Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Updated Hands-On

We flew into the heart of Battlefield--developer Dice's Swedish studio--to check out the final build of Bad Company 2.

At Gamescom 2009, executive producer Karl Magnus Troedsson proudly announced that Battlefield: Bad Company 2 would "deliver the best online multiplayer experience ever." With just over a month to the game's release, we had a chance to put this claim to the test, as we travelled out to Dice's Stockholm headquarters to see both the multiplayer and single-player in action.

As players of the multiplayer beta will know, Bad Company 2 doesn't change the formula too much when it comes to multiplayer mechanics. What it does offer is more of everything; game modes, customisation options, and destructibility have all been ramped up over the previous game. One such game mode is Squad Rush, a four-vs-four scramble where one team tries to capture a couple of M-com stations, while the other team aims to protect them. It may take only a couple of seconds for each point to be captured, but the defending team can neutralise the point just as quickly, making for some incredibly frantic matches in the games we played.

The first Bad Company was well known for its destructibility, and thanks to an upgraded version of Dice's in-house Frostbite tech, the second game implements something that EA calls "Destruction 2.0." It was fascinating to see it in action--in one squad rush battle, we were able to protect the M-com station by hiding in the wooden hut that housed it. However, once the opposing team took to vehicles, including tanks and a helicopter, they were able to topple the entire fragile structure, leaving the capture point much more open to attack.

There's plenty to like about Bad Company 2's multiplayer, which offers a tactical, cerebral approach to gameplay. "We've made hundreds of changes after feedback from the beta," said producer Patrick Bach. One of these changes is the new hardcore mode, which turns off the HUD, makes weapons more lethal, and turns on friendly fire. Not that the default settings make the game easy; the health system isn't regenerative, so you have to depend on medics to lay out medpacks, which can also be picked up by the enemy. The progression system also lets you get more perks the more time you spend with each of the four classes, such as improved rifles for the sniper class. Thankfully, the humour of the original game also remains--kill yourself, and the onscreen message is just "Epic Fail.

Our visit to Stockholm also marked the first time that anyone outside of EA and Dice had played the single-player game. The story follows on "some time after" the first game, according to Bach, with the two world superpowers US and Russia battling it out. You take up the role of Preston Marlowe once again, whose Bad Company is called in when Russia starts moving into South America, where the plot to unleash a superweapon is exposed.

The first level we played took place fairly early on in the game, with Bad Company following a prisoner who is captured out in the jungle. It's your job to liberate the man, which of course you do by blowing up the entire village he's being held in. The action is punctuated by lots of little set pieces--choreographed action where you can blow entire huts apart, sending men on fire tumbling out. Thankfully, your allies also seem to boast better AI this time around, taking care of themselves in battle without any intervention and even popping out and stabbing people if they have the opportunity.

Bad Company 2 builds upon the success of the original with more game modes and class customisation.

The end of the level saw another big set piece--as the prisoner is dragged away by his captor, time slows down so you can pop a round in the guard's head using your pistol. The man turns out to be an American government official with the inside track on the Russian weapon plot, which leads you on to the second level that we played--a snowy mountain pass. You jump into a helicopter and bring the pain from the mounted turret, which is impressive not only because of the epic draw distance, but also because of the destructability of Dice's meticulously crafted world. With the enemies dispatched, we ran through houses in the remote mountain village, taking in a nice demonstration of the game's destructibility. It was then on to another epic battle with a tank, using the rocket launchers we acquired from enemies dispatched using a sniper rifle.

Bad Company 2 is shaping up well, and if you're into shooters, it should definitely be on your radar when it's released in March. If you're looking to play the game on the PC, be sure to check back on the site later in the week for our exclusive hands-on with what promises to be the definitive version of the game. In the meantime, check out our interviews with the development team above for even more info on the game.

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242 comments
mvazquez122
mvazquez122

bfbc2 demo was pretty good i cant stop playing the demo its so awsome!

Williamthethor
Williamthethor

i am sick of mw2 its so boring you do the same thing over and over thank god for these new games hope fully bfbc2 lives up to the hype it does look pretty sweet so far, try mag as well its a good large map game with lots to do

perrybeeinoz
perrybeeinoz

I have been playing the demo for a few days now, it has only got the one map but the game rocks. I am counting down to get MAG, but I will get this as well. Great graphics, cool weapons, tanks, and helicopters to play with. I rate the demo a 10 out of 10.

richioso
richioso

I just got the demo yesterday and the game is truly great so far, I do need more apache practice though.

altair3feb
altair3feb

@Ced_Quijote No, but sony's working on it, when the 3D firmware update for the PS3 is available, DICE might reconsider 3D support for consoles.

Kubilius
Kubilius

Hm, demo is not available on PSN ... what's wrong ?

EQShaman
EQShaman

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

darkdredude
darkdredude

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Purdueku
Purdueku

BFBC2's official site now says: "Players can now download the console demo worldwide on Xbox LIVE™ Marketplace. On February 4th, the demo will be accessible on the PlayStation®Network in Europe and North America and on February 11th in Asia." Again this is from the official site, now stating that the 11th is for Asia!

kaseem41
kaseem41

bad company2 multiplayer ps3 demo is gonna comin to psn next week:D

kaseem41
kaseem41

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

kaseem41
kaseem41

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

lllCamballl
lllCamballl

Battlefield Vietnam was spectacular, I hope they remake it (new version, not old version with blu-ray grafics) for the PS3

lllCamballl
lllCamballl

Killzone > Resistance > Modern Warfare > Battlefield > Halo

RhythmMan
RhythmMan

HEY!!! I still have killzone2 and MW2...there are too many games coming out for PS3. I miss the days when there were just a few good games, saved me money. (sarcasm) hahaha

Munstable
Munstable

Still waiting for simulation game EA=Bad Company. When is that coming out?

oista
oista

MW2, too serious, trying too hard in the wrong places. BFBC2 will be a nice change of pace.

truedog80
truedog80

yeah mw2 is like quake and halo and all the arena based games with a splash of battlefield, battlefield is all the fun of behaving somewhat like you're in a war with the camp and excitement they put in. Both games have garbage single player.

icybl00d3d
icybl00d3d

Did he just say Infinity ward start taking notes? Dont get me wrong i like BF more then MW2 But Infinity ward isnt even comparable with this. Its two different games.

hitman6actual
hitman6actual

"What we know about it so far scares the $h!t out of us. What we don't know scares us a lot f&%#ing more"

raeamn24
raeamn24

should I get it on PC or PS3?

Jstur14
Jstur14

Hopefully the single player will better than the first one (Borefest)

NecKruM
NecKruM

Holy moly!!!! That will gonna be THE game!!! I cant just wait to buy it!!!! Hope a demo will come soon on PSn

misst3r
misst3r

Damn right, respect for our PC gaming brothers! This game is just looking SO awesome... Anybody know when the demo´s available for the Xbox?

djpetitte
djpetitte

Battlefield: Specializing in online warfare since 1942

Harp_101
Harp_101

Although I'm not a PC gamer, it's nice that their respecting PC gamers, especially since Battlefield did start off on the PC. I bet people happy that they didn't pull off a "MW2" lol

tkulchawick135
tkulchawick135

In DICE we trust. Infinity Ward, start taking notes. RESPECT for PC gamers! Know your roots!

OneEyedMonsta
OneEyedMonsta

"Metal Heavy, soft at the core. Gimme Toro. Gimme some more!!!!" "Pressurize, neutralize!!!! Deep fried, gimme some more!!!!"

sCaReCr0W
sCaReCr0W

The fact that they are respecting the PC users is awesome. The likelihood of the PC version selling more than the console versions is slim, but they understand that the PC is where the Battlefield series has always shined. This reminds me of how Infinity Ward got their start on PC, with the original Call of Duty and has since screwed over its PC fan base with ports, and lacking PC specific features. Good job, DICE.

Vladka22
Vladka22

This is a game i will get

zaboon_
zaboon_

Beta for PC is out tomorrow for those who have pre-ordered (PC) (At least in Sweden) Have high hopes for this game. As long as it will be more like BF2 than the first BFBC I'm happy. But I'm very excited for the new stuff and the updated engine. See you on the battlefield, guys!

FlashCharge
FlashCharge

It all depends on how good the single player is. Waiting to play the demo and learning and seeing more about it. If the BF2 is better than BF1 it's a must buy.

Asheileon
Asheileon

Have already pre-ordered the CE for PS3, but I'm gona get it to PC as well.... but not the CE. The BETA was sooooo good, sure there were some issuse.... but nothing even close to a big deal.

jenguando
jenguando

Make it spli screen co op and will buy it.

Bashers79
Bashers79

No regenerative health, a hardcore mode, more game types, destruction 2.0, better graphics. Definitely pre-ordering this one. All I got to do now is convince my MW2 obsessed friends to buy it to.

Dannyboy4314
Dannyboy4314

mw2 wasn't as good as all the hype. i shouldn't of bought it, should've pre-ordered this.... very disappointed.

aaronfhff123
aaronfhff123

this still looks better than the fail that was MW2

aaronfhff123
aaronfhff123

no bullet wounds? Just a sh!tty mist of blood that comes from an invisible wound? ahh this sucks i was hoping this game would be more violent...looks like i wont be getting it. At least its not totally blood free like the last battlefield

sensei_hEnRY
sensei_hEnRY

finally, single player revealed. This game will be epic!

luiseo1294
luiseo1294

i got the beta and you can blow everything up really good customistion