Bad Company 2 Onslaught DLC Hands On - Battlefield's Upcoming Co-Op DLC
Written Friday, May 21, 2010 By Martin Gaston
Our Editor-in-Chief, Dan, has tucked himself away in a little building and left me out in the open capturing the point. Tick. I see ten, fifteen, twenty enemies marching in our direction, but more than half of them are felled by Dan before they get close enough for me to pick off with my AK47SU. Tick tick. I don’t mind that he’s getting all the kills, as I proved my worth a few minutes ago when I blew up a battleship. Tick tick tick.
The enemies are relentless. The satisfying ding that accompanies each kill in Bad Company 2 is continually echoing as scores of the dead begin to pile up. A tank rolls down the hill and I’m torn between my desire to run away and my need to stay on the capture point. Tick tick tick tick. The blast from my RPG-7 connects and the thing explodes. We cheer. The point is captured. Engineer was a fine choice.
This is Onslaught, and at the beginning it doesn’t feel quite right. These are familiar sights – Valparaiso, Atacama Desert, Isla Inocentes and Nelson Bay – but they’re dotted with an altogether different enemy and the change to the beat is eerie, as if you’ve stepped into a different dimension where Valpariso is occupied by gangs of harmless puppets with a duff shot instead of Medics who like to hide in the low ground at the fishing port.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2’s multiplayer component is so outstanding it makes the single-player seem like an unnecessary distraction, so I’m not immediately convinced that we need some premium DLC where human players get to fight computer-controlled allies. Still, it can’t be any worse than flogging some palette swaps for 400 points.
It’s death-dealing on a massive scale, with a maximum squad of 4 attempting to capture points across a map in the quickest time possible. It feels like Horde or Nazi Zombies in reverse: the enemies drop like flies and you’re on the offensive.
Onslaught provides enough nameless henchmen death to make it an authentic 80s action movie simulator. Traditional co-op values of teamwork, co-operation and calling someone something very derogatory when they steal one of your kills are all firmly in place, but instead of prancing around as a quad of dusty fairy boys in something like The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventure you’re all playing as Arnold Schwarzenegger circa Commando. Things are going to die.
The rewards, however, are similar to the main game. Enemies can be spotted with a quick tap of the back button – if you don’t do this when playing multiplayer Bad Company 2 then I actually hate you – and dole out +50 experience when killed, although this is tied to a different meter than your regular multiplayer rank. Double kills, triple kills, assault rifle badges of excellence, etc – they’re all in there.
There’s a thin amount of resistance as you move from point to point, with the bulk of baddies flooding in after you start the slow, drawn-out process of capturing a point. This is when you get pounced en masse, with rogues of all sorts parachuting in from above and magically spawning from the sides and behind. Instead of attacking with brains, they’re coming at you with bulk.
In the midst of the carnage you might also stop and think “hang on, Valparaiso wasn’t set at night” before capping another CPU drone in the face. Some things have been tweaked to make the four stalwart maps more conducive of solid co-op play, and others have been fiddled with to add a touch of visual flourish. You’ll still be powering through the maps in the same way as you’ve done hundreds of times before in Rush mode.
Down in the bottom of the screen sits a clock, which happily ticks away and provides a constant visual reminder of how your real enemy is time. Your team’s performance is judged entirely on how long it takes to capture the points, and while there’s the option to play the game as a casual shooting gallery, the long-term appeal indubitably comes from setting a high-score so brilliant it’ll have everyone else on your friends list seething with jealous rage.
A couple of factors stop me from recommending it to everyone. Firstly there’s the matter of price, and while EA haven’t announced anything official, I’d say anything above 800 points is probably pushing it a bit.
The second is whether or not you’ve actually got mates playing the game. Onslaught is a blast for a group of players still in the throes of excitement for Bad Company 2, but it’s unlikely to trigger a glorious renaissance in anyone who’s already hung up their defibrillator paddles and moved on.
Still, anything that lets you swagger around feeling like Schwarzenegger can’t be bad.