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Battlefield Bad Company 2 demo live on PSN

Yesterday, I had planned to do a lot of work. Usually, before I start working, I play maybe half an hour of any game on my PS3 just to get my brain actively working (see, video games are good for you). But when I turned on my PS3 and saw that the Bad Company 2 demo was out, I knew for certain my day would no longer be productive.

The demo for the Xbox 360 and PC have actually been out for about a week now, but it was only around yesterday that it was released for the PS3. Maybe they gave the 360 and PC a head start because the private beta was only available on the PS3.

I'm a big fan of Battlefield, most especially Bad Company. I actually prefer the multiplayer mode of Bad Company over Modern Warfare because of the larger maps, destructible environments; the ability to use different kinds of transport, tanks, and helicopters; slightly slower gameplay (I like tactical shooters); and the most amazing sound effects I've ever heard in a video game. Bad Company is kind of an old game by now, but it's just so fun that I still play it even today.

I played the demo of Bad Company 2 all day of yesterday and I can definitely say that I am pre-ordering this bad boy. It doesn't even matter to me anymore if the game's singleplayer campaign is any good. Multiplayer was so fun despite the limitations they put on the demo (e.g., only one map, one unlockable weapon per class).

Buildings can now be totally taken down, instead of just its walls. I'm not sure if this is possible on all buildings, but I've seen several of them collapse. The hit detection seems to have changed too, making it easier to hit enemies. This may not sound like a good idea, but it actually makes the gameplay much more satisfying (for me) because it's now a bit faster to take down opponents, which makes the guns feel a lot stronger and more realistic. Headshots are also easier to pull off. Combined with bullet drop (which I never noticed before in the original game), compensating for gravity and pulling off a headshot from a long distance with a sniper rifle is truly a most satisfying experience.

The classes have been streamlined a bit. The specialist class is no more. This class has been combined with the engineer. In the original game, specialists had submachine guns, the tracer gun, and C4. The submachine gun and C4 have now been given to the engineer, while the tracer gun can be used by any class. Many items seem to be interchangeable between classes, making it possible to customize each class, similar to Modern Warfare. There are also specializations that you can add to each class, which are kind of like the "perks" of Modern Warfare. These perks include added armor, more grenades, less recoil, etc. As I remember, each class can have as many as three of these specializations.

On the negative side, I have only two gripes, the first of which being the controls. You now cannot switch between gadgets without letting go of the left analog stick because gadget switching has been mapped to the directional pad. So if you want to switch to your RPG, you need to momentarily stop moving in order to switch to it. You can no longer switch on the run. The reason for this change is because the old gadget switch button, L2, has been turned into a throw grenade button. I suppose many people throw grenades frequently, and these people wanted a button that allows them to throw grenades instantly without having to switch to it (In the first Bad Company, you needed to switch to your grenades first before you could throw them.)

My second issue is with the sound effects. While the sound is still very awesome, it does feel a bit muted. There seems to be less echo, less bass, and less volume in general.

But overall, judging only by the demo, it looks like Bad Company 2 is going to be a fantastic game, one which I hope would not be the cause of my dropping out of grad school.

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