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Game Review

All right, soldier, you may have worked some tough missions before and met your share of tough hombres, but I guarantee you, you ain't seen nothin' like this! Don't smirk when I'm talking to you, soldier! We're going after a weapon of unspeakable power—a weapon the Ruskies have and we want, and we're going to gallivant across the globe looking for it! And why are we sending you, soldier?! 'Cause you're expendable, that's why! You'll probably die on this mission, soldier! In fact, you'll probably die a hundred times! Maybe two hundred. Got that, soldier? You'll just have to keep restarting and restarting! Why will you restart, soldier!? Why?! Because you paid $60 for the privilege of dying, and you're going to get your money's worth, that's why! Now, drop the controller and give me 20!

Line 'em Up, Mow 'em Down
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 immerses you into a world consumed by war. In the single-player version, you're part of a squadron that, literally, works at war. If you go online—well, you'll be dealing with folks who've made it an all-consuming hobby.

And to think, war is something that, in the real world, we typically try to avoid.

Of course, Bad Company 2 (like most war-based video games) has stripped away most of what makes war so awful—the killing, the dying, the stench—and turned it into a lead-and-gunpowder-filled diversion. And this particular war-based diversion has already sold 2.3 million copies, just a month into its life.

In the game's single-player mode, you spend most of your time as Pvt. Preston Marlowe, part of a four-person squad called—you guessed it—Bad Company. The task before you: Track down and confiscate a mysterious weapon known as the Aurora before Russia uses it to turn the United States into a four time-zone cemetery. While Bad Company is technically a covert op squadron, it's certainly not subtle: Players will need to kill scads of enemies before the game credits roll—getting the bloody job done by using everything from knives to machine guns to tanks.

Gameplay, while not completely intuitive, was easy enough that I figured out pretty quickly how to make Marlowe do what I wanted him to do—or, more specifically, what he needed to do to accomplish the mission. Moreover, the game's creators have made virtually everything in the game vulnerable to bullets (or mortars or remote explosives). After all, why take out just a sniper on the roof when you can destroy the whole building?

But where the game really earns its stars (it's gotten some pretty tremendous ratings from mainstream game critics) is in online play. The online mode is more free form, naturally, than the scripted first-person mode, as you battle with and against other players with a taste for napalm. Scenarios range from defending an outpost to, essentially, annihilating anything outside your squadron that moves. You're allowed to serve other functions besides just pulling a trigger here, too. You can be your squad's engineer or medic—and the latter role allows you to both heal and hurt people. Lucky you.

It's in this online mode that gameplay becomes serious business indeed. Because you've teamed up with three real people, you're beholden to them, in a sense—and you're supposed to follow orders (or give them) just as a real soldier would. Thus, players might learn some valuable lessons about teamwork, leadership and submitting to authority. If, that is, your online cohorts weren't all so much better than you and impatient with your ineptitude.

One player we encountered had already logged more than 107 hours of gameplay and amassed 10,728 kills. And keep in mind, the game was released less than a month before this review was written. At the time we encountered InViNciBLe_RaW, he had already spent more hours playing the game than most people had spent at their jobs in the same period of time.

The Last (Bad) Word
Because you're dealing with real people online in Battlefield: Bad Company 2, there's no way of telling what kind of coarse language gamers might hear. But as bad as the language might be online, I have a hard time imagining that it'd be significantly worse than what's present in the single-player version of the game itself. Characters spew the f-word (and variations), the s-word and use Jesus' name as a profanity—repeatedly. That aspect of the game is incredibly foul. The language alone would've earned Bad Company its M rating.

Oddly, for all its violence and mayhem, the game isn't all that bloody, though. We do see spatters of blood on occasion, but it's nothing akin to the limb-wrenching, gore-infused, M-rated splatterfests that litter store shelves these days. That doesn't make it tame, mind you. You're still shooting and killing people. And even in the realm of a Battlefield game like this one, you have to wonder whether shooting all those soldiers—even without copious amounts of blood, and even if they are trying to wipe out the United States—is really worthy of the kind of praise that's been heaped upon it.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range







Record Label


Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC


EA Games,Digital Illusions CE


March 2, 2010

On Video

Year Published



Paul Asay Kevin Simpson

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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