, or online. Another knock on multiplayer is the lack of game modes; you can play FFA or 2v2. It is nice to be able to use any weapon seen in single player, but that can also be bad considering one of the assault rifles has a grenade launcher, and some weapons have sights while others don’t, which causes unbalanced online gameplay. I killed someone with 3 shots from an assault rifle, but it took two shots to kill them with a sniper rifle that is a one shot kill in single player. Perhaps more time should have been spent balancing the weapons for multiplayer. Overall, I had much more fun in the campaign mode and don’t plan on playing the multiplayer very much. There are 18 multiplayer achievements for all you achievement whores out there.
As far as visuals and sounds go, BFBC2 has its ups and downs. The environment and character models are decent, but the guns look fantastic. I enjoyed the variety of sounds that were used for the weapons. Even though some assault rifles had the same sounds as others, a good majority of the weapons all had different, but appropriate sounds. The quality of the voice acting depends on who is talking; some characters seem to sound more convincing than others. The friendly AI could sometimes get annoying and even repetitive, but it was always fun to hear the enemies scream “grenade!” in Russian.
Overall, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is a good first person shooter for the iPhone. It is currently $0.99 but the price is going to increase once EA’s sale is finished. If you are looking for an extensive online multiplayer, this isn’t your game. But for the price, it is worth picking up for the campaign experience.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 - $4.99 (still on sale)