Looking Back On BF:BC2
Battlefield 3 on the 360 is far from being a perfect FPS experience. Among the common complaints are: inaccurate or non-existent hit detection, getting killed around corners, single digit framerates at critical moments, dominating vehicles, inappropriate spawn locations especially for defenders, obscenely large maps for a total player count of 24, and auto team-switching leading to party break-up.
With that in the back of our minds, nostalgic memories of BF:BC2, and a little spontaneity, (1GN got up off his ass and swapped discs and) 4GN took to the jungles and deserts for some Battlefield: Bad Company 2.
The first thing that struck us was the rate at which the enemy went down, requiring probably half the amount of bullets. It wasn’t better hit detection, just more powerful ammunition. I kept thinking we were playing hardcore, and the boys repeatedly assured me that it was normal.
The second thing we noticed was the incredibly entertaining map design. I thought it was just the rich vegetation and the topography, but Johann quickly pinned it down. The maps are much tighter. The skirmishes were focused and intense, even with underpopulated teams in conquest mode. At the same time, there was still adequate room for flanking and movement. It makes sense. BF:BC2 was designed for the console first, then ported over to the PC, which is the opposite of the design flow for BF3.
There was also considerable destruction.
Those things had us smiling and laughing for a while, but things quickly turned ugly. It was mostly little things like the time limit on disarming MCOM stations, or the lack of stingers and javelins – tracer dart anyone? Or the fact that you cannot go prone – no matter how dangerous your position is. Wherever you go, you are Ron Kovic and Sgt. Elias running out into the plains and getting shot from all directions. It is surprising how frustrating it is to not be able to stick your dick in the dirt, so to speak.
The variety of guns, accessories, and specialties is almost laughable. You could equip C4 on at least two classes! The smoke was almost uselessly thin for subterfuge. I felt naked running into my “cloud” of smoke to arm the bases.
It wasn’t, however, until the Apachi flown by an enemy “50” made an appearance that we fully remembered the humiliation. Suddenly, it was junior high school again, and the jocks were bangin’ the nerds against the lockers as they walked down the halls. A little pee came out. It made all our complaints of vehicle domination in BF3 seem trivial.
So, that was it for me. I need never go back. I loved that game long time. In fact, I believe I have still put more total hours into BC2 than I have BF3. Also, I will never forget that it was a game I could play without my triple A gamin’ bodyguards. I could actually affect a difference in the outcome of the game simply by PTFO. I cannot do that in BF3. I need The Crew. I can wash the buckets, but I cannot haul the water.
Anyway, I am not leaving BF:BC2 with a door-slam of disgust, but rather embracing BF3 (and perhaps even more so, DICE’s future games) with renewed gratitude. I think now I better understand Kenny’s desire never to return to Gears of War (original) MP. It was awesome, but there are improvements that once experienced cannot be set aside for the sake of nostalgia.