Battlefield: Bad Company 2 PC Beta

The Battlefield: Bad Company 2 beta from EA is now available to those who have pre-ordered the game or are lucky enough to have won one elsewhere. I was one of those lucky people and have been playing the game for the past few days.

Firstly, I haven’t played the original Bad Company but was a big fan of Battlefield 2 and the earlier battlefield games (although I didn’t care much for 2142). EA finally deciding to bring the Bad Company canon to PC was a wise move in my opinion as Battlefield 2 worked so well and is still very popular.

The PC beta features one level, which is a snowy town with plenty of buildings and scenery to take cover behind and destroy, as well as high places for sniping opportunities. The game mode is point control, the attacking team has to plant a bomb at a number of locations and defend the point until the bomb explodes which unlocks the next pair of targets to attack, while the defenders are trying to stop the bombs being planted or failing that defuse the bomb. The attacking team start at the top of a hill onto which they are dropped and parachuted by a plane. This hill immediately becomes the place for two or three snipers to shoot from in the first stages of the game. The defending team start off in the town area below the hill. To win the game, attackers must destroy all the targets or defenders must keep at least one target safe until a timer expires (similar to the ticket system from Battlefield 2).

This game also features a levelling/unlock system in the same style as Battlefield 2. Perform certain feats and gain so much XP and you will gain ranks and unlock new weapons and abilities. Some of the unlockables are non-class dependant, so you can use an unlock with any class. Onto classes, there are four: Assault, Medic, Engineer and Recon. Most people seem to play Medic or Engineer and some play Recon for the sniping, however Assault appears to be underused. There is still a squad system, letting you spawn near them rather then at a set point, squad chat, and gaining extra XP for interactions with them. One thing that is different from Battlefield 2/2142 is that there is no voice menu, so you can’t shout for ammo or a medic (which may be a good thing).

With regards to system requirements, I have a fairly old machine (3.2GHz Core2Duo, 8800GT, 4GB RAM, Windows7 x64) and the game runs at 25 – 30 fps on medium settings at a 1680×1050 resolution, which is what the game set for me by default. However, the game has destructable environments and when particularly impressive things are happening on screen the framerate does dip considerately.

Finally, one thing I must mention is that the ingame server browser is very poor. You can not see your ping rate and have to manually select each server to find out details such as whether it is full or not. When joining a server, you will typically wait 5 – 10 seconds before finding out whether or not it is full. The Battlefield 2 browser was similar but this one seems a lot slower and less user friendly, hopefully Dice will sort this out.

Positives

  • Large maps
  • Destructable environment
  • Lots of vehicles
  • Lots of unlockables

Negatives

  • Some people have reported bad performance on machines that should be able to cope
  • Poor server browser
  • EA Downloader needed if you buy it from the EA Store

In summary, I am enjoying this game and will probably buy it. However, I will hold back from pre-ordering for fear of none of my annoyances with the game being fixed.

Luke

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2 Comments

  1. James said,

    2010/03/05 at 7:11 pm

    Yo man, I’m in ferens and just downloaded bfbc2 via steam and I cant get it to load 0_o. Running it through proxies atm and that gets rid of the errors but it wont connect. You got any ideas?

    • 2010/03/07 at 6:41 pm

      I don’t actually have the game, I just had the beta and haven’t got round to buying it yet. All the games I have on Steam work without any other settings needed apart from the ones made when you run the CloudPath network configuration thing, and it was the same for the Bad Company 2 beta for me, what errors were you getting before?

      It may be that the game has been updated to connect to some other services that weren’t in the beta version. I have EA download manager installed and that doesn’t work on anywhere on the university network, so if it’s trying to connect to something related to that (which it may be, as the game is also available on EADM), it might be blocked.


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