Entertainment, Graphics, Software Programs

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Beta Impressions


Being both a PC and Console gamer, I have actually had the opportunity to play Battlefield: Bad Company 2 [BFBC2] on both PC and on the Xbox 360. Needless to say, I?ve logged approximately 20 hours of play since its release and have developed a fairly detailed opinion of the game.

EA to PC Gamers: Can’t Play This!
First came obtaining the beta. Needless to say, this was one of textbook examples how publishers are punishing PC gamers when compared to a console experience. Accessing this PC beta was fairly stressful and annoying to attempt to get a beta key from one of many sites that were giving away a few hundred or thousand. Some sites completely botched their giveaways and others tried to make you pay to get your keys. Needless to say, the process could have been done more like the Xbox 360 version where users simply downloaded the demo and played without ever worrying about a key. The PS3 users, on the other hand, have already been playing the beta in limited numbers since early December. This was all to get a chance to play the only map available called Port Valdez. And to top it all off, in recent days EA has decided to release keys to people who originally signed up on release date and to members of Nvidia’s CLUB SLI. I’d say about 2 weeks too late.

Above is the weapons layout of all of the available weapons in the game. Those that are greyed out have yet to to be unlocked. As you can see, there are 4 different classes that have their own weapons much like the previous Battlefield Series games.

[What’s] It’s in the game
Next were the contents of the beta itself. The beta in both versions of the game has the exact same map, weapons, and vehicles. The difference, I found, was in the way the game played. The PC version has a series of dedicated servers that you can join or you can choose to "play now" and simply join any ongoing game. The console version allows you to invite your friends into a squad and then join any ongoing game which is one of the downfalls of console for me, at least. The accuracy of the PC version when it came to hit boxes and things related to killing each other was needless to say? less than stellar. The most frustrating part in this game was not necessarily shooting people and not killing them, but rather instances where I would fire an RPG at someone and it would blow up right behind them and not kill them. This happened more often in PC than in the Xbox 360 demo. I believe this is because the Xbox 360 version is a more polished demo version while the PC is a rough demo port from consoles as can be seen through the inverted flight controls. Then again, it might be that both versions have roughly the same problem but as we all know, console games come with larger collision boxes.

Can in-game physics finally change your gaming experience?
Also, the game has fairly realistic ballistic physics similar to the previous Battlefield games. This means that players will have to account for bullet time and bullet drop when trying to kill an opponent from afar. And yes, everything, and I mean everything is destructible. This includes trees, buildings, and vehicles; basically anything that isn?t ground is fully destructible. The combination of these physics features, powered by the Havok engine, allows for a more realistic and immersive environment which draws gamers in even more. If this isn’t enough to bring you into the game, EA’s implementation of Dolby Digital Surround Sound technologies has further made this game more enjoyable to play on my 5.1 surround sound system. This is because they actually decided to isolate certain sounds to specific speakers which allow for a more clear sound and realistic feel. The best explanation that I can give you is when you hear various radio commands over your team channel they are not broadcasted over all of the speakers but rather mostly over the front center speaker being very easily heard while still hearing gunfire and the like. Beyond that, this game has four different classes with various weapons, attachments, and gadget unlocks. I can say that I have had much fun toppling buildings on top of opponents with mortar strikes when they camp it out. This allows players to earn certain unlocks as they level up in global points. As many people who are familiar with the battlefield series know, in order to get certain unlocks you must either achieve a certain number of global points or you must amass a certain amount of kills, headshots, or deaths to receive a certain medal or achievement.

Here are a series of screen shots of the main menu that show weapons, achievements, and stats.

This is the main stats page that shows you your progress towards the next rank and it shows you your points break down for each class. As you can see, my K/D is bad but it doesn’t factor in the amount of captures i have.

This page shows all of the medals and pins you can be awarded for certain tasks.

This shows all of the vehicles that are in the game as well as your progress and statistics for that vehicle.

These Dog Tags are awarded when you knife someone. Needless to say, my knifing will increase in the near future.

Being someone who came from BF2 I am extremely excited for this game to come out for many reasons other than just the fact that it is another game in the Battlefield series. This game, as we reported many months ago, will run on the newly developed Frostbite engine which is capable of delivering to users DX9 through DX11 graphics to consumers which may ultimately be one of the biggest reasons for this game?s success. For example, I managed to play this game on my relatively old computer running a Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450, 4GB of DDR2 memory and a GeForce GTX 260 [one of the first GT200 cards made]. This setup managed to run the game in DX10 on both Windows Vista and Windows 7 at 1920×1080 using all settings on "High" and 4x Anti-Aliasing. Not once I did experience lag as a result of my system.

This was tested on both an regular two-year old HDD and brand new P64 SSDs in RAID0 provided by Corsair. What makes me so happy is that my ma
in system is technically 2 years old with very little to no upgrades in that time. This means that people should be able to get into this game and enjoy the team environment and the sheer fun that this game has to offer. During my 20 hours of play, most of it being PC, I only experienced 2 crashes of the game. As a bonus, this game already comes with out of the box support for Logitech?s G15 keyboards. This means I can actively track my statistics overall or for each game on the LCD on my keyboard which I found to be neat and useful. In the time that I have played, I have managed to level up about half way to level 6 hoping to get to level 11. As you might have guessed, Level 11 is the highest that EA will let beta players go as they?ve set a multi-million point minimum for all of the other levels and unlocks.

Yes, this game does have its bugs, but it?s still in beta and I expect to see a finished product on March 2nd. My only dilemma now is to decide which version of the game I should buy?

Below are some gameplay videos we’ve uploaded to youtube at 1080P we will add more as youtube finishes processing them.

This first video is of a knife kill

This video is of a sniper kill