Battlefield Bad Company 2 – Vietnam: review

Battlefield Bad Company 2 was our favourite FPS of 2010. Its team based gameplay with destructible environments and wide variety of vehicles to commandeer was by far the best fun to be had online, and the destructibility and vehicles bring many ‘Battlefield moments’ that other online shooters can’t compete with. This new map pack brings the Vietnam era to Bad Company 2, but is this a step too far?

The flamethrower creates a sense of panic as flames engulf you.

This Vietnam expansion contains five new maps for the online multiplayer. Four were initially released with the fifth map, Operation Hastings being unlocked around the new year. The 1960s Vietnam War setting brings with it a new selection of weapons and vehicles including a flamethrower, an American Huey helicopter, and most amusingly a tuk tuk. The lack of ACOG scopes and the like is quite refreshing, and you really need to adapt your game to suit; as combat is much more close quarters. The Hueys are also great fun to pilot, especially with the added 1960s soundtrack. Who can resist listening to Ride of the Valkyries or Fortunate Son while raining hellfire upon everything in your path?

The napalm-scarred Hill 137 is a highlight of the new maps.

Each of the maps have their own distinctive characteristics, and most of them are absolutely massive. But it’s not empty space, with plenty of bridges, jungles, tunnels and hills to traverse. The only one that feels a bit unbalanced is Rush mode on the map Vantage Point. The start of the level has a tight valley that attackers need to get through. There are only two routes here that attacking players can take; once you get out of this valley however, the level opens up with a narrow bridge and some high ground that snipers can take advantage of. Phu Bai Valley takes place in a flat rice paddy field, with Huey helicopters and other vehicles being well utilised. Cao Son Temple is a struggle through dense jungle with a Vietnamese Temple as its centrepiece. All the maps are superbly well designed.

As good an expansion as Vietnam is, it does have its problems. When we started playing we noticed our stats had been reset, and all our perks had disappeared – much to our distress! Thankfully the game did correct itself after a while. There are a few other annoying glitches that seem to have been imported from the main game. One is that the game sometimes tells you that your team has lost when you have actually won, and vice versa. Surely DICE could quite easily sort this simple glitch without too much trouble? There are also problems with team balancing, with some games starting with, say, ten players versus two! Although it is easy enough to start a new game. The ability to swap sides before a game starts would be welcome. These aren’t major problems, and don’t wreck the game – but they are annoying.

Even the tanks spew flames, leaving players to flee in a panic.

With Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam, DICE have again shown that they are masters of the online FPS, and we really can’t wait to see what they do with the forthcoming Battlefield 3. Until then though Vietnam will keep us very happy for many months. At¬† roughly¬£10 it really is much more than a map pack, and rather than being a simple extension to the main game, it feels like a brand new experience. If you’re sick of campers in Call of Duty and have a few friends to join you on the Battlefield, then give Vietnam a go. As we’re sure you’ll love the smell of napalm!

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Written by Kevin M

I've been addicted to gaming since my parents bought an Atari console way back in the 70's. I progressed to the iconic Speccy, Amiga, and all the Playstation platforms. Having seen games evolve from single pixel bat and ball, to HD constructed environments, gaming has changed much from my early years. Having defeated the rock hard R-Type on the Speccy, the biggest challenge I've faced so far is putting up with the hordes of American teens spouting abuse in the current generation of consoles, noob indeed!

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