Thursday, August 14, 2008

Battlefield: Bad Company

My console of choice when playing video games these days is the Xbox 360, I also own a Wii but honestly it acts mainly as a novelty in our house.  It gets used when friends or family are visiting who invariably want to try out Wii Sports or something, it was fun for a while and it still is with friends but it's really not worth the money if you, like me, play most of the time by yourself. 

With that being said, the first person shooter (FPS) is a very popular genre for me, not so much because I love them but because it's the most popular genre on the system I have.  Even within the genre of first person shooters there is a sub-genre that is overly represented on Xbox which is realistic military FPS'.  I have, over the years, grown very weary of this sort of game and really have very little interest in playing most of them.

For some reason though I was interested in Battlefield: Bad Company.  I think it was mainly that there is presently a dearth of new games to play that I am interested in and I guess I am glad for that.   Bad Company is one of the best shooters I have played in years, in my opinion it far surpasses Halo 3 and probably even Bioshock for pure fun.  There are experiences to be had in Bad Company that you have never had in a video game.  The main experience for me that added greatly to the excitement of the game is it's level of destructibility (that may not be a word!).  In most shooters, even in the good ones, you can get yourself a moment's reprieve by jumping behind nearly any object and hiding.  In some games a few objects will blow up or maybe you can shoot through other objects but in Bad Company there truly is no cover from the bigger weapons.

The first time I attempted to hide from a tank in a nearby house only to have the entire kitchen wall blown out within seconds was shockingly cool.  The entire side of the house blew in a cloud of dust, smoke and debris and I was a sitting duck for the soldiers sitting outside.  The larger battles in this game, because of this level of destruction, are some of the best I have ever seen in a game.  After the battle there will be houses that are basically only frames, holes in the ground and fallen trees everywhere.  The destruction works to your benefit too, once you get in a tank or if you have the more powerful weapons you feel pretty damn in control, watch three dudes hide behind a wall for cover and then just blow the entire thing to bits, very satisfying.

Some people probably say this game is too easy and I guess they would have a point, you basically have all of the health packs you want (you are only limited to a 30 second or so wait time between uses), but I honestly like that.  These days I don't want a game that takes me 40 hours to get through in most cases (Fallout 3 is the exception) and this one took me about 12 hours on the default difficulty.

Also, admittedly I am not much of an online gamer so perhaps I don't fully appreciate games like Halo 3 or Call of Duty 4 but from what I understand Bad Company is pretty great in the online department as well, maybe I will try it out at some point.  In any case, Bad Company is definitely recommended.

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