Battlefield: Bad Company 2
Since the beginning with Battlefield 1942, DICE's Battlefield series has been hugely influential of all other multiplayer shooters. Over the years, the series' focus on large-scale battles has dwarfed the competition, taking the core concepts of games like Tribes and making them work with a more realistic military backbone. For years, DICE focused on this concept, bringing game after game to PC, something that changed with the release of Battlefield: Bad Company. For the first time, the Sweedish developer brought a game exclusively to consoles, and focused on delivering a strong singleplayer component to support the multiplayer, which was scaled back dramatically from the typical PC installments. It was a huge success. Now, with the sequel, the developer decided to continue the Bad Company series to include a more robust multiplayer experience, spreading it past consoles and onto PC as well. This choice seems to have worked out for them, since there's little doubt that Bad Company 2 has a lot more to offer than the prequel, and should provide fans of the genre some much needed modern combat.
DICE went out of their way to keep a lid on details involving the singleplayer campaign for this sequel, only revealing one bit of information prior to launch: B Company is back. The full squad from the original returns in the sequel, on a mission much more serious than they are used to. Storylines from the first game, involving stolen gold and the Legionnaire, are dropped entirely. Instead, the security of the nation rests in B Company's less than capable hands, and it's up to Sweetwater, Haggard, Redford, and Marlowe to save the day from a mysterious, devious weapon. It’s a more linear and, more importantly, serious trek than it was before, and while obviously taking a back seat to the multiplayer offerings this time around, Bad Company 2’s story is still an entertaining ride from beginning to end.
Massive action sequences populate the six-hour long campaign, and the nonstop action leaves little room to breath in-between on-rails shooting segments, vehicle combat, and exhilarating firefights. For as fun as they are, though, the game's few problems show through in the singleplayer fairly often. While the graphics and sound are phenomenal, needless transitions between gameplay and cutscenes break everything up, and come far too often. For whatever reason, DICE decided break to a cinematic camera nearly every time characters interact, and while it makes sense at times, there's no reason for short interactions need to bring the game to a grinding halt. Other problems are with the checkpoints, which are inconsistent, and make the oftentimes cheap deaths infuriating.