"Vietnam, A Unique Experience"
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam is the latest FPS multiplayer expansion (from EA and DICE) for BBC2 to arrive on Xbox LIVE, PSN, and PC as of December 21, 2010. This offering is only acquirable via download and can not be experienced without a copy of the Battlefield: Bad Company 2 game disc. BBC2 Vietnam offers 5 new maps, 15 new weapons, 6 new vehicles, new voice-overs and music tracks, all of which are contemporary with the Vietnam era. Aside from this, there are also 10 new achievements / trophies to unlock in XBL and PSN. The DLC can be acquired via XBL or PSN, as well as from the BBC2 in-game store.
Vietnam is a multiplayer-only expansion, and as such, there is nothing offered in the way of a storyline via a campaign-mode. Rather, EA / DICE sought to deliver the Vietnam experience first-hand. This goal was executed in pristine fashion not only through the multiplayer servers dedicated solely to this expansion, but also through the game's breath-taking visuals, exhilarating and suspenseful gameplay, and authentic musical and voice-over audio content.
- There really is something about the smell of NAPALM in the morning -
Like BBC2, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam delivers in both the audio and visual departments with its stunningly life-like environments and its auricular intensity. In Vietnam, you are not fighting in an urban setting; instead, you are fighting in small villages tucked along the riverside or in swamplands and forested areas. The environment and scenery is beautiful and brings a sense of realism to every moment you spend in it. Due to the heavy cover provided by the swamps and dense forests, I found myself getting in many up-close-and-personal encounters. Vietnam favors the close-ranged weapon but also creates a suspenseful environment for those thrill seekers who go the way of the sniper, as in some matches, those less adept with close-quarter combat wield sniper rifles and move slowly from cover to cover between bushes, rivers and rocks to slowly hunt any opposition that exposes themselves from their dwellings. To make things more interesting, the environments - the bushes, trees, huts and other objects are destructible, and only add to the suspense and sense of insecurity in the fortification one has taken refuge behind.
Aside from the Vietnamese language being present in the game, the English voice-overs of the American Armed Forces are synonymous with the speech of the time, and this allows the game to posses an heir of authenticity in its temperament. When a sniper’s bullet misses me by inches, I can hear the whistling sound of the bullet zoom by me, and when a bullet strikes a rock I’m taking cover behind, I can hear it ricochet sharply. It is possible to hear the snapping of branches and ruffling of brambles as an enemy approaches your position. The explosions are loud, and if they land too near without being fatal, they leave you impaired, hearing a ringing noise as if it were coming out of your own ears for several seconds. The sharpness and clarity of sounds bring the intensity of combat to life. Every sight and sound in Vietnam is crisp and delivered with an artistic inter-sensory perfection.
Vietnam, as an expansion, has a lot to offer as well. Unlike BBC2’s previous DLC, Onslaught, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam comes with weapons and gadgets (some needing to be unlocked) that are independent of BBC2’s regular multiplayer load-out. When it comes to stats, Vietnam also allows the player to rank up as they progress through the Vietnam multiplayer matches, something Onslaught did not allow. Also, the Leaderboards and stats, like Vehicle Stats (i.e. kills, road-kills, etc.) and Dog Tags (collected from your opponents), are independent from that of the regular multiplayer. Awards, such as Pins (i.e. achieve killing an enemy a certain amount of times with a certain weapon-type) and Insignias (i.e. achieve 100 squad assists) are integrated and displayed with the regular multiplayer awards. Last but not least, the ranking system in Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam is carried over from BBC2 and synchronizes with the regular multiplayer whenever the player levels up in Vietnam (or vice versa); this is a huge plus for those who were dismayed to find that they could not rank up in the Onslaught DLC.
The multiplayer match-types offered in Vietnam are the same as the regular multiplayer and include the following: Squad Death Match, Squad Rush, Rush, Conquest, and Rush or Conquest.
- Team-work is often a crucial element to success -
There are a few expected glitches in a massive-environment online FPS such as BBC2 Vietnam, but the one that bothered me the most is the faulty animations and prompts that show up at the end of the match. If your team wins a match, the cinematic at the end of the match will show your team losing and will prompt “You Lose”. If you’re not one to watch your team's score during a game, or if you’re neck-to-neck with another team until the last bullet is fired, you will be mislead by this bug in the game. Fortunately, this does not reflect in your actual stats / rank within the game, and you can easily verify the outcome from the match-review screen after each match.
In the end, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam is an amazing game with beautifully rendered environments imbued with distinction and authenticity. From the moment you select “Vietnam” from the menu screen on BBC2, the music track to “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival starts playing and from that moment on you are living the experience EA / DICE aimed to deliver. Everything from the Vietnam-era styled mission briefings and newsreels to the in-game voice-overs and weapons will make you feel like you’re in the period. Whether you chose to get your fix through blasting people from the sky in a UH-1 Huey Gunship, or from the seat of a T-54 Tank, or on the ground with the renowned M-16 or the ghastly effective flame-thrower… you will find BBC2 Vietnam to be a truly reveling experience.
GameDynamo's Score for Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam (X360)
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