Since the demo for EA’s much anticipated Bad Company 2 hit Xbox Live late last week, there’s been plenty of opportunity to observe just what has changed from the first game. For those of you who have not had the opportunity to download it, here’s what’s new. Keep in mind that since this is a demo, much of it could be subject to change in the final product.
The first thing that becomes apparent when entering the demo is the new class system. As the developer has previously stated, the number of classes has been reduced, with each class taking on a broader role. The Specialist class has essentially been absorbed by the remaining classes, with the C4 charge going to the Recon (sniper) class, and the tracer dart gun being available to any class. Shotguns are also available to any class, once unlocked, while the Engineer class now wields submachine guns by default.
Medics now have the ability to revive fallen team-mates, and stationary ammo boxes have been removed in favor of the Assault class’ ability to throw an ammo box on the ground, much like the medic throws health packs. Just hope that the Assault members of your team remember this, or you could be facing an ammo shortage.
The method by which new weapons and gadgets are unlocked has also been modified. You now have two lines of experience – class specific experience, which is gained by playing as a particular class, and general experience which works as it did in the first game. As you might expect, class specific weapons are unlocked by playing that class, while upgrades available to all classes are unlocked with general experience gained from playing any class.
But ranking isn’t the only thing that has changed. Aside from a much needed graphical update, the game puts into practice Dice’s new, broader level of destruction. By firing a high caliber machine gun into a cement wall, you can blow a small hole into it. On the other end of the spectrum, put enough concentrated fire on a building, and it will crumble to the ground, destroying whatever is within. These changes make assaulting an enemy base even more dynamic than before.
What about the gunplay? Well, overall the weapons feel more realistic. Each gun has a realistic clip size, rather than a universal clip size for each type of gun, which means you will likely be reloading much more often. Bullets are now affected by gravity, which means a long range shot will need to be aimed above the target. This might sound challenging, but in practice it adds a layer of realism without making it strictly impossible to hit someone half way across the map.
All in all, the new features work well together, adding up to a satisfying (and slightly addicting) experience. The final game will likely be one of 2010’s best.