Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (iTunes link) is a name synonymous with titles such as Call of Duty and Medal of Honor. In the past, it has delivered to its audience realistic destruction, hectic gameplay, and addictive multi-player action. You play as Private Preston Marlowe, a member of a task force consisting of 4 hardened mercenaries. A server containing vital information on the Russian enemy is stolen, and it is up to you to find and retrieve it. This is Electronic Arts’ (EA) first real attempt at creating a First-Person Shooter (FPS), so in a market where this genre is still developing, how does it set itself apart from the rest?
Gameplay and Controls
BC2 offers three control schemes (A, B and C), which, in terms of gameplay, do not actually differ at all.
Scheme A is the standard format of movement on the left and aiming on the right, without the aid of a visual stick and a target button. Shooting is handled by tapping on the right side, while walking and running is handled with the depth that the left side is swiped. Schemes B and C only apply an aesthetic change, making the visual sticks visible during play.
Gameplay using scheme A, without a visual stick and a target button.
There are iron sight (zoom) and crouch options, which are two small buttons on the bottom left and right corners of the screen respectively. Crouch is activated with a screen tap, with iron sight being sustained by holding down on the button.
On the top right of the screen are the weapon options, indicated by a silhouette. Tapping on this reloads, while a quick swipe swaps between primary and secondary weapons. Below it is the option of using explosives, which is also handled with a simple screen tap.
BC2′s 14 missions alternate between FPS and vehicle shoot em’ ups. While the first handful of quests last 5 minutes or so, the latter feel rushed, as they only last 2 to 3 minutes each. Directions are clear-cut, in the form of arrows, lights, and even in-game dialogue.
One of Bad Company 2′s vehicle missions; you’ll often feel invincible.
The missions are linear in nature, and mostly boil down to facing waves of enemies, on the way to an objective. Enemies drop weapons frequently, and there is the bonus of ammo crates scattered around the level.
An example of the clear-cut direction, which emphasize the game’s linear structure.
There are three different difficult modes: easy, medium and hard. While easy and medium are both balanced, hard ramps the difficulty curve up quite significantly. Without the factor of human judgment or error, the relentless artificial intelligence (AI) will strike with perfect accuracy. This will definitely be a challenge for casual gamers, but will appeal to FPS enthusiasts.
BC2′s cover system is great, as it activates almost seamlessly during combat. This is because it is triggered by crouching next to an object that the game regards as cover, such as cars or crates. You are not locked in position and the 1st person view does not change, so the combat flows quite nicely. However, it does make the player almost impervious to damage, which can lead to its overuse.
The cover system; it is very simple to use and is seamless to get into.
BC2′s controls are well laid-out and easy to use, which results in fluid and smooth gameplay. The AI, for most of the time, is smart and provides a challenge. This game does a great job with what so many other FPS’s fail at.
Gameplay and Controls: ★★★★½
Presentation and Graphics
BC2′s menu does a great job in terms of guiding the player along. Categories are navigated with a swipe, revealing sub-categories below. The background is white static, which emphasizes the presence of the two silhouettes and the game’s title. The “More Games” button is represented with a sniper bullet, which is a nice touch.
Bad Company 2′s Menu: while simplistic, its design is great and is accessible.
The in-game visuals, while satisfactory among today’s standards, feel a bit lost in time when compared to more recent releases. Though there are some moments where BC2 shines visually, as a whole, it feels like a game released in 2009.
The world and character models are cleverly designed. However, they are let down by the textures, which make the game feel 3rd Generation. It leads to frustration during exploration and combat, as often the models blend in with the environment.
While not consistent, at times, Bad Company 2 has some great visuals.
Cut-scenes in BC2 are triggered instantly after each mission, making the transition a little rough and forced. They do well in terms of explaining the events at hand, but are quite short in nature.
One aspect that BC2 does great in is the game’s draw distance. Enemies will sprout out into view from a distance, allowing different approaches and tactics to be made.
EA have also added subtle tweaks, which give a nice touch to BC2. Two examples were the extended time that the enemies’ bodies would remain on the field and a sheen to available pick-up weapons.
A nice touch; defeated enemies will stay on the floor, instead of disappearing instantly.
Though satisfactory, the graphics are simply outdated, looking reminiscent of Gameloft’s first Modern Combat. EA’s FIFA 11 really astonished and amazed with its visuals, so it is a shame they are strangely absent here.
Presentation and Graphics: ★★★½
The audio in BC2 is one of the shining stars of this game, and it represents quality and attention to detail. The theme played in the menu is perfect, building up the feeling of suspense. It represents an eerie mood for the game, but adds a touch of valor as well. Overall, it is a great theme.
The in-game audio in BC2 is brilliant. Everything sounds as it should, and with it, EA have managed to provide a quality score that magnifies the realism of the game. From weapons to vehicles, the sounds are distinct, identifiable, and clear. It’s a shame that the voice acting let’s it down. Though at times helpful and clever, it mostly comes off as cliché, emotionless, and predictable.
There is the option to play your own music, but it requires opening BC2 while the desired music is playing, with the in-game sounds muted. BC2′s audio is surprisingly wonderful. Though many may overlook it, it is an aspect EA have done really well in; an example of polish and refinement.
BC2 has only 2 modes of play: Campaign, and Multi-player*. This limits its longevity, something vital in the pick-up-and-play nature of the iOS market. There are achievements to unlock, but this would mean just playing the Campaign again for some static text; clearly not much for replay value.
Due to EA’s approach of having dynamic difficulty, there are no achievements or secrets from replaying Campaign on different difficulties. EA should have taken some inspiration from Brother’s In Arms 2. Here there was incentive, in the form of unlockable weapons.
Sadly, there is no gimmick in BC2 to compel one to repeat it again. While multi-player* is offered, it is only limited to 4 players.*Without a wireless connection, this aspect was unable to be tested and reviewed.
Replay Value: ★★★
Value For Money
Currently, BC2 is coming in for a price of $4.99 USD, which is quite expensive for a game of this length. As the holidays are almost over, the price should stay solid where it currently is. However, expect it to reduce in the coming months.
Right now though, it is not really worth the price tag of $4.99 USD.
Value for Money: ★★★
BC2, being on the iOS platform, is an arcade shooter. It does not aim to be a simulation or the like. It is not a game that is meant to be played in one sitting; doing so would reveal the repetitiveness and flaws of the game’s design. BC2 is a game meant to be played in small bursts, surprising each time with its action and scripted moments. Though being a little rushed and lost in time, doing so would make the player appreciate the game for what it does manage to achieve, and what it tries to be. It’s just a shame that it sadly falls short off the mark.
- Gameplay and Controls: ★★★★½
- Presentation and Graphics: ★★★½
- Audio: ★★★★½
- Replay Value: ★★★
- Value for Money: ★★★
This review was written by the iFans.com Member Review Team. All prices are in US currency unless stated otherwise. All accessories and applications were purchased at their respective prices unless stated otherwise.