iPhone Review: Bad Company 2

Written by Joe Martin

January 9, 2011 | 10:56

Tags: #bad-company #bad-company-2 #battlefield #ipad-games #iphone-review #ipod-games

Companies: #apple #dice #electronic-arts

They say they devil is in the details, in which case you should imagine Bad Company 2 for the iPhone as having red skin, horns, a trident tail and breath that smells worse than wet, rotten garlic. What really kills Bad Company 2 is the lack of fine polish – and that, sadly, makes a huge difference to the overall experience.

This is a shame, because Bad Company 2 initially looks good. It has a lengthy singleplayer campaign, which slots neatly into the story of the full, proper Bad Company 2, plus a four-player multiplayer mode that’s supported over WiFi and 3G. The graphics are lush, and it packs in plenty of variety too, despite a disappointing tendency to resort to turret sequences.

The multiplayer is especially impressive, in fact. While five levels and support for four players might not sound like a lot, it’s actually a perfectly judged limitation for a mobile phone game. If you want to sit down and invest yourself in lengthy tournaments and huge clan matches, then you're better off going back to the full version of the game. The iPhone version is much more suited to drop-in, drop-out games that keep you occupied while you’re patiently enduring whatever dross happens to be on TV.
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iPhone Review: Bad Company 2
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 on the iPhone

Unfortunately, midway through enjoying these delights, the devil tends to rear his ugly head. There are numerous tiny niggles, such as performance problems on anything less than a full-spec iPhone, and a few crashes to the home screen too.

Worst of all, however, is the way the level design frequently infringes on the game itself, with players constantly getting caught in corners or bumping straight into the walls due to occasionally unresponsive controls. It’s never enough to ruin the game, not at first, but it's a constant irritation and the only saving grace is that the game is balanced so that, on medium difficulty, it’s actually quite hard to die.

While it’s impressive that so much detail and depth has been brought to the iPhone version, with melee attacks, iron sights and secondary fire options putting Bad Company 2 a step above most iPhone shooters, it’s still a shame that some basic features are lacking. There’s no Game Centre support, for example, while the three different control configs are only titled A, B and C, meaning you have to spend time trying each in turn if you want to see how they work.

iPhone Review: Bad Company 2
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 on the iPhone

On the whole, Bad Company 2 remains an interesting and enjoyable addition to the app store, but it’s mainly because of the quantity that’s on offer, rather than the quality of the experience. A few performance tweaks and some further level optimisation is all that would be needed to elevate Bad Company 2 on the iPhone to Recommended status. Lacking them, however, means it’s stuck at being merely average.

Verdict: Fun and lengthy, Bad Company 2 is wounded by a few design oversights and missing features. Still, it’s definitely worth picking up if you’re itching for some mobile violence.
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