Battlefield: Bad Company 2: Vietnam

It is the first of November, 1955. War has erupted in the east and will stay there for the best part of 20 years. Luscious, colourful jungles will become little more than blackened, lifeless embers. They will be scorched by vicious flamethrowers, crushed by indomitable treads and soaked by bloodshed. Welcome to Battlefield: Bad Company 2: Vietnam, soldier!

DICE’s latest paid downloadable content for Battlefield: Bad Company 2 comes in the form of a multiplayer expansion that drops you head first into the Vietnam War. Boasting  four new maps – with a fifth unlocked after the completion of a community challenge, 15 new weapons – including the fearsome flamethrower, and six new vehicles, there’s loads to see and do. Remember the golf cart they added to Bad Company’s multiplayer? Now you can tear it up in a Tuk-Tuk. There’s also a good helping of phat 60’s beats, the first of which that you’ll hear is “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Probably the most notable difference is that this expansion is multiplayer only. You may be reluctant to fork out 1200MSP for an expansion that adds nothing to the single-player campaign but fear not, it’s money well spent! There’s a great deal of content to plow through and let’s face it, where would anything that takes place in the Vietnam War fit into the existing single-player story anyway? DICE have made the right move by keeping it multiplayer only – they’ve focused on their strengths. Admittedly, not much has actually changed in the way of gameplay – you have Rush and Conquest game modes to play on each of the maps and these involve the attacking and defending of objectives. These were both fantastic game modes in Bad Company 2 as it was – if it’s not broken, why fix it?

The second thing you’ll notice is that almost everything has been retrofitted with a Vietnam vibe. The loading screens still give you a short briefing on your objective like they used to, but only this time it’s via a short black and white film reminiscent of that in a WWII spy film. The snow and forest levels of Bad Company 2 are instead thick jungle and expanses of charred black landscape. There’s a stretch of map on ‘Hill 137’ that is completely barren and scorched – when you see the panoramic view of it for the first time it’s quite chilling. It’s this change in landscape that helps remind you that the Vietnam War is definitely much grittier than any war zone you’ve experienced in a Battlefield title before, not to mention much more brutal.

The four classes from Bad Company 2 return with 3 new weapons each, plus new toys for each of them. Assault classes now have a separate grenade launcher while the Medic’s defibrillators, Engineer’s power tool and Recon’s C4 have been replaced by a syringe, blowtorch and TNT respectively – all merely roses by different names. Each class also now has access to the M2 flamethrower which, at first may just seem like the perfect noob weapon, but is both well-balanced and a powerful tool. At any real range it’s useless as the projected flames burn out very quickly, so it’s limited to short range use only; perfect for close quarters combat and flushing out objectives which will invariably be crawling with enemies. Be warned though, the M2 replaces your primary weapon so you’ll be noticeably lacking in the range department all the while you have it equipped.

Your rank and stats from Bad Company 2 carry over into Vietnam which is both a good and a bad thing. Unlike Bad Company 2 where you gradually unlocked more weapons for each class as you used them, you start Vietnam with everything already unlocked. The people who have already poured 100+ hours into the game only have the individual weapon medals and achievements to unlock; though in fairness there’s still hours of gameplay in the medals alone. It’s good that you keep your rank however, I wasn’t looking forward to the prospect of being drafted in as a Private when the rank of Captain was but a few thousand points away.

The last thing I wanted to point out is the brilliant soundtrack. I feel like I should be affected by all the death, fire and general morbidity of my surroundings in the game but the music just completely eradicates any feeling of discomfort I might have had. It had the same effect as in Full Metal Jacket when “Surfin’ Bird” by The Trashmen started playing – it really disconnects you from what would be, in other circumstances, horrific. There’s two hours of upbeat 60’s classics to soothe it all away but it’s not playing in the background; it plays from the radio of any vehicle that you’re either in or in close proximity to, which is a nice touch. I’m finding myself searching for the songs in this game just like I did with Fallout 3 and New Vegas, which should be an indication of how good they are.

If you had grown tired of playing Bad Company 2‘s multiplayer endlessly and moved on to pastures new, then now is the perfect time to go back and download Battlefield: Bad Company 2: Vietnam. You’ll fall in love with it all over again.







2 responses to “Battlefield: Bad Company 2: Vietnam”

  1. Arran1756 avatar

    I’m loving this new DLC put I wish they made more use of the vehicles, that along with its squad based combat is what set’s it apart from cod or moh and it just seemed to lack it compared to its main multiplayer

  2. Walter avatar

    I wanted more vehicles, like the first BF1942 add-on that allowed you to drop napalm from your jet and listen to music while flying in on a gunship

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