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8/10

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Battlefield: Bad Company

Battlefield: Bad Company is F.U.B.A.R. Really. And I mean that in the most complimentary way. Where Frontlines: Fuel of War nervously adjusted the Battlefield template to make it work for consoles as a single-player FPS, Bad Company takes the single player console FPS, gives it a damn good shake, and makes it feel like a Battlefield with 50 per cent more bang and boom. The fact that it does this so successfully is remarkable. The fact that it still contains a fabulous multiplayer component makes it nigh unmissable.

This isn't the modern military FPS that you're used to. Sure there are objectives to meet, orders to follow and masses of troops, tanks and helicopters to obliterate, but Bad Company is all about breaking the rules. For one thing, any pretence that you're simply doing the right thing is broken one third of the way in when your tour of duty in an ugly little Free World vs. Russia skirmish is abandoned for a more self-interested chase after mercenary gold. This isn't a modern-day Saving Private Ryan - it's Kelly's Heroes meets Three Kings meets The Dirty Dozen. Your comrades aren't decent soldiers, but guys who find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time because they can't help doing the wrong thing. And the bad news is that you'll fit right in with them.

You see, Bad Company encourages an almost childlike glee in mindless destruction. As we mentioned in the preview, this is the game where just about everything, from houses to fuel depots to barricades to warehouses to large areas of woodland can be wrecked if you just apply enough firepower. In a game like Rainbow Six, bang and enter means opening the door, throwing in a grenade, then wandering in to mop up. Here it means simply blasting away the door, the wall, and everything inside as well. To help, DICE hasn't just made sure you get a plentiful supply of grenades, rockets and C4. No, the level designers have been careful to ensure that the maps are positively festooned with gas tanks, oil drums, ammunition crates and myriad other items that go "BOOOOOM" to ensure that every stray bullet has a chance of causing carnage. If you leave a village, town or farmstead without having given it a post-apocalyptic makeover, then you're probably not playing Bad Company properly.

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