Battlefield: Bad Company (Xbox 360, 2008)
Give me a war game and ask me to shoot people in the head and I’m a happy little boy. I don’t ask for much, I’m easily pleased.
But “Battlefield: Bad Company” is a bit off the mark for me. I think games nowadays are so much geared towards multiplayer that single player takes a back seat. Way back, like at the cinema where all the seats are full because you bought a ticket at the last minute or because you are looking to make out instead of watch a film.
Well, the single player of “Battlefield: Bad Company” did not want to make out with me. I read a review of it where they mention that most of the environment is destructible, that is, you can bomb the fuck out of trees and houses, which is neat to read at first, until you realize that the whole environment is extremely repetitive. You are fighting in a green countryside with the same looking small houses, that there is no joy in destroying them. And the game is structured in a very annoying manner. Whenever you get killed you return back to your last autosave checkpoint. Except the enemies that you have killed before your death don’t respawn. So, you can pass any part of the game, no matter how hard, just by going back to the place. Even if you kill one soldier, it makes it easier on the next round. Where does the irritating part come in? It’s that the checkpoints are in the lousiest sections of the game. You run to the next war zone, kill a soldier or two, and get killed (which I did get killed a lot because I played at the hard difficulty, I like my games like I like my penis) and then you return to the checkpoint and start running again for 2 minutes. Get killed, run again to the same spot for two minutes. In other games, the checkpoints are at fantastic locations, places right before the action. So killed, you are shooting instantly. Killed, shooting. Not like this game, which is, killed, run, killed, run, argh.
The Company in question is called Bad Company because of their actions in the military, such as joyriding in a helicopter and damaging it, injecting a virus into a network, or other acts of damages. These kinds of destructive actions certainly do not please a military army that is aimed at destroying other countries. To punish these kind of mavericks, the US army puts them in the Bad Company, a squad with an above average mortality rate. Basically, these guys are extremely expendable.
You play the role of Private Marlowe, new to the company, and working with three other squad members, that fight beside you in the game, and of course, never actually die, which means its not really that immersive. And maybe it’s just the Hard Difficulty I was playing, but not only do they not die, they are completely incompetent. So, you just have three other soldiers shooting at the enemy, almost never getting any of them, and the enemy soldiers mainly shooting at you, usually ignoring your squad members.
But getting back to the characters and the story, the US Army is fighting some kind of unnamed war with made-up companies, but its full of Russians and Arabs, and I’m already feeling a bit uncomfortable. I don’t know, maybe its age, or maybe it’s because I’m in the Middle East and I live in the one of the members of the Axis of Evil, but the US army blazingly shooting at enemies for no real purpose does not make me happy. I like shooting Nazis in the head, but anything after that, and I can feel like I’m in some kind of weird surreal fantasy-reality loop, where I swear I can see my character shooting myself in the face, and applauding my own death. And to make it EVEN worse, the Bad Company guys stop following the government rules, go AWOL, chasing some kind of gold. It’s completely devoid of any morality, and I usually don’t even mind a game where your character is slicing up babies for fun, but at least in that situation, you know it’s WRONG, but here, it’s done with irrelevance and lightness, that, I don’t know, I’m rambling, but guys, war isn’t cool.
Final notes. Let’s discuss Multiplayer, which is the highlight of First Person Shooters nowadays. The multiplayer was…I didn’t play it. I’ve stopped playing Multiplayer long time ago. I play video games for the single player of it. Playing games is my ME time. It would like watching a movie at home, but the stereo system plugged in some kind of server, where you are watching the movie simultaneously with fifty other people who talked throughout it. If I wanted to play “Bad Company” with strangers I did not know, get shot at by trigger happy American kids while cursing me, I’d join the fucking army.2/5