Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Battlefield Bad Company: Multiplayer Beta Review

Battlefield Bad Company: Multiplayer Beta
by Navneet Prakash from techtree.com

I remember the first time that I came across Battlefield 1942 from EA; it was a very pleasant experience. The game had an awesome intro with an inspiring background score and really amazing gameplay. Many versions of this popular series released after the original, most notably BF2 and BF2142, were at par with the original in terms of quality. I was wondering what the BF team will do after so many sequels featuring the same mechanics. I finally got to my answer when I participated in the Multiplayer Beta recently and came back very pleased. In this particular feature, I will not indulge into the single player specifics and concentrate solely on the multiplayer.

BF: Bad Company is different in comparisons to the previous games; this time around you do more than capture points to reduce tickers. This time you play for money in a multiplayer match that is simple, fast and very rewarding.

The game mode is called Gold Rush, with two teams called Attackers and Defenders. Every map has a limited number of Gold Crates. The attackers' objective is to destroy the crates while the defenders have to defend it; the simplest definition ever. The game mode is very simple yet it delivers hours of intense multiplayer action. Having said that, it's not that linear either. There is some amount of strategy involved in the game. Attackers die more often than defenders, so they have more reinforcements.

The more crates they destroy, the more reinforcements they get. The defenders on the other hand have a happy time killing all the attackers and depleting their reinforcement pool. If you think that the game is favorable to the defenders, you are wrong because in BF: Bad Company there is total freedom. I will explain that later in the article. The attackers can destroy the crates by either shooting or placing a special charge on them. It is never easy to reach the crates as defenders wait for your every move. Every time you destroy a gold crate, a new area on the map is accessible and the fight moves on to that area. The Gold Rush mode is a mash-up of popular game modes but it works really good.

The multiplayer is in beta phase right now so there are only two maps available:

Ascension: This is a small map that resembles a small village. The map is pretty sneaky with many dark corridors to hide in.

Oasis: This is a large open map and a total relief after the dark corridors of Ascension. There are many vehicles here including boats and choppers.

There are many unit classes to choose from as well like Assault, Recon, Support and so on. Each class has its pros and cons. You can customize each class with weapons and tools. There are many vehicles involved and anybody can use them. You can also repair the vehicles using the repair tool. All this may sound very familiar to other games but what makes this game different is the total freedom to destroy almost any obstacle. I am also talking about buildings, fences, walls and so on.

You can destroy almost everything that may be an obstacle and make new ways to tackle a problem. My multiplayer beta experience was smooth and virtually lag free, and I thouroughly enjoyed it. The game's graphics will improve drastically over the coming weeks and the final release will look way better to what it is now. So I wont comment on the graphics. What I will do is list a few cool gadgets that can be found in the game

(Developer's description):

Some special Gadgets :

Tracer dart pistol

Used by the specialist, the tracer dart pistol attaches a transponder to enemies, which emits a high frequency signal that links up to the guidance system of friendly rockets. When the dart is in place, all demolitions class will be advised, and are then able to lock on and launch a homing missile at the target. While not smart enough to navigate streets, the missile will home inexorably in on the unfortunate target. Though this requires a high degree of coordination, skilled squads will be able to link up and
utilize this combination to deadly effect.

Mortar Strike

The mortar strike allows player to call in mortar barrages from off map batteries that will cause huge destruction. The mortars use anti-personnel warheads, and so are largely ineffective against armored targets, but will tear through buildings and infantry causing huge damage.

Motion sensor

Using miniaturized motion sensing technology, the recon class is able to throw a limited lifetime sensor that will reveal all hostiles on the mini-map. This can be used to aid a team-mate's advance, showing him the layout of enemy positions, or can also be helpful to alert the sniper if he has decided to hole up for a while.

The Gold Rush mode looks really promising and with the mix of cool weapons, vehicles and destroy-anything ability, this game will most definitely enjoy multiplayer success. Wait a few more months before the game is out, look forward to a more detailed game preview very soon.

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