Thursday, April 15, 2010

Where's the funny?

Between Final Fantasy and driving incredibly long distances I have managed to squeeze in Battlefield Bad Company 2, playing most of the game last night on the a SD-TV with mono front inputs, so I don’t think it really counts. The single player in the first Bad Company was standard modern shooter fair with just enough humor dropped in to differentiate it from Modern Warfare. Modern Warfare 2 upped the not funny factor, so I was hoping that Bad Company 2 would get sillier to compensate; instead it has fallen into the same trap and gotten a little too serious for its own good. The guys are still funny, but their adventure is now ‘save the US’ instead of ‘keep all this gold and retire to Tahiti.’ It is just as well, as it is not as good of a single player shooter as the last one was either.

Bad Company and Modern Warfare worked very well as shooting movies. Incredible scripted events were common, the action itself was never that difficult, and everything moved along at a pace that would properly accommodate popcorn and a wasted afternoon. Bad Company 2, on more than one occasion, bogs down into repetitive success by death scenarios that have no place it what is supposed to be a chewing gum game. One of these takes place in the second level which had me calling bull shit far too early to be forgiven. Finally after dying for about thirty minutes I had memorized where all the RPG guys were going to pop out, killing them first in a very un-movie like manner. Spending that much time in one area gave me pause enough to notice all the other problems that are normally hidden by a brisk pace. First of all the enemies always shoot you first, regardless of what any of your team mates are doing. This is especially bad when one in two bad guys can one shot you and/or destroy your cover. Secondly, even though the rest of the squad is never being shot at, they don’t do anything offensive either. Army of Two’s agro system is the perfect example of how to do single playered multi-player right; this is just annoying and repetitive.

There is clearly going to be a third Bad Company, as the Russians have invaded through Alaska and are busily socializing Canada while heading south (wait, would that even work?). I predict more of the same, which is unfortunate. Bad Company was Three Kings the game, minus Ben Affleck, which is not a bad thing. Bad Company 2 was just Modern Warfare 2 minus the gratuitous airport massacre, which leaves it pretty bland in comparison. The role of gritty, humorless modern shooter has already been filled, EA was better off trying to make me laugh a bit while killing people.

And no, I have no idea how the multiplayer turned out. I’m sure it’s fine; I’m just not interested.

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