Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Video Game Review

Lone Wolfs Need not Apply for ‘Battlefield: Bad Company 2’

By Jeb Haught

DEVELOPER: DICE
PUBLISHER: EA Games
SYSTEM: Microsoft Xbox 360 (PC, PS3)
PRICE: $59.99
ESRB RATING: Mature
REVIEW RATING: 5 stars (out of 5)

Many war games have come and gone over the years, but gamers interested in real modern combat should enlist in “Battlefield: Bad Company 2.” No other title offers anything close to the strategic infantry and vehicle combat or environmental destruction found in this game. If that isn’t enough, “BFBC2” features great map design and the best sound effects I have ever heard.
Unlike the previous incarnation, this title’s single player adventure is fun and varied. Thank goodness the developers replaced the ridiculous “gold-hunting” plot from the first game with a believable, although somewhat cliche, story about stopping a new type of WMD. Now the player must trot around the globe, using various weapons and vehicles to fight enemies in the sand, snow and jungle.
Anyone familiar with the Battlefield knows that online multiplayer combat is the real name of the game, and “BFBC2” excels in this area. For starters, players can choose between four different classes that all sport unique weaponry and gadgets. My favorite is the Medic class, which lets me heal and even resurrect fallen teammates while blasting enemies with light machine guns. Another cool feature is the ability to unlock additional weapons and gadgets by playing well and increasing in rank. This greatly increases the replay value.
Players will quickly find that running around by themselves results in frustration and constant dirt naps. That’s why it’s so great that teamwork is not only encouraged but also rewarded. Players are divided up into four-person squads that earn extra experience points for helping teammates. It’s also possible to respawn on squad-mates, which helps them stay together.
When completely destructible environments are added to an already great game, the result is sublime! I can’t stress how exciting it is to know that nearly anything I use as cover can be blown to pieces! It’s also great to use strategic destruction to my advantage. If I see someone hiding in a second-story window, I can simply blow the wall out with grenades or rockets. Sweet!
Simply put, “Battlefield: Bad Company 2” is the most advanced modern warfare game available.

Actions Make all the Difference in ‘Heavy Rain’

DEVELOPER: Quantic Dream
PUBLISHER: Sony
SYSTEM: Sony PlayStation 3
PRICE: $59.99
ESRB RATING: Mature
REVIEW RATING: 4 stars (out of 5)

Thinking of Sony’s genre-busting game, “Heavy Rain,” reminds me of the hilarious script title “Chubby Rain,” from the underrated movie “Bowfinger.” But unlike the aforementioned movie, the story in “Heavy Rain” is anything but humorous. In fact, this “interactive drama” depicts a tale sad enough to make anyone cry, or one where the good guys win in the end. The choice is up to you.
“Err … what?” you may ask. “Heavy Rain” features a main story line that centers on a serial murderer called the “Origami Killer,” but no one knows who he/she is. Players take on the role of four different characters that don’t know each other, but they are bound by the actions of the killer. Unlike most games, nearly every decision the player makes can push the tale in different directions. As a result, there are several different possible endings.
Although it starts out slow, the game draws players in and makes them care about each character. I literally felt joy as I directed Ethan to play with his children just as much as I could feel his sorrow after a terrible loss. When a scantily clad photojournalist is attacked in her apartment at night, I feared for her safety. I’ve never felt so connected to game characters, and I think that it’s a great achievement for video game evolution.
The control scheme for each character switches between context-sensitive movements to quick-time events, which makes the experience seem like an elaborate point-and-click adventure. This lets players have the freedom to investigate certain areas at their leisure ,while also making interactions and combat very intense! I just wish it wasn’t so awkward to walk around, especially in confined areas. There are also some occasional audio issues.
Minor quibbles aside, “Heavy Rain” is an unique experience in interactive storytelling that no gamer should miss.

REVIEW SCORING SYSTEM

5 stars = Must Have
4 stars = Very Good
3 stars = Above Average
2 stars = Bargain Bin
1 star = Don’t Bother

RATINGS KEY

Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB)
E: (Everyone)
E10-plus: (Everyone 10 and older)
T: Teen (13 and older)
M: Mature (17 and older)

To find out more about Jeb Haught and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2010 CREATORS.COM.

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