Mini-Grind - Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Campaign
It's not often that I jump straight from a game directly to its sequel, usually I like the gaming equivalent of the palette cleansing ginger you eat between pieces of sushi that is playing a game in a totally different genre. Last year I found switching between Borderlands and Modern Warfare 2 was really messing me up as they both control very similarly but just different enough to get confusing, and it made the frame-rate in Borderlands seem way worse that it really was compared to the locked 60fps of Modern Warfare 2. I ended up playing the latest Ratchet between them which was about as different as you can get.
Directly switching from Bad Company to it's sequel like this is a real good way of immediately spotting all the things which have changed. I've played through the first four levels of the single player which has been quite enjoyable so far, though the levels do seem to be considerably shorter than the first game. From checking the achievements there seem to be thirteen levels compared to the seven in the first game. I should probably be able to chew through the rest of them pretty quickly, then I guess it's back to Dark Void or Yakuza 2 until Final Fantasy XIII shows up.
: Personality Transplant
The most immediate thing I noticed is that they seem to have removed basically all of the original game's personality. While it's the same four goofy characters, the tone is very serious and they swear a lot now. So far no reference has been made to any of the events of the first game and no-one has expressed any desire to purchase a monster truck called Truckasaurus Rex. They even removed the smiley-face grenade rings! The characters are still wearing the grenades prominently as well which makes the change even more baffling. Gone is the jaunty music, and in it's place just your average serious military orchestral stuff. Such a shame, but I can totally see why this happened. All throughout the development, people in suits must have been whispering "Could you make it more like that Call of Duty?" into the developers ears, so they did.
: Cool Effect!
Some really nice looking environments so far. Some of the vista looked so good that I refused to believe they weren't just fake sky-boxes, but they did turn out to be real 3d geometry must to my surprise. Pretty much every aspect I look for in this sort of game looks great so far, ie. water, explosions, fog, blood splatters. Within the just first four missions I've already gone to more different locales than the entire first game did, so the artists are definitely getting to use their talent making more than just grassy hills this time.
: Someone got Modern Warfare in my Bad Company!
The Modern Warfare makeover doesn't just extend to the tone, it's also quite drastically altered the overall structure of the game and how the combat works. While the first game let you move around in reasonably large environments, this one keeps you down a straight and narrow path at all times. The levels aren't laid out like cordoned off multiplayer levels either, it's the same violent theme-park ride that Modern Warfare's single player is, at least for the first four levels. This isn't to say it's bad in the slightest, it's just a shame they've removed every part of it that made it unique. Even the health system is just the normal regenerating health system now, and no multiplayer style respawning, it just loads you back to your last checkpoint when you die.
: Sharper Combat
One of the first guns you get has what basically amounts to a red dot sight, and with it the game became many times more fun to play. Lining up the dot or tiny arrow in this case on someone's head and killing them in one hit never gets old. If it did then entire games industry would be probably be screwed. They've added a quick grenade thrown using on the left bumper which is always welcome, and a host of other recent standards like proper grenade indicators and two main weapons slots.
: Cool Effect!
- Sharper Combat
: Personality Transplant
- Someone got Modern Warfare in my Bad Company!
So in general while its a shame that they've removed everything that wasn't like Modern Warfare and replace it with Modern Warfare, they've done it well enough that it's still good fun to play. The plot also starts off with an interesting twist that I won't spoil here except to say that it seemed like it was about to go all Lost on me for a second, so that might turn out interesting. I'll let you know anyway. Stay tuned, Etc. Or you could just go play it yourself.