Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam Hands-On Preview – Just Like Saigon, Eh Slick?
Written Sunday, November 07, 2010 By Richard WalkerView author's profile
It looks like there's another Vietnam War brewing this year, as Bad Company 2 responds to Call of Duty's sojourn to 'Nam with a visit of its own to that very same infamously turbulent theatre of war and irremovable blot in modern American history. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam is more than just an add-on that gives the multiplayer a lazy re-skin though. On the surface it might seem like such, but new weapons, maps and vehicles almost make BC2 feel like a new game.
Going hands-on with Hill 137 - one of Vietnam's four new maps - we're quick to give the new flamethrower a whirl, which is really only useful at close quarters or in confined spaces. Thankfully there's plenty of opportunity to let rip with it, although this is not it, as we're plugged from afar with a shot from a sniper rifle, while spinning around aimlessly burning anything and everything in our path. Everything except for the opposing team that is. Defeated, we decide to opt for a more conventional loadout for the next round, hitting the Assault class for the XM22 assault rifle (aka The Stoner 63), which proves to be a much better choice as we embark upon a short killing spree.
So, anyone worried that the flamethrower might be too lethal can rest assured that it's not. It's a specialised weapon suitable only for certain situations, and so we quickly learn when and where to break it out. Spawning onto a member of our squad as the attacking team in the same game of Rush, we use the flamethrower to defend the charge we've set, as it's positioned in an enclosed trench surrounded by a wooden shelter. This is the ideal place to shoot a jet of flame along the narrow space, torching anyone who attempts to haphazardly run in and try to disarm the charge. Boom! Chalk up one destroyed target and a pile of charred enemies.
While the flamethrower is great fun, it's not always practical, and moving onto the next section of the map – a napalm-scorched forest reduced to glowing embers and smouldering tree stumps – it pays to use a more long-range weapon in this wide-open expanse. The next two targets are set into the side of a small hill across a shallow stream, meaning it's a dash waist-deep through dirty water to get to the other side. From here, we need to keep an eye out for enemies emerging from the rocks above, so switching to the Medic class after the next respawn, we pick off a few of the US forces and throw down a few medikits to heal our allies. We also put the boats to good use, stationing a man on the turret as we cruise down the river and pick off anyone hunkered down on the muddy banks.
As always seems to be the case when we play Battlefield: Bad Company 2, we still manage to get killed and have to respawn a lot [Ed – Speak for yourself, Rich!] which actually gives us the opportunity to try out each class and their new weapons. Apparently, there are fifteen new weapons in BC2 Vietnam that extend to all four classes, so Assault, Engineer, Medic and Recon all get a variety of new guns and gadgets to become acquainted with including the aforementioned flamethrower and XM22, along with TNT for the Recon class and the M79 'Blooper' grenade launcher. There's also entirely new voiceovers and a soundtrack blasting through BC2 Vietnam's six vehicles' radios consisting of 49 tunes such as “Ride of the Valkyries” (essential for any helicopter assault) and “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Genius.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam looks to follow the same trend as Red Dead Redemption's Undead Nightmare in providing premium DLC that adds something completely new and different to the game. DICE seems to have got the vibe bang-on the money with its upcoming add-on, immediately bringing to mind the 'Nam we've seen in numerous movies like Platoon, Apocalypse Now and Full Metal Jacket. Rush mode is as enjoyable and instantly gratifying as always, and with 10 new trophies to complement the array of new content on offer, there's every reason to sign up and go to war all over again.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam is scheduled for a winter 2010 release on the PSN for $14.99.