GamesCom 2009: Bad Company 2 MP Preview - Destruction 2.0
Written Tuesday, September 01, 2009 By Dan WebbView author's profile
One of the most synonymous multiplayer brands ever to come out of the gaming world is undoubtedly Battlefield and last year, with Bad Company, the Battlefield brand ventured out into the world of story as well. Expect more of the same story wise with Bad Company 2, coming March 2010, but for now, we’ll focus entirely on what we saw of the multiplayer at GamesCom this year.
Battlefield has always been a team game, but more emphasis has been placed on squad tactics and team play in Bad Company 2 than ever before in the series. The title includes context sensitive communications – for those that don’t use mics – that can work on small tasks like requesting ammo, and even bigger squad based tasks like telling (or asking I suppose) them to defend or attack a specific target. Taking that one step further, when players die, they can choose where or who they spawn on – including actually being able to spawn on a specific squad member instead of having that decision made for you. Players can actually “spot” opponents this time too with the active back button which places them on your squad mate’s screen.
It wouldn’t be a Bad Company 2 preview without talking about destruction, right? Exactly, and like every original developer these days, DICE has labelled the evolution of the Frostbite’s upgraded destruction engine, destruction “2.0.” What does that mean in English though? Well not only can you chip away at cover, and blast holes through walls with standard firearms, but now you can pretty much reduce a building to a pile of rubble. So if you liked to hide in buildings in the original whilst the tanks ran ragged outside, things might not be so easy this time around. The welcome improvement in the Frostbite’s destruction technology introduces the concept of dynamic worlds that are ever changing. Whilst DICE is aiming to create carefully balanced pressure points dotted around the maps, you can effectively turn the wheel in your favour by opening up those pressure points with wanton destruction. According to Troedsson, the “destruction is everywhere” and you can “play it your way.”
Let me crunch some numbers for a bit with regard to classes, weapons, specialisations and player rewards.
There is also a brand new layer of customisation to the kits which DICE like to call, specialisations. These can include things like increasing clip capacity, giving stamina boosts, improving accuracy through the iron sight or maybe adding more armour to certain vehicles. On the player reward front; players can expect to work their way through 50 ranks, pick up 40 pins (from single round performance), earn 40 high value insignias which are time consuming, and new to Bad Company 2, players can earn 228 star ratings for weapons and vehicles that indicate their experience with each specific one.
The addition of the micro-destruction and fully destructible buildings gives Bad Company 2’s multiplayer a fresh look and feel. It seems like they’ve been hard at work listening to feedback as well considering that many niggles of the original have now been fixed – thumbstick running and choosing which squad mate to spawn on. Throw in some new vehicles, plenty more customisation, bigger sandbox environments and a parachute – a frickin’ parachute! – and those who were fans of the team based combat of the original are going to be absolutely loving this. You do have to worry to what extent the customised load outs will affect the balance of the game, but only time will tell with that issue. We now only have one question that remained unanswered after the presentation – largely because we didn’t have time to ask it – but can I fulfil my lifelong ambition and drive a tank through a building? Guess we’ll have to wait and see how that one pans out, but we always wanted to do that in Bad Company 1.
Bad Company 2 is out March 2nd in North America and March 5th in Europe on the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.