The Infinite Zenith

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Category Archives: Battlefield: Bad Company 2

Sunsetting Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Reflections A Decade After The First Otafest

“The Russians…they’re invading. Not here, they’re coming in through Alaska!” –General Braidwood

When it launched in March 2010, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 became DICE’s most acclaimed title, with critics praising the game for being a fantastic continuation of 2008’s Bad Company and improving on its predecessor in every way. In subsequent years, Battlefield fans had hoped for a sequel to Bad Company 2, in the form of Bad Company 3, and then-general manager of DICE, Karl-Magnus Troedsson, stated that Bad Company 3 was not in development because the studio hadn’t quite understood why Bad Company 2 was as successful as it was. This was ultimately unconvincing, as Bad Company 2‘s success boils down to one simple fact: both its single player campaign and multiplayer experiences were solid, essential parts of the experience that drew players in. The campaign was engaging because it offered a novel alternative to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Back then, modern military shooters possessed very grim and serious campaigns that accentuated how gritty and unglamourous warfare was, telling a dark tale of reluctant heroism before sending players into the high-paced sandbox of multiplayer. By bringing in a cast of colourful characters, Bad Company 2 stepped away from this. From the world-weary Redford, cautious Sweetwater and loud-mouthed demolitions expert Haggard, Bad Company 2 allowed the members of the 222nd Army Battalion’s B-Company squad to bounce off one another. During lulls in firefights, or while gamboling through South America, the members of B-Company crack bad jokes at one another and may wax philosophical. Even when under heavy fire, Haggard may make wisecracks about their situation. The levity amongst members of B-Company made difficult situations seem more manageable, and even when all hope seems lost, B-Company member Marlowe encourages Haggard and the others that they should keep on fighting, if only to save the Dallas Cowboys and their iconic cheerleaders, giving Haggard the motivation he needs to continue kicking ass. Coupled with the fact that Bad Company 2‘s campaign takes players to South America, a region of the world that games often ignore, Bad Company 2‘s single player campaign was remarkably entertaining and endlessly replayable. Bad Company 2 had ended with B-Company successfully destroying Aguire and his Scalar Weapon, but as it turns out, the Russians had allowed Aguire to carry out his plan as a distraction for their invasion of North America, coming in through Alaska.

The multiplayer in Bad Company 2 was an even greater hit than the campaign: with its emphasis on destruction and superb map design, players found an experience unlike any other period game. Players using buildings as cover and sniper nests needed to be cognisant of the fact that opponents could shell the buildings into the ground, and maps provided players plenty of options to move around, allowing them to play in the manner of their choosing. The progression system in Bad Company 2 is deep enough to encourage replay and earning unlocks, but at the same time, it’s not so complex that one is overwhelmed by the number of available options. The interplay between classes meant that players needed to rely on teammates to be successful, but at the same time, players who mastered the classes could adapt to fit any situation and perform for their team. On top of this, the Vietnam expansion provided all-new environments and guns for dedicated players to further their experience. The variety in gameplay, balance between scale and focus, and unpredictability of a sandbox environment meant no two games were alike; DICE would eventually push the envelope and build Battlefield titles around a 32-versus-32 experience, but Bad Company 2‘s 16-versus-16 players provided the “Only in Battlefield” moments without creating excessive chaos. Overall, Bad Company 2 became an integral part of the Battlefield franchise, and while Troedsson was probably speaking out of caution, the reality was that Bad Company 2‘s successes had come from providing players with a very tight, focused and purposeful game that was simultaneously challenging, rewarding and hilarious. A Bad Company 3 would have been successful if it was able to continue on in the footsteps of its predecessor, finding a way to continue incorporating large-scale destruction into things while offering the 64-player experience and deeper progression system that Battlefield 3 provided. In fact, one could say that, if Bad Company 3 simply consisted of Battlefield 3‘s multiplayer with a continuation to B-Company’s story, that game would’ve proven to be a smash hit.

Screenshots and Commentary

  • Bad Company 2 was my first-ever Battlefield game: it was a rainy day in late August, and my best friend had invited me over to check the game out, along with the then-new web series, Marble Hornets. I found myself hooked on the gameplay, and three years later, after I built a new desktop, I finally had the computational horsepower to play the game for myself. I started shortly after my term finished, and through the month, I incrementally made my way through the game, enjoying the experience at 1080p for the first time (at my best friend’s place, I believe we were playing at 1280 and 1024, since he was running a CRT monitor). Bad Company 2 proved to be a remarkable experience, and no Battlefield campaign has since come close to being quite as engaging.

  • I subsequently wrote about my experiences as I progressed through Bad Company 2 – these posts are written in an older style with the tone of a walkthrough, and for the first time, I wrote about a game on a level-by-level basis. This was made possible by the fact that at 1080p, I was able to showcase the visuals in a game at hitherto unprecedented detail, motivating me to write about games in depth and in the process, eventually led to my writing more extensively for this blog. At around this time of year a decade earlier, I would’ve reached the Sangre del Toro mission in Bad Company 2, and I recall this mission best as having played it after returning home from my first-ever Otafest.

  • If memory serves, I decided to bite the bullet and finally attend the local anime convention, having sat out previous years on account of scheduling conflicts. It was on a cool, overcast morning that I set out, and shortly after arriving on campus grounds, I met up with a friend from the health sciences programme who was also attending. After browsing through the exhibitor hall and all of the vendors, we would catch our breath at a screening of Full Metal Alchemist before going for lunch. The afternoon was spent in an autograph session, and after one last sweep of the exhibitor hall, we parted ways. Along the way, we took in the sights and sounds of the anime convention and the cosplayers.

  • My first convention experience was a bit of a mixed bag: while I wasn’t able to find any K-On! merchandise outside of Figmas (I’d been hoping to pick up a few keychains), and I later learnt that there’d been exclusive pins that I needed to trade for, attending my first convention also was great fun, allowing me to see cosplayers and their ingenuity, as well as take in the positive energy in an environment that celebrated a shared love for Japanese popular culture. Attending Otafest in 2013 also introduced me to the Red Wagon Diner food truck and their Montreal Smoked Meat Hash. In the end, I left my first attendance at Otafest generally satisfied, and mostly exhausted.

  • Armed with this first experience, I was able to plan a bigger and better return a year later; with ten attendees in tow (myself included), my second Otafest experience saw our group visit the reservations-only maid café and sit through an autograph session with Yū Asakawa (Azumanga Daioh‘s Sakaki, Makoto Aoyama of Love Hina, and K-On!‘s Norimi Kawaguchi) and Brad Swaille (Gundam 00‘s Setsuna F. Seiei and Light Yagami of Death Note). Thanks to superior planning and exploration, I also was able to pick up an HGUC Full Armour Unicorn (Destory Mode). I left Otafest 2014 immensely satisfied, and in later years, as Otafest continued to grow, they eventually made the Telus Convention Centre as their new home.

  • My time as an attendee of Otafest have been overwhelmingly positive, although at this point, I had also felt that I’d experienced everything the local convention had to offer. Generally speaking, the main draw of any anime convention is are the special guests, usually voice actors and actresses, although in some cases, staff from studios or larger companies like Sunrise and Kyoto Animation may also make an appearance, giving fans an unparalleled chance to learn ask questions about the industry. In the anime conventions of the late 2000s, this was a big deal, since bloggers like Dark Mirage could take insider information from these panels and share it on their blogs for internet credit.

  • Besides industry guests, anime conventions also appeal to visitors because they may offer exclusive merchandise as a result of large companies being in attendance, and the largest anime conventions, like Anime Expo and Anime Asia Singapore, also would screen anime films in advance of their Japanese première (e.g. in 2016, Anime Expo pre-screened Your Name to attendees who were lucky to secure a ticket into the screening room). These bonuses are only available to the largest of conventions, which draw tens or even hundreds of thousands of visitors. Smaller conventions like Otafest have a correspondingly smaller operational budget and are unlikely to be able to bring in more notable special guests (Ayane Sakura, Ai Kayano and Nao Tōyama come to mind).

  • In days past, the exhibitor hall and screening rooms were also a major draw at anime conventions, and even smaller conventions like Otafest could draw in viewers, since they were the only time of year where fans could purchase anime merchandise and check out the latest shows. Since the advent of ubiquitous broadband internet, however, these aspects of an anime convention have become less significant: it is possible for people to buy anime merchandise easily from places like and CD Japan, and streaming services allow people to watch any show of a given season from the comfort of home, meaning that screening rooms, unless they show something that is not otherwise available (e.g. Your Name), are not as relevant as they once were.

  • Similarly, the exhibitor hall can be a hit-or-miss depending on what one is looking for. Fans of more well-known series will have no trouble finding what they’re looking for, but folks who like more obscure works will be hard-pressed to find merchandise related to their favourite series. These factors, coupled with my own travels to Japan some years earlier, have diminished my interest in visiting anime conventions as an attendee: I’m no cosplayer, I don’t play the same games that most anime fans do and panels don’t offer me much in the way of learning about anime or Japan. However, as a non-profit event, Otafest donates their proceeds to a local charity, and this makes the local convention commendable.

  • Because Otafest is a volunteer-run event, one that simultaneously celebrates a love for Japanese popular culture and gives back to the community, it is worthwhile to contribute and help out as a volunteer. This is why in more recent years, I’ve looked at being a volunteer, and while my first application was unsuccessful on account of my signing up a little too late, back in 2019, I was brought on to help out. Volunteering allowed me to experience Otafest from the other side of the fence: it was fantastic to help attendees having the best possible time while at the same time, exploring the convention freely (this is one of the perks about volunteering, and in fact, volunteers are encouraged to check things out when they’ve got a moment).

  • This year, Otafest celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary, and it is quite fitting that I will be returning to volunteering, precisely a decade after I first attended – in the past ten years, a great deal has happened, and the circle is now complete. The fact that the local convention has endured for a quarter of a century speaks to the commitment and dedication of those who run the show, and having volunteered previously, it’s easy to see why this convention has the same level of energy and excitement surrounding larger conventions while at the same time, possessing the intimacy and friendliness of a small convention. Locations and staff may have changed over the years, but the convention remains an iconic part of Calgary.

  • Back in Bad Company 2, I’ve returned to the “Crack the Sky” mission, one of my favourite missions in the game for introducing the M95, a 50-calibre rifle with unparalleled damage. Although counted as being inferior to the Type 88 in the campaign, since both rifles are a one-hit kill, and the Type 88 is semi-automatic, the M95 is better suited for extreme long range combat, since its bullet drop is less pronounced than that of the Type 88. Over the past decade, I’ve beaten the game three times from the first mission; after my original play-through in 2013, I would move on to Battlefield 3 and newer iterations of Battlefield. However, in 2021, circumstances pushed me to upgrade my previous desktop to Windows 10 from Windows 8, and the process saw me lose all of my campaign progress in Bad Company 2.

  • Since moving to my current desktop, I would lose all of my save data again – Bad Company 2 doesn’t have any cloud save capabilities, and so, if the game is ever uninstalled, all of the progression disappears with it. In 2021, while the global health crisis was still going on, I spent the May Long Weekend playing through Bad Company 2 again: I was able to blaze through the game on standard difficulty over the course of a few hours as a result of knowing where everything was. While Bad Company 2‘s mechanics are dated, the game still handles remarkably well.

  • All of the screenshots in this post date back to January – I’d had my new desktop for a little more than nine months by then, but I hadn’t found the time to sit down and beat Bad Company 2 again, ahead of the ten year mark to when I’d first completed the game. Here, I operate an M1A2 Abrams Tank during a mission to reach a rural South American village and capture a person of interest, but Russian forces stand between B-Company and their target. Bad Company 2‘s story falls apart upon scrutiny (if Americans overtly authorised direct action against Russian forces, a war would certainly begin), but the game more than makes up for this through the characters.

  • Later Battlefield games, while still being enjoyable experiences, lack the same tenour and spirit that Bad Company 2 possessed, and this is why to this day, Bad Company 2 is so beloved. As memory serves, after I completed the campaign, I occasionally dabbled in the multiplayer subsequently: unlike the campaign, the multiplayer offers more weapon and customisation options, as well as maps set in different parts of the world. What had made the multiplayer so iconic was the presence of unparalleled destruction; buildings could be destroyed in the campaign, and in fact, one of my most memorable moments when starting out was taking refuge in a building while trying to get away from enemy armour.

  • The tank had done so much damage that the building collapsed, killing my character instantly. In the campaign, destruction was a gimmick, but in the multiplayer, it was a part of the strategy one could use to alter a map’s layout, forcing other players to adapt and giving one a brief advantage to press forward or retreat. While Bad Company 2 might’ve been a tough act to follow, I feel that if Bad Company 3 had released with improved visuals and mechanics from Frostbite 2, while at the same time, kept the destruction, it would’ve already been a home run. The campaign would, of course, deal with the Russian invasion, but even this could be tempered by Haggard and Sweetwater’s bickering, offering an alternate look at war in ways that more serious games, like Modern Warfare 2, do not.

  • For the most part, modern military shooters have very linear campaigns, and Bad Company 2 was no different. However, for the ninth mission, Sangre del Toro, players are tasked with driving to three relay stations to help triangulate the location of a missing freighter, which is rumoured to contain a component vital to the Scalar Weapon’s operation. Players can visit the triangulation stations in any order, and the vast desert environment gives players a more sandbox-like environment. This is one of the most unique missions in any Battlefield campaign, and while Battlefield 3 and 4 did not offer similar missions, Battlefield 1 and V would incorporate such missions into their stories.

  • Battlefield campaigns have been quite divisive, and most players hold the belief that DICE would’ve done better to skip over the implementation of a single-player campaign in favour of multiplayer, hoping that more effort directed towards the multiplayer would improve the quality of game mechanics, as well as the quantity of content. Battlefield 2042 shows that these sentiments may not necessarily hold true; the game’s launch was extremely rough even though the game did not feature a campaign, and the absence of a story diminished all of the fighting that players were participating in.

  • With this being said, if the absence of a campaign is what led to a more extensive support for single-player modes in a multiplayer setting, it’s is a tradeoff I am willing to accept: Battlefield 2042‘s single-player mode allows one to play alone (or invite up to three friends) on a server where it’s just them, and AI bots. The absence of other players means, one can use the environment to practise flying or getting used to new weapons without disrupting their team, or being disrupted by aggressive enemies. In this way, when one feels reasonably confident about their loadout, they can step into PvP modes, ready to help their team out.

  • This was a longstanding gripe I had about earlier Battlefield titles: the inability to practise flying without a half-dozen Javelins or Stinger missiles locking onto me meant I never did master the art of operating planes and helicopters, and there are some days where I wish to explore the maps and fire cool guns without other players around. Battlefield has a host of wonderful maps, and I do wish that older games would have featured the same single-player modes that Battlefield 2042 has, as this would’ve permitted exploration of these spaces in peace.

  • The lighthouse here would form the basis for Valparaiso’s central landmark. Battlefield Portal brings back several maps from Bad Company 2, all remastered for the present, and this does allow players to revisit. If Battlefield Portal could get more maps and weapons, it would be one way of keeping the older titles alive after they’ve been sunsetted. While the technology’s improved, the nature of modern games makes their preservation significantly more difficult – older games mirror the times that resulted in their development and therefore provide insight into society and technology of that time, as well as offering inspiration for current and future titles.

  • On the whole, improving technology has made it easier to preserve older games, and services like Steam, in offering older games, makes it possible for folks to share in older experiences. Looking back is an immensely valuable exercise, and playing older games offers inspiration as well as an opportunity for introspection. Here, I reach the container ship in the Atacama Desert. I’ve never understood how this phenomenon is possible – it makes sense for ships to be found in former lakebeds and the like, but this segment of desert in Sangre del Toro is hundreds of kilometers inland. When I reached this point back in 2013, I was at a loss for solutions, but the trick is to shoot the explosive barrels, which creates a blast that shifts the containers into a makeshift ramp.

  • The last segments of Bad Company 2 become increasingly high-paced as the hunt for the Scalar Weapon becomes more desperate. The game returns B-company to the jungles of South America, and here, I recall memories of the last days of the August during my first year of summer research when, on a return trip to my best friend’s place, I was invited to play what he considered to be one of the more hectic missions in Bad Company 2. Admittedly, I do miss those times – we lived within walking distance of one another, and when my summer research had wrapped up, I had nothing but spare time on my hands. Going over to his place to play Bad Company 2 and watch Marble Hornets had been a fun way of spending the remaining days of the summer.

  • By the time I reached my final undergraduate year, a chance Steam Sale allowed me to pick up Bad Company 2 for five dollars. Back then, however, my desktop would’ve just been able to handle the game – the Dell XPS 420 I had sported a Core 2 Quad Q6600, 3 GB of DDR2 RAM and an ATI HD 2600 XT. With that machine, I would’ve been able to run the game on minimum settings, but at the same time, I decided to hold back, knowing that playing Bad Company 2 would’ve distracted me from my thesis preparations. In the end, I ended up waiting until May, after I’d built a new desktop, to play Bad Company 2, and within moments of starting the game at 1080p, I knew my patience was well rewarded.

  • According to the blog archives, I spaced out walkthroughs of the missions in Bad Company 2 throughout the summer of 2013 – my research project, a distributed biological visualisation system that ran different simulations on different computers and used network calls to send information between different systems, had progressed reasonably well that summer. While this work wouldn’t influence anything I would work on in graduate school, and it didn’t result in anything publishable, it did show that game engines could, theoretically, be used to construct highly detailed models of biological systems. There had been a certain melancholy about that project; the NSERC USRA did not have any attached conditions to it, and since I was now done my undergraduate program, there was no obligation to go back and do a poster presentation on it at the Faculty of Health Sciences, either.

  • My supervisor believed in allowing students to explore the capabilities of technologies, even if they didn’t lead anywhere meaningful: in subsequent years, our lab acquired a HoloLens and Oculus Rift. My thesis project was ported into both in an experimental capacity, although neither became full-fledged enough to become publication worthy. In the end, my distributed modelling approach never quite reached maturity, and the idea was discarded entirely a little less than a year later – by April 2014, Unity had become free, and my supervisor was intrigued to know if it was capable enough to replace our in-house game engine. Within a week of learning Unity, I had put together a viable prototype of what would become the Giant Walkthrough Brain.

  • Owing to the ease of things, my supervisor decided to sunset the in-house game engine I had worked with during the whole of my undergraduate degree, and with it, all of the work I did in the summer of 2013, along with the other graduate and undergraduate student’s previous projects, were shelved as the lab began exploring Unity (and later, Unreal Engine). Technologies constantly change, and as things improve, they also leave behind incompatibility: while it is important to maintain backwards compatibility, there are also times where it is no longer economical (or technically feasible) to do so. This is why, as saddening as it is to see Bad Company 2 sunsetted, I also see it from the other perspective – the game’s had a fantastic run and remained available to players for the past thirteen years.

  • In a discussion with my best friend, he expressed confidence that some resourceful fans of Bad Company 2 will get their own servers up and running, allowing those with the game to continue playing it. As of April 28, however, Bad Company 2 was removed from digital storefronts like Steam and Origin, along with Battlefield 1943, and servers are scheduled to shut down fully in December. With this turn of events, I’m glad to have purchased the game when I did, but this also a sobering reminder that EA Games won’t always be around, and that generally speaking, support for always-online games can be arbitrarily dropped at any time, so one must consider their decision to purchase a game carefully.

  • My style has been to pick games up years after their release, and so far, I’ve been quite lucky: The Division 2 and Ghost Recon: Wildlands‘ servers are still online, so I was able to finish them in whole and get my money’s worth from them. Generally speaking, I am satisfied if a game offers me a dollar per hour. That is to say, if I spent 10 dollars on a game and get 10 hours of enjoyment, that game has been a good use of money. According to my Steam account, I’ve spent about 60 hours in-game (presumably, 40 hours in the campaign and 20 in the multiplayer): since I bought the game for five dollars, this corresponds to about eight cents per hour.

  • Here, I storm the Antonov AN-124 carrying the Scalar Weapon in Bad Company 2‘s final mission. With this, my reflection comes to a close: I remark that this reflection’s been a bit of a fun one, and with Otafest beginning tomorrow, I am looking forwards to both helping out as a volunteer, seeing if there’s anything in the exhibitor’s hall that catches my fancy (I am hoping to buy a Yuru Camp△ Nendoroid and pick up some Otafest 25 Anniversary swag, like pins) and meeting up with my best friend, who’s attending to get some pointers on Gunpla painting. Although I do not doubt it will be a fantastic day ahead tomorrow, it’s also going to be a long one, so it will be prudent for me to catch some rest ahead of things.

A few months earlier, EA had announced that they would be removing earlier Battlefield titles (Battlefield 1943, Bad Company and Bad Company 2) from their online storefronts on April 28, and by December 8, all online services for these games will be permanently shut down, rendering their multiplayer components unplayable. The sunsetting of these older Battlefield titles is a disappointment and serves as a warning to what can happen with always-online games: classic experiences may be shut down at any time, and this leaves players without a legitimate, safe means of playing their favourite games. This was always one of the hazards of online games, and while it is undoubtedly disappointing for many, especially in light of how modern games do not always offer consistent, tight experiences compared to their predecessors, there remains a glimmer of hope. Battlefield 2042 is the first Battlefield game to offer offline modes and the ability for players to customise their modes to a satisfactory extent. Through Battlefield Portal, one can create a private experience for themselves, allowing them to replicate classic experiences like 1000-ticket TDM on Noshahr Canals, or a custom rush match at Africa Harbour. Although Battlefield Portal‘s implementation is still dependent on DICE’s servers, the existence of these tools and the possibility for players to spin up their own servers creates the opportunity for games to have increased longevity. Call of Duty has, historically, been further ahead of Battlefield in this area, allowing players to create private offline matches against AI bots, and here, if DICE could implement a self-contained means for players to either play offline with AI bots or host their own serves, this would give their Battlefield titles increased value. For the present, I will be sad to see Bad Company 2 go: while I’ve not played on a server for almost a decade, I do vividly remember having fun with both the online matches I played on my then-new desktop, as well as going through the campaign at my best friend’s place on a rainy day prior to the start of my second year of university. There is a small consolation: Battlefield Portal does offer three classic Bad Company 2 maps, and despite the servers being offline, I still have access to Bad Company 2‘s excellent campaign, having bought the game on a sale a few weeks before my undergraduate defense exam.

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.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2- Force Multiplier and Airborne

“That’s an AN-225. Mriya, means dream. It’s an enlarged version of the AN-124. Biggest ever built, can carry 253 tons of equipment. What? I can know stuff!” ―George Gordon Haggard Jr.

Force Multiplier starts right after the scalar weapon detonates: Bad Company starts fighting their way along the Harbor against many elite Russian soldiers. Pushing through several destroyed warehouses and factories, they see that the plane is taking off. Realising that the aircraft cannot be destroyed by the means they possess, they decide to make a dash to the plane through the sewer system, boarding the plane at the last moment.

“Ah, sir, no they’re not, sir. We just blew up that fucking ultimate weapon of theirs. P.S. Invasion cancelled, sir.” ―George Gordon Haggard Jr.

Bad Company storms its way through the plane after the squad acquires weapons in Airborne. When the reach the room containing the Scalar Weapon, they find that it is sealed off. Since they don’t think that they can breach through the barricade to get to the Scalar Weapon without destroying the plane, they decide to head up to the cockpit to try to gain control of the plane and to find Kirilenko. Marlowe and the squad clear out the passenger area of the plane and they reach the cockpit after clearing out the top level of the plane, only to find that it is on autopilot and that there is no sign of Kirilenko, but the latter sends them a message through one of the monitors in the cockpit. The squad agree to try and use explosives to get through the glass barrier. They succeed, and Marlowe destroys the Scalar Weapon. The subsequent explosion tears through the front of the plane, causing it to lose control. As Sarge and Haggard jump out with parachutes, Marlowe asks where Kirilenko is, as his body is nowhere to be found. Just as Sweetwater is about to hand a parachute to Preston, Kirilenko rushes Sweetwater and pushes him out of the plane trying to get the parachute. Realising that he has no other choice, Marlowe jumps out of the plane with the sidearm. In mid-air, Marlowe shoots Kirilenko and Sweetwater hands him his parachute. Upon landing, they realize that they are in a rural area in Texas. General Braidwood’s convoy pulls up and he personally thanks them for destroying the plane and the Scalar Weapon, but regrets to tell them that they must follow him in his HMMWV convoy because the Russians are invading. Despite haggard’s skepticism, Braidwood responds that the Russians are coming in through Alaska.

  • Nearly three months have elapsed since I’ve beaten the campaign, but I’ve only had time recently to make these posts. I realise that for one reason or another, these gaming posts tend to show up on anime news aggregators, which makes little sense, since these are gaming posts. To compensate, I’ll make a post about Yahari Ore no Seishun Rabu Kome wa Machigatteiru, yet another long-titled series that I’ve only just picked up.

  • Players curious to play a shooter with a sewer system done correctly will do well to try out Underhell, a Half-Life 2 mod made by Mxthe: despite being a horror game, it is remarkably well done, though I’ve heard that the game itself can get quite unsettling at times. I have yet to actually get there myself, as I’m still on the prologue (itself supposed to end in a highly disturbing manner).

  • Pure Pwnage’s FPS_Doug maintains that players run faster with a knife, but in Bad Company 2, the player is almost always equipped with a rifle or sidearm, making this (and the first few moments of Operation Aurora) one of the few scenes where the player does have a knife. Fortunately, the knife can be deployed at any time in the game with a press of the melee button for silent kills.

  • Ammunition is exceptionally rare for the first bit of Airborne, so care must be taken to ensure that the rounds do reach their mark.

  • My first recollection of a final fight on a large cargo plane was in Pierce Brosnan’s Die Another Day, but the combat here is decidedly more entertaining. Like Die Another Day, a superweapon is involved.

  • The aircraft here is actually a Antonov An-124 Ruslan, not the Antonov An-225 Mriya that Haggard mentions. Nonetheless, it is quite amusing and indeed, the interactions between Haggard and Sweetwater is precisely what made Bad Company 2 so enjoyable.

  • The room containing the Scalar Weapon can be seen in the distance: this marks the first time in the game where the Scalar Weapon itself is seen. Naturally, clicking on the image brings up the full-sized 1080p version.

  • The walls will crumble, and the chairs will be reduced to a pile of stuffing, filling the screen with debris. This is entertaining, but players should focus on taking out the enemy forces. At close ranges, the USAS-12 reigns supreme in performance, effortlessly downing anything on the other side of the barrel.

  • The pistol is used at key sections in the game: it was used to save McGuire, it is used to destroy the Scalar Weapon, and it is used to down Kirilenko. Despite being overshadowed by the other weapons in almost all of the contexts, it is a reasonable weapon and indeed, it is quite fun to use it in the campaign.

  • I was able to take down Kirilenko before the message showed up. This is going to be the last of my Bad Company 2 posts, and my Crysis posts will be written shortly after, probably after my next anime-related post. After the Crysis posts conclude, I have a special project in mind concerning Sora no Woto. Details will follow in the final Crysis post (just to reward the readers who do take the time to go through my non-anime content and let them know what’s up ahead).

The final two missions to Bad Company 2 are purely focused on the shooting and pass very quickly: with the goal simplified to stopping the Scalar Weapon, all the player has left to do is board the plane and destroy it. Indeed, the mission Airborne is directly reminiscent of the Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare mission Mile High Club, although unlike Modern Warfare, Airborne is indeed relevant to the campaign and is far more entertaining, what with all the destruction that occurs should the player find a USAS-12. The game concludes in a most satisfying manner, since Marlowe takes down the primary antagonist in mid-air using a pistol. We compare and contrast this to Battlefield 3, where Sargent Blackburn beats in the face of their antagonist, Solomon, with a brick. The former is naturally far cooler and more satisfying to carry out, whereas in Battlefield 3, the fight seems detached. At the end of the day, Bad Company 2 offers a short but fun campaign characterised by a rowdy but close-knit group of misfits that grow on the players. Watching their comedic interactions gives players the sense that they are a part of that squad, as opposed to the distance one feels from their squads in Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3. I picked up Bad Company 2 for only five dollars during a Steam sale; while the game isn’t a particularly good deal at twenty dollars, five dollars definitely makes things worth while. Of course, Battlefield 4 is coming out on October 29, 2013, and before I purchase it, I will probably decide if it is a game I wish to add to my library. If the campaign is engaging and satisfying, I will probably buy the game for the campaign alone once the price drops. Of course, the ending to Bad Company 2 suggests that there may be a Bad Company 3, although with next to no news about the game’s current status (or whether or not it is even in development), I won’t be able to say any more about it for the time being. 

Battlefield: Bad Company 2- Zero Dark Thirty

“Go? Go where? Home? There won’t be a home! Won’t be anything! Sweetwater…that’s it? I guess you weren’t really cut out for that special ops after all! The shit hits the fan and you want out! Sarge, you just gonna lay down? I see. Fine, I’ll go my fucking self!” – Preston Marlowe

The level starts in a jungle, near an unnamed city. Bravo-Two Charlie moves out towards a city after discovering from a Russian patrol that Kirilenko was in the harbor, passing a supply crate on the right when the Scalar Weapon begins its detonation sequence, making the same noise heard earlier in Operation Aurora. The squad comes up on a group of Militia defending the area, with a shielded KORD emplacement. They engage the enemy soldiers and once they are down, the squad advances through the city, but are ambushed by another shielded HMG and an RPG soldier on a cream-coloured building to the left of the HMG, along with a couple of soldiers on the ground. Marlowe kills them off, and detonates an explosive barrel near the HMG’s house to bring it down. After the squad advances into a marketplace, they fight off an ambush and fall under heavy fire from enemy mortars. The mortar eventually gives up after they reach the canal. After exiting the tunnel, Bad Company find a squad of Russian soldiers waiting to ambush the squad on the other side of the canal. Once they are taken out, the squad crosses the rushing water over the debris cluttering it and advances into the final part of the canal. Upon reaching the end, the Scalar Weapon detonates, obliterating the US and Russian forces by disabling their electronics. Haggard and Sweetwater nearly give up after seeing the power of the weapon, but with Redford’s help, Preston manages to convince them to finish the job, given that they are the only people left to prevent Kirilenko from detonating the Scalar weapon over the US, obliterating the power grid and all forms of communications.

  • The final missions to Battlefield: Bad Company 2 are very short in length and as such, have very few screenshots: I was more interested in shooting down the bad guys and making my way towards the end of the game at this point. The next post will discuss the final two missions in the game, as I don’t have very many pictures for them, either.

  • Having a light machine gun with the same scope as the XM8 is a luxury that couples the large magazine size of the LMG with the functional range of the assault rifle, at the expense of a grenade launcher. However, the enemies are at tight quarters here, and pairing any weapon with a shotgun would be most effective here.

  • Care must be taken to ensure that one doesn’t rush into enemy ambushes: the closed nature of the cityscape means that concealed enemy forces could pin down Marlowe. Instead, use long-range fire and well-thrown grenades to clear the path ahead.

  • The USAS-12 Shotgun is a gas-operated, magazine fed automatic shotgun offering unmatched performance at close ranges and is first found in Snowblind. After beating the campaign, going through earlier missions and equipping this gun via the supply crates is a brilliant means of creating total chaos.

  • Believe it or not, the Type-88 rifle excels in the canals, allowing one to pick off distant forces before they can close in on one’s position. Paired with any assault rifle, the last phase of the mission simply involves shredding anything between Bad Company and the Scalar Weapon, although the outcome of the mission means there isn’t any real rush to reach the end.

The eleventh mission in Bad Company 2 takes place at close quarters; I had enjoyed a homemade burger and oven fries prior to starting this mission on a Sunday afternoon. By this point, I’ve more or less stopped playing the game at my friend’s place, instead, picking the game up from the beginning after acquiring on the Steam Sale. At the time of writing, I’ve played through multiplayer on a few occasions, although the multiplayer is not quite as fun as those of science-fiction shooters like Halo 2 and Tribes: Ascend. Nonetheless, this is a discussion about the single player, so I’ll stick to that. While this is a close-quarters mission, I’ve found that the XM8 and Type-88 still work wonders on this mission, although the close quarters might make a LMG or shotgun with slugs a useful alternative to the Type-88. Zero Dark Thirty is one of the most hectic missions in the game, with near-nonstop combat that emptied my magazines very rapidly.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2- Nobody gets left behind

“I had forgiven everything, until I heard they knew about the weapon. Until then! That’s why this country needs to be erased!” ― James Wyatt

The level starts off just after Flynn’s chopper is hit by a Javelin – which he referenced earlier in Heart of Darkness that they are much harder to dodge than RPGs. Preston sees the compound rolling out the door and he dashes out after it, catching it as he jumps out of the Black Hawk. He opens his parachute and lands in the jungle near Sweetwater who jumped out soon after. Once he meets up with Sweetwater, he engages incoming Militia with an M95 that he found. The Militia tries to mount QLZ-87’s while Sweetwater moves to the next house over. After the soldiers are taken out, a BMD-3 comes in, dropping off more troops. Marlowe grabs C4 and an M2 Carl Gustav and destroys the tank. They then both head out in search of Sarge and Haggard. They eventually meet up and contact Aguire, telling him they have the compound. Aguire tells them to get to him ASAP, but the squad instead searches for Flynn as Haggard rallies everyone to do so. They push through the detention center where Flynn is being held, while freeing three US soldiers that were trapped there as well.

Preston finds Flynn being interrogated by a Militia soldier, who he kills. A second Militiaman then attack him with a Combat Knife and as they struggle, Flynn pulls out a MP-443 Grach and shoots the man off of Marlowe, to which he responds, “I thought you were a pacifist?” Flynn justifies his action, saying, “Sometimes even the Buddha had to kick a little ass.” Haggard gives him some cigarettes, to which he was very pleased for as their friendship. The squad then gets on four Quad Bikes and decide to race – as it was Haggard’s idea – to the chopper base that Flynn said was close by. Once they arrive, they push through the base to a Black Hawk that was on one of the landing pads. Everyone gets in, and they head to Aguire’s position. As they take off, Marlowe mans the minigun, killing the men and destroying the vehicles and helicopters in pursuit of them. Once they reach Aguire, they find out they have been betrayed. Aguire, his name revealed by Sweetwater’s knowledge of Operation Aurora to be James Wyatt, gives the compound to Kirilenko as he wanted revenge against the US because they killed his father. Kirilenko then double-crosses James and shoots him in the back, killing him. Just as he is about to have Bravo-Two killed, Flynn appears and kills Kirilenko’s men. He thanks Haggard for the smokes that he gave him earlier, but is shot down and killed by a Russian wielding an RPG-7, however this provides Bravo 2 with enough distraction to escape, much to Haggard’s sadness over Flynn’s death.

  • The MP-443 Grach is a Russian semi-automatic pistol developed to replace the Makarov PMM. The pistol was designed to be capable of firing over-pressurized versions of the 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge (7N21 and 7N31) which are more capable of piercing armor.  It is the only pistol in the campaign, and players are obliged to use it in a few sections of the game.

  • The pistol has reasonable stopping power and a good magazine, but it is almost always overshadowed by other weapons. During this section of the game, waves of militia will assault Marlowe and Sweetwater’s position. I personally prefer the Type-88 here, owing to its superior firing rate and magazine size.

  • Like Sangre del Toro, Nobody gets left behind is one of the longer missions in the game. The mission’s name is inspired by the slogan of the same name.

  • There are a few sections in this mission where sniper rifles will be useful in clearing out distant targets without them effectively returning fire.

  • I’ve heard there is a M2 recoiless rifle somewhere here that can be used to take down the BMD, although in the heat of the moment, I wasn’t able to find it and resorted to using rifle grenades to take it out.

  • Freeing the three soldiers in the detention facility will provide some firepower, but with pistols, they won’t be particulary effective with respect to offensive capabilities. They are, however, excellent at drawing fire off the player, allowing one to flank the enemy forces.

  • The quad-bike race is a direct take-that against the snowmobile mission from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, with Haggard outright saying that “snowmobiles are for sissies” and mocking the player should they lose the quad bike race to him.

  • While the campaign is short (in fact, there should only be a few more posts about Bad Company 2 before this series of posts concludes), it is nonetheless a fun game and should be played at least twice to ensure all the collectible items and M-COM stations are found. Players may also replay missions with a combination of different weapons and difficulties for the sake of doing so.

  • The FN F2000 is a compact bullpup assault rifle made by the Belgian firearms company FN Herstal. Firing the NATO 5.56 x 45 mm round, this assault rifle is compact and powerful. Having the highest rate of fire and lowest damage per shot, it behaves functionally as an SMG at closer quarters while retaining effectiveness at medium ranges.

  • The guns on the helicopters can be used, even if the helicopters themselves cannot be flown. While providing only a limited field of fire, the firepower is more than sufficient to remove threats to Bad Company. The mission ends as a rail shooter, putting Marlowe in charge of manning the minigun on Flynn’s chopper.

The tenth mission of Bad Company 2, the final aspects of the story come together in this mission, taking Marlowe and company back into the depths of the jungle after the Javelin impact. Bringing back the familiarity of the previous missions, No One Get Lefts Behind is a diverse mission that sees sniper combat, firefights and plenty of vehicular combat. At one point, there are several Russian helicopters on the ground: although Marlowe can enter and make use of the guns, they cannot be flown. The mission, on the whole, sets up for the finale, introducing several plot elements that suddenly ramp up the sense of urgency, and although I’ve encountered a few individuals who said the campaign was disappointing, I personally find things to be rather interesting, especially because the entire plot in Bad Company 2 amounts to taking stabs at how seriously the Call of Duty campaign takes itself. Indeed, the worth in Bad Company 2 lies in how humorous the cast is: by this point in the game, one can relate to the members of Bad Company and their pilot, Flynn. After the latter’s death, an unexpected shock, Haggard reveals that he does indeed care about Flynn. The characters are fun, and believable, emphasising that Bad Company is a team of misfits, albeit highly-skilled ones, reminding players that yes, it’s just a game, and that some days, amusing character exchanges can breathe more life into a game than do serious jargon intended for immersion.