Battlefield: Bad Company Impressions

I'd been playing around with the Bad Company beta for a few days when McWhertor asked me what I thought of it.

"It's OK," I said. "Hey, is this the one that's free, or that other one?"

McWhertor tells me I'm confusing it with Battlefield Heroes.

"How much are they charging for it?"

"$US 60"

"WTF! That's insane, it's fun, but $US 60?"

But ten minutes later I'm back on the game and I can't seem to stop playing it. I even sneak in a piddly five minutes of playing between the time I put the Lemon Chicken in the stove and I need to come back up to check on it.

It's an addiction!

The thing is I'm not sure why I'm having so much fun with it. Battlefield: Bad Company, on it's surface, seems to be pretty much like every other Battlefield to come before it. You start off in a map by choosing your class and then drop into a rolling fight with live players.

In this particular Battlefield you're fighting to either defend some chests of gold or blow them up. The chests of gold are located at different points on the map and as they are destroyed the map enlarges to show more chests of gold that need to be blow to bits or saved.

There are some tweaks. For one thing you earn upgrade points by ranking up in combat and can drop out of the game and use those points to unlock weapons for use by the different classes. Most of the unlocked weapons are rifles of one sort or the other, but there are also some pretty neat gadgets, like anti-tank mines or sticks of dynamite.

There's also the destructible environment, which looks pretty damn cool and even effects gameplay quite a bit. As Mark explained in his earlier impressions of the game, the destruction is very controlled. You can't, for instance, totally level big buildings. You can though blow gaping holes in walls to avoid a map's natural choke points.
You can also use artillery to literally chew up the terrain, creating man-sized pot holes in the ground. You can also saw through trees with a machine gun, removing the cover that snipers find so tantalizing.

Like I said, this effects gameplay in a lot of interesting ways, but I almost find the visual effect much more impactful. It just looks kick arse to be chasing a running bad guy with a machine gun and have trees falling around him as you zero in. It's neat that when you're running away from tank fire walls are literally blowing up around you.

So I love the game, I can't stop playing the game, but something keeps telling me that I'm not sure if I would want to spend $US 60 on it. Maybe it's the knowledge that EA is also going to make a selection of weapons available through DLC purchase, or that by buying the Gold Edition of the game you get a wider selection of weapons. Looking over the weapons, I don't think they're really going to give anyone a distinct advantage, but it just feels wrong.

Bad Company is tremendous fun, but if EA wants to use it as a vehicle for DLC micro-transactions maybe they should cut down on the price a bit. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some gold to explode.


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