Can I just say that I love blue skies? It’s such a relief from the sepia tone filters we have to deal with so many of today’s games. Thanks, Battlefield: Bad Company.
Connecting to the Battlefield: Bad Company multiplayer beta was a snap today, with no lag and no waiting around. We decided today to test the destructibility of the environments. We fixed grenade launchers and tossed a bunch of grenades, and sure enough, those buildings went BOOM. You can use your knife, too, if you’re into tearing buildings down brick by brick. Of course, then you miss the sound of those big explosions, which really are quite impressive, even in the game’s early state.
If you expect to able to level the buildings completely, though, you’re going to be disappointed. Battlefield: Bad Company doesn’t let you wreak complete havoc, because that would remove the strategic possibilities presented by cover. However, while you can’t demolish entire buildings, you can destroy the elements of cover provided by each structure, which is still pretty satisfying. If you want more than that, sit tight for Mercenaries 2: World in Flames; total destruction is really what that game’s designed for.
While testing the destructibility, we uncovered a new addition to the weapons on each base: field artillery. Bases still include gun turrets and rocket launchers, but the field artillery presents the option to wield a howitzer, which you get to guide to your target via satellite. Think of this as your Airstrike from Battlefield 2: Modern Combat, except you can use it as many times as you want. There is slight a delay between firing and impact, so you have to compensate a bit for moving targets. However, the reload time is so quick (faster than a vehicle can re-spawn, for instance), that the howitzer is one punishing beast to contend with, very quickly shutting the other team down within their base and killing them and their vehicles. Electronic Arts may want to investigate the balancing a bit on this one.
Now, it’s very possible to quickly rack up some serious points using this, but be a team player and don’t hog it, OK? Everyone wants a turn.
For the time being, the howitzer is shown only on the Demo Map Oasis, which covers a large territory and sports all the vehicles. In some respects it’s similar to the middle Eastern levels from Battlefield 2: Modern Combat, but there are great little touches this time around. For instance, in Modern Combat, jumping between roofs was flat-out impossible or really a matter of luck, but in Bad Company, there are tons of ways to get yourself on roofs and hop from house to house, and stacks of crates are finally useful.
Amid all the destructible fun, we managed to unlock the various medals, but considering the number of them to acquire, it could very well take a month to get them all. In sadder news, I Team Killed today. Felt horrible, too. I’ve got a lot to learn about the grenade turret’s arc of fire. Thankfully my team-killing ways punished me with the removal of some points, so I feel somewhat atoned. Let’s hope I can avoid the team killing tomorrow, when we explore character classes.
— Phillip Vollmer