City 16's Top 10 Games of 2010: #3

And so we reach the top 3 or, as I like to call it, ‘The Blindingly Obvious Top 3’. It’s an indication of the quality of releases this year that, had any of this top 3 been released in 2009, they’d have easily usurped Borderlands for the top spot. Competition was fierce and, while there’s probably no doubt in your minds which games will comprise the next few days of posts, the order of those games might still hold some surprises…

Actually that’s bollocks. It’s all pretty predictable from here on in.

Let’s get on with it then. Number 3 is:

Battlefield: Bad Company 2

It sure as fuck isn’t because of the single player either.

Bad Company 2’s single player campaign is mediocre at best. It contains a few good moments, some inspired level design and a whole bucketload of brutal stupidity. In its defence it is neither as po-faced nor obnoxious as Modern Warfare 2’s campaign mode but plotwise they’re about on a par for brain-melting action movie guff. Moments as memorable as the sniper section – timing shots to thunder claps to keep silence – are few and far between… So few and far between that in attempting to think of another stand out moment I drew a complete blank. Mostly it’s about navigating linear corridors of trees and desert towns killing all the Russians that pop out at you. Absolutely nothing you haven’t seen a hundred times before.

No, this game’s entry this high up the list is purely down to the multiplayer.

One of Bad Company 2’s great achievements is that it keeps its players focused on the objective and on working together as a team. Most team-based multiplayer games tend to attract the lone gunman approach; an entire team of people ignoring each other on their own little private quest to win the match single-handedly. To pick on Call of Duty again, being in a team deathmatch means nothing more than 1) there are a bunch of people on the map you can’t kill and 2) you’ve got someone else to blame if your team loses.

Bad Company 2 avoids this by, essentially, bribing players to work together with points. As a medic you could go Rambo and kill everyone you see, earning 50 points per kill, or you could revive dead teammates for the same amount. Revive a squad member and you’ll actually get 80 points. This point structure works through all classes. Even the sniper, who is safest when hidden away from his team, gets points if a teammate kills an enemy that he’s spotted for them.

It’s the perfect system to keep everyone playing to the roles they’re assigned, but it goes beyond that to keep the team structured as well. Each side is comprised of squads of up to 4 people. Squad members are allowed to spawn on each other and gain extra points for completing team actions on each other. Furthermore each squad can set an objective and any action completed near that objective grants further bonuses. It all keeps squads working together. You look out for your team but, given the choice between helping a teammate and a squadmate, the guy on your squad wins out every time.

All this means that, even if you’re new to the game, it’s easy to get involved and do well – it’s a game that doesn’t solely revolve around your ability to shoot someone in the head (although it helps.)

Really though these are just benefits. The main attraction, the thing that’ll keep you coming back to the game, is its scale. Bad Company 2 doesn’t give you small maps filled with soldiers and guns. It gives you warzones. In a standard game you’ll have to deal with enemies in quad bikes, jeeps, tanks and helicopters and your method of combating these threats is largely up to you. It’s filled with ‘oh shit!’ moments as an enemy tank rolls into the middle of your base or a friendly helicopter is shot down next to you. It’s frantic. The recently released map Heavy Metal is a perfect showcase for this. It’s absolutely huge, one of the few maps where travelling to objectives on foot is simply not an option. The quickest way there is by jeep or quad bike and, as you drive over a ridge to see two enemy tanks, being forced to take evasive maneuvers and nearly exploding in an oblivion of tank shells is electrifying.

The game’s best experienced with friends, treating the squad system as a Left 4 Dead style co-op mode. It enables you to share in the carnage, providing stories of daring rescues and escapes and executing grand strategies to push the team forward. With the Vietnam expansion now released that’s where I’ll be, in the fields with friends shouting down the mic “you weren’t there man!”


2 Responses to “City 16's Top 10 Games of 2010: #3”

  1. 1 Chris
    24/12/2010 at 02:52

    Reckon this is my game of the year for the sheer amount of fun I’ve had playing it – or even just watching. Any game where the demo can bring someone to play for near 24hrs straight (Yes you Mr J Savage)must be good!

  2. 24/12/2010 at 18:33

    haha yea i totaly agree on and thanks for the loan of a tv for the weekend chris hahah

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