The Battlefield: Bad Company 2 multiplayer beta, exclusive to the PS3, is well underway, so we thought we'd take a look and see how DICE's sequel is performing. What can we expect from the Battlefield series' latest outing on current-gen consoles? A lot of what you got the last time, if the beta is anything to go by.
With up-to 24 players in a game, the multiplayer is still traditionally similar to what has been in almost ever Battlefield game to date. A lot of the modes return from the last game and the vehicles all handle about the same.
You begin each match by selecting the class you want to play as, which will dictate your weapon load-out. The guns feet pretty solid so far but also seem to be missing that extra punch. Fortunately there are plenty of guns to choose from, just not right away. You will rank up as you play, which allows you to customise your starting classes by opening up more weapons for you to choose from.
The shooting mechanics for Bad Company 2 are good, but considering most of the world is playing Modern Warfare 2 at the moment I could not help but feel the shooting was not quite as refined as other, more recent shooters. With that said, this is still a beta and there is plenty of time left for polish. The graphics are a different story though; while not ugly, this is certainly not the best looking game out there. How much of this will change come launch time we will have to wait and see.
The level destructions have also been upped from the last game. In the last game buildings would only break up at set places; but now there is true destructibility. In fact, buildings can even be brought crumbling down completely if you cause enough damage. This definitely makes the game more interesting as no place is truly completely safe and no obstacle is ever really in your way - expect for the people shooting at you of course. Destructive sequences still follow scripts however, the attention to destructive damage still fails to compete with Red Faction Guerrilla, although DICE have managed to squeeze in a lot more in the way of environmental objects to add to the realism.
The biggest difference between Battlefield games and other modern shooters is travel distance. The maps in Bad Company 2 are a lot bigger than those you would find in, say, Modern Warfare 2. However, the shooting mechanics are very similar; so what this means is you will spent much more time travelling from the starting point to the battle, and then die as soon as an enemy catches you in their sights. Luckily you may choose to respawn near a squad-mate instead of a spawn point. This can greatly reduce travel time and get you back into the fight; provided a member of your squad is still alive near the battle. Of course, this is old news for the series so either it's your thing or not.
If you have played Battlefield games in the past then you should know what the deal is by now. Nothing has really changed for Bad Company 2 other than the destructible environment being even more... destructible. The multiplayer is just as good (or bad) as the previous game depending on your tastes. If you are new to the series then look out for a more open beta on both consoles coming sometime early next year so you can give it a go. PC gamers will be pleased to hear that DICE will indeed be providing dedicated servers too.