Review | Battlefield: Bad Company 2: Vietnam
You Shoulda Been There, Man…
Format: PC/Xbox 360/PS3 | Genre: First Person Shooter | Publisher: EA | Developer: DICE | Release date: 18/12/2010 | Price: £9.99
Charlie may not surf, but Chris Evans isn’t averse to a bit of web surfing in BAD COMPANY 2: VIETNAM.
WAR HAS never been so brutal, so tough, so 1960s. I am of course talking about the big old slab of DLC for Bad Company 2 known as Vietnam. It is a mighty impressive piece of multiplayer gaming, and I will state right here and now that if you own Bad Company 2, you should purchase Vietnam as soon as possible, and don’t give me any excuses trooper.
I feel a need to place this review into context, this is a review based on the PC version of Vietnam and is being written by someone who playedlittle of Bad Company 2 on release as it lacked the finesse I was looking for in a multiplayer shooter at the time.
How times have changed, Vietnam could have simply been a very good piece of DLC to fit on top of a slightly underachieving game, but the work DICE have put in to improving the base game since release means Vietnam is a very good addition to what is now an excellent multiplayer game.
Bad Company now plays and feels in a way much more reminiscent of Battlefield 2 than it did at launch, and that is a very good thing. It also helps that Vietnam’s new maps are predominantly foot battle based with a reduced focus on vehicles.
They are the jungle…
The trouble with the PC version of Bad Company 2 on release was that there was some awful network coding and weapon balancing, you would enter a game and get massive lag spikes along with weapons which were not fun to shoot with. In short, it didn’t feel like it was optimised at all for the PC. The joy of Battlefield 2 was that it was a pure PC game, the network coding was reasonable and made up for a crap server browser and the shooting felt accurate and deadly. Indeed, Bad Company has even surpassed Battlefield 2 by finally giving us a decent server browser. When you step into battle, especially infantry warfare, you finally feel like you are playing a game designed to play to the strength of the PC.
These changes to the overall game are felt even more keenly in Vietnam, while some of the maps like Operation Hastings (a throw back to the original Battlefield Vietnam) may feature vehicular combat, the majority are more shaped towards ground combat. Maps like Hill 137 and Cao Son Temple are perfect for players who want to get away from tanks and choppers, providing a perfect flow in Rush and Conquest modes for small squad based infantry combat.
Don’t worry though, the vehicles haven’t been forgotten, plenty of period classics can be found on the battlefield, including some lovely slow, plodding Vietnamese cars which seem to be a cross between a quad-bike and a jeep. While that may not strike fear into the hearts of many, jumping into a Huey and getting your hands on those powerful heavy machine guns will get people running for cover.
If that doesn’t whet your appetite for some action then you should take a look at the M2 Flamethrower in action. A brutal tool, you can be sure that the damage will be done even once your are dead as the flames send your enemy to a screaming, burning grizzly death. The other weapons on hand are a suitable period bunch with the M16 and AK47 leading the way for the Assault class. The M79 grenade launcher is also featured and will be familiar to any veterans of the original Battlefield Vietnam from back in 2004. The noise that comes from the M79 is like no other, a wonderful ‘thump’ that will send the enemy running for cover when they hear it.
There is a very suitable soundtrack which features around two hours worth of tunes including the infamous ‘Ride of the Valkyries’. In addition, at the start and end of each level a war correspondent sets the historical context for the map you are about to play providing a stark reminder of the grim reality that troops actually fought on something like Hill 137, a map with a brilliant blend of environments moving from luscious jungle to a heavily scorched burning wasteland.
For £9.99 on Steam this multiplayer only piece of DLC is worth every penny, and is probably one of the best pieces of DLC released for any game since the craze started. Go back to the 60s and enjoy.