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I am a huge fan of the Battlefield series from Electronic Arts, so naturally I had to check out Battlefield: Bad Company for the PlayStation 3. I thought it was a great game as far as shooters go, but not quite as much fun as the previous Battlefield titles.
In this game, you play a new recruit sent to B Company, aka Bad Company, where they tend to put rejects and troublemakers for use in high risk operations. Basically, if you can make it through a few weeks with them, you’re one tough soldier. As soon as you arrive to the base, you and a few other guys are sent on a mission that takes you deep behind enemy lines. It all takes place in present day, with modern weapons and vehicles.
You have dozens of weapons at your disposal, from a variety of machine guns and sniper rifles on up to rocket launchers and shotguns. You can also drive vehicles, which was always a big selling point in the Battlefield series. These vehicles include trucks, hummers, tanks, and more. Most of the vehicles have mounted weapons so two people can ride; one driver and one gunner.
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The graphics in this are both the best and worst of the series. On the plus side, the environments are entirely interactive. This means you can blow up buildings. See that sniper hiding up in the roof of the old house? Just blow up the house and that’ll take care of him. As you play longer on certain maps, more things will go down, including trees. On the negative side, sometimes it is nearly impossible to see enemy soldiers from afar. This could be that I played this game on a standard size 36” TV in 1080i, and maybe things are just too small. It’s especially frustrating in multiplayer when I can see bullet tracers coming from nothing but a dark spot by a building.
The maps in this game are huge, which was another big selling point of the Battlefield series. As much as I enjoy Call of Duty 4, I am not a big fan of those tight little maps. I prefer having the wide open spaces for hiding or for flanking the enemy. On the other hand, those wide areas also lend more to the graphic problem of things sometimes being too small to see.
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The sound is really awesome if you play in Surround. I’ve got my PS3 hooked up to my 5.1 channel surround sound system via optical audio, so it sounds perfect. The game makes excellent use of the Surround channels, which is quite helpful when you have people shooting at you from all directions. The other soldiers constantly talk to each other, which adds to the realism of the experience. If you get close enough, you can hear the bad guys talking, too.
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The controls work great for playing soldiers, but not so good with the vehicles. I found most of the vehicles seemed to be overly sluggish, and tanks are really difficult to maneuver. It doesn’t help that all the vehicle control is done on the left side of the controller, with the L1 button used as the accelerator. It just doesn’t feel right. If you spend too much time inside a vehicle, you’ll just get blown up since you’ll be the biggest target on the map. It’s a win/lose situation when you get inside a tank. I suppose this is done to keep things balanced between vehicle drivers and foot soldiers.
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Single vs. Multiplayer
The single player portion of this game is good and plays out with lots of voice acting, sort of like being in a movie. Your fellow soldiers are a colorful group of guys who are funny at times. There’s also a good bit of profanity from them, so watch out around the youngsters. The real fun with this game is being able to play online multiplayer via the PlayStation Network. At any give time, day or night, I had no problem finding other players online. What I love is that it keeps track of all your kills and other feats performed on the battlefield, and this will allow you to unlock other weapons as you go up in rank. Again, be careful of young ears because other players tend to use a lot of profanity.
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I think you should rent this game and take a little while to decide whether or not you like it before you buy a copy. If you play your PS3 on a smaller TV, you might have problems with this game. In the end, I still enjoyed playing Battlefield: Bad Company, but it’s not quite as good as the others in the series.
For even more fun, you should check out Battlefield: Bad Company 2. It's even better than this one.
Read the following articles for an in depth look at Battlefield: Bad Company 2 regardless of your platform of preference.