Battlefield: Bad Company 2
Xbox 360, PS3, PC
The need for proper cover is common to first-person shooters. Running out in the open will likely invite a slug, so survival often depends on hiding behind something while you carefully pick your shots. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 takes this time-honored format and kicks its ass, because practically everything is destructible — including your cover.
This go-round, members of B-Company hunt for a super weapon developed in World War II. You and your comrades will travel the globe and fight Russian soldiers to track the weapon down. Your teammates shine as you play through the campaign, and the dialogue is so interesting and often humorous that it feels like a conversation you'd have between you and three buddies, if you weren't busy fighting for your life.
The real star here, though, is the fully destructible environment. While caught in a firefight, you'll often take cover, only to discover a once-intact cement wall decimated by gunfire, and you're out in the open again. There'll be situations where you'll escape into a house, only to have them destroy an entire side of the dwelling with you in it. The game's mantra appears to be this: "If it can be built, it can be destroyed." Problem is, while there appear to be plenty of weapons at your disposal, there really are only six or seven guns, but with different attachments. Also, the single-player campaign is a little anti-climactic as the end feels abrupt.
The Multiplayer goes deeper than your standard FPS fare. While not as fast-paced as you might expect, gameplay requires a bit of forethought and teamwork. After getting accustomed to each game mode, you'll find a satisfying experience that few other first-person shooters can match.
In all, we've a winner here. Taking a scorched-earth policy, likable squadmates and a multiplayer that few can match, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 brings down the house.