There have been a few disappointments this year where games are concerned. Some were Dawn French-in-a-fat-suit massive, some not so massive. The kind of mild disappointment you experience like when a you heard Kelly Brook was doing playboy, only to find out there were no good clunge shots, and outside of a bra, her tits are a bit like 2 fried eggs nailed to a wall. That sort of disappointment. Were going to take a look at this year’s mildest disappointments, starting with Bad Company 2. Soon to be followed by 2010’s biggest disappointments.
Mild Disappointment #1: Battlefield: Bad Company 2
The original Bad Company was a game the came out of nowhere and punched people in the balls. Literally. After the previous console version of Battlefield (Battlefield: Modern Combat) was universally regarded with the same disdain you reserve for finding a vagrant masturbating by the side of the road, expectations for Bad Company, a single player focused title from a company known primarily for Multiplayer games, were about as low as a Rattlesnakes ballsack. Which made it all the sweeter when Bad Company 1 turned out not only to have a fantastic multiplayer component, but an absolutely brilliant free form, go anywhere, blow up anything, single player campaign, featuring 4 of the most genuinely likeable main characters in an FPS in recent memory.
What worked in BC1’s campaign was the cameraderie and humorous banter between the members of B-Company. The tone of the story may have been lighthearted, but was offset perfectly with the carnage and destruction of the gameplay. Flash forward to Bad Company 2, and after a tense, gripping prologue set in WW2, youre back in the boots of B-Company, only now things have changed. The banter isnt as funny. The tone is harsher. Not a single ‘fuck’ was uttered in the entire campaign of BC1 but within 5 minutes of BC2 youve had more fucks flung at you than youd find in a half hour of Bernard Manning stand-up. It’s like seeing your favourite comedian reduced to doing a glum faced public service announcement about child abuse. All the charm and houmour has been replaced by ‘oscar mikes’ and ‘solid copies’, like BC2 was trying to steal the title po-faced seriousness from Modern Warfare.
What’s worse however, is finding out that the open world, emergent gameplay of Bad Company 1 has been replaced with smaller, more linear maps. The selection of driveable vehicles has been all but stripped out of the game. You can only call in airstrikes when the game lets you do so at scripted moments. There’s only a handful of moments where you ever get near a tank, and even then, youre only allowed drive where the game allows you, compared to the joyous rampage of destruction you could carve across the levels of BC1 once you got your hands on an Abrams.
This no doubt probably all sounds ridiculously harsh on Bad Company 2. After all, the campaign is fun, and the multiplayer is improved from BC1 (or at least thats what everyone else will tell you, personally i think BC1 shits on 2 for both MP & SP). But when the credits roll, the overall feeling that washed over me was one of disappointment. Dont get me wrong, BC2 was a good game, hence why its only in the ‘mild’ disappointments category. But as a game, it was a step back from what was achieved with the originals campaign, and only a slight improvement on the originals MP component.