I’ve been a Battlefield fanatic since the first demo dropped back in August of 2002. In fact, the Wake Island map showcased in the Battlefield 1942 demo is still an all-time favorite of mine. I can remember so many cool moments from that map alone, perhaps because I played it endlessly while impatiently awaiting the release of the full game. In particular, I remember playing as a scout and scoring an ultra-long range kill from the opposite side of the horseshoe-shaped island; my target little more than a faint silhouette in my rifle’s scope. Then there was the time I was the lone survivor on my team and secured a control point (and subsequent spawn point) by bailing out of my shot-up Zero (which I stole) and parachuting down to an enemy flag. But what stuck out most about the game were the endless possibilities for the future of team-oriented shooters. While team-based games were hardly new (think Counter Strike & Team Fortress), the Battlefield series was one of the first to successfully incorporate vehicles, infantry, and massive environments into a deep yet accessible gameplay experience. And DICE never disappointed with subsequent releases, fine-tuning their addictive formula with Battlefield 2 and Battlefield 2142 by putting a greater emphasis on team/squad play.
I’m glad to see DICE has maintained the same focus with Bad Company, because that’s exactly what console gaming needs right now. I booted up the newly released demo yesterday and jumped online for the first time since the beta ended. To my surprise, everyone was catching on. My squadmates weren’t afraid to talk and we quickly setup a nearly flawless defensive perimeter around a gold stash, ruthlessly punishing all opponents that dared to approach. When it was time to attack, we held back and provided sniper support for teammates making a move on the enemy gold stashes. Oh and here’s a quick tip when sniping: stay in the low-lying areas and place yourself in front of a backdrop that breaks-up your silhouette; snipers on hills and rooftops are easy to spot and never last long. On Oasis, the river running along the side of the map is a great sniping area with plenty of trees and vegetation to hide among.
Of course, there were some classic Battlefield moments too. At one point I took cover in a small building only to watch the outer walls crumble as an enemy gunship pounded the exterior with rockets. Yes, the destructible environment takes some getting used to. Somehow I barely survived the barrage, but my ears were ringing for a few seconds afterward; just one of the many impressive sound effects. Later, I spotted three opponents crossing an open field and quickly opened fire with my support kit’s light machinegun. While I tried to score some lethal hits, my main objective was to test the weapon’s suppressive capability. And it worked like a charm. All three opponents scattered in different directions, clearly startled by the salvo of bullets whizzing past their heads. I couldn’t help but laugh as I ducked behind a rock and loaded a fresh box of ammo.
Anyway, the Battlefield: Bad Company demo is up on Xbox Live Marketplace and the Playstation Store. It’s well worth checking out and should hold you over until the game releases on June 23rd. Oh, and if you have any Battlefield moments you’d like to share I’d love to hear them.