The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

Battlefield: Bad Company 2- A year since the Steam sale

“What do you do, when you’re a person like me, when you’re born to play FPS? There’s just nothing left to do but play FPS.” —FPS_Doug, Pure Pwnage

April 6 last year was a cold, quiet and foggy Saturday. A grey fog hung over the city by morning, obscuring the trees and scenery; I had just finished breakfast and was getting ready to study relational calculus for my database course. Prior to this, I decided to check my iPad for any emails from my group, as we were working on a database assignment at the time. When the email app loaded, there was no communiques, but there was an email from Steam, informing me that Battlefield: Bad Company 2 was on sale for 75 percent off. I had funds left in my Steam Wallet leftover from Christmas, and so, without hesitation, I made the purchase. However, at the time, my Dell XPS 420 and its ATI 2600HD GPU was not enough to run the game, so instead of playing Battlefield: Bad Company 2, I finished studying, spent the afternoon playing DOOM, and then went to a friend’s place for sausage spaghetti, Cards Against Humanity and Scrubs. In retrospect, that was a reasonably good decision: on Sunday, I was rested and, instead of playing Battlefield: Bad Company 2, was fully ready to prepare for my thesis defense on the Friday of April 12.

  • I still remember the first time I was playing Bad Company 2, when I only had the iron sights to the weapons and so, was constantly being killed by other players who already had all the specialisations and weapons unlocked on the virtue of playing longer than I had. However, even with the default weapons, I can still hold my own reasonably well.

  • I usually hesitate to pick up kits from fallen opponents because I will likely die quickly without ever getting to use them, but they do offer a chance to use a loadout completely different to one’s preferred one, and are particularly useful if one is running low on ammunition.

  • This is one of the earliest marksman headshots I’ve taken. If memory serves, my first kill in Bad Company 2 was with the M24 sniper on a conquest match.

  • The M249 became one of my favourite weapons for the medic class, allowing me to lay down a lot of fire. Unlike Battlefield 3, there is no suppression, but being able to fire more rounds at an enemy definitely helps one stay alive.

  • In the beginning, I was terrible with the Engineer, but I eventually killed enough vehicles with the default RPG to unlock the SCAR-L carbine, which I’ve subsequently used to terrorise players many ranks above me.

  • As with Battlefield 3, tanks are a valuable asset, and I fondly remember this match, where I signed in and defeated enough people to unlock the improved warheads package in one round.

  • For a while, I played with the XM8 carbine, but for whatever reason, this gun doesn’t feel like it was as powerful as the SCAR-L.

  • I’ve never gotten the Combat Efficiency ribbon in Battlefield 3 before, but in Battlefield 3, there isn’t a SCAR-L. This weapon is amazing, dealing a good damage and has a longer range compared to the other engineer weapons. Its strongest point is the low recoil, which allows the weapon to be fired on full automatic without introducing unmanageable recoil.

  • I sometimes pick off weapons from downed enemies to try out the guns I haven’t unlocked yet. Here, I’m wielding the MG36, a weapon for the support class that returns to Battlefield 3 in the Back to Karkland expansion. Sporting a built-in red dot sight, the MG36 frees up a specialisation slot for other things.

  • In the beginning, I had a KD ratio of maybe 0.2 every match, being constantly killed by people from across the map. I’ve since gotten better at the game and have helped my team to a few victories.

The thesis defense came and went: I ended up with with an A and, in the blink of an eye, my remaining two exams (databases and statistics) had passed by, as well. It was now May 2013, and the custom computer had finally been designed, built and shipped. With the summer ahead, I now had a powerful PC that could play Bad Company 2, and owing to various circumstances, time to play them. By the time Otafest occurred in May 2013, I was at the “Sangre del Toro” mission in Bad Company 2, and hadn’t touched the multiplayer to any real extent, although I did play a few matches and wound up losing almost all of them. However, thanks to the Steam Summer Sale in July, I ended up purchasing and playing Skyrim. Bad Company 2 fell to the back of my mind, as I had completed and thoroughly enjoyed the campaign. It wasn’t until December that I decided to pick up Bad Company 2 again to see how the game felt in comparison to Battlefield 3, and between then and now, I’ve finally moved from Rank 3 to Rank 11.

  • If I’m going to compare Bad Company 2 to Battlefield 3, there are a few things from each game that I particularly liked and disliked. Bad Company 2 has better sounds and destruction: the Russian team speaks Russian, and the profanity (though amusing) is much lighter. The Frostbite 1.5 engine also allows for more destruction, so I can collapse buildings with heavy tank fire to wipe out any unfortunate occupants.

  • I still need to unlock the red dot sight and 4x optics for the XM8 rifle. Long considered to be one of the most balanced guns in the game, I’ve gone through the entire campaign with the XM8 and one other weapon. For the multiplayer, I’ve found that the red dot sight is more than enough for the ranges I prefer, providing good accuracy without obscuring the screen.

  • During one particularly long match of conquest, I was able to acquire a tank and helped my team score an overwhelming victory in a match lasting 45 minutes. Whether it be Bad Company 2 or Battlefield 3, matches that aren’t death-match tend to last quite a while. They’re slower paced, and require strats for success.

  • I don’t actually have a mic, so I’ve never used voice chat to help coordinate with my teammates. This is most likely why I’d lose: coordinated squads can utterly lay waste to all those who encounter them, from what I’ve heard.

  • However, I cannot help but notice that I’m almost always placed on the losing team and are subsequently forced to fight a losing battle if it is one-sided. In Halo 2, I was able to make crazy comebacks on the virtue of being on the losing team’s side. In fact, my Halo 2 skills were so notorious that I got several servers named after me, and other servers outright banned me from joining.

  • My skills do not transfer to Battlefield as there are no recharging shields, meaning that if I take my ordinary approach, I’d die pretty quickly. It took me a while to adapt, but once I did, I found I was lasting much longer. However, I still enjoy rushing opponents with heavy weapons; as such, even though I’m performing much better now and end up with a good KD ratio in most of my games, I never end up with the Combat Efficiency ribbons or pins because I die quickly.

  • While I realise some may frown on my practises, I play Battlefield (and by extension, all games) for personal amusement. I don’t really mind losing or winning in games and will laugh if I lost in a particularly amusing way (in multiplayer shooters, usually when both my opponent and I kill each other at the exact same time).

  • At the end of the day, Bad Company 2 only cost me five dollars, and I’ve logged 37 hours of game time in Bad Company 2, making this one of the best deals I’ve ever encountered. I would have been quite content to just play the campaign, which was so well done it was worth five dollars, but a strong campaign with a good multiplayer means that Bad Company 2 was probably the best deal I’ve ever gotten, alongside Deus Ex: Human Revolution (for 99 cents).

  • It is satisfying to finally down someone who’s gotten multiple kills on you: I recall my Halo 2 and Halo CE days, when players with unusual, offensive or kawaii names filled servers and griefed other players. It’s quite disappointing to be killed by someone with such names multiple times, but Battlefield  rewards players who finally get their revenge. On an unrelated note, I will begin playing Deus Ex: Human Revolution once May rolls around.

  • After getting a series of successful headshots during one particularly one-sided conquest battle, I decided to give sniping in Battlefield 3 another chance. I was well-rewarded, grabbing some of my first-ever sniper rifle ribbons and getting marksman bonuses for landing headshots at 100 meters.

At present, I only play Bad Company 2‘s multiplayer on occasion, but nonetheless, I find it to be very entertaining, to the same extent as Battlefield 3. The main hassle in the beginning were the classes: I’m used to being able to dispense ammunition as the support class, but in Bad Company 2, the Support class acts as the medic. Similarly, the assault class in Battlefield 3 is the medic, but in Bad Company 2, the assault class resupplies players. These different play styles meant I had to adapt, but that was reasonably easy and as time wore on I found myself to be doing quite well, helping my team capture objectives, defend M-COM stations or leading my squad to victories in death-match (if not to the same extent as I did in Battlefield 3). Of note was the engineering class: whereas in Battlefield 3, I couldn’t get a kill to save my life as an engineer, the SCAR-L for Bad Company 2‘s engineers are such amazing weapons that I can go on kill-streaks with them. At present, I am a little surprised that I didn’t play more of the multiplayer during the summer: despite the fact that the servers are almost always populated by highly skilled players, there is a sort of satisfaction in downing superior players, especially with the SCAR-L.

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