A while ago when I started this blog I mentioned that Battlefield: Bad Company was my favourite game ever. Well today I think I should elaborate on this because it means I will have actually written something in the first time for about a week…
My history with Battlefield goes back all the way to Battlefield 2 in 2005. I’ve played every single game in the series since then. I wasn’t very good back then but the scale of the battles were great and the inclusion of vehicles hooked me like Call of Duty just couldn’t. Fast forward three years and it’s 2008. Bad Company is released and it’s unlike any other Battlefield game that’s been released before it. Bad Company boasted a substantial story campaign. Now remember this is around the same time as Call of Duty 4 came out, so most FPS games were about Generic Action Hero X saving the world from Extremists. Bad Company was different, it was about four delinquents in the worst behaved unit in the US Army and their quest to steal gold from the Legionnaire Mercenary Unit and the hilarity that ensued as they broke International Law to do it.
And oh the game was funny, the majority of the laughs were from your squad mates, Haggard and Sweetwater while Sergeant Redford looks on as the disappointed dad of the squad. The chemistry between the characters feels genuine and you could believe these people are a unit and actually like each other. The story of the game was just a breath of fresh air when everyone else was trying to be like COD. Bad Company didn’t take itself seriously at all and you could tell this from everything DICE put out about the game. The promotional adverts were all parodies of games like Gears of War and Metal Gear Solid. The Behind the Scenes footage they put out was enjoyable to watch because you could tell the people involved really cared about making the game work. Bad Company was just a fun excursion for the series that is sorely missed these days (I say that as someone who enjoyed the campaign in Battlefield 1).
But a game can’t only be judged by its story alone, thats what a book is for. A game needs to be judged by how it plays. It is very different to Battlefield games that we have now, the feedback isn’t as tight as modern entries to the series. But, having said that the gunplay is still very fun and felt good back in the day. It’s a shooter ok? Most of them play basically the same. What made Bad Company unique at the time was the engine it was built on, the original Frostbite Engine.
The big thing about this piece of technology was the amount of destruction it allowed and the gameplay pathways it allowed each game to go down. What was unique about Bad Company at the time was that if you ran a thousand games on the same map at the same time they would all be different. Different buildings would be destroyed and craters would form in different places. Being a sniper was much more risky, you kill one person from your hiding hole and all of a sudden their friend destroys you cover and you’re exposed. The destructibility of the maps gave a great deal of depth to each map, you didn’t have to memorise all of the entry points and paths to the objectives, you could create your own. Don’t want to expose yourself by entering a building you think people are hiding in? Blow out the walls. It gave me hours of fun all those years ago and cemented Battlefield as my favourite game series all those years ago.
Bad Company also introduced the world to the gametype Rush (called Gold Rush back then). Originally Battlefield games were all fought in Conquest, there are several objectives on the map and each team tries to gain control of the majority of them. Rush was interesting because it made the job of the defenders a desperate one, hold out and protect the MCOM stations against the attackers until they literally run out of soldiers. It also allowed for some silly strategies to develop over its lifecycle. The map Par For The Course, literally a dictator’s golf course introduced golf carts as a transport vehicle. Seeing as there wasn’t any friendly fire in the game it led to something that would get you kicked from a server in later games. Throw all your C4 on your friend’s buggy and drive it at an enemy tank or MCOM station, push the button and BOOM, dead tank or severely damaged objective.
Bad Company 2 is where the multiplayer of this spin off series was perfected. Frostbite 2.0 was introduced and boasted fully destructible buildings. If you could cause enough damage to a structure it would collapse, killing everyone inside and destroying the MCOM station if its inside. In essence its the same game but with a great improvement to the technology used in the game and a big improvement to how the game pilots. My main criticism of BC2 is that it didn’t follow up the story of the original at all. Bad Company literally ends with our heroes driving off into the sunset with a truck full of gold. When it was first advertised it was billed as the squad hauling the gold back home across Europe while fighting their way through the Russian army. The game we got, while pretty good in it’s execution was not this and was closer to a COD game story than I would have liked. Russians have superweapon, destroy superweapon, Russians invade… The End.
My perfect game would be if DICE were to release a Remastered version of Bad Company 1 with the multiplayer of Bad Company 2. Thats how much I love this game