Battlefield: Bad Company™ 2

Earlier this week, a YouTube video sparked reports that Battlefield Bad Company 3 would launch in 2018.

Details of the purported project were uploaded by YouTuber AlmightyDaq - who previously laid out a host of leaked details on Battlefield 1. Off the back of that track record, AlmightyDaq's video was picked up by numerous other sites and forums.

The video had plenty of details in it - a "mid and post-Vietnam conflict" setting, game modes including Conquest, Rush, Operations, Domination and Team Deathmatch, "tighter" maps and era-appropriate guns.

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PC Gamer

Why I Love

In Why I Love, PC Gamer writers pick an aspect of PC gaming that they love and write about why it's brilliant. Today, Phil praises Battlefield's defibrillator.

There's something about medics in class-based shooters that fascinates me. Not the mechanics, so much, but the psychology. Doctors can be an obstinate bunch at the best of times, but a game's medic will often have active disdain for his patients. Take Team Fortress 2. For the Medic, the other players are a bunch of braying moron babies—unable to take even the smallest bit of punishment without crying to him for help. To the rest of the team, the Medic is never where he's needed. Why won't he heal, dammit? You're clearly on fire. Why won't he heel, dammit? You're the team's only Heavy. Why did he uber you, a Soldier, just as you started to reload? And why in the hell is is he leaving the server in the face of your entirely reasonable demands?

Battlefield medics—or medically-focused Assault players in later games—have a slightly different, albeit equally unhealthy way of viewing their team. I've always liked the Battlefield games for awarding points in a way that encourages objective-focused team play. That does, however, result in some unintended consequences. For the Battlefield medic, other soldiers aren't 'players,' or 'valued teammates.' They're mobile score deposits that can be mined for great reward.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2's Rush mode was glorious for this, especially if you were on the defending team. I played hundreds of hours of Bad Company 2, and firmly believe it to be the highpoint of the Battlefield series. A lot of that can be attributed to the joy of chucking a well-placed medikit near an M-Com station and watching the points roll in. It's a glorious feeling, as multiple squads pile into a building to provide a constant score tick from the escalating battle. I topped many a scoreboard by profiting off of these virtual sieges.

I do worry that every other medic is sincere and altruistic—that I'm the asshole—but I don't think that's the case. Exhibit A: the defibrillator. It's my favourite device in any Battlefield game, but the way DICE has tweaked its implementation over the series suggests that all medics are awful people. With Battlefield 3, DICE added the option to reject revives. Now, you can tell the game that no, thank you very much, you don't want to be alive any more. There are a number of reasons why this might be the case, but the main one is that medics can't be trusted to not revive you at an unsafe moment. If given the chance, they will trap you in a nightmarish death cycle of constant expiration and revival. If you've ever played on a high-ticket Operation Metro server, you've seen this in action. Opportunistic medics pick over corpses like vultures, before backing off to let the newly revived stumble back to the slaughter. It's macabre.

It's infuriating for the other players—and as mercenary as I am, I try to be a responsible reviver—but I do understand the temptation. There's the points, obviously. But also something else. Defibrillating is brilliant. Switch to the defibrillator and you lose short-term agency over the flow of the battle. In a map full of bastards with guns, you're giving up the ability to affect your immediate situation in pursuit of a long-term advantage.

It looks dramatic, too. I've defibrillated hundreds (probably thousands) of times, but my overriding memory of the act is one of desperate against-all-odds heroism. I'm charging through incoming fire as the downed teammate inches closer to the respawn, diving in at the last second, and jolting him with a few hundred volts. DICE attempts to imbue every aspect of Battlefield's multiplayer with emergent cinematic spectacle. The thrill of a successful revive is probably as close as they've come to unreservedly pulling that off. The drama is heightened by the fact that defibrillation only works if you've got the soldier's body in view. You have to look away from the battle, momentarily giving up your situational awareness. It extends the moment, past the act and to the recovery. The soldier has been revived. Now what? You have to instantaneously re-adjust to the current situation, running out of danger as you switch back to your weapon, or—if you're absurdly lucky—reacting in time to an enemy presence and defibrillating them in the head. That's fun too.

I know that an unwanted revive at an inopportune time can be infuriating, but I ask that you please understand. It's not that the medic wanted to inconvenience you; it's just that they're having a really, really good time.

PC Gamer
Battlefield: Bad Company 2

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 was selected as the 2010 Shooter of the Year by PC Gamer UK. So why, four years later and despite insistence that it's "still out there," is there still no Bad Company 3? DICE chief Karl-Magnus Troedsson says he knows people want a sequel, the problem is that the studio can't quite figure out exactly what people loved about the series.

It's not that Troedsson and company think the Bad Company games were substandard by any measure; if anything, it's the opposite. "Some people say they found the multiplayer controls faster and more direct," he told Eurogamer. "Some people liked the single-player and the characters and the humor. People love different things about it. It's starting to almost get to that place where, if we were to make a sequel to Bad Company, what would than even imply?"

"It's scary to go back and try to remake an old fan favorite when actually no-one can really put their finger on what it is people love. Bringing back the characters and creating a great single-player out of that, sure, I can understand that," he said. "But some people say this: the Bad Company 2 multiplayer is the best you've ever done. Okay, why is that? It's hard for people to articulate what that is, which is actually hard for us. It would be hard to remake something like that."

Here's a thought: Start with interesting, not-too-serious characters, throw them into an interesting, slightly over-the-top and occasionally goofy story, and wrap it all up with plenty of guns, explosions and small-scale, class-based online combat. It might just work.
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PC Gamer
Bad Company

The gold-obsessed scamps of Battlefield: Bad Company will return, DICE creative director Lars Gustavsson has revealed. Of course, he revealed this at an event for Battlefield 4, which, as you might imagine, means that we won't be seeing the third entry in the series for a while. Especially with DICE's commitments away from modern military men shooting each other, with Mirror's Edge 2 and Star Wars: Battlefront.

"My feeling is that I would love to do it," Gustavsson said. "For me, when we started the company with 1942, it was really a work of passion. And then we worked our way through the era of different wars, and I loved them all, like my little babies. When it came to Bad Company, it was creative freedom; don't take yourself too seriously.

"So I love it. I want to see it again. Whether it can happen now with the newly announced Mirrors Edge 2 and Star Wars: Battlefront... but we'll see," he said. "Trust me, the Bad Company isn't forgotten, they are just on a very long vacation. So they are out there, they're coming back."

For singleplayer Battlefield fans, this is probably good news, with Bad Company 2 offering heaps more personality than the largely superfluous and, at times, actively rubbish Battlefield 3 campaign. Beyond that, the online portion also felt different. Not sillier, per se, but less dedicated to the Gritty™ Massive™ Warfare™ of the latter entries in Battlefield's main wing. Bad Company 2's Rush maps have been responsible for some of my favourite bits of co-ordinated multiplayer action and, however Battlefield 4 turns out, it would be nice to see them return to that eventually.

Thanks, Polygon.
PC Gamer
Battlefield: Bad Company 2

Fans of the Battlefield spin-off Bad Company began to despair after no news of Bad Company 3 surfaced at E3. But DICE executive producer Patrick Bach wants you to know that Bad Company isn’t dead, it’s just sleeping.
Speaking to IGN at E3, Bach said that DICE doesn’t have the “bandwidth” to work on Bad Company 3 right now. “We can always find talented people around the world,” he said, “The Bad Company series is by no means killed or anything, it’s still out there.”

It’s not hard to believe that DICE is operating at full capacity right now. The Stockholm-based developer is currently putting the finishing touches on Battlefield 4 and just announced Star Wars: Battlefront and Mirror’s Edge 2 at E3. DICE’s new American studio, DICE LA, was recently established to bring on American talent and help carry some of the load.

According to Bach, parts of the Bad Company series, like destructible environments and squad commands, have been absorbed into Battlefield 4’s multiplayer. “We merged the Battlefield main game with Bad Company and we’ll continue to do it. I won’t say we’ll never build another Bad Company game again, but right now we’re focusing on Battlefield 4.”

Battlefield 4 will be released worldwide in late October (without mod support, we learned yesterday at E3) and early November this year. For the latest from E3, check out our complete coverage.
PC Gamer
Battlefield: Bad Company 2

It's been over three years since Battlefield: Bad Company 2 surfaced as a joyously action-filled addition to the multiplayer scene, but things have quieted down of late. In the midst of the ever-growing Battlefield 4 hype, might things still be quietly operating down for the Bad Company franchise? Unfortunately not, says DICE.

The news was spotted by Eurogamer, who stumbled upon a telltale tweet in response to a BC2 fan asking if it would receive a sequel. "We love the Bad Company series, but don't have it in active development," said the representative manning the Twitter account. "Battlefield 4 is our main focus for the year."

It's sad news for those of us who loved BC's unending multiplayer thrills. While Battlefield 4 is specified as the focus for the next year, there's no word on what will happen in 2014. After all, with the current way that sequels to successful shooty hits are slingshotted out of studios, it's unusual for a franchise as prominent as Bad Company to take such a hiatus, let alone return after it. Would you play a Bad Company 3, or are you instead holding out for Battlefield 4's explosive late-year release?
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PC Gamer

Article by John Strike

Next week we'll catch our first proper glimpse of Battlefield 4, and if the picture on the press invite is anything to go by, DICE's latest in the supersized shooter series will stick with the near-modern-day setting. Also: it will have rain. Though I'm delighted by the presence of these delicately rendered drips, with over 700 Battlefield hours under my belt, and a clan to lead, I have a few more items on my wishlist.

Spawn protection
One of the most frustrating parts of Battlefield 3 is spawning and dying immediately in one of four equally infuriating ways. Firstly, you may spawn on a squad beacon that looks clear but has snipers watching it and deliberately not destroying it. Secondly you may spawn on a squad leader who’s about to step on a grenade. Thirdly you may spawn on a a flashing Conquest flag half-capped by an enemy that has every spawn place covered. Or you can find yourself at the mercy of a point-hungry medic under fire in some god forsaken corner of Operation Metro, being revived and instantly killed by a support soldier on overwatch. Regardless of how it happens, it feels like a frustrating waste of time.

DICE’s answer to this was to add a one-second ‘safety time’ in BF3 which allowed you to grasp your bearings and start firing. It's a great solution for the vulnerable spawnee, but it creates a knock-on imbalance for the spawnee's opponents, who aren't rewarded for their skill in quickly spotting an enemy. You can often empty a clip into a freshly spawned enemy, and then perish during the reload. By protecting newly-spawned players, DICE have penalised the abilities of their opponents. Admittedly, they've sweetened the pill: deaths from which you’re revived don't count towards the scoreboard, but this alleviates little of the annoyance.

There’s no easy fix here, but it's an issue DICE must address. While it could be resolved by a wholesale restructure of the spawn system, I feel like revives and squad-spawning are elements that set Battlefield apart from its rivals. It would be a shame to lose them entirely and revert back to static spawn points sheltered from the frontline. Planetside 2 allows you to decline revives from medics - that seems like a good solution to one part of the problem. Meanwhile, perhaps emphasising the risk of a certain spawn points would help alleviate the annoyance of being murdered instantly. Skull icons currently mark recent deaths on the minimap, but it could be made even more explicit: changing the colour of the spawn marker to a bright red if everyone who drops in there dies within moments. There are probably even more elegant solutions out there - let us know in the comments.

Smarter friendly fire indicators

A more specific problem is that of friendly fire or, rather, how the risk of friendly fire is flagged. Anyone who plays Battlefield 3 will have at some point been killed by an enemy who they've plainly seen but presumed is a friendly due to a blue/green tag above his head. What they're actually seeing is the ally marker of a team-mate some distance behind the hostile trooper. There’s no differentiation in the size or transparency of the tag to help you deduce this. I'd like to see friendly tags vanish if positioned directly behind an enemy.

More throwbacks to Battlefield 2
Whatever happened to the sweeping orchestral music at the start of games, or the support of a commander who could call in pin-point artillery? How could we forget what fun we had spotting a camping sniper for the commander as he dropped a jeep on his head in a brutal act of "cartillary". Whatever happened to those big 6-man squads and a class dynamic that never felt like it needed changing? Why did I seemingly sacrifice my netcode and framerate for destructible buildings? Why can I level up a character in a matter of hours?

Some of Battlefield 3 and BFBC2’s features have been fantastic and series has undoubtedly evolved in line with others, but I think much of the legacy of BF2 and perhaps even the identity of the Battlefield games has been lost along the way.

Deal with la...           ...g
If I had a pound for every time I shouted, "He just shot me round a fucking corner!" I’d be able to pay transport costs for everyone on the server to come and sit in my lounge and play on LAN.

Of course, the UK's abysmal network infrastructure is rather out of DICE's hands, but the game's design can account for it up to a point. And, as BF3’s Close Quarters’ DLC maps illustrated, the netcode was never built for fast, twitchy encounters.

More scoring sounds and player barks
BFBC2 and BF3 are among the most sonically accomplished games ever made - witness the sudden subdued volume and tinnitus ring that follows a close detonation, or the way sounds echo off the walls of a confined space. These are key to the sense of embodiment that roots you right there in the action.

But they could expand their score-related sound indicators. Currently, there's only one sound used to represent everything from "YES! My mine blew up a tank" to "Bollocks I’m dead". You even hear the exact same soft ping if you clock up a teamkill. Surely a set of sounds could exist attributed to Battlefield 3’s huge number of bonuses.

I also quite miss the use of non-English languages from Battlefield 2 and BFBC2. As an English-speaking player there was an exciting vulnerability in not being able to interpret enemy barks - although, if you played the game long enough, you began to unconsciously assimilate the phrases. If I ever get stuck in China or Russia, I will be able to confidently ask for a lift from passing jeeps, although I suspect "Grenade!" and "Enemy tank spotted!" may be rather more hazardous to use in everyday conversation.

Bigger, more malleable environments
Visually stunning and relentlessly tested maps are crucial if Battlefield 4 wants to be what we need it to be. Aside from perhaps Operation Metro, BF3 has been a leader in flowing and multi-layered map design, with minimal choke-points and plenty of neat little hidey-holes.

Playing the Armoured Kill maps in particular I was struck with how good the game looks on a larger scale, and feel that even more could be done for Battlefield 4 to make those environments more interactive. Alborz Mountains for example has heaving great rock formations above Conquest flags which I'm just itching to destroy. If you can flatten a two-storey building why not bring rocks and rubble crashing down around your foes?

Consider Alborz' steep inclines, laden with snow. It would have been fantastic if you could cause avalanches. What better way to ambush a convoy of attackers in a ravine than by blocking the road with snow? Imagine breaking up those sheets of ice in the lower valleys with tank fire, sending crossing troops into the sea on impromptu icebergs.

Vast, open environments and destructibility were the defining features of previous Battlefield games. In the singleplayer at least - DICE abandoned that in favour of aping Call of Duty's cinematic linearity. This was definitely a mistake. This is what the "next-gen" should be all about: wowing audiences with dynamic, interactive worlds, not funneling them through a slightly prettier duckshoot.

Consistency among patches
The running joke of game patches needing patches of their own has never seemed as true as in BF3. From its catastrophic server problems at launch to the frustrating wait between updates (thanks to them being tethered to patch approval processes on consoles), Battlefield 3’s patch history has been turbulent, but DICE’s support for the game has been strong.

However, as a player, there’s one aspect of this patching process that has been slightly frustrating: the radical changes to the strengths and weaknesses of the game’s arsenal. Game balance is obviously an ongoing process, but it seems that something's gone wrong in your QA or beta-testing process if, after launch, you end up shifting weapons and vehicles into completely different brackets of strength and agility. As a gamer the consistency of your instruments is important, and a more thorough closed beta or external game testing by trusted members of its community would make DICE’s Battlefield 4 a game to remember.

That's my wishlist - what's yours? Let us know what you want to see from Battlefield 4 in the comments and add me on BL @ Stryk_uk if you like hardcore mode and teamwork!

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