Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam Hands-On

We head into the heart of the jungle for a look at DICE's upcoming expansion pack.

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With the latest in the Battlefield series, developer DICE is taking the classic Bad Company 2 experience players know and love and bringing it to the 1960's war-torn Vietnam. Modern laser-guided weapons have been replaced by period-correct iron-sighted rifles, the action has been moved from modern locales to lush jungles, and the music has even been changed to a range of 1960's rock.

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Our hands-on took place on map called Hill 137, which was set amid misty mountains and a foliage-filled jungle. We played a quick round of Conquest mode, which required our team to capture and defend flag points at various locations on the map. Playing as American soldiers, our team landed on a sandy beach behind the jungle, which was an ideal place to sneak up on the enemy. Behind us was a set of heavily armed ships, which were ready to rain down shells once we had captured enough flag points.

Players familiar with Bad Company 2 will have no trouble adapting to Vietnam. The same ad hoc squad system is still present, along with the usual medic, engineer, recon, and assault classes. However, the weapon loadout for each class has changed substantially. High-tech weapons have been replaced with 1960's rifles, which lack features, such as laser sights and modern anti-recoil systems. This makes aiming and firing a little bit trickier, and we found there was a period of adjustment before we could kill consistently. We also found a rather pleasant surprise in the form of a flamethrower, which we rapidly equipped to our assault character.

Working our way through the jungle, we came across a set of mud huts in a clearing. Using the flamethrower, we stormed into the enemy-infested huts and flushed them out with some searing-hot flames. As they poured out of the huts to escape, the rest of our team picked them off from afar with sniper rifles, enabling us to secure the nearby flag. We found the flamethrower was extremely useful in close-quarters combat, and seeing our enemies run around in a wall of flames was immensely satisfying.

The flamethrower is the ideal way to clear a room.
The flamethrower is the ideal way to clear a room.

After capturing all the nearby flag points and escaping the area, the nearby ships bombed the entire area, pushing us inland where we had to take another set of flags. This area was set in a large clearing in the middle of the jungle, which was full of mud huts, dirt tracks, and tunnels. We spied a nearby jeep and promptly hopped onto the machine gun on the back, with one of our teammates driving. Right after we set out on our motoring rampage, an enemy tank appeared, blowing us into smithereens. Back on foot, we proceeded to infiltrate the local huts, setting fire to the Vietcong with our flamethrower and, eventually, capturing the point to win the match.

Even with all the flame-fueled action capturing our attention, we were impressed with how great the visuals looked. The mist-covered mountains and lush jungles made it feel like we were in the classic Vietnam film Apocalypse Now, which was made all the more impressive by the licensed rock soundtrack. Vietnam veterans can get their hands on the game later this year on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

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