Electronic Arts has built its mobile business around the successful conversion of console games to the small screen and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 continues the tradition. A game originally released on Xbox 360 and PS3, Bad Company 2 for iPhone doesn’t set the FPS bar any higher, but offers up enjoyable fast-paced and varied gameplay regardless.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 features a comprehensive single player campaign, with 14 missions that canvas jungle, arctic and desert environments. The missions themselves are story-driven, with amusing squad chatter and a good mix of objectives to keep things interesting. My only gripe is that the AI isn’t particularly intelligent, even on hard difficulty. They tend to duck up and down seemingly randomly a la Time Crisis, allowing you to pick them off with relative ease.
The environments themselves are well constructed and feature detailed textures, but characters and buildings still look blocky. Bad Company 2 isn’t pushing any boundaries graphically, but meets the standard we’d come to expect from iPhone games before iD’s Rage and Epic’s Infinity Blade came along.
As in the console version of the game, there’s some serious firepower at your disposal in Bad Company 2. With a total of 14 weapons, from knives and shotguns, to RPGs and various assault rifles you’ll rarely have to use the same gun for long. Each is well detailed and features its own unique sounds and feel. The missions also serve up a number of special attacks such as air strikes and C4 charges that are used to complete particular objectives. Most of the fighting in Bad Company 2 is done on foot, but there’s also a number of vehicles that you’ll get the chance to commandeer throughout the game, including an APC, tank and chopper.
The control system in Bad Company 2 is pretty standard for a shooter and works well in most situations (vehicle control is not one of them). There is an absence of traditional FPS buttons on-screen in the default control mode. Instead, the left side of the screen controls your movement and the right side of the screen adjusts the camera. The right side also happens to control your weapon, and the lack of a distinct ‘fire’ button inevitably leads to many accidental discharges while trying to move your field of view. That said, I’ve never been a fan of little joysticks in iPhone games, and the gesture-driven control spaces in Battlefield: Bad Company 2 do work – they just take some getting used to. However, if you prefer the traditional analogue stick and fire button, these can be switched on in the settings.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 offers up a reasonable, but ultimately underwhelming multiplayer experience with just two game modes (free for all and team deathmatch) and two maps. Unlike Modern Combat 2 where you can face off against up to 10 players, you’re limited to 4 players over WiFi, 3G and Bluetooth. However, multiplayer gameplay in Bad Company 2 is fun and if you’re not buying this game purely for the online competition then you won’t be disappointed.
A solid console conversion of an already popular title, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 doesn’t push the limits of iPhone gaming or take the mobile FPS to the next level but it is an enjoyable experience all the same.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later