There is no doubt about it, the screenshots released from the GDC look simply stunning but therein lies the game’s weakness if we believe the review from wired.
When they got a chance to play the early multiplayer mode they found that, rather than sticking to the ‘thinking’ type of first person shooter, EA have essentially tried to copy Call of Duty’s approach making a game that is far more reliant of graphical polish rather than semirealism or strategy. This is a shame as there are already many great games that do this well; CounterStrike, Unreal, Team Fortress, Farcry/Crysis as well as Call of Duty to name just a few.
I have sunk quite a few hours into both of EA’s most recent offerings, Battlefield 2 and 2142, founding them both fun and fairly unique. Indeed, when Battlefield 2 came out it was amazing the kind of scale that could be offered to an FPS online game let alone the amazing (and previously unseen) use of vehicles and this was reflected by the huge buzz surrounding the release and by the fact that BF2 is still widely played online. I was not as impressed by 2142 which seemed (apart from some very obvious changes) to be just BF2 with a new coat of paint and I was wondering prior to reading this brief preview what EA were planning on doing with Bad Company. It seems they were faced with two choices, firstly to take the same route as their previous games (i.e. ‘massive’ maps and ticket based game style) or secondly, to switch and focus on more a pedestrian FPS type game in order to do something different and or appeal to a greater audience.
Of course they could have realised they were unable to bring anything new, gameplay wise, to the table and decided rather than make another BF2 with an update engine, to try something bold and new. If this is the case then they do deserve recognition for not falling into the trap other game companies have. I hope this game turns out to be a bit more than just EA’s stab at Call of Duty 4’s success.
One thing not covered in the preview was any aspect of the single player mode. This is something I am looking forward to as hitherto all recent Battlefield games have been multiplayer only. The very thought of the possibilities of single player, even on some BF2 maps is an exciting one and I hope this is the approach they have taken, if they have adopted the same linear play style of Call of Duty 4 I will be annoyed.
Sometimes is pays to work in retail, today I bought 3 games (each originally £35) for £18 … Woohoo! Two have been on my list for a little while so I am quite looking forward to Geeking out tomorrow. I will try to put in a few relevant / thought-out posts in the next few days, if I don’t quite manage then I hope you will understand and forgive me.