Review: Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam
posted on 12.24.10 at 11:52 AM EDT by (@admeady)

Being bunkered behind a massacred mound of napalmed earth left me with few options. Whilst I was in the fortunate company of a fellow squad member (a Recon class, who, for the purposes of this article, we’ll call James), suppressive sniper fire, gung-ho grenades and a squad of frisky flame throwers – who would reduce your typical pyromaniac to little more than an ambitious student at a secondary school science fair – made setting up a substantial defense an almost impossible task.

To add to an already eclectic symphony of solider-speak, screams and weapons fire, a song echoed from a distant set of speakers – this was the unmistakable mark of an incoming tank. As a field medic, there was little I could do. Of course, the syringe’s ability to revive others on the battlefield meant little in the face of such a formidable foe. That’s not to say it wasn’t tempting, though – implanting a plastic syringe into the steel-hardened skin of the enemy’s vehicle would’ve been a desperate measure, but these also happened to be equally desperate times.

James, however, had options. He could attempt to counter-snipe the occupiers of a mountainous ridge, of which we aptly dubbed ‘sniper city’, with the barrel of an M40 rifle; he could also call in a mortar strike, which, with a bit of solid aiming and divine assistance, could evict a vast majority of the ridge’s residents. On the other hand, that very same ability could be dispensed on the destruction of the tank. It seemed likely, though, that the vehicle would simply evade the incoming barrage. Sniping, too, was out of the question – they had a significantly larger number of scoped rifles than we did.

And as the Recon class holds exclusive rights to the use of the scope in Bad Company 2 Vietnam, any assistance lent to James would eventually prove itself utterly futile. Moreover, without an Assault class to donate ammunition, longevity was a significant concern. Otherwise, we where left to conserving ammo for any poor soul stupid enough to stumble upon our make-shift camp.

What’s more, without an engineer to assist in dispatching the vehicle, our fleeting seconds of glory were quickly taken from us. In Battlefield, class co-ordination and resource management are essential, and much to our enjoyment, Vietnam, whilst not radically changing the formula, invokes a period in which its formula is emphasized, and, as such, enhanced. Our inability to assemble a varied squad subsequently meant our untimely demise.

Thick foliage ensures that a successful team employs an intelligent use of the scoped-recon, if only to counteract a tactic similarly executed on the opposite side. The liberal use of flamethrowers forces medics to keep medical supplies deployed in literal hot spots, such as bunkers, to heal those who have survived a ferocious flamethrower assault. Vehicles, like the Huey helicopter, also provide a considerable advantage to the team to deploy them most effectively, providing engineers with a pivotal role in their upkeep, and therefore, the team’s success.

Whilst hardly a game changer, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam shifts its focus from one of being relatively impersonal and detached, to one of intense and entrenched, face-to-face fire fights. Is it superior to the game upon which it expands? Not quite – Bad Company 2 and Vietnam are ultimately two sides of the same dog tag. In fact, any experience points earned in the expansion are banked directly into your Bad Company 2 rank.

With four maps – a fifth is to be unlocked after 69 million team actions – and an assortment of weapons and vehicles attached to the era, Vietnam isn’t too dissimilar to Battlefield 1943. Be warned, however. Unlike last year’s downloadable title, Vietnam requires Battlefield: Bad Company 2 to play. With that said, Vietnam is as equally substantial – it’s well worth 1200 Microsoft Points.

If you’re looking to return to the battlefield, Vietnam is the perfect excuse. By invoking by the sites, sounds and symbols commonly associated with the 1960s, DICE has managed to introduce a refreshing expansion without straying from its established tenets of communication, co-operation and customization.

8/10

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam was reviewed on Xbox 360. The downloadable multiplayer expansion pack was played to completion. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam launches for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on December 21st, 2010 for an MSRP of $14.99. You must own Battlefield: Bad Company 2 to access it.