The Vietnam War was nothing short of horrifying, but it’s iconic for many people with films and even games having shown their take on the War.
But now Bad Company 2 gets the Vietnam treatment with a new expansion pack priced at 1200MSP, and at the outset this seems a hefty price when you read the pack contains just four new maps. Look further though and this is a fairly substantial add-on to the multiplayer aspects of the game, adding in the new maps with a complete re-skin of the game along with a few other new things as well.
The four new maps on offer here are the main change to gameplay as well. Due to being set in Vietnam the usually vast, open maps of Bad Company 2 have been ditched in favour of maps that have plenty of tight, constricted spots where the flamethrowers can wreak havoc on the enemy. The maps still have some large open spots, bit they’re less used than veterans may be used to and the small fighting area’s alter the gameplay considerable, though I do find that Bad Company doesn’t feel as good when it’s in close quarters, but the feeling of claustrophobia and the fear of some evil git tossing a grenade in with you makes up for it completely.
The maps on offer here are as good as any in the core game, though snipers may find these a little more challenging as there are fewer large area’s to get clear shots.
You’ll venture from bombed out fields to ruined temples, all the while encountering a few new vehicles (including a funny three-wheeled Sampans).
Graphically speaking there is almost no improvement but there are a few nice vista’s to distract you, which usually results in being shot but at least they’re pretty. The views, not the person that shot you.
The Vietnam expansion does include some sweet tunes to fire your gun too. Dice have managed to get licenses for much iconic “Vietnam Music”. Jump into any vehicle and you can twiddle between four channels, each with a theme such as jazz, rock etc. and listen to a fairly substantial array of music. It adds a nice tone to the game and feels like a great touch which often encouraged me just to stand by a radio or drive a vehicle so I could listen to it.
Other nice touches include background news reports between rounds. You’ll quickly learn them all but once again it adds a nice touch of tone to the game and gives it a distinct identity.
However, at the core Vietnam really is just a re-skin of the main game. The only really new weapon is the Flamethrower. New dialogue has been recorded for the characters to spout as they round around, but really the re-skin just means you have less toys to play with thanks to the lack of Red Dot Sights during the olden days and the weapon selection is small with M60’s feeling very powerful compared to most other weapons.
This lessening of weapon choice has tightened up the gameplay is some respects.
On paper Vietnam is a pricey pack, essentially just a re-skin of what we already know and love, but Vietnam is still worth the money: the new maps are great, the flamethrower kicks ass and the music selection is great.
There are few flaws to mention, but mention then I shall: A few guns need rebalancing, going from Vietnam to original Bad Company wipes your gun preference set-ups and a few times there were cut-outs in the sound. The only other problem is the price – 1200MSP is an expensive pack, but worth it for veterans of the game.
If you love Bad Company 2 or have been looking for an excuse to get playing again then download Vietnam and have some fun.