Pimpin Reviews: Modern Warfare 2 vs Bad Company 2 (Summer Bash Part 1 of 16)

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Pimpin Reviews: Modern Warfare 2 vs Bad Company 2

Tid Bits
-Thanks to Labyrinth for the Pimpin Banner
-I KNOW this is long. But it would be appreciated a lot if you comment, even if you don't read it all. Or post your thoughts half way through and then come back the next day. I've worked very hard on this.
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-A bit rusty on this, so critism appreciated!
-Thanks for commenting

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Intro

Modern Warfare 2<br />Platform: Xbox 360/PC/PS3<br />Genre: First Person Shooter<br />Modes: Single Player/Multiplayer<br />Developer: Infinity Ward
Battle Field Bad Company 2<br />Platform: Xbox 360/PS3/PC<br />Genre: First Person Shooter<br />Modes: Single Player/Multiplayer<br />Developer: DICE

I have a weird relationship with First Person Shooters. I don't particularly care for them, but I'm always forced to play them because the industry release pool is so damn filled with them. That being said, these past two years have seen some of the biggest releases in FPS history. As always, title of this review may have fooled you a bit because as usual with this series, this review is not a heated debate about which game is better. In truth, this review plans to cover exactly why Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 sold twice as many copies in the US alone than Battle Field Bad Company 2 sold world wide. This review will cover all things that went wrong with the latter, and even what it did right compared to Modern Warfare 2. So grab a chair, and hope to god its been long enough that this will avoid any flames.

Battle Field Bad Company 2 has been living in Modern Warfare 2's shadows since before it came out. Fans, press, and hell even the developers had been building the two up as the rivals. In the more than competent multiplayer shooter maker DICE's hands, it seemed like nothing could go bad. Much to the dismay of its fans, without any genre defining moments or new innovations, the game fell tragically short. So what exactly went wrong with the game, and what went so right for Infinty Ward's Modern Warfare 2, lets dive right in and find out.

Plot

I know it may be hard to believe, but one way that great First Person Shooters stand out from the rest of the crowd is with memorable single player experiences. Half Life 2, Halo, Call of Duty 4 all of which feature brilliant story modes are widely regarded as some of the best FPS in recent memory. It's heartbreaking, but Bad Company 2 unfortunately isn't blessed with an outstanding plot. Ripped from the pages of every war story ever told, the plot focuses on Russia intimidating the United States, setting up the stage for yet another World War. The player is put in the boots of Preston Marlowe, part of the titular Bad Company. In the first installment, Bad Company was only for the screw ups, but after their success on their last mission quickly became the army standard for "unorganized, unorthodox, and lethal" tactics. The key difference between Bad Company 2 and other military shooters is its humorous cast, which continues to be one of the main attractions since the first game.

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Xenophobic much?

Everyone from the original shows up. The Sergeant is Samuel "Sarge" Redford, who volunteered to lead Bad Company in an exchange for an early retirement. Everyone's favorite fun loving All-American sports fan Haggard shows up, brining along his love for all things that go BOOM. Last but not least Terrance Sweetwater, the group's technophile, is also in for the ride. The story begins in Alaska, where the crew stumbles across a secret research project of the Russian Army connected to events that happened in Japan during World War 2. Of course, it's up to Bad Company to find out exactly how this connects to the planned invasion and to also put a stop to the conniving commies.

However, the memorable sequences and humorous dialogue from the first game don't show up. The team has its occasional funny one liner or dialogue sequence, but the charm and appeal of the first game is set aside for more action and fire fights. And while there are a couple incredible action scenes that teeter on awesome, there never long enough or exciting enough to stick with you.

Coincidentally, Modern Warfare 2 also focuses on Russians invading the US. You play as many soldiers fighting thought the campaign. Though the game doesn't offer any snarky dialogue or witty comebacks, it's heavy in the memorable sequences department. The much discussed controversial "No Russian" mission is just one of the heavy action sequences that stick with you, but my personal favorite is a mission where you're stuck in a slum in Rio De Janeiro, weaponless, and you have to escape via the rooftops with terrorists in hot pursuit.

While the story in Modern Warfare 2's isn't exactly Dostoevsky material, it's better than the mess that Bad Company 2 tries to spin. I'm still not exactly sure how the first game connects to the second, or why half the stuff the player's forced to do is supposed to be done. Bad Company 2 has an assload of cut scenes, but most of the actual information is given in game and the dialogue is often muffled by the roar of guns or a chopper engine. Modern Warfare 2 doesn't really push the narrative boundaries, but it's at least competent, and believe it or not last about twice as long as it's so called rival.

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In soviet Russia, window break you!
....Like you didn't see this one coming

Gameplay

What doesn't help Bad Company 2 is filled to the brim with bugs and design faults. The entire campaign is set form one unimaginative gun fight to the other, and while the terrains are nice and well designed, they don't make much sense in context. This isn't helped by the games waypoint system, which marks a section as completed as soon as you hit a certain point regardless of if your objective is completed or not. At points I literally just ran or drove through enemy lines without firing a bullet.

The destructible environments from the first installment return, and I have to admit that blowing the cover of a pesky sniper by blowing apart his house is satisfying to say the least. But though the feature is improved from the last game, it's no longer really as important as it once was. It's more of a side feature, which I guess is nice, but brushing off your main attraction is akin to shooting one in one's own foot. Modern Warfare 2 features no such attraction, it does however put the player in new and increasingly interesting situations. From fighting through the War torn streets of suburban Virginal to breaking out a convict from Russia's most infamous maximum security political prison, the game at least attempts to spice things up. The fire fights are frantic and fun, and the higher difficulty level really tickles the primal instinct in us all

That's the thing, when Bad Company 2 tries to do something memorable or exciting, it really falls flat on its face. Missions such as defending a high-value stronghold from waves of enemies are fun, but like the other set pieces are either too short or too difficult. Especially when enemies pull out rocket launchers are start blowing up large sections of your buildings.

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Thet're hunting Wolves...All thanks to Sarah Palin

Though I really want to stray from echoing Yahtzee, the important thing is that Modern Warfare 2 actually has you survive these set pieces. The aforementioned Rio De Janeiro rooftop escape is actually surprisingly easy to beat, even on the hardest difficulty. The hardest of missions are all passable with a little trial and error, but in Bad Company 2 these moments are ruined by either being too difficult or too cumbersome to be remembered as anything more than a pain.

I have to say, both games are visually pleasing, especially for all the frantic action going on. Both games take you to various locations for incredible gun fights. But as I've said before, the fact that Modern Warfare 2 simply has a greater variety the game is able to showcase great graphics in a bunch of interesting locations. Bad Company 2 on the other hand has about three different settings that make up the games four acts, snow, sand, and jungle. As if you couldn't get any blander. Not to mention the load of Dust that appears out of anything clouding your vision with every step.

This may be a bit surprising, but I found the weapon selection in Bad Company 2 to be completely abyssal. There are some collectible weapons that one can find, but these are merely variations of the normal weapons. Before each mission you can use a supply crate to pick and choose what weapons you want, but the menu to do so is so convoluted you shouldn't even bother.

The thing about Modern Warfare 2 is that whatever it does it does somewhat competently, the same cannot be said for Bad Company 2. The plot of our tragic hero is not only sub-par, but it offers few to no memorable experiences.

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Saddle up Cowboy

Multiplayer

There is one thing that I can't deny DICE, it knows how to make a damn fine Multiplayer game. As it has been doing for the past decade or so, DICE produces another game with giant and varied maps as well as expertly balanced classes and a huge selection of aircraft and vehicles. The game features only a small amount of game types but they're all well polished and work extremely well, something that can't be said about Modern Warfare 2

The perk and reward system of Bad Company 2 is miles better than its counterpart. Things are well balanced and work extremely well, with upgrades being more of collectables, and with game types favoring one style of play over another. Such as the Squad rush mode that favors teamwork over lone wolf vehicle use. Modern Warfare 2 has more game types, but the play style basically stays the same. Even in objective themed games.

Speaking of vehicles, it was a real shame that Modern Warfare 2 doesn't use any, because they work extremely well in Bad Company 2. Vehicles really change the momentum in the game, and it's nice to be able to get hop into a chopper regardless of how well you've been playing. While both games feature fun and addictive online components, I have to give this round to DICE for edging their opponent, but only in the slightest way.

Its not to say that it outshines Modern Warfare 2 completely, but with slightly more versatility it offers a more satisfying experience. Though many players will flock to one type of play style that's more common in one of the two titles, but its noteworthy to mention that Bad Company 2's multiplayer is more varied and frantic than its counterpart, at least to this reviewer. If you've preferred a previous installment of either series' online multiplayer, then chances are that you'll enjoy their new baby brothers. The play styles really haven't change much, and a smart player would pick whichever one he's more familiar with. Kind of anti-climatic, huh?

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*ESPN music*

Verdict

When its hard to judge a game based on its own merits, Pimpin Reviews turns to the VS series for quick and easy judgment. But the truth is, sometimes games are so similar that it's all up to one's own tastes to tell which one is more worth your while. Both Bad Company 2 and Modern Warfare 2 are stellar in the department that matters most for shooter fans, multiplayer. And the only real advantage Modern Warfare 2 had was that it was birthed from a critical phenomenon.

To gamers like me, Modern Warfare 2 packs a little more punch with a bit of a stronger story mode and a competent online mode. But for those willing to ignore a underwhelming campaign for a good multiplayer mode, then Bad Company 2 may be your thing. Considering that the previous is part of a long and infamous series, its no surprise that a new challenger didn't make as big of a splash in the consumer market pool. While Bad Company 2 could learn a thing or two about enhancing its single player campaign, Modern Warfare 2 could learn how to make its multiplayer even more time consuming. But I'll stop before Disney hires me for an after school special.

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Disclosures: Modern Warfare 2 was obtained via [Retail] and reviewed on the [Xbox 360]. Approximately [15 hours] of play was devoted to single-player modes [completed 2 times] and [6 hours] to the multiplayer component.

Disclosures: Bad Company 2 was obtained via [Rental] and reviewed on the [Xbox 360]. Approximately [6.5 hours] of play was devoted to single-player modes [completed 1 time] and [3.5 hours] to the multiplayer component

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This review is featured in::

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Escapist Community User Review Glossary

Whitey!Whitey!Whitey!Whitey!Whitey!Whitey!Whitey!Whitey!Whitey!Whitey!Whitey!Whitey!Whitey!Whitey!Whitey!Whitey!Whitey!

*This review was written from 2AM to 6AM on a diet of Red Bull and coffee*

Huh, summed up my thoughts on the games exactly.
Bad Company 2 has a better multiplayer, but the campaign is way, way worse, being too unforgiving and forgettable.
So, yeah, I liked MW2 more.
Also, Marlowe does show up in the second game, he is the protagonist.

Great stuff.

I haven't played BC2 but from what I've heard, I'm better off getting the original. Cheaper and apparently better.

Also, that related reviews thing is genius.

JourneyThroughHell:

Also, Marlowe does show up in the second game, he is the protagonist.

Bwuh? I did mention that didn't I? Unless its awkwardly worded.

EDIT: I see, the "Other than Marlowe" is tricky. Off to edit.

Pimppeter2:

JourneyThroughHell:

Also, Marlowe does show up in the second game, he is the protagonist.

Bwuh? I did mention that didn't I? Unless its awkwardly worded.

EDIT: I see, the "Other than Marlowe" is tricky. Off to edit.

Yeah, it just sounded iffy and blocked parts of my brain that actually comprehend logic.
You did mention he was the protagonist so I messed up.

No! Bad! You're making me not want Bad Company 2, and I really want it!

Did that make any sense?

Anyway, I suppose I must now make the compulsory joke, since I'm on the first page and no-one else has yet:

TL DR

Freebird.:

Also, that related reviews thing is genius.

That won't be anything to do with your review being put down, would it? xP

Good read, but I felt you left some important things out; namely the feel of the games. I'd say that the flow of play in MW2 is quite a bit better, but then I'd admit that the multiplayer in BF:BC2 is more satisfying when you get a team together. Sadly, none of my friends play BC2 so I'm stuck with MW2 for now.

You still have quite a few issues with grammar, and frankly, I have a hard time consolidating them with everything else in your writing. That's an off-handed compliment -- you have a unique voice, even if it is schizophrenic at times. The picture captions are still less-than-mature, but if that's your thing, that's your thing. There's lots of other little stuff, like the pretentious reference to Dostoevsky, and etc, but, as always, a lot of that is personal taste.

I'm still of the opinion that the entire "vs." thing is... well, I don't get it. You could use the same space, the same word count -- maybe even fewer words -- to write two separate reviews and make every single point you made in this, and more. It gives each game a fair shake. And I do understand why you use sections here -- it would simply be too messy if you didn't. But within each section, it's still a jumble of thoughts, and just writing two reviews would make that problem go away.

That's just my two cents on the formatting. Your writing, like I was trying to say earlier, is still in the stages of "improving", but improving it is. I think -- I hope -- we're past the full-blown plagiarism of previous works. That's a huge step forward, but it leaves you're actual work exposed, and to be honest, this is far from your best work. Red bull or no, this is a pretty sloppy review.

I don't mean to be too critical, but if you just sat down and read it one more time, this could have been far better. And if you're too far gone to do it yourself, get a friend/sibling/parent/escapist member to read through it. People have been mentioning this stuff before, so I'm assuming that you're happy with the piece -- that's fine, like I said. The grammar will, probably, come with time, and more English class. The voice is the hard part, and you've already got that down, presumably.

mjhhiv:
I'm still of the opinion that the entire "vs." thing is... well, I don't get it. You could use the same space, the same word count -- maybe even fewer words -- to write two separate reviews and make every single point you made in this, and more. It gives each game a fair shake. And I do understand why you use sections here -- it would simply be too messy if you didn't. But within each section, it's still a jumble of thoughts, and just writing two reviews would make that problem go away.

I dunno, just want to try out something different, something more unique. Just change up the monotony of reviewing with something a bit fun. Its been 4 months since I did the last one, so I guess I'm just a bit rusty. Didn't cover everything I could have. I had trouble with the source material as well, a bit out of my comfort zone. The "VS reviews" are tricky to write, and since there no longer really my "thing" I guess I may have lost my touch.

mjhhiv:
You still have quite a few issues with grammar, and frankly, I have a hard time consolidating them with everything else in your writing. That's an off-handed compliment -- you have a unique voice, even if it is schizophrenic at times. The picture captions are still less-than-mature, but if that's your thing, that's your thing. There's lots of other little stuff, like the pretentious reference to Dostoevsky, and etc, but, as always, a lot of that is personal taste.....

....

That's just my two cents on the formatting. Your writing, like I was trying to say earlier, is still in the stages of "improving", but improving it is. I think -- I hope -- we're past the full-blown plagiarism of previous works. That's a huge step forward, but it leaves you're actual work exposed, and to be honest, this is far from your best work. Red bull or no, this is a pretty sloppy review.

To be honest, I knew that before I even put it out. Kind of rushed out in addition to not having practice with these for a while. I wasn't very enthusiastic for this review, and that clearly showed. It's no excuse, but hopefully this will make the next Vs reviews I have planned out work smoother.

mjhhiv:
I don't mean to be too critical, but if you just sat down and read it one more time, this could have been far better. And if you're too far gone to do it yourself, get a friend/sibling/parent/escapist member to read through it. People have been mentioning this stuff before, so I'm assuming that you're happy with the piece -- that's fine, like I said. The grammar will, probably, come with time, and more English class. The voice is the hard part, and you've already got that down, presumably.

Not my best work, not near it. But hopefully this will loosen me up and get over a little writers block that I've been facing as of late. And hopefully I leave a better impression with the next one. Since I have more time to write it and what not.

In a way I do agree, Modern Warfare 2 did have a much better campgain than it's counterpart, and while modern warfare 2 had it's moments it quickly just became over the top, which sometimes can be great but the way modern warfare 2 constantly shuffed it down your throat I found I quickly became immune and started mocking the games story choices

. BFBC2 however I will freely admit had a just a bad story, and lost that humorous spark that it's predessor had, it attempted and failed horribly to be serious.

However I do think BFBC2 has a much better multiplayer, MW2 was a chore and when I played I generally got angry and pissed off, I realised when I played I didn't actually have fun, I just won in a meaningless way. With BFBC2 though, win or loose the battlefield around you is so intense and the way the battle shifts meaning i'm always having a good time.

Also, I take it this is the review you where on about. You should start sending out signal flares to me I almost missed it.

Stranger of Sorts:

Freebird.:

Also, that related reviews thing is genius.

That won't be anything to do with your review being put down, would it? xP.

Of course not, I think it's a really good way to give users quick access to multiple people's opinions on certain games, and showcase other reviews.

Especially mine.

I do agree with your opinion on the difficulty, as on my first playthrough on Modern Warfare 2 I played on Veteran (or whatever the hardest difficulty is, it been awhile) and got through with only a few rough parts, but Bad Company 2 is the first game in FPS history I have ever rage quit in the entire history of the genre and (while I'm not trying to make myself as some sort of FPS god) I always play on the hardest difficulty on my first playthrough.

 

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