Battlefield: Bad Company 2 released on the 2nd and I was able to fight the long download queues on Steam and install my copy. The EA servers are having a tough time keeping up with multiplayer matches, so instead of fighting constant disconnects I loaded up the singleplayer campaign. For those familiar with the Battlefield series, that will be a weird statement. The Battlefield games have never featured good singleplayer aspects, but BFBC2 is fixing to change that.
WARNING: Minor spoilers ahead.
The first mission transports the player back to a clandestine World War II raid on mainland Japan to secure a defecting Japanese scientist. The mission goes all kinds of wrong and our heroes are forced to re-route their escape attempt via submarine. However, before safety can be reached a "secret weapon" is unleashed on the Japanese mainland causing a tidal wave that washes the escaping team into watery graves.
The next mission fast forwards to current times and the player is put into play as part of Bad Company. Somehow this "secret weapon" from WWII Japan has found its way into modern times and its up to Bad Company to unravel the mystery and thats the story as far as I understand it currently.
I know, its weird. I just typed STORY and Battlefield in the same stroke, but EA Dice has pulled off an amazing feat here. They've added a well-scripted, quasi-on-rails solo campaign to one of the greatest multi-player franchise ever AND IT WORKS BEAUTIFULLY! This completes the Battlefield series' move towards the Call of Duty model: great singleplayer with great multiplayer.
The missions are laid out based on objectives. Generally, the goal is to travel from point A to point B. There is a set limit of enemies to fight, unlike the endless spawning waves of Battlefield's past. After that, everything is pretty much open. If the player wants to take it slow or fast, with vehicles or not, it's their choice.
Unlike multiplayer, players are not locked into a single class. They can carry two of any of the primary weapons, along with a gadget and knife. Weapons are unlocked by collecting them off dead enemies. Throughout the levels there are supply crates where weapon load-out can be changed. The system works well in singleplayer and I like the fact it doesn't lock me into a single class.
Early reports show that the campaign is short (8-10 hours), but thats a far improvement from previous Battlefield games. Overall, I am impressed by the singleplayer and with the current server disconnect issues, I anticipate I will be finishing the campaign well before I get heavily involved in any online play.
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