Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam Review

At the heart of this expansion lie four distinct, brand-new multiplayer maps based on the Vietnam War. Each map brings a new gameplay experience and fresh visuals, with characteristics such as foxholes, tunnels and dense jungles from where the enemy can launch surprise attacks. Also, 15 classic Vietnam-era weapons and 6 vehicles are available from the moment you go online.

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All four multiplayer game modes from Battlefield: Bad Company 2, including the genre-defining Conquest Mode, will be playable in Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam. The expansion is integrated with the full game persistence, so no matter what theatre of war you participate in, you will continue to level up your soldier as usual.

You know, I’m not sure who DICE is trying to fool here with this “expansion pack” nonsense.  Battlefield Bad Company 2: Vietnam is probably more robust than many game’s pack-in full price multiplayer experiences.  But after all, it is a $15 expansion to one of the best FPS titles of 2010.  But they aren’t just adding new maps to the Bad Company experience here, it’s a totally new game, with new weapons and vehicles, set in a different era, that includes all of the Frostbite engine goodness that fans of the series have grown to love over the last few years.

Aside from firing up the expansion through the Bad Company 2 Disc, you would be hard pressed to not feel as if you playing a completely new game for a number of reasons.  The first is that they incorporated some really cool atmospheric graphics, music, and cut-scenes between games that really do well to remind you that this is indeed Vietnam.  The four new maps are broken into sections, just like the previous game, and for all intents and purposes when comparing these to other games, it almost like getting 16 new maps.  The maps are huge with multiple zones, each offering new challenges, vantage points, and in many cases stark graphic contrasts.  Ranging from Lush Vietnamese jungles to Napalm scorched trenches these are some of DICE’s best maps to date.  I have to say that the aftermath of a Napalm strike literally looks like hell on Earth.

At first glance it’s also pretty obvious that DICE didn’t change much in the way that war is waged on the battlefield.  It’s still a class based system where the keys to victory are teamwork, using your class’s strengths, such as healing fallen teammates, or repairing vehicles, etc. Where DICE appears to have done a little tinkering is in the map design.  Battlefield has been famous for it’s almost sandlot approach to multiplayer, where the battles take place on large sprawling maps with plenty of space to hide, snipe, fly, drive, you name it.  Bad Company 2: Vietnam still has this, however there really appears to be a pick-up in the pacing of the action in some zones, ratcheting up the intensity to a healthy level.

There really is a lot of cool in Bad Company 2: Vietnam.  Helicopters flying overhead playing Ride of the Valkyries as you storm an enemy position, it’s easily the most atmospheric Battlefield Game to date, or at least that I have played.  And like I said before there are so many stark contrasts to the feeling of Bad Company 2, you may forget that you are actually playing on the Bad Company 2 disc.

Weapons are also authentic to the era in this add on.  Sniper rifles and submachine guns are notably era specific, and of course lets not forget about our new friend Mr. Toasty.  The flame thrower is not only awesome to play with it provides some superb eye candy when an ally or enemy is dousing the battlefield with it.

The sound quality in Bad Company 2 Vietnam can’t be overlooked either.  Whether you are talking about the in-game radio which belts out era driven music to bang the nail home that this is Vietnam, or all of the new faction specific chatter, there’s alot of the little things that were obviously paid a good amount of attention to.

Admittedly, I haven’t played Bad Company 2 in a few months.  And I’m not sure if it was my time away from the game, or if it was just being unfamiliar with my new surroundings, but the jungles and mountainsides were giving me a heck of a time when trying to go certain places.  Being caught up between rocks, or bamboo, was the video game equivalent of running into a brick wall when  it didn’t really seem as it should be.  It was a minor inconvenience in an otherwise great time but like any game you need to learn your surroundings.   I noticed it in a few different places in multiple maps, but I think it has more to do with the actual environments in the game rather than design flaw.

Every single time I go from playing Call of Duty to Battlefield I get this same feeling of shame from not showing this game the attention it deserves.  As relevant as it was earlier in the year, the Bad Company 2 experience is still superb.  There’s so much to do, a very deep leveling and perks system, customizable classes, and a huge playground to wreak havoc in, and lets not get started on the superficial things like graphics and sound because they are, to put it bluntly, great.  Throwing in the Vietnam expansion pack is just a reminder of how fun this game really is.  If you put down Bad Company 2 when you capped out on rank, or are just looking for a new FPS experience, Battlefield Bad Company 2: Vietnam is a can’t miss fun time.  Well you can miss, but that’s what practice is for, and there are plenty of targets out there already fighting the good fight.  The Battlefield Bad Company 2: Vietnam Expansion is available on Xbox Live, Steam, and the PlayStation Network  right now and compared to other expansion packs at this price point($15) , you can actually justify this one.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam
Throwing in the Vietnam expansion pack is just a reminder of how fun this game really is. If you put down Bad Company 2 when you capped out on rank, or are just looking for a new FPS experience, Battlefield Bad Company 2: Vietnam is a can’t miss fun time.
Reviewed on Xbox 360

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