With the upcoming release of Battlefield: Bad Company 2, debate has began to rage across internet messages boards: will it be a better game than Modern Warfare 2?
That is yet to be seen and even after release, will be impossible to judge. Everyone has their own preferences, and no matter how good Bad Company 2 turns out to be, the beast that is Modern Warfare 2 will still be popular.
DICE have talked up their sequel ever since development began, and Infinity Ward have even gone as far to say that they can't compete with their nearest competitor's online capabilities. And while IW seems to remain timid and calm amidst the release of the one title that may remove it from its perch, DICE have really talked things up, mocking other shooters and popular franchises (namely Gears of War and Metal Gear Solid) throughout its single-player campaign.
But what makes Bad Company 2 a better game, if at all? Below is a list of things that may make Bad Company 2 a better game. Remember, these things won't appeal to every gamer, and some may even consider the below as negatives rather than positives.
You're probably thinking, "How exactly does DICE being the developer automatically make Bad Company 2 a better game?". Well, DICE have the experience and a near-perfect track-record. They can be thanked for some of the best online shooter experiences ever in Battlefield 2 and Battlefield: 1942, of which both still have very populated online communities.
It's not that Infinity Ward don't have a great track record, but DICE have an even better one. Hardcore PC FPS gamers will probably understand this point more than others.
Better PC Support
Let's be honest: Infinity Ward's PC version of Modern Warfare 2 sucks. No mods, no dedicated servers, and no dedicated PC-specific customization. It's essentially identical to the console version and lacks that sense of individuality that most shooters have on PC when compared to their console counterparts.
Bad Company 2, on the other hand, will have plenty of PC support, as well as support for mods. DICE have even released a trailer for the PC version.
DICE's Frostbite Engine has been through its paces in both 1942 and BF2, but it hit all-new heights with Bad Company. And it's evolved even further now. In Modern Warfare 2 there is bullet penetration through walls, but not all-out destruction. If you want to take out a sniper/camper, you have to aim with precision before they can take you out, or silently take them out from behind. In Bad Company 2, you can just blow up the building. Hell yeah!
Dedicated Servers = Longer Life
This of course depends on the actual overall quality of Bad Company 2 and whether people will actually keep playing it. With Modern Warfare 2, the lack of dedicated servers means Infinity Ward and Activision can potential shut down IWNet whenever they want, meaning the potential for years of online gaming is minimised. EA do it with Madden every year, so it's safe to assume they would eventually do it with COD4 and MW2. With Bad Company 2, dedicated servers (more so on the PC version) means longer time online and more mods.
The single-player campaign in Bad Company 2 is said to be around 10 hours, which is impressive for a FPS with a focus on online. That said, the characters of B-Company all have personalities and are incredibly memorable and likable, as opposed to the characters in MW2, which are anything but.
Bad Company 2 actually offers an inviting single-player experience, as did its predecessor. Of course, every gamer is different and some might still prefer MW2's single-player, but at least Bad Company 2 has a stronger focus on characters and a coherent story.
Vehicles are an incredibly important aspect in any Battlefield game, mostly in the online component. There are 15 vehicles in Bad Company 2 spread out across air, land and sea. That's 13 more than Modern Warfare 2, if you include the AC-130 and Chopper Gunner, neither of which actually let you control the direction they're flying in.
Some gamers might think vehicles can make a match unbalanced if one team has access to all of them, including the more destructible ones, but it actually allows for a more realistic warfare experience: the team with the more resources should rightfully come out on top, depending of course if they use the right tactics.
Improved unlock tree
The earlier Battlefield games implementing impressive unlock trees in the online component, which allowed for accessible upgrading. So many games still fail to offer an easy menu system (*cough*MAG*cough*), and while Modern Warfare 2 expanded on the near-perfect COD4 upgrade tree, Bad Company 2 looks set to improve on it even more.
There are four specialist classes (assault, medic, engineer and recon), with each starting off with a unique weapon and two gadgets. The upgrading system looks incredibly detailed and very easy to move around, which could in-turn make Modern Warfare's look rather obsolete.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 will hit store shelves on Thursday, March 4th, 2010 for PC, XBOX 360 and Playstation 3.