While 2008s explosive Battlefield: Bad Company delivered the goods in its monstrous multiplayer mash-ups, the shallow single-player mode lacked the punch required to put it in the pantheon of first-person shooters currently lorded over by the Call Of Duty franchise. But in crafting a blaster that will appeal to both solo players and those who live their lives online, Bad Company 2 is dramatic step forward for DICEs beloved franchise.
Unlike the original Bad Company, where the one-player game amounted to little more than the multiplayer maps populated by computer-controlled bots, BC2 offers a tightly-scripted rollercoaster of incendiary action, with a wide variety of challenges, vehicles and locations that see you ripping enemy strongholds to shreds with a minigun from a military chopper, battling the elements in the Andes, or squashing rivals under the tracks of a tank as you roll across remote South American villages. And while comparisons with the all-conquering Modern Warfare 2 are inevitable, BC2s irreverent sense of humour, sharp visuals and snappy sound effects that put you right at the heart of the action make this is a worthy competitor for Infinity Wards masterpiece.
Thankfully, this renewed focus on single-player action hasnt affected the real meat of Bad Company 2, which remains its delirious multiplayer. Like before, the bullet-riddled action is given extra depth by allowing players to choose from four player classes Assault, Recon, Engineer and Medic adding a layer of strategy that encourages players to work in teams and use their unique skills to gain the upper-hand during skirmishes. And with mid-size battles that are bigger than those in Modern Warfare 2, yet more compact than the sprawling shitstorms in MAG, BC2s battles are perfectly pitched for players who want a decent challenge, but whose gaming sessions are limited by the soul-crushing responsibilities of real life.
Bad Company 2s short, rather linear story mode which funnels players down a narrow route, and infrequent checkpoints that will see you playing tougher sections over and over again, are a minor source of frustration in an otherwise accomplished blaster, but the sheer joy of exploring the destructible environments and razing landscapes to the ground will be enough to keep most gun-nuts hooked until the end.