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Entries in Battlefield Bad Company 2 (4)


Learning Curves

Chris thinks I’m going to buy both Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3.  He’s wrong.  Why?  The learning curve of online play.  I don’t have time to become competent at both games – and therefore I won’t enjoy them both.

I’m a longtime online gamer, all the way back to Quake 2 on the PC.  This was back in the day before headsets (and even high-speed internet), and I remember typing furious messages and smack to other players between frags.  With the advent of Xbox Live and some great multiplayer games I quickly became addicted to gaming competitively over the internet.  

I’d like to think I became competent at all of the Halo games (Halo 2, 3, Reach, ODST).   They all had a similar control set, similar strategies and familiar weapons.  When each new game came up, I’d jump online and be competitive right away.

When the other Gentlemen got MW2, I figured I’d try it as well.  Online reviews were extremely positive. I played the campaign and enjoyed it.  I jumped online and immediately got thrashed.  And then got thrashed again.  And again.  And then about 20 more times before the game went on the shelf.

I found the learning curve to be too steep for my liking.  First, I had to learn a new control set (why game makers can’t standardize, I’ll never know).  Fair enough.  Then I had to get used to the fact that everyone knew the maps better.  They knew the good firing positions, choke points and respawn locations.  This isn’t as important as Halo – where getting to the sniper rifle or rocket launcher first can mean the difference between winning and losing, but it makes a difference.

The most frustrating parts were twofold.  One, there was no in-game help and guide whatsoever.  Campaign games (including MW2) typically walk you through simple controls and strategies to get you familiar with the game.   Most multiplayer games (MW and BF in particular), on the other hand, throw you right in the middle of the fray with no assistance at all.  Fly that helicopter?  Good luck.  Each one flies a little different.  What does this upgrade mean and how do I use it?  Look it up online.  Secondly, the skill tree rewards players who play more – players who play longer and therefore level up get body armor, better weapons, cool upgrades like a scope for your rifle.   I’m already getting my butt kicked, and someone drops an airstrike on me?  How’d he get that?  Not only is your competition better than you, they’re better equipped.

I experienced the same learning curve with BF2.  For whatever reason – patient friends, less sleep deprivation, more time to play - I was able to overcome my noobness and I’ve come to really enjoy the game.    I’m preordered BF3 today, and I’m looking forward to some great online play.  I know it’ll be frustrating at first, but I’ll suck it up and fight through it.

Do I want to go through the learning curve this twice?   Not a chance. 


Too Many Great Games In Fall 2011? I Don't Like It, But I Get It

I wanted to write a quick response to Jason's great post last weekend about how, after the months and months of no new releases of any great console games (Portal 2 being the only real exception I can think of), we have loads of great titles all coming out between now and Christmas.

In many respects I agree with Jason. We've been having a lot of fun playing Battlefield Bad Company 2 (terrible name by the way) but it's a really old game. I'm psyched for Battlefield 3, but by the time it comes out I'll have only had my hands on Gears of War 3 for a few weeks. It would be way better to have more time with each. And in spreading out the titles there is a chance that I'd end up buying more games.

But what it all comes down to is the holiday buying season. Jason and I (as well as most all avid gamers) are extreme cases. We're going to buy these games anyway - they don't have to worry about getting our money. BFBC2 is a perfect example. We didn't play that game when it first came out because we were playing GoW2 horde mode for hours-on-end. But in the summer of 2011 - almost two whole years after it came out - we bought the game and (thanks to Stats Verse) we got really into it. For everyone else - the people who are more casual with their console gaming play - they are going to pick one of these games. And they are likely going to get it for the holidays so it's important to have that "new" game released during (or shortly before) the holiday season.

The movie industry staggers its releases as Jason says, but they have one big advantage over the video game industry. Even though the time, money and effort it takes to create a major video game is absolutely comparable to a major motion picture, the amount of time it takes someone to consume that content is vastly different. With a movie, after two hours it's over. You've seen it, loved it or hated it, and are ready to move on to the next blockbuster. A video game takes hours and hours to play, and often it takes many hours to just be able to figure out if you like it or not. Staggering release dates for movies means one per weekend which is pretty easy to do over the holiday season. For video games staggering releases while keeping everything in the holiday season is almost impossible.

And don't let Jason fool you. He'll end up buying them all anyway.


Stats Verse Feeds Your Battlefield Addiction

If you're playing (or have played) any of the Battlefield franchise games, you really need to check out Stats Verse. It's everything the official Battlefield website on EA should be - a simple interface that keeps track of your progress during the game. In a way it's too easy, because once you check your stats after playing for a while the chances of becoming obsessed with your progress in the game grows exponentially.

There's a "community" (read: forum) that's decent, but it's really about the stats. They track XBOX 360, Windows and Playstation 3 play for all the Battlefield games, and will presumably also cover Battlefield 3. I also found the ability to check what the top players of the game were using (favorite weapons, classes etc.) really helpful in trying to figure out my own gameplay.

It would be great if it worked with all shooters, but for now it only works with the Battlefield games and Medal of Honor. You can check out the list of all the games at or you can get obsessed yourself at the Battlefield Bad Company 2 version here.


Battlefield Bad Company 2 DLC 50% Off

I know Battlefield 3 is coming out in a month and a half, and I realize that I was really, really late to the party playing Battlefield Bad Company 2. But as someone who just purchased most of this content in the past couple of months, this news doesn't make me very happy. I want half my points back for that stillborn Vietnam expansion bullshit.

Check it out in the XBOX Live dashboard, or follow this link to