Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Review

April 3rd, 2011, Reviews

Battlefield-Bad-Company-2-logo

Two days ago I played about 1.5 hours of multiplayer Battlefield: Bad Company 2 at an internet café with 2 friends. It brought back a large portion of the joy i had felt while playing the older games in the series, such as codename eagle, 1942, vietnam, and battlefield 2. It was more fun, better looking, more engrossing and more balanced than all of the previous games. The vehicles felt better, the guns felt better. The squad system was better and facilitated me and my 2 friends’ desire to play together…

I had noted some strange things such as not being able to find the repair or healing items for the engineer or medic classes, nor being able to restock on ammo anywhere. I convinced myself I had probably missed something. Ignoring my worries, I left the session with a sense of discovery. I felt like I had missed a great leap in gaming, and that next-gen games had something to offer. I wanted to go back and play again… I even found myself pondering if it would be worth getting the game myself.

The next day I went back for another 2 hours. At first it was even more fun than last time, but then, a creeping feeling of horror came bubbling through the cracks. Something was amiss, and I had felt it for a while. Teammates killed us for no apparent reason, calling us idiots – for as far as we knew – just playing the game. I remembered a button I had seen during level loading… unlock progress? At first I convinced myself I must have misunderstood, but then I saw it again and I had to resort to making myself not believe it – “maybe it was just some side-thing for people who care about useless achievements…” – It wasn’t.

Taken from http://www.joinaclan.com/

A small portion of what is unlockable, click the image for more. Taken from http://www.joinaclan.com/

Suddenly everything made sense, the “+experience” notifications for killing enemies, the unlock progress, the lack of a repair tool for the engineer, why some people ran around with homing missile launchers and the reason why your chopper did not have the flares to counter them. The reason why some player’s vehicles had more health, more weapons, higher damage than your vehicle of the same model as well as faster reload times and – heck why not? – smoke defenses!… Ok, so their vehicles were superior. Perhaps if you ran up to them and tried to blow them up with C4? Well, It also happens that some players had an unlock that detected you and your C4’s on their radar for this specific problem! So you are standing there, wondering what you can do to gain that unlock progression. Perhaps you can be supportive? Give ammo? Heal? Repair? Well… You must first unlock that, but while you are waiting for that people will scream at you for not giving them ammo, healing them or repairing their vehicles, and to top it all off, you will be labeled a noob and an idiot. This unlock nightmare was the reason why some people had sniper rifles which killed in 1 hit, why some people had armor which made your sniper rifle useless and why they could mock you by sprinting faster, having more ammo, carrying more grenades, and by having globally increased damage, less recoil spread for when they needed to own up multiple “noobs” (you) with a spray and pray (not so much in their case), better zoom with scopes, ability to detect movement, revive dead allies and why I suddenly could not care less about the game.

This game is not an FPS. I frankly don’t know what it is, but i have some suggestions:
* Linear Unlock Progress Shooter (LUPS)
* First Person Role Playing Game (FPRPG)
* First Person Grinding Game (FPGG)
* Role Playing Game Wannabe First Person Shooter (RPGWFPS)
If you have more suggestions, feel free to comment.

Distraught from the experience, we attempted to play some other next-gen games, hoping this was a one-time fluke.

We tried:
* Call of Duty Black Ops
* HAWX
* Rainbow Six: Vegas 2
* Crysis

Needless to say, they all featured the same mechanic. I was depressed. I was disillusioned, in shock and in complete and utter disbelief. Depressing because the actual game is so good, while the box it sits in is so bad. Disillusioned because I had walked around for years thinking these games were simply FPS:s with great graphics and destructible terrain. In shock because I had just 1 hour earlier been thinking of getting myself a gaming rig and buying the game, and finally in disbelief because the problem with the game could be fixed with one simple little checkbox.

It was puzzling to say the least. With this insight i realized that there hadn’t been a multiplayer FPS made for many many years, and in that case, what where people who liked FPS:s playing? Looking for an answer I looked around me in the internet café… They were playing Counter-Strike 1.6, a game with over 12 years in the making and 9 years since release. Suddenly i knew why, and it was not because of nostalgia.

/thewreck

PS. There is no way to play without the unlock system on a private server, because, A: You cannot host your own servers. B: They would not be able to sell the ‘Kit Shortcut’ DLC (which is not a DLC at all, but simply unlocking content you already payed for) at $6.99 per class and $19.99 to unlock all guns for all four classes.

PPS. To me this game represent the unfathomable failure to include a check-box. But since they are already selling this check box to individual players who can afford them, why should they include it for free? Thus I have no hope for this to be “fixed”. Perhaps it is simply not economically viable to make a solid FPS game for the next-gen systems?

44 Responses to “Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Review”

  1. yaodema :

    Oh you have got to be kidding me… except I know you aren’t. Ugh. When I saw a tweet yesterday about unlockable content in FPS games, I thought you just meant the stuff you had to purchase, like the crap they bribe you with in Dead Space.

    But no. It’s a grind-fest you can buy your way out of. That’s far worse. It makes me glad I avoid most FPS games. I’ll stick to the likes of Metro 2033, thanks…

  2. Core Xii :

    With Team Fortress 2 ruined by ugly hats and pay-to-win unlockables, Counter-Strike: Source is really the last good FPS out there. It doesn’t have unlockables. You join a game whenever you want to play, you have a good and fair game purely based on skill and you quit any time you want. That’s it.

  3. robert :

    I understand this development as a means to ease frustration with players that are less gifted and talented than the ones who, in the (g)olden days, used to brutally wipe them off servers with their skill.

    What the unlocks do is mimic the natural progression in skill that comes with playing a game for a long time, and getting to know its quirks and features. This process, “out in the nature” (an evolutionary comparison), separates those who are gifted and dedicated from those who will be dominated. The unlockables make sure everyone, as they play and play, gets to be better than the “noobs” who just started. That, of course, this is one of the dullest decisions and developments as it eradicates not only the need to play better but also the benefit of being better than others.

    Pretty sad to hear it’s actually gotten as worse as you describe it in your post, as it appears there’s still a faint hint of a great game hidden beneath the thoughtless bullshit.

  4. relentless :

    corexii, I don’t believe TF2 unlocks are in the same class of game-breakers as the things described in this article. Unlocks giving globally increased speed/damage/ammo with no drawback do not exist in TF2.

    CS:S is stagnant. People are playing and replaying and replaying the same maps and weapons they’ve had for X years. That reminds me more of MMO drudgery more than anything.

  5. David :

    In the defense of this system, I find it rewarding to unlock new items as I play. Bad Company 2 has good weapons throughout the level progression, but playing more just adds variety to explore. I have never heard of paying to unlock all the weapons, that is ridiculous. For me, I was happy to have limited options at the beginning of the game so I could learn the basics before having to juggle fighting, spotting, repairing, resupplying, healing, reviving, etc.

    One of the reasons I love Minecraft to death is because you start with nothing. You invest considerable time into gathering resources and crafting to be in a successful and sustainable condition. The evolution of the character and your situation is an incredible experience. Think of unlocks and leveling as a very simplified version of this progress.

    I will always love CS:S and Day of Defeat Source for their simplicity, fast-paced gameplay, and timeless design. But, there is also a large place in my heart for the Battlefield series and unlocking weapons is something I enjoy pursuing.

  6. Jon M :

    Your right and everything but there is one thing; How dare you call these games FPRPGs. That is an insult on TES and Fallout.

  7. Oifan :

    robert, you have to be kidding. This kind of game mechanics mimics clientelism or lobbying, as I see it — the longer you play, the more powerful stuff you can buy, and anyone else who doesn’t have so much time as you, simply cannot beat you.

    I have experienced it in RPG2004 mod for UT2004 — see http://mysterial.linuxgangster.org/UTRPG/ . I have played BFBC2 only in single-player (with crack), but if it’s “improved” similar way as RPG2004 does “improve” UT2004 (without the possibility to TURN LEVELING OFF) , I definitely won’t buy BFBC2 and I don’t want BFBC2 even for free (btw. I bought UT2004 as part of Unreal Universe pack).

    I was playing UT2004 on TitanRPG #1 server (http://www.bigbattleservers.com/wiki/index.php/TitanRPG), and I ended as level 93, really pissed off. I could not kill a guy of level 120 sitting in a Leviathan even using 1 redeemer shot (it’s like BFG9000, if you remember Doom2) and lots and lots of rockets after firing them like 3 minutes (without missing) into the Leviathan — I am just too low-leveled. And I don’t want to spend months (or years?) on this one server to get to his level, that seems to be just a waste of time to me, and then I will be exactly like him — untouchable by levels <100, wow, so coool, like Superman… almost no real opponents, is this the "natural progression" you described, yes ?

  8. Oifan :

    [part 2]
    But who do I fight then ? Just this one or two UT-full-timer freaks, wow, it’s soo… boring. It’s not a FPS anymore, I can sell my account for let’s say 20 USD to a restless teenager who could then beat anyone who connects, and it’s a win-win (the teenager lowers his testosteron, I spend the money).

    But I must say one thing to defend the leveling system — it was really fun, when I played UT2004 with RPG2004 (on some Nitric-Acid’s server, map AncientPotatoeChips or something like that) against monsters (which were also leveled-up) — more weapons, more effects, higher killing rate = more fun. All players were 1 team, and all monsters were the other team. But to use this mechanics on two player teams…

    I must fully agree with thewreck — BFBC2 multi-player is not a FPS anymore (if it has adopted similar leveling stuff as RPG2004) — it is a LUPS (Linear Unlock Progress Shooter), I just need someone to write a Wikipedia article about it, so other people know and understand the difference without wasting too much time.

    But my ex-colleagues want me to buy a PS3 and play BFBC2 with them, I will definitely take one (probably last) look on this game (now in multi-player), and if it proves that the leveling can be turned off, I will inform you…

  9. Steven Fisher :

    I’ve unlocked everything in Bad Company 2, but the unlocking process really added nothing positive at all to the game. Just frustration.

    I’ve got the PS3 version, which at least lacks the team killing.

  10. Dodgy Geezer :

    Okay, having logged well over 300 hours in BF:BC2 I think I am qualified to respond for the defence.

    In many games progression unlocks new features. That is one of the reasons people keep playing. Whether it is access to higher level spells and kit (RPG) or better weapons (sideways scrolling shoot-em ups) or better cars (racing games). They all do it, and modern FPS’s are no different. It is what keeps many people playing, particularly those who don’t play socially.

    You will find that many of the unlocks in BC2 are nuanced – not just better – which means that you have subtle choices going into a map, something a n00b wouldn’t be able to make use of anyway.

    The real problem is that in BC2 you start overly nerfed (you need to get to around L17 before you get the Magnum ammo which gives +25% damage), and joining the game after it has been out for a year is definitely an exercise in frustration unless you are uber. I know several people who have bought the game and only used it for a very short period of time. This is particularly a problem when a bunch of maxed out players are all on one side.

    What is needed is what Combat Arms did, put in level limits in servers so that like players can play together, or have a total level cap for each side rather than number of players.

    Another quick fix would be to make the +25% armour unlock happen very early in the game (or at the start). Most people choose the extra damage over the armour when they unlock it, so it would give a n00b a bit of an edge.

    What it really boils down to is game design. In any PvP game of skill, what you don’t want is the more experienced players getting advantages because they will be on top of the natural advantages that they have built from playing the game.

  11. Sup :

    Level 1 players can own level xx players as long as you just have skill. The unlocks are not godlike or something. The game balance is fine. There is no such thing as C4 detection. The default weapons are some of the best. You can only take one upgrade for your weapon and one for your vehicle (you can only use ONE upgrade to use from smoke/radar/zoom/faster reload etc. And last but not least it only takes a few days of playing to unlock everything. Players and equipment dont become stronger. You just get more options to pick from.

  12. Kashima :

    i think you’re mistaken.

    yes there are extras unlockable, but you don’t carry them all at once – only one item per section! e.g. you can have either more armor, more damage or more grenades. but not everything at the same time. only one of those things at once.

    imho, not having unlocked anything makes you only like 20% weaker (max.) against someone, who has unlocked everything. heal and repair is unlocked very quickly btw. and rocket launcher doesnt home in automatically, you need to tag the target with a tag-gun, which isn’t that easy on moving targets, and you cannot carry a regular handgun then. so most things balance out.

    most useful stuff might be red dot and secondary mg for tanks (that’s a powerful one). otherwise it isn’t that big deal.

    also, in all the time i have played, never have somebody yelled at me for not healing, not giving ammo or not repairing. sounds pretty weird to me. most people don’t even use microphone on public server (i’m playing pc version though).

  13. Jordan :

    The problem here is not knowing what game elements are for, and then just throwing them in because they’re popular.

    In Team Fortress 2, extra weapons add more flavor, but strictly better ones are only slightly so, and tend to have downsides that newbies wouldn’t be able to compensate for; there’s a few exceptions (backburner would be nice for newbies), but in general the weapons you start with are the most effective when you’re first learning how to play.

    You see the same thing in BF2142, for the most part. The unlockable guns are better if you have the skills, but they’re harder to use. I was having problems with Assault and kept a more “newbie” gun for a couple weeks after unlocking the “better” one because my performance was genuinely better with the more forgiving weapon. There’s definitely some problems with the upgrades, but overall it does a great job of easing you into the game as you improve.

    BF2 completely and utterly misses the point by forcing you to unlock class-critical features that make it easier to be an effective teammate. It’s easier to help the team with a health pack than a gun, and yet they put the burden of being skilled on you when you’re level 1. Aside from role-defining tools, to start with, you don’t have ANYTHING in unlock slots that, when SOMETHING is equipped in them, make your character strictly more powerful. BF2 completely drops the beauty and elegance of “RPG elements” that made them so beneficial to shooters and goes for straight-up “RPG”, where a level 3 and a level 1 of equal player skill is a huge mismatch.

  14. Daniel :

    I have also been completely blown away by this latest trend. Basically “he who has no life wins”. I just completely avoid those style of games, there are many good fps games out there still. Halo Reach is a highly competitive modern game that gives everyone an equal shot. You can unlock pretty looking stuff but nothing which affects your performance.

    What they did do is replace the old performance based ranking system with a grind based ranking system. Weirdly if someone has a ridiculous rank I almost always pwn them. They are 12 year old kids with too much time and no skill. So the ranking system is now broken.

    This is a sick trend that needs to be stamped out, in society as well as gaming. More and more people are rewarding mediocrity.

  15. Niklas :

    Well, the engineers repair tool is unlocked by default, as is the assaults ammo box and the medics first aid kit.

    BFBC2 is the only fps with any kind of unlocking which I play regularly.
    Mostly because the things you unlock, except for some of the equipment, aren’t game-winning stuff. Sure you get less recoil on your rifle, will that help against someone sneaking up on you? Sure that helicopter have flares, will that help against an AA gun? …and as the game plays now, there is no sniper rifle which is a one hit kill without a headshot. As long as you don’t play on hardcore.

  16. admin :

    Niklas: This must have been added in a recent patch since I for a fact did not have access to any of those. Secondly guides claim likewise:

    “While Medics in the release version of BC2 inexplicably start out with any of their medic tools, it is worth playing as one early in order to unlock them.”

    I do not know when they changed this, but if they did, good thing!

    PS. I did play on hardcore.

  17. stu :

    I’ve had this very conversation/argument. to be fair i hate the fact that guns get better as you unlock them in bfbc2, I hate the fact you have the option to buy ingame weapons, for a quarter of the games current price. however, I do agree that at least having a variety of different guns unlockable is a good thing. CS 1.6 for example, I’ve played that since release, I still do play it, but the weapons are starting to grow cancerous tumors from being so old and somewhat uninteresting.
    ohh and just a personal preference, if you think the game has cheap guns, get a bolt action sniper rifle (NOT VSS OR SVU) and attach a red dot sight. you’ll scratch your head in wonder now, but thats where real skill comes from, you have one to two shots to kill or you die.

  18. Ciro Continisio :

    Those are solid words, and express my opinion as well. These shooters are no game for the occasional player, and you have to invest an enormous amount of time in them to play online.
    At the end of the day though, I think you answered yourself on the last sentence: this is just the most remunerative formula as of today, and for the big companies there’s no big alternative (although probably there could be better options with a little bit of thinking).
    Thanks for sharing the thoughts anyway.

  19. BFBC2 :

    ADMIN TAKE NOTE!

    You fell into a trap I fell into as well, playing on a Hardcore mode server. That is why the game was not as satisfying for you as a new player. Unlocks make a bigger difference there as well.
    I’d say see if there are any level-capped, non-hardcore servers and you will have a ton of fun.

  20. Jsilverstreak :

    I disagree with you
    It only takes like 40 hours to get to level 22 and it gives you something to reach for intend of Using this best gun as soon as you start the game you have to use different guns and get good with them and learn that they are actually Fun to use
    You never would have tried out them if you had the ump right away

  21. admin :

    I actually tried non-hardcore too but didn’t like it at all. I’m not sure exactly why, maybe it was me already having a sour taste in my mouth after the first experience. Or maybe it was because i had come to really like the engineer’s gun and shooting with it at medium range…

    To me it failed to be satisfying because you never got a “grip” of the game. Things that worked one time, didn’t another time, and there was no obvious reason why. Sometimes their bullets did more damage, other times yours did lesser damage.

    This cause me to never get “into the bubble”. I like to know when I did something which caused me to fail so that I can learn and improve. In BFBC2 I never felt like I had any opportunity to learn anything.

  22. admin :

    40 hours is not something you have at an internet café when you just want to sit down with your friends and have a couple of hours of fun in a game

    I understand that progression in games can be fun (think Gun-Game mode on CS), but in BFBC2 I have no chance of ever starting out evenly with other players. Why should i suffer 40 hours of people shooting me with the UMP just to get to even footing? This is a mechanic which has no place in a competitive FPS.

    Secondly, even if I did get the UMP, I would not feel any satisfaction what so ever shooting anyone with it because I would know I had an unfair advantage. Since I find the part of “reaching for” the goal to be no fun, and finally getting to it and using the rewards no fun either, I have a hard time convincing myself why i should care for any part.

  23. recon :

    No offense … but you sound so whiny !

    let me get this straight … you are complaining because you cant pick up a game and suddenly dominate at it ??? welcome to life.

    Even if you had all the unlocks youd probably still get whipped by more experience players who a) know the maps – b) have taken time and mastered the weapons and other gadgets – c) have a feel for the game and in game strategies … are you gonna say that is not fair as well ?

    not to mention most weapons and other features are unlocked pretty quickly in this game.

    dont get me wrong i can see that as a guy who just hops into a cafe and wants to pick up a game it is a a drag that you cant access all the features immediately … BUT that doesnt mean you should condemn the whole game which is clearly made for replay value and gamers who will want to play it more consitently.

    I happen to know that this is a great great game for those who can afford to invest the time into it.

  24. Keipich :

    There are games which don’t have it that badly, such as Medal of Honor 2010, but they just suck overall. BF2 still does well overall though:D Sticking with BF2 lately.

  25. Durandle :

    Having played BFBC2 a fair amount on the PC I think I am qualified to say “what a load of rubbish”. It may be that unlocks are not your thing, but it takes almost no time at all to unlock most of the content. A few rounds of each class and you’ll have a couple of unlocks for each. The rest comes pretty quick. I played engineer for a couple of hours the other day for the first time and have pretty much everything I want/need from the unlocks. This really is *not* the problem you make it out to be.

    Then of course, unlocks aside, the game its self is very good and more fun than any other recent FPS I have plated online.

    However, let me remind you that in counter-strike (since you give that as an example of a better FPS) you start off with limited “cash” (read ‘xp’) that can “buy” (read ‘unlock’) weapons. The more “cash” (xp) you have, the better the weapons you can “buy” (unlock). So someone who has been playing on a server well for a few hours will have the body armour, grenades, helmet, knife and best guns. They will most likely look down on you and slaughter you when you join, calling ‘noob’, etc. Its pretty much the same system as BFBC2 just over a shorter space of time and non-persistent – which is worse – since it means you are penalised *every single time you join a new server*.

  26. Durandle :

    Ah and sorry to double post, I agree with Mr.”BFBC2″ – the hardcore servers are a lot less fun – most weapons one shot kill, so yes the upgrades make it rather silly. Non-hardcore servers feel more about the strategy and skill and less about “he who has the more damaging gun wins”.

  27. Kevin :

    I like to consider myself a fairly avid player of BFBC2. First, I’d recommend staying off the Hardcore servers unless you have a reliable and coordinated team. Those servers tend to be entirely less fun. I never play them. Luckily, you can only have so many unlockable upgrades activated at a time. The situation isn’t as bad as you describe. You can increase your main weapon damage on a vehicle, but that means you can’t choose to upgrade your vehicle armor. Do you want a 4X Rifle Scope or more ammo? Do you want better weapon handling or more powerful ammunition?

    BFBC2 has many “checks and balances” that prevent any weapon or kit from becoming overpowered. Nearly everything in the game has some kind of weakness. If you’re a better player, you’ll perform better, even with entry-level weaponry.

  28. Jordan :

    In theory all that the game is doing is offering you increasing choice as you play it more, nothing more powerful, only with redistributed stats. And in general it works that way… if you’re level 20 or more.

    The designers made a HUGE, HUGE, H-U-U-U-U-G-E-!-!-! mistake when made you start without access to your class specific ability (i.e. healthkits) and any of the specializations (especially the lack of either armour or magnum ammo, ditto for vehicles). It means that new players start out significantly weaker than anyone else, regardless of the already large skill differences. It also means they they can’t actually learn to play as a team well because they cannot fufill their team rolls (you mean I have to get X number of kills as a medic before I can actually heal anyone? What the FUCK!?).

    Once you get past that crap though it is a throughly enjoyable game.

  29. recon :

    let me get this straight … you are complaining because you cant pick up a game and suddenly dominate at it ???

    Even if you had all the unlocks youd probably still have trouble with the more experience players who a) know the maps – b) have taken time and mastered the weapons and other gadgets – c) have a feel for the game and in game strategies …

    I think that most weapons and other features are unlocked pretty quickly in this game.

    Don’t get me wrong … i can see your point as a guy who hops into a cafe and wants to pick up a game that it is a a drag that you cant access all the features immediately …

    BUT that doesnt mean you can condemn the whole game which is made for replay value and gamers who will want to play it more consitently.

    I happen to know that this is a great great game for those who can afford to invest the time into it.

  30. jacg123 :

    I have gone through the level progression three times on the Xbox; once on my profile, and once on two friend’s profiles (I helped them unlock everything).

    There is never any REAL disadvantage. In the strictest sense, it is still a shooter. As you progress, different guns are unlocked, but not necessarily BETTER guns. They are simply different enough to fit different play styles.

    I know it has already been pointed out, but I would like to reinforce the fact that you cannot use multiple “perks” at the same time if they fit in the same slot. You only get one vehicle perk, etc. Again, this adds variety, which is in dire need by the 1000th time you play the game. Trust me – it gets competitive.

    One last thing to mention – Take a look at the Battlefield 3 trailers that are out. By the looks of it, it will be similar in many ways to both BC2 and Battlefield 2.

    Anywhoo, have a good one everyone!

  31. Connor McLeod :

    Try playing Call of duty 2, I have played it since it was released and still do to this day. It wipes the floor with all the other Call of duties.

  32. Sumguy720 :

    BF2142 I think was the first game to incorporate this mechanic. I’m not sure where I stand on the issue, but I do remember the old Battlefield games being a lot more immediately accessible.

    Perhaps one positive aspect of the unlock system is that it allows–erm–forces players to become acquainted with every weapon in the game.

    Well, alright that’s not that positive. I know every gun very well in CSS and without being forced to use them.

  33. admin :

    Recon:

    I think you misunderstood me. I have nothing against being dominated by experienced players because they know the maps, or can handle the weapons or gadgets and such. If i wish to learn a map, I can put effort into that. If i want to learn a gun, i can test it and get to know it. I am in control of gaining my competitive advantage.

    let me make this clear:

    I love picking up a game and being COMPLETELY dominated at it, as long as I have an equally fair chance of learning from my mistakes and improving my game.

    I don’t think its whiny to apply such a philosophy when reviewing a game.

    Let me make you an analogy:

    A) I’m a fencer, and I’m starting out with my career. I sign up to a competition and find myself up against a really good opponent. He is experienced, and has a nice win record. We proceed to battle and he completely dominates me for the first rounds. He knows how to counter my every move, but after a while I detect a pattern and exploit it and manage to get a score. Non the less, i then proceed to lose the match… Sad day. But I feel more experienced, i feel i learned something that i can take with me to the next duel. I feel like I would have a better chance the next time. When I finally become a good opponent myself, i can use those skills i have learned along the way.

    B) I’m a fencer, and I’m starting out with my career. I proceed by hiring a “friend” who runs around with my sword and stabs fencing students for a couple of days, and then he gives it back to me. I then sign up for the olympics, and since I have stabbed a bunch of fencing students i get a bigger sword, a shield, and a special throwing spear to aid me in the fencing. I proceed to be pitted against a person who gets to use a dagger and nothing else. If I win, I certainly dont really feel like i deserved it, but its always a fun way to troll the competition. If i lose, I don’t care either since I didn’t really care about any of this. The olympic committee knows this is a problem, but their explanation is that everyone can afford to hire a friend to stab fencing students, its rather cheap, and doesn’t take that long.

    Secondly, I don’t really condemn the whole unlock feature on its own account, i condemn it because it is forced + important. Had there been a “hardcore / no hardcore” option for unlocks I would have been happy, and those who would have wanted that kind of replay value and progression could have had that.

    It would actually have been endurable if they just included all the basic kit functions, and at least 1 good unlock in each slot at start. Not perfect, but certainly miles of difference…

  34. admin :

    durandle:

    I disagree that getting the needed unlocks only takes a couple of hours, one good example is magnum ammo, BUT! that aside:

    You argue that since it only takes a couple of hours to get the unlocks, they are not a problem. Then why include them? If everyone just needs to play a couple of hours “first” to unlock, before you “really” start to play the game.. Why? why not just remove them, and then everyone can play the game right away.

    I agree, its a great game at the core. I really love everything else except this.

    Counterstrike does indeed have a cash system, but unlike BC2, CS’s system is an “in-world” system, where all players are participants in a local economy of drops, kills and rewards. Its economy, you can manage it and have strategies for it.

    But as you say, it resets each new map, so new players always have a chance of starting off at a level playing field with the experienced players. Some games have longer periods like say Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory where you play 3 maps and gain perks over that period. But no matter the period, what makes these games different is that they all reset these advantages periodically, giving all player a fair chance at equal footing.

  35. admin :

    jordan: Agreed.

  36. admin :

    Kevin:

    I agree that as soon as you have these choices to choose from, the game becomes “more” fun. But not having access to trying out magnum ammo before deciding on picking handling or whatever still ruins the game in the sense that as soon as you meet a player with magnum ammo you no longer know why you are losing. Did you play well, or did you just not have the correct unlocks to get you the advantage all the other high level players use? Even if you would find out after getting magnum ammo that it was mainly skill, that long process of playing against magnum ammo players still isn’t fun.

    The game might be 100% balanced and super fun and competitive once all players unlock everything, but if that is a fact, then why not just skip the unlock process all together?

  37. recon :

    … another way of looking at it using your analogy is :

    lets say im an aspiring fencer who has never fenced before. I start hanging around the fencing gym and soon im challenged to a dual. Not ever fencing before I use the first sword that is available to me. I fence other opponents of varying degree of skill many of them are more experienced than me and have better fencing gear and know how to use it better than I do. At first it is humbling how quickly some of them can defeat me and if im not confident it even rattles my nerve. However, I am competative and press on and eventually I learn how to fight back, hold my ground, and even defeat many of them. As i master the art of fencing I learn new skills and new techniques I win more matches acquiring more knowlegde and better fencing equipment. I savor this experience and appreicate each new item and how hard I had battled to gain them. Soon I am an experienced fencer with my own individual strategies and technique and I continued to be challeged by oponents many of them are equal skill some are even novice and quickly out mastered.

    this is how i look at bfbc 2 and i still enjoy playing it more each day that i do play. It is an amazing game and I cant think of another game that has the same replay value.

    btw i dont work for bf bc 2 & believe it or not i was not sur eif i liked this game early on and then it soon unfolded to be the best game i have ever owned … i await bf bc 3 with high expectations.

    there is not another shooter game that allows you to use strategy in such a logical, natural, open ended way, and feels as real as this game does.

    my 2 cents

    ~ RECON

  38. RedDrgn :

    As someone who’s played this game regularly since launch day, I think I’m more or less entitled to defend it, at this stage. :P

    Yes, unlocks. Unlocks have been in nearly every FPS made in the past five or so years – eg. CoD4, CoD:WaW, BF2 (iirc), Crysis 2, Blops, Far Cry 2, Borderlands (to some extent), Monday Night Combat (as far as perks go), Tom Clancy’s recent games, the list goes on and on. It’s just one of those things. It is an incentive to keep playing – it gives that sense of achievement which has made games like World Of Warcraft so successful. And, it makes the game funner – in Yahtzee’s review of Minecraft, he said that the game doesn’t just /give/ you your golden cock&balls, it makes you work for it! :)

    Also, you were playing Hardcore. If you look at that stats sheet you linked there, you would see that Hardcore players have 60 health, rather than 100. This makes /nearly every sniper rifle in the game, even without Magnum ammo, a one hit kill/. It makes most weapons a four or five hit kill, even, even if it’s the MP-443, which is the weakest pistol in the game (but still my favourite – when you play with 180ms lag like I do, the more bullets, the *better*). That is the first problem.

    The second problem is that you’ve not quite got how the perks work. There are three perk ‘columns’. Perk 1, Perk 2 and Vehicle Perk. You can only have one from each column. Perk 1 is “I want more of X, or a scope”, Perk 2 is “I want X to be better”, and Vehicle perk is self explanatory. To start off, you have none of each. (I was a pre-orderer – so I got the coax vehicle perk, the first Engineer unlock, and the two WW2 weapons already unlocked for me.) But, that doesn’t matter one bit! Why? Because they give you some of the best weapons to start off with, and the perks hardly matter! The only unlocks I ever use are Magnum ammo (again, I play with 180ms lag, if I get a bullet in them, /I want it to count/) and the red dot scope. The rest of the perks are reeeeally rarely used by me – the weapons are mostly too spray-ish for the 4x scope, and I hardly ever live long enough to need the extra ammo or nades.

    Now, onto the starting weapons. The Assault’s AEK? My favourite weapon in the game. The second Assault weapon unlock, the XM8, is the arguably best assault rifle (my friend has a platinum with it – about 1,100 kills, I think that is). The Engineer’s 9A-91 (iirc) is the best at putting someone down at close range. The Medic’s first chaingun is reasonably good, it’s the least rowdy of the bunch, imo. The Recon gets the M24, which is reasonably good. The whole “unlocking the health kit/paddles” is also kind of stupid to me – but that’s until, like, level 3 or so. Which, if you don’t play Hardcore, you can get easy, just by defending objectives, or getting spot assists (hit ‘q’), even if you’re not experienced enough to be out in the open.

    The second problem might just be that your local servers are awful. Even on hardcore maps where I’m completely sucking or being an terrible teammate, I don’t get that kind of abuse – and I’ve heard of similar complaints from American gamers about abusive teammates. Maybe us Aussie gamers are just friendlier to the newbies? :)

    The movement detector is a Recon unlock, but the good thing about the Frostbite engine is that if you have a good pair of earbuds, and just sit for a second, still, the game brings important noise (footsteps) into the foreground, and makes it louder and easier to hear. Also, spam “q” – it’s to spot – it puts a red arrow on top of people’s heads. But not in hardcore. Also, outside of hardcore, you can’t get teamkilled… mostly. (Unless you’re in a building that’s falling down!)

    Give it another try, why don’t you? Don’t join a skull (hardcore) map, stick with it for a while, and you’ll eventually get past the learning/unlocks curve. And from then on, it’s sweet sailing and Bad Company.

  39. RomansIII :

    Well I like the unlock feature, For me Counter-Strike is not that good. It’s hard to have fun when you constantly have to stop when everyone on your team or the other team are dead and have to start again. There aren’t that many Guns, and no vehicles and tiny uninteresting maps.

    Its exciting reaching a level and getting that Shiny New gun, and you feel like you earned it rather than having to start from square one every match. It also adds the opportunity to add more Guns, more equipment and face it, we all like guns.

  40. Kevin :

    I completely agree with RedDrgn’s post. I find Hardcore mode much less enjoyable.

  41. Core25 :

    I think one of the problems you had was actually believing the stats weapons have. While they may have highly varying stats, most weapons for a class a pretty much the same and almost always come down to preferance. There are a few exceptions such as the “sniper” rifle called the VSS Snaiperskaya Special which is more or less a long range SMG. I’ve actually seen some highlevel people using the starter weapons, and very well might I add. It all really comes down to adaptability, strategy, and a little bit of luck. A good general class to play until you get good is Engineer since he gets a good amount of experience once he is able to repair allied vehicles, and he can carry up to three seperate weapons, depending on how you use your rockets. After which it pays to reach a little into each class so that you can easily adapt to the situation. I figure if you give it a chance without playing at an internet cafe or something to where you can’t have your own data on whatever you are playing on that stays there, then you would have more fun. It also pays to “spot” enemies by hitting the “back” button(if playing on an Xbox) or whatever the button is for the computer as it will net you a little bit of experience when that enemy is killed while spotted by your hands with a “Spot Assist”.

  42. Kansjarowansky :

    You’re right, most games now use unfair learning curves that don’t leave space for new players to get it right unless they buy the unlocks. I guess the right model is as a comment before mine, the ranked servers in CombatArms (And actually, that’s a pretty nice game you should try). Altough Nexon now is making unfair NX-exclusive weapons, their main and best weapon is still “free” and unlocks at a fairly low rank (SSG2), while having some nice guns from scratch.

    Also, you should not play on hardcore servers, try playing against your friends in an empty server instead.

  43. GREENTRA1N :

    Dude, i’m sorry, but this is not at all the case. If you were doing that bad, then it’s your own fault. Clearly you haven’t played an FPS in a long time so you were probably just out of experience. When i started playing BFBC2, i was level one, without any of those cool unlocks you described, and i still managed to kick the butts of people 30 or 40 or 50 levels higher than me, it’s all in your strategy. If you’re level 50 going after a level 20, then you can probably just run at him head on and come out on top because you are a higher level (assuming the level 20 really is a noob), but if you were the level 20 (and not a noob in this case) then you would tackle this fight a little differently. you would have to play defensively. Sure, you have to put a liiiiittle more work into it to succeed, but if you’re failing so badly, it’s because you’re either lazy or just plain bad at the game.

  44. admin :

    Greentra1n: i think i might not have made myself 100% clear. I am able to beat high level players, its just that when i do it doesnt give me any satisfaction or joy. Similarily, i would not enjoy being high level and win againt low level people. I dont see any point or joy coming out of that. To me being high level and finding joy in running around and owning noobs is equivalent to using aimbots in css and enjoying it.

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