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Previews

Battlefield: Bad Company

Preview: Ignore the title, these crazy warmongers are great company

As we live in a world where you can blast pretty much anything to bits if you aim enough high-powered weaponry at it, we're pleased that Battlefield: Bad Company follows the same rules of engagement.

Houses, vehicles, trees and even massive chunks of land can be destroyed thanks to the potentially superb Frostbite graphics engine, built especially for this game. This means you can hop in a tank and cut a path through dense forests - pinging trees out from the ground as you go - or blow a hole in the side of a building to create an emergency entrance/exit. The possibilities are endless. Coming from DICE - the daddies of war-based FPSs on PC - PS3 might be receiving its first serious challenger to Call Of Duty 4's crown.

Zoom

Unlike previous Battlefield games, Bad Company laser-targets a compelling single-player campaign. The story revolves around three soldiers dumped into the titular Bad Company, a US military group where the army's loose cannons are dumped. There's the redneck Haggard whose love for blowing things up has made him a liability within the regular armed forces; Sweetwater, a rookie who's wet behind the ears but hot stuff with a rifle and Redford, the tough-talking sergeant of this dysfunctional group.

It promises to be a cinematic experience laced with dark-humour as your guys go hunting for a haul of hidden gold. It's like that George Clooney flick Three Kings, but without the hammy acting. And while the offline mode is catching our interest, online multi-player has the potential to be equally accomplished, if not the highlight.

Map of honour
24 players will be fighting it out across huge maps that should rival CoD4's excellent virtual wars. For starters, Bad Company has plenty of vehicles to bomb around in, such as tanks, boats and choppers, and each one has spare seats for ferrying around your team-mates and dropping them into battle.

Unlike CoD's somewhat claustrophobic arenas, the vast stages in Bad Company will allow you to hide in the hills and play as a stealthy sniper or, if subtlety isn't your thing, you can always pick the demolitions expert and flush out enemies with your bazooka. If it's anything like the forgotten PS2 prequel Battlefield: Modern Combat, then the online environments in Bad Company will make for some amazing fights. We honestly can't wait.

All by myself
Back to solo mode, and it seems DICE are making every effort to create a realistic war across the land of Eurasia. Events happen in real-time, so daylight encounters will turn to night and vice-versa - all of which will be illuminated by realistic shadows from the sun and the moon.

Zoom

The Frostbite engine is also capable of producing some of the best grenade explosions we've ever seen. There's a scene where an air-strike is called and, as the bombs drop, the fiery balls of energy that erupt into the sky look madly beautiful, in a death-dealing kind of way. Check the footage out on this very issue's disc and marvel.

Everything, from the way that the background music will fade in and out when explosions go off to being able to carve holes in wire fences with your dagger just adds to the experience.

And with the high level of destruction and things to blow apart, the different ways of approaching missions are almost endless - meaning you can add your own special touch to directives by doing them your way. We'll have a very special hands-on preview next issue. Don't miss it.

The verdict

We're excited about BBC. The online action will be great but we're also looking forward to the solo campaign. More soon.

Format
PlayStation 3
Developer
Digital Illusions
Publisher
Electronic Arts
Genre
FPS

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