Eyebrows were raised by some in 2008 when Battlefield: Bad Company hit the shelves. Its combination of scripted set-pieces and modern warfare made it look uncannily like, er, Modern Warfare, released the year before.
But it had two aces up its sleeve: destructible environments and the bad company of the title, a mouthy, often hilarious team of misfits. Eyebrows may be raised again this time round, but it’s not just the new settings (icy mountain! South American slum!) that often skew worryingly close to Modern Warfare 2; Bad Company 2 also shares that game’s truncated, uninvolving single-player mode. A considerably darker tone strips this game of its predecessor’s engaging silliness, and the relentless push of the levels mean you have little chance to revel in the chaos and demolition-happy nonsense that made the original so engaging (though the vehicles do help its case a bit).
But Bad Company 2 steps away from the MW2 mould with its multiplayer levels, and here is where the meat of the game lies. While MW2 followed the arena-based model of its predecessor, B:BC2 lives up to its name by offering vast battlefields on which to fight. The multiplayer games are well balanced and blow away MW2 in terms of scale and scope, though you may find lag issues when playing. For online players, this game is a must-buy; everyone else should steer clear.
(PC, PS3, Xbox 360)