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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Game Play: Bad Company Single Player

I'm actually not entirely sure the demo did the single player of Battlefied: Bad Company justice. It takes place towards the middle of the first block of scenarios and places the player into moderately difficult place without much introduction.

In the full version, the player is quickly but thoughtfully brought into the action with occasional tutorial style moments, many of which are still clever and fun (in fact the first is brilliant, but I won't spoil it here).

I've spent scant little time in the Battlefield series, so I can't compare it directly with any real accuracy - but compared to modern shooters like Half-Life 2 or Doom 3, it stacks up quite well. The game manages a realistic feel, a great "inner loop" - the feedback between the player and his immediate functionality (shooting, running, etc), and yet manages to throw in the occasional unrealistic game mechanic (like a timed health boost instead of limited quantities) which just makes sense in context of play.

The framing of military orders fits into this well - it keeps a quasi-sandbox feel to the game while laying out well designed objectives.

My biggest complaint might be partly to blame on my SDTV, but I kinda doubt even a fancy new HD set would make those enemies pop out in any greater detail. There's a little bit of fun in trying to watch for movement and react quickly - but there's less fun in getting pelted by someone with little to go on but gunfire flare to determine the position. There are times when playing the game when it feels less strategic and more like running for cover while spraying areas with fire.

A couple graphical glitches hit as well, like disappearing vehicles and the occasional shearing (which, again, might have something to do with mashing the screen down to SDTV). In general, though, the game looks simply wonderful.

I've generally been bored with military based shooters since abandoning Counter-Strike so many years ago - but Bad Company's single player might be one I actually mean to finish.

1 comment:

sterno said...

HDTV does make a difference. Only played the demo and I found I was able to spot people pretty well.

I might pick up the retail version at some point, but I'm enjoying the multiplayer MGS4 at this point.