Battlefield: Bad Company - Xbox 360 review

Like Call of Duty 4, Bad Company is bang up to date. With the trend of WWII-based shooters seemingly on the back burner, Bad Company packs all the firepower you’d expect of a modern soldier.

The weaponry here is a hefty chunk more powerful than in most games of this ilk. Found yourself trapped between some enemy fire and a huge wall? Well just blow that cheekily placed bit of masonry to bits and stroll right on through.

Yep, Battlefield has gone a bit Red Faction on us (a PS2 FPS that allowed you to blow just about everything to smithereens). Now no hiding spot is perfectly safe as your enemies too can blast away at your cover before you’re left totally exposed to a sneaky head shot.

The system is not quite perfect mind you. For one, not every single building and wall will crumble after a well placed missile strike. Some will stay standing tall, despite being the subject to some major fire power. Equally as freakily-odd is the fact that the wooden crates populating Bad Company seem to be reinforced with some kind of indestructible substance. A touch frustrating when you crave nothing more than to see splinters of wood fly.

Now, while the Call of Duty 4 single-player campaign packed major thrills with a touching story, Bad Company has decided to swing away from the realistic route. As your rag tag team of dregs of the US army are abandoned behind enemy lines, your bunch decide that the gathering of wealth is much important than the war effort.

On the one hand it’s nice for a shooter that doesn’t attempt to try and ram some moral tale straight down your throat. On the other, it’s a bit odd to hear your team laughing and joking while they’re under heavy fire. A bit unnerving with the realistic and pretty decent visuals on offer.

So with the single-player mode coming second to Call of Duty 4, what about the multiplayer? Well the series continues the tradition of brilliant multiplayer options with a wide range of character classes, maps, and gaming styles to make heavy use of.

There might only be eight maps in total, but they’re all blooming huge and jam-packed with cracking spots for hectic fire fights. With up to 24 players allowed at a time, expect some major battles with tonnes of highlights to look back on.

Which makes the problems with the Xbox 360 version’s multiplayer modes all the more disappointing. A large number of gamers are complaining of horrendous lag, transporting enemies, and being randomly kicked off servers for no reason. EA are apparently working on a patch, but until it arrives, expect a few problems every now and again.

It’s another silver medal for the visual experience, with the graphics just not up to Call of Duty 4’s brilliantly high standard. The destruction looks pretty swish indeed, but there’s just not that level of graphical sheen that makes Call of Duty 4 so fondly ogled.

There is one area that Bad Company wins though. And that’s the sound. It might not seem to be a real focus point for some of you, but the audio experience here is second to none. There’s been some real work getting the weapons to sound just right, and suitably powerful.

Verdict

With all the parts (apart from the sound) a step behind Call of Duty 4 – though in the case of multiplayer, that’s only due to the 360 version’s server problems – Bad Company doesn’t claim the top spot. But if you’re tired of Soap MacTavish and the gang, then you could do a lot worse than give Bad Company the time of day.