Battlefield: Bad Company 2 PC Hands-On

We donned 3D glasses for an exclusive first hands-on with Battlefield: Bad Company 2 on the PC.

While the original Battlefield: Bad Company may have been a console exclusive, the sequel looks set to shine on the PC. During our visit to developer Dice in Sweden, we talked to a dedicated PC team whose job it is to make this the definitive version, thanks to improvements such as 32-player multiplayer (compared to 24 on the consoles), a menu system customised for mouse and keyboard, and support for 3D using Nvidia technology. Even better, we got to put all of these features to the test thanks to an exclusive hands-on.

In this preview, we'll focus on the PC-specific elements of the game, so if you're new to the franchise or want details of the single-player game, make sure you check out our preview from earlier in the week. Our time with Bad Company 2 was spent on a high-end PC, with the game running at 1920x1080 pixel resolution and on max settings. Needless to say, it looked amazing, with extra details such as soft shadowing on character models, as well as an improved frame rate over the console versions. Thankfully, though, you shouldn't need to remortgage your house to play Bad Company 2, as the team is keen to stress the scalability of the technology with support for systems running DirectX 9 to DirectX 11.

In terms of multiplayer, Dice has been vocal about its support for custom servers. EA didn't miss a trick when it issued a press release highlighting Bad Company 2's support for custom servers, just as Activision announced it would deny Modern Warfare 2 players this luxury. Dice assured us that everyone will be able to use its servers in the PC version, but those who want to tweak away at the game's settings will be able to set up their own custom servers. Our demo took place across Dice's local network, which allowed us to experience the PC's 32 player limit, which is six players more than the consoles' 24 player count. The six extra players may not sound like a huge increase, especially when compared to previous Battlefield games which have had 64 player counts, but according to Bach, this is due to map sizes. The maps in Bad Company 2 are built for cross-platform use, and because the console player count is traditionally smaller than on PC, the maps have to be built to fit.

Thankfully, this seems to be the only area where Bad Company 2 is hamstrung by its cross-platform development. If you're the owner of the latest audiovisual technologies, then Bad Company 2 is going to offer the workout your system was built for. It supports Nvidia 3D Vision, so if you have a compatible graphics card and monitor, you'll be able to take advantage right out of the box. If you've got a really high-end, money-is-no-object system, then Bad Company 2 also supports three monitor setups. The audio has also been customised for the PC, with more bandwidth available for detailed effects. Bach explained how the new sound system has been built using decibel ratings for each individual effect, so if footsteps are rated at 20dB, they'll get drowned out by a tank rolling past at a much higher rating.

We got to don the special glasses for a full 3D hands-on with the multiplayer, and we were impressed with what we saw. The sense of immersion was great, as long as you get past marveling at the scenery and actually start shooting things. We also like the work that has been put into tweaking the menu system so that it works better on PC. More information can be shown on a monitor than a TV, so you can customise your loadouts quickly and easily. This becomes more important the more time you spend in the game, because you unlock more equipment and weapons as you progress.

Battlefield fans may remember that the original Bad Company never came out on the PC, so it's great to see that the sequel will be coming to the PC on the same day as the console versions. The beta will be coming out on January 28, which should allow plenty of time to practise for the game's release on March 5 in Europe and March 2 in the US. In the meantime, you can find out more about all versions of the game by watching the video interviews from our recent trip to Sweden.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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86 comments
toms123
toms123

ARE THERE BOTS IN THE CONQUEST MODE? Online play is not an option for me, crap broadband where I live. The old games had an offline conquest mode that I played all the time, I hope this mode has not been left out.

WillyChong
WillyChong

I wonder if the online version is supported in Malaysia. cause damn I'll get this one! But my pal said it won't support Malaysia online....... Noooo! I want to play online!!!!

benbrooky13
benbrooky13

Has anybody noticed that Gamespot thinks 24+6=32. They say it a couple times: "Those six extra players..." I know it's just a preview but c'mon. I guess spellcheck doesn't check arithmetic errors.

CamRaiD
CamRaiD

3d Vision baby. Thats where its at.

awetzel
awetzel

Yeah this game will ROCK!! For a few months til the hackers ruin it :)

snake_6483
snake_6483

Played beta... one word describes it WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As a long time battlefield player I cant complain much about it, I only wish they had PC exclusive 64 player maps like Supreme Commander (half the maps weren't available for FailBox 360 because it only supported half the players and not even a fourth of what the game had to offer). Other than that the game is amazing! Glad to see a few developers still caring for the PC market. I was scared for a while that my epic PC was going to be playing crappy ports of games from now on! THANK YOU DICE for making the best online war games since 1942!

hamoksha0000
hamoksha0000

got the beta key and this game is just incredible .

assclip
assclip

just got a beta key for pc didnt even preorder (fileplanet). Game looks and plays incredible got it running 1080p on max settings obviously its still the beta so their are some issues still, could easly be the cod killer on pc but not thinking that way on console cause its so oversaturated with cod. Running it cool with i7 ocd at 3.7ghz and 4890x4870 crossfire rockin the kazbah!

tomasinho94
tomasinho94

i'm having dual core 2.9ghz 1.5gb of ram and gt 9500 graphich card.it'll do??

darknavarone101
darknavarone101

"We know we have a heritage on PC, we know what Battlefield stands for." ----i love this guy now...power to the PC..hahahaha

AlphaWolF_J
AlphaWolF_J

Having played the PS3 beta and am wating for a key for the PC beta that i installed already. Take my words for it between this and AVP you wont want for anything FPS related this year this game is bloody awesome and i think the score will reflect it Ive been playing FPS ever since original counterstrike and everything els since this game kicks ass watch it stomp MW2 in to the dirt where it belongs when its out.. first day pick up PC/PS3

gladin09
gladin09

Xbox demo was fun but Im sure the PC version will be much more fun.

RizziSmoov
RizziSmoov

people dont realise that 64 players in this game would be cluttered, the level design just doesn't accomodate it unless you want a repeat of the BF2 infantry servers: spawn, die,spawn, die, spawn, lucky kill YAYYYY!, die -_-

Nishua
Nishua

@colbertnation1 Dude I was never questioning anyone skills as a pilot and that isn't just my opinion. Jets was weren't implemented correctly in the game. We aren't talking about real warfare here because if were players who were skilled at flying would have died instead of never dying. It was easy to rack up high kill counts with low death ratios because the only way to take down a jet was with a jet. In a game it shouldn't be that. Jets were completely overpowered which is why I don't think they were in this installment of the series.

SysDefect
SysDefect

Man, whatever happened to finite health? EA what have you done to my beloved series?

Robertski
Robertski

3d support, get in! My 24inch 3d monitor and glasses will be arriving soon.Cannot wait to play this in 3d....

shadowcreaper
shadowcreaper

this game is going to fail a lot sales wise if they dont open beta up for free to europe.

killeroo
killeroo

this preview didnt even tell us anything

blooddog28
blooddog28

yes jets are so annoying in my opinion on BF2... but of course i never did master flying them! :P I hope the ONLINE is much bigger than what battlefield 2 pc is right now... usually on a couple games going at a time.

sgtandy2006
sgtandy2006

The one big improvement Battlefield Bad Company 2 needs to have over Battlefield 2 is either far less jet fighters per side or a far longer spawn time for the jets... and perhaps also a five-minute limit in the jets would improve things. Although Battlefield 2 still is a great game, it's one problem with multiplayer is that there are too many jets for too many noobs and those noobs spend each entire match doing nothing but flying back and forth over enemy-held points and bombing the crap out of them with each pass.

colbertnation1
colbertnation1

@Nishua Those are your opinions just like its mine. I was a damned good Jet pilot, its how I had fun. The reason people complain? Those are the same people who didnt know how to fly and got sick of getting killed. Maybe to you less players are better, I say its more to kill and more to fight = longer and bigger battles. I like a true battlefield, war is not waged by teams of 17..

colbertnation1
colbertnation1

@cal5000 No they are not, somehow a released image of something that looked like BF3 came out, it had the old bf2 graphics engine which means it was likely a mod. Believe me I wish they were but this is meant to be BF3..

Nishua
Nishua

@colbertnation1: If you knew anything jets destoryed BF2. They were completely unbalanced. Not only that the amount of players on a map doesn't increase the quality of the game. Matter of fact more than likely it would decrease.

cal5000
cal5000

@colbertnation1 They are making BF3 as we speak, with the Frostbite engine. Google it

chechak7
chechak7

i hope close combat will be good as using vehicles ...hope it will be better than mw2

colbertnation1
colbertnation1

Is this battlefield or squads? Come on, give us 64 player servers with jets! More like counterstrike with vehicles if your just giving us half the normal player count for PC. This is the first one released for PC that they are done this and IMO spells doom for the franchise.

colbertnation1
colbertnation1

@djpetitte Ahh but see I said COD4 NOT mw2(which I agree sucks and they never got my $60 in the first place). BF2 was the best game in the series, I just wish they would stop fooling around and just remake it, the game wasnt broken at all! It just needed new graphics and maps, thats it. Its getting killed now because punkbuster(who sucks) doesnt update it anymore. Dont fix whats not broke. The lower player count is complete BS and is a BIG BIG hint to how much smaller the maps are, if that doesnt confirm it the Jet loss sure does.

Nodashi
Nodashi

I got my Nvidia 3d vision specially for that game. Now Steam is downloading the Beta - at eexcruciating 35kb/s. Looks like I'll only discover if it looks good on my glasses tomorrow.

tevic
tevic

I forgot destructibility... With Red Faction Guerilla, BBC2 will perhaps be remembered in the future as one of the first games with complete dynamically destructible environments. They will not be the last, that's for sure.

tevic
tevic

I'll play on console for the sake of simplicity, but I'm dreaming about some 3-4 years in the future where everybody will play in 3 D. Btw, I hope that BBC2 beats MW2, I love its humor, big "sandbox" environments, lots of players, vehicles... i.e. a sense of scale.

bodylotion
bodylotion

The multiplayer probably beats MW2.

djpetitte
djpetitte

@colbertnation1 - "If they take that away then why not buy cod4?" I don't know how anyone can call CodMw1 or 2' s online multiplayer warfare games? Only 9 vs. 9 without vehicle is not warfare. Battlefield has been specializing in online warfare since 1942. Mw2 on the pc was probably one of the most pathetic/let-down releases for the pc, that was overprice at 60 dollars, I have ever seen in my 27 years of playing video games. It still amazes me that the most anticipated game for 2009 was a "war" game that only supported 9 vs. 9 mp without vehicles, and not even to metion no d-servers! HAH. Just goes to show how casual, and Newbified the gaming market has become. Battlefield owns Cod, get it right newbies. Cod's mp is just a glorified rip-off version or Bf or Cs.

baal46
baal46

Definitely a BUY for me, if for no other reason than it is the first real Battlefield game to come out since 2142. Slightly disappointed with the player count, but hopefully the maps will be tuned well for 16v16, and it won't lose too much of the epicness I expect from a BF title.

Lancerz1977
Lancerz1977

Man, I'm pretty sure most pc gamers will BUY this game and it won't be pirated as much as MW2 was, lol.

Combii
Combii

Awesome! :o :D :lol: :D!!!!!!!

Avals
Avals

By god, couldn't gamespot do a simple headcount? "24+6 =32"? I'm impressed.

Asheileon
Asheileon

@plm3d_basic Agree with you, if you want to see good games on the PC in the future then we must stop the gaming piracy.... and to all you who pirate games, you should be banned from this and all other game sites that are for those of us that love gaming, not those that play good games and then just pisses on the developers.... show some appreciation.

Dante2710
Dante2710

:lol: 24 + 6 = 32? Looks like someone made a mistake when doing their math :P

Asheileon
Asheileon

Already pre-booked the CE for PS3, but I'm getting it for PC as well.

UmutK2
UmutK2

infinity ward messed up big time with MW2 but seems like dice wont make the same mistake because theres still a lot of people playing PC rather than consoles

SmallMafia
SmallMafia

@plm3d_basic You know what man, I agree with you 101%! I only own a PC not cause Im a fanboy or whatever, mostly due to the fact I cant afford to run a high-end PC and console. PC gaming isnt as exciting as it used to be and seeing as a developers pushing titles to be as accessible and compatible with the PC as well as Console makes me happy! Guys who pirate make me sick!

herukuti
herukuti

but moh is using unreal for the single player

plm3d_basic
plm3d_basic

DICE and EA are really pouring money into this game for the pc which is unheard of today. Any pc gamer who pirates this game should be ashamed of himself and anyone who hacks or uploads this should be ratted out and arrested.

sehguhdier
sehguhdier

Fail at math, but hey, we all can't be winners. I can't wait to play this, gonna be sick. Just realized that my new video card has 3d... awesome.