Battlefield: Bad Company Multiplayer Hands-On

We see some more single-player action in Bad Company and try out multiplayer for the first time in EA's new take on the Battlefield series.


EA's Battlefield series may have appeared on console systems in the past, but the latest title--Battlefield: Bad Company--is unique in a few regards. To begin with, it's the first game in the series to be built from the ground up specifically for consoles, in this case the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. Secondly, while large-scale online multiplayer has been the series' trademark, plenty of attention seems to have been paid to Bad Company's single-player campaign and story, with a strong Three Kings-like mercenary feel introduced for the game's four main characters. That's not to say multiplayer has been left by the wayside, of course--this is still a Battlefield game after all. We got to see more of the single-player campaign at an EA event held in the midst of GDC last week, as well as take to the field ourselves with some multiplayer action.

Even though you'll always be in a squad, you will control only one character in Bad Company.
Even though you'll always be in a squad, you will control only one character in Bad Company.

The last time GameSpot previewed Bad Company, we spoke a lot about the game's other new addition to the series: the suddenly-fashionable-again concept of destructible environments. Bad Company's developer--DICE Stockholm--says that up to 90 percent of Bad Company's world can be destroyed. While building foundations will remain, you can destroy walls, ceilings, fences, barricades, and most other obstacles should you have the firepower on hand. This game mechanic was demonstrated to good effect during a DICE rep's demo of the single-player component of the game.

The demo mission--the second mission in the game--started off with the four members of B Company being ordered to take out all enemy resistance in a tiny, rustic-looking village. At one point, enemy soldiers were seen running into small houses to take cover, which proved to be a not very effective tactic, because the demo tester simply used his rifle grenade to blow straight through walls and take out anyone hiding behind them. The rifle grenade also proved to be useful, not only in dispatching hidden enemies, but also in forging new paths--namely straight through buildings rather than running around them.

After taking out all opposing soldiers in the village, B Company was ordered to proceed further into the map and take out an enemy weapon depot and a fuel dump. As this is a Battlefield game, DICE has promised large maps in Bad Company similar in size to those in previous games, and this demo level seemed to be no exception. To get to the next objective, B Company had to get into small speedboats and cruise down a river, where there was plenty of opposition waiting to be fragged. And when we say plenty, we mean it--the demo tester was put under a significant amount of fire and had to continually rely on health packs to stay alive (in this game, health packs take the form of what seems to be adrenalin boosts, which, in a wicked piece of character animation, are administered via a syringe stabbed straight to the heart). DICE reps tell us that the game's AI will be set at a quite high difficulty level when the game ships, which in part is aimed at replicating the mayhem of a multiplayer battle. To further enhance that feel, players in the single-player game will respawn after dying instead of having to restart the level at certain checkpoints.

During the brief single-player demo, it was clear that the sense of humour apparent from Bad Company's first trailer was still a key feature in the game. While final story details haven't been revealed, we do know that you will spend your time as Marlow, one of four soldiers in B Company who at some point during the game become disillusioned with war the way the US Army fights it and decide to strike out on a different path as gold-seeking mercenaries. Marlow's squad is made up of Sarge (your typical gruff military commander), Haggard (the demolitions guy), and Sweetwater (the machine gunner). Each will play a key part in propelling the story, although they won't be directly playable or controllable (think Delta Squad in Gears of War).

Thematically, the acquisition of gold looks like it'll be a key element in the game, with gold caches hidden in all of the single-player levels for you to uncover. Gold also plays a strong part in multiplayer. The focus in Bad Company's main multiplayer mode--titled Gold Rush--is on keeping control of large gold crates. Gold Rush pits two teams against each other in a checkpoint-style mode with a twist. The defending team has to protect a pair of large gold crates, while the attacking team needs to achieve the exact opposite. Each time both crates are destroyed, more of the map becomes available, with two new crates appearing and needing to be defended. Destroy those, and even more of the map opens up, and so on. You have two spawn points to choose from at all times--either back at your home base (which is where most of the game's vehicles will be stored) or right in the middle of a firefight with the rest of your squad. For the attacking team, destroying gold crates will open up more of the map and will also add more "reinforcements," which are essentially how many times attackers can respawn. Defenders have an easier time with this, as their team receives infinite respawns.

Of course, defenders don't get it all their way, because Bad Company's destructible environments force you to change the way you approach what is essentially a capture-the-checkpoint game. We played Gold Rush on one map during EA's GDC event in seven-versus-seven matches (all on Xbox 360s--the final game will support 24 players for both the 360 and PS3). The map--called Ascension--was set in a high mountain village with plenty of different levels connected by steep paths. At 1km by 1km wide, it's one of the smaller maps in the game. In most other multiplayer shooters, defending a checkpoint involves finding some good cover from which to pummel any approaching attackers, as the onus is on the attacking team to continue moving. However, being able to blow apart any cover (and any player hiding behind it) changes the strategy of defending in Bad Company, as we saw firsthand during our multiplayer games. Gold crates were usually hidden inside buildings and other structures, but it was folly to stay behind cover in one spot since all that was required of an attacker was one well-placed rifle grenade shot to blow a camping defender to smithereens. Thus, both defenders and attackers are forced to continually keep moving in Bad Company, and we look forward to playing through some fast-paced matches when the game finally ships.

Gold Rush is the game's multiplayer mode.
Gold Rush is the game's multiplayer mode.

The rest of Bad Company's multiplayer offering is pretty much standard for online shooters nowadays. You will be able to select from different classes before each match, with each class receiving different loadouts. On the US Army side, we saw pretty typical Battlefield classes: assault, demolition, recon, specialist, and support. Each class also has a series of unlockable weapons, which are earned as you play more of the multiplayer game. And while no vehicles were available to ride on in Ascension, DICE assures us vehicles will indeed play a strong part in the full game.

Battlefield: Bad Company hits the PS3 and Xbox 360 in June this year.

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Avatar image for MatrixtheNEO

i wish they make the game for pc too i would pay double for it. 49x2 = 98 i have all battlefields that is on the pc wow nice graphic and destructive environment is cool

Avatar image for flyerscup715

ok this game does look awesome. one whoever said this game has better graphics than cod, it doesnt. hte only reason it doesnt is because the maps are wayyy bigger and are much harder to create. i love the use of tanks, but the helicopters are too much. and whoever said it should be a ps3 exclusive, u r lucky it is coming out for ps3. i was talking to a guy at gs and he said ps3 isnt getting alot ogf games because they take to long to make. that is why lost planet came out so late 4 ps3. i have both and i still think xbox is a little bit betta. with the future of god of war and socom, ps3 could catch up, but the bluray player is what makes many games come out 4 both systems. so b happy this game is coming out 4 ps3.

Avatar image for SoldierKidx

Wow everyone thinks cod4 has better graphics than this. First of all... cod4 is strictly bitmap textureing they bitmap the crap out of everyhting, second of all the *glow* off of characters in cod4 is the only thing that makes it look good. If you ZOOM in on a face in cod 4and ZOOM in on a face in bf: bad company cod4 doesnt even compare. Also, the buildings and textures in cod4 are kinda ugly and sloppy just look at them. Also look at the m16/m203 in cod4, the holes on the muzzle is just an image it isn't a physical 3d hole, as in bf:bad comapny all the gun's dimensions are modeled, they arnt images. Meaning that the gun models in cod4 are mostly 3d models with images of little details. SO dont even COMPARE cod4 with this game graphically AND gameplayilly (lol).

Avatar image for medalclaw

To be honest, my first impressions of this game were negative. I did not like the music at the start and I found it unnecessary and amusing that they added a radio player into the vehicles. I died a lot and it took forever to kill people. I noticed that the graphics were not as smooth as Call of Duty 4 due to the greater intake of information. Even though the game was dull to play, i felt that I was missing out on the real game play. The campaign on this game was surprisingly good. The plot was really in-depth and very interesting. After a short couple of hours of boring game play, the game started to get really fun. Why? Because I started killing people faster. I later learned that you did not have to start at your base every time you respawned and I learned the tactics and objectives of the game. A sniper would no longer kill me at point blank range after 4 hits. To my surprise, I started enjoying myself. This is a good game. I think that many people will not take the time to fully appreciate it. The controls are much closer to COD4 than anything else, which i preferred because I was so use to them. This is arguably the best BF game I have played yet. I had a very bad time with the controls on BF2. I just simply never got used to them, I also sighting cause it took awhile and most weapons didn't have that feature at all. All in all this game has good graphics, nice mechanics, and optimal game play. Do not expect this to be as good as COD4, but if you are looking to kill time, this game is perfect. I would definitely recommend buying it. You will get plenty of use out of your game. Great job EA and Dice Entertainment. You have created a masterpiece. Battlefield players across the globe will be satisfied. 8.5/10 STARS

Avatar image for hawaiisniper808

Will this game have 40+ maps and Create your own room so you can battle with your friends and Level up your Ranks?I would like to see that so you don't have to jump in a server like COD4 has so you can ranked up.I don't want to see any glitches in the game and no cheaters also.I like a good game where the map is Longer than 1000 miles plus like Black Hawk Down.That would be something.Maybe theres Boundaries.I Still play cod4 even if i might like Bad Company.I would compete any games if this game is little bit better cause of Graphic Wise or game play.I also like to see the game Reject anyone who cheats.All you have to do is create a cheat in the game and if the player cheats he or she automatic booted or kicked..

Avatar image for Paul2005

look better then call of duty 4 lets see the rating i look at rating if its 9.0 or higher i get. and the demo.

Avatar image for SGT4EVA

you cant compare this to COD4, cause this is way better

Avatar image for Silent_Horror

I think call of duty better than this is game.

Avatar image for guerillaKZ2

cool!!!!!, now if only dice would make it a ps3 exclusive

Avatar image for guerillaKZ2

OMG! I absolutely neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed this game! it will be completely awesome!!!!!!!! I swear,, it looks better than halo 3!!!!! can't wait to get the ps3 version

Avatar image for maggamuffin

oh man this game looks so sweet, I need to get this I swear it looks just as good as Cod4

Avatar image for thenephariouson

were u get the BETA from?

Avatar image for Nexrad

besides a few minor setbacks such as not enough splash damage, losing too much health when jumping from a building, and taking a whole clip to kill someone i can honestly say this game will be amazing and will blow out garbage duty 4. It already has much better graphics in the beta stage, there will be more variety on level size, you can actually get in vechiles, you actually have to fly the helicopter to kill someone not just get 7 kills and have the computer kill people for you, and many other options not available in COD4. Possibilities are endless in this game and its going to be awesome especially if you love BF games.

Avatar image for Shortbob

Can not wait to see what this game is like.

Avatar image for thenephariouson

Think im gonna wait for Operation Flashpoint instead as the FPS war genre is becoming very convoluted and i already have COD4 R6 Vegas 1 & 2, Frontlines.

Avatar image for Skullcandy

Love this game the more I play it, which has been a lot for only 2 maps in the beta. Had a smoke and a pancake and sat down through the weekend for a good 30 hours of gaming and this game took up about 28 hours of it. I still have some issues with the damage spread, and blood spatter would always be nice to see, but the destructable environment means the maps change just about every game. For example: The Oasis map is a large desert map. As a defender, the first 2 crates you have to defend are inside walled buildings at an outpost. The attackers roll in with tanks and humvees and choppers, they can also rain down heavy artillary from their main base and light artillary if you choose to play as support and have the unlock. If the attackers destroy the first two crates, they get added time, (reinforcements,) and the map opens up as the defenders fall back to protect the next base until all the crates are destroyed or attacker reinforcements run out. The combat is great in that the maps are LARGE, so you really have time to get in place and set up defenses or strategize with your squad. WIth a good defending team, that first base is usually a crater by the end of the game, seriously. The walls are usually all blown down, leaving framework only. The trees have been blown apart. The constant artillary leaves craters big enough that I've used them as foxholes as a last ditch defense effort. Just thought I would chime in again with this game if anyone is looking forward to it. There are going to be haters, there always are for a game no matter how good it is, but I think if you've played the Battlefield games before and realize that its not the super fast paced frag fest of some other popular games, you're really going to like it. Just my two buffalo nickles.

Avatar image for anarchy69yoda

I think the game looks sweet lets see how it turns out

Avatar image for Skullcandy

I've been playing the beta for 2 days and my impression so far is....not bad. There are a few things that need work. Splash damage seems non-existant. A grenade launched at an enemies feet doesnt kill. I've seen a player take a tank round to the face and survive. Unless you aim for the head, it really does take a full clip to take someone down. There are only two maps available, desert combat and a forested hillside town. The maps are thankfully large, which is my biggest complaint with CoD4, theres no way you're going to have 14 year old nerd boy standing in the corner lobbing grenades racking up points then calling you **** when the map is over. For anyone who has played Battlefield 2 for PC, imagine that game if it were released today. Thats basically what Bad Company is. Better graphics, though not as nice as CoD4. The sound is great, surround sound lets you hear where the battle is. The explosions are impressive and the destructable environment is long overdue. No more ducking below the window frame to shield yourself from a tank shell when you know the whole wall is coming down when the shell hits. All in all I've been impressed so far. I would like see some damage adjustment and a little tweaking of the tank and heli controls. I think this will appeal more to the player who likes to think through his battles as opposed to the fast paced frag fest of CoD4. Different players have different styles, and the style of Bad Company is much more to my liking.

Avatar image for regulater777

I just got off from playing the beta and I must admit, I am so disappointed. The game plays exactly like Frontlines; Fuel of war. It's much harder to fly the helicopters and drive the tanks. It also takes about 10 bullets to finally kill the enemy. The graphics look good but not great. They should have kept the same game play from Battlefield; Modern Combat. I know this is just a beta and they will work on some things, but even the Call of Duty 4 beta was amazing. After all the push backs for this game, it is not worth it. This is so sad, cause I was really looking forward to this game, plus I love Battlefield; Modern Combat for the Xbox 360. While playing the beta and just had to shake my head in dis-belief. Loading into a match takes forever, re-spawning takes forever, almost a whole clip to kill on person, driving anything in the beta is hard as heck, controls suck, your AI teammates yelling "medic, I need a medic" every 5 seconds is very annoying, and the sniper is very un-accurate. Like I was saying earlier, you want a fast pace, modern day war like game, get Frontlines; Fuel of War, cause this game plays like Battlefield; Bad Company. EA needs to push this game back till next year and re-do the whole game again.

Avatar image for -DarkPhoenix-

This looks so great! I really can't wait for it, it may even blow COD4 off its high horse. DarkPhoenix

Avatar image for 14musrocks

I'm glad they are bringing back the health pack... at least thats understandable, unlike "i'll just crouch for a sec and my bullet wounds will go away"... this game looks great, definitely going to have to check it out

Avatar image for psaketh007

health packs? who the f*** uses them anyway? its just stupid, other than that looks pretty good

Avatar image for Mr_duong

wow the graphics in this game is amazing, and then blowing stuff up all around u. the multiplayer looks good too, but prob not as good as cod4 was imo

Avatar image for DaElderScrolls

this sucks i am getting rb6v2

Avatar image for Carashnak

I'm glad Bad Company is being set in the time it is, since personally I think Battlefield 2 was the best of the PC editions, and that was set around the modern day.

Avatar image for thenephariouson

BF3 is being made for Vista, and its also likely that there will be cross platform gaming (360 & PC)

Avatar image for BDL91

ShadowZraiN Battlefield 3 is being made for Pc ( << LINK REMOVED >> ) Details were leaked last year unfortunately its Vista only

Avatar image for ShadowZraiN

K-Grogg I understand what you mean. I mean I have a ps3 only right now but it is messed up that the developers dont even make a PC version for this game. But just keep in mind the PS3 is the most like a PC. Mod's are possible (as we've seen with UT3), its just the developers for some reason dont seem to use the feature. I'm getting a PC very soon (probably next week) so I'll have the best of both the console and PC worlds. I'm kind of pissed that they announced that retarded battlefield: heros game, it just seems like dice is trying to soften the blow of not getting B:BC. Battlefield 2142 was the first game I played on the PC and I had lots of fun, I just hope they have a battlefield game for PC up their sleeves.

Avatar image for gamer100g

Where is Battlefield 3?

Avatar image for thenephariouson

i just feels like the market is being swamped with FPS war games, dont get me wrong i love-em, but theres just so much choice and theres a lot of cr@p, so other than R6 Vegas 2 im just gonna wait till they're released

Avatar image for CrAzY213

24 Player max...what a dissapointment. I used to play BF2 with a min of 24 players on 1 team. :( Edit: Can the amount of players be updated with a patch after the game has already been released?

Avatar image for thenephariouson

Im waiting for Operation Flashpoint instead

Avatar image for HolteEnder4Life

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

Avatar image for Patiux

I can't wait for this game!

Avatar image for AdMordem

cock the hammer ITS TIME FOR ACTION!

Avatar image for Rank_Reaper69

Sweet, can't wait. I wouldn't call it a COD4 killer but it most certainly might by the time it hits the shelves.

Avatar image for haloman92

this game is gonna be pretty amazing, i think theyve really stepped it up for the consoles

Avatar image for bombfanatic

it won't kill COD4 but will be close. can't wait for it. ill probably buy it.

Avatar image for TooQuickStix

Not sure if it will be a COD4 killer, especially since they have that new patch that follows grenade and bomb kills, (how sweet is that?), but it looks fun and promising, should be different enough to stand out. I am looking forward to it.

Avatar image for Berserka93

Oh yes unlockable weopons, i dont care about custamisable weoponsas long as ive got a class gun to work towards.

Avatar image for EnhancedVGA

GUnitTimothy said: "lawl this is sad because, the highest resolution you'll ever play in is either 720p or lower and usually games are to advanced the consoles have to play below HD standards. 640p I'd say or even 600p. Just look at Call of duty 4 and Halo 3. " I don't mean to be rude, but I think you misunderstand HD. I have played halo 3 at 1080p, and all 360 games must support at least 1080i, 1080p, and 720p, by writ of Microsoft. Also, 640p? 600p? Those aren't real resolutions! Please don't dis a game using skewed facts. The TV resolutions commonly employed manufacturors ar 480i (standard TV), 480p (HD), 720p(HD), 1080i(HD interlaced), and 1080p(HD).

Avatar image for is0lati0n

Just as good looking the graphics are, let's hope the gameplay is good aswell.

Avatar image for zackthekiwi

idk bout the gold rush, i think it'll be pretty boring, im gonna stick 2 conquest

Avatar image for Philo350

Looks like it could be some fun. But probably play it for free before buying.

Avatar image for TheJGene

"GANGSTA287 Battlefield games have progressively gotten worse since BF1942, I'm not expecting much..." The guy speaks the truth, so I'm not quite sure why all the thumbs down... Also, single player story-driven campaign is so far removed from what battlefield games have traditionally been about that it is a giant leap from it's origins, I'll wait and see how it fares.

Avatar image for GUnitTimothy

lawl this is sad because, the highest resolution you'll ever play in is either 720p or lower and usually games are to advanced the consoles have to play below HD standards. 640p I'd say or even 600p. Just look at Call of duty 4 and Halo 3.

Avatar image for RoboticZombie

wow the soldier models look really good hope this game is not just flash though.

Avatar image for SpeedMan72

sweet cant wait!!

Avatar image for devil_1994

this looks good

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