Battlefield: Bad Company Closed Beta Impressions

If you can't find a beta key, we've got some details to share.

Like Call of Duty 4 and Halo 3 before it, Battlefield: Bad Company is going a step above the usual prerelease demo with a limited-access multiplayer beta. Despite the fact that the full version will arrive on both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, this sneak peek is being delivered only to Microsoft's console. If you've found yourself among the unlucky masses unable to secure a download key from the various promotions offering them, we've got some hands-on impressions that should interest Battlefield veterans and series newcomers alike.

It doesn't take long for peaceful villages to become uninhabitable wastelands.

The beta offers two maps: one that displays what the series has been known for, and the other where it's headed. The bigger of the two is known as Oasis. This one is set in a Middle Eastern desert. In terms of layout, it's a long, narrow map flanked by a river on one side and sniper-friendly hills on the other. The long stretches of dusty road make this map friendly to vehicles, which is good because there are plenty to choose. You've got the standard Humvee, a dune buggy, a high-speed boat, light and heavy tanks, and a helicopter. Those who prefer to remain stationary can entertain themselves on the numerous turrets, cannons, and mortar launchers stationed all around. Fans of the series will feel the most at home on this map. Though the number of players has been reduced from 64 to 24, there's still a fair amount of chaos going on at any moment with all the vehicles careening around and exploding near you. You'll also notice that the series' trademark emphasis on teamwork and coordination hasn't gone anywhere, thanks to the number of passenger seats available and the sheer amount of terrain that needs to be crossed from one base to another.

The other map is called Ascension. This one is set in a rural mountain village with an elevation that dramatically rises from one end to the other. Though the village you're fighting in seems to be located in the middle of nowhere, the level is densely populated with numerous two- and three-story houses (plus one massive cathedral). The presence of all of these buildings in such close proximity turns Ascension into a playground for testing Bad Company's most noticeable addition: the destructible environments. Nearly everything besides a building's frame and ceiling can be blown away with explosives. We often found ourselves blowing up walls for no real reason other than to witness the realistic-looking damage. Besides the walls, grenades and mortar blasts leave canyons of varying sizes on the outside ground, and trees and fences are also fair game (even against a simple knife).

All of this destruction isn't just for show; it manages to influence team strategy in a number of ways. This is primarily because the one gameplay mode offered, Gold Rush, is essentially a territories mode in which teams will need to either defend or attack specific points in a building. In Gold Rush, it's the goal of the attackers to destroy two gold crates in the defending team's base. Once those crates are destroyed, another pair of crates pops up farther down the map. If the defending team can keep the attackers from getting the final pair of crates by either holding the attackers back or forcing them to exhaust all of their respawns, the defenders win. Given that these crates are located indoors, the attacking team will usually try to knock down the walls of the buildings to allow for easy entry. The job of the defenders becomes much more difficult when the building with a crate gets aired out for any invader to waltz into. Likewise, the defending team can use altered terrain to their advantage by littering the roads leading to their base with explosive-blown canyons to slow down the attackers' vehicles--think of them as wartime speed bumps.

Although the destructible environments look great, we have noticed one or two minor issues. The most nagging one is that buildings get destroyed rather swiftly. Oftentimes you'll join a match that's been going on for just a few short minutes only to see a crumbled wasteland all around you. We won't deny that blowing out a wall is so much fun partly because of how quickly you can see the fruits of your labor, but considering that this building is gone for the duration of the match--which generally last in the neighborhood of 20 minutes--it sometimes feels as if the fate of the environments are decided much too quickly. However, this issue is minimized by the fact that a new section of the level is unlocked every time the defending team is pushed back.

Once you move beyond crashing helicopters and adding new windows to people's homes, the rest of Bad Company feels pretty standard. You can choose from five classes, which include your usual assault class, sniper class, and one particularly interesting catchall class that's one part medic, one part light machine gunner, and one part auto repairman. These classes, each with varying loadouts and unlockable weaponry at later ranks, provide a good sense of balance to the action found in the beta. In the two maps featured, none of the classes seemed to dominate the others.

There are still plenty of fun vehicles to cruise around in, including heavily armed speedboats.

PC gamers making the transition to the 360 or PS3 will find the controls familiar. The controls feel good, though fans of some of the more popular console shooters will notice a slower pace in the action, thanks to a combination of slightly slower movement and a 10-second respawn timer when you die. In our experience, that inability to really run and gun required us to rely that much more on our teammates, which is very rewarding when you pull together for a win.

All in all, this beta succeeds in making us hopeful for the final version. The sheer size and enormity of the battles might have been scaled back from what veterans of the series have come to expect, but there's still a lot to impress those who've spent their lives playing consoles. Battlefield: Bad Company is scheduled to arrive on June 23.

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Discussion

130 comments
demi_veritaz
demi_veritaz

I'm crossing my fingers that this comes out on PC as well. I doubt it will though, since they have that sh!tty looking free2play BF coming out on the PC. I'd much rather see this version on the pc than the free one. Oh well, here's to hoping.

Morb
Morb

Lovin' the demo, and the lag is VERY rare!!!!!! So far first impressions are awesome.

br1nster
br1nster

look great cant wait to blow stuff up whaaooo

mikeisaniceguy
mikeisaniceguy

I will definitely give this a try. IT looks very interesting. Idk though if it will be as good as halo 3 but they are totally different. I grew up playing halo3 so thats why im so addicted to it. But yeah this game looks sweet.

PacBoy23
PacBoy23

So Hyped fully paid off overnight shipping just about a month now

gian07
gian07

COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!

eznuke
eznuke

I thought BF: MC was great, though BF BC is not that bad. For some reason I wish it was more like BC MC though. O well still good.

ubr_pwnge
ubr_pwnge

the old battlefield 1942 and all the expansion packs was the best pc game ever. hope this is better then bf2mc.

Crey93
Crey93

well i found the battlefield mc wasent as good as BF2, hope this will be better.

nitsud_19
nitsud_19

I've been a fan of Battlefield since the beginning (1942). So im thinking this game is going to be great, first i'll have to wash of the dirt from that pile of, well you know, Modern Combat. Battlefield is the game i compare all other shooters too, especially multiplayer. People like to use CoD4, but that game took a lot from Battlefield 2 for the PC. I'm just a little nervous of how its going to be once those little punks get ahold of there noob tubes.

taurian0205
taurian0205

lol this game is going to be great, or at least good, i dont know why people hate battlefield but i just wish for the same gameplay with improved graphics and physics, however, my major disappoinment is Frontlines, sounds promising but! the game isnt anywhere near good to me, i bought the pc version of it and played it on my rig 8800gtx amd 6000+ dual core cpu 3.0ghz and 4gb of rams on vista, and yet the game crashes and the explosion, smoke particles seems like they revamped it from desert combat omg i hate frontlines

Rooster703
Rooster703

ive been waiten for this game for a long time, any news on the single player campaign would be great, but im really looking forward to playing this on Xbox live. looks great even for a beta, cant wait till its done

jovine31
jovine31

This game looks good, but too bad its not on the PC.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

BF BC & COD4 are completely different types of games.

_Torx_
_Torx_

Seriously cannot wait for this one.

Silent_Horror
Silent_Horror

i dont like this game, no thing new ! always same thing , COD better than this game ,

CONDO1973
CONDO1973

This looks awesome should be a great game if I can get my hands on a beta please

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

KillaB123.... Absoloutely!! I loved BF Desert Combat on PC, now that would be amazing (and yes! i know there is 'Frontlines) but they are not the same.

KillaB123
KillaB123

I really enjoyed the multiplayer of battlefied 2 madorn combat on 360, i just wish they made a more direct port of battlefield 2 from PC's

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

If a good game was dictated by its graphics Nintendo would be s£$t out of luck!!

newb16
newb16

When the first one came out I heard people say that it sucked beacuse of the graphics. But the thing is people, just because it has **** graphics doesnt mean it sucks. It means that either they didn't get to mess with the graphics like they wanted to or they were just like "you no what fuk it lets just get together the gameplay first".

slayer888
slayer888

have to say some of u are idiots this game shud be good unless its like the last one on the xbox which sucked in comparison to the pc version the graphics were obviously boosted but that dont make it better, as for the player cap seems ok for a console game, and frontlines didnt support 50 ppl thats only one specific map the cap for the rest are the same.

n3ck
n3ck

Yeah i love Frontlines, can't stop playing it online.

sundweller
sundweller

I read a couple comments about boycotting this game, jeez, it's just a game. Don't like it, don't play it. My friends and I are HUGE Call of Duty fans. After playing the beta for Bad Ccompany, we have to admit we can't wait to get in a vehicle together and do some killin, which you can't do in Call of Duty (would be even more bad as if you could of course). IMO, Call of Duty set the bar high for FPS just a Oblivion did for RPG's. But I had still had a blast playing the demo for Battlefield.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

well Frontlines didnt exactly 'Look Good' but its more fun to play than COD4 etc. I have high hopes for a good MP rampage with big maps & vehicles etc, i reckon this will rock online!

metalkid9
metalkid9

oh god!! did they really have to put that second picture there? it looks disasterous. everytime i come to this page i skip it cuz i dunt wanna c it cuz i really have high hopes for this game. like im almost sure that this is gonna be a great game. but why the second picture!!?? WHY!?

daman1616
daman1616

only 24 playerS!!!!! why couldnt they have just made this for pc instead.....

Robborboy
Robborboy

@eVIL_kA Yea blame EA. Frontlines supports 50 players. And even on the original xbox black hawk down supported 50 also.

Diputat
Diputat

Россия рулит... Лучшее оружее и военная техника в мире!!! Эта игра частично доказывает это утверждение...

Diputat
Diputat

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

gekidami
gekidami

"one particularly interesting catchall class that's one part medic, one part light machine gunner, and one part auto repairman." They find that interesting? Sounds like the devs just stuck all the support jobs on to one class so they dont have to make more characters moddles... Pretty lame IMO...

eViL_kA
eViL_kA

24 plyr limit? What happened to "next-gen"? Must be the xbox360 limits; i haven't seen any 360 games that even hit the 40plyr limit like the PS3 LAUNCH title R:FoM. Then again, i'll just blame EA because they suck to begin with.

capitancahonas
capitancahonas

I keep trying out new mp shooters on my 360 (frontlines, r62 etc) , but nothing it seems is anywhere near as slick as cod4. Sure, halo 3 has some nice modes of play, and will always be fun in short spurts, but I.W really had their s*** together with the no1 xblive game. Most of what EA puts out is homogenised, derivative pap, and though I'm sure I will grab this, it aint no cod killer.

360nly
360nly

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

se2437
se2437

You guy's have got to be kidding me. You must not have played Battlefield 2 MC. This game is surprisingly bad. Really, really bad; big,big mistake. Check some of the other forums and you will see some common themes: 1.)Most people who like BC didn't play MC. 2.)Most people who played MC don't like BC. 3.)Most people who liked MC and hate BF are really upset with DICE. 4.)Looks like a really bad copy of COD4. 5.)Graphics are "unclear", choppy, whatever. 6.)Fans of MC want the old game back. COD4, here I come.

se2437
se2437

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

xLeXaRx
xLeXaRx

Good for u 360only, im going to steel on CoD4... But im really looking for this B:BC cause looks reeeaally sweet and im looking for some new game and this should be that game that im looking for it....

NonyoBizness
NonyoBizness

I really like the beta so far and I'm confident the final release will be an amazing game stealing a lot of thunder from cod4 & r6v2 (or at least sharing a good portion of it)...

driver_unknown
driver_unknown

I think EA should be ashamed of themselves for bringing out 2 versions of the game with different weapons. Seriously. . .everyone should boycott this game. The beta sucks and why has gamespot missed out the fact that the shotgun right now is as powerful far away as it is in close distance. and. . .when your indoors you cant see **** Rubbish game ruined by the influence of a rubbish company.

SirDtron
SirDtron

PLEASE LET THERE BE A REVIVE FUNCTION LIKE SHOCKPADDLES