iPhone Review: Bad Company 2

Posted on 9th Jan 2011 at 10:56 by Joe Martin with 15 comments

Joe Martin
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.

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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V3ctor 9th January 2011, 11:34 Quote
So... same lack of polish as in the PC version... :D
DriftCarl 9th January 2011, 11:56 Quote
PC version is great =/ I have gone back to it after my initial few weeks of black ops.
I dont get why they make these sort of games for Iphone though. It just isnt a good enough platform to fully enjoy the game. I wouldnt buy an FPS for my phone.
Fizzl 9th January 2011, 12:03 Quote
Funny, those screen shots remind me so much of early counter strike.
Boscoe 9th January 2011, 12:04 Quote
I have had this for about a month and it's dire on the 3G it's totally unplayable frame rate wise and the graphics were pretty bad, the controls are terrible you end up with your thumbs covering the screen then you can't see anything and don't even get me started on the aiming! It hardly ever works takes about 6-7 attempts of starting the game for it not to crash and then once started it crashes all the time will in game.

The only good thing is that's an actual FPS for a phone.

It was deleted within a day.
Jipa 9th January 2011, 12:13 Quote
I can't believe there's actually a market for this sorta stuff.
wuyanxu 9th January 2011, 12:54 Quote
"full-spec iPhone".... hum interesting choice of words there.

i can't believe they even put a FPS on the app store without re-thinking about the controls.

now, everyone on the gaming forum probably know i am a huge BFBC2 player. but this iphone port is unbelievable! left thumb + right thumb on the screen to control => can't see anything! FoV is unchanged from console versions which means you have to hold it at arm's length to avoid any headache.

good technical achievement, very bad as a game.
SoulLance 9th January 2011, 13:37 Quote
No lag issues in multiplayer as in it's PC counterpart? Impressive....
jimmyjj 9th January 2011, 14:50 Quote
Enough with the smart phone game reviews already!

How about a big monitor mega test instead?
frontline 9th January 2011, 16:04 Quote
Would be more interesting if developers started porting 'lite' versions of PC and console games to suit lower end GPU's and CPU's found in netbooks and ultra-portable laptops.
sausages 9th January 2011, 20:02 Quote
Keep the iPhone reviews coming, I love them.
CowBlazed 9th January 2011, 20:10 Quote
Let's see some ports to WP7 and android devs.
urobulos 10th January 2011, 02:12 Quote

I can see the appeal in mobile gaming, but only when one creates game suitable for the platform. Unless you get a phone similar to the leaked PSP phone or some sort of SF mind control where you don't need actual physical controls then I can't see how a touchscreen phone can make an FPS work. Damn, even the NDS FPS's are terrible to play imho and that console has actual buttons and a stylus as a mouse replacement.

What's next Starcraft iPhone edition? Developers should just focus on creating quirky original mobile titles rather than converting (cashing in) on success of games on the big platforms.
sausages 10th January 2011, 12:18 Quote
Starcraft would be perfect. I agree FPS's aren't ideal because it uses on screen d-pads. Some people seem happy with them, but I don't like it. But other types of games work perfectly with touch screens. Angry Birds, Hook Champ, all the tower defence games, The Quest, etc.. they are all great.
Ergath 10th January 2011, 16:02 Quote
Agree with urobulos - FPS on a touchscreen phone is not a good idea without some serious improvement in the interface and controls. To me it seems a bit pointless trying to play games which are all about reactions and accuracy using dodgy controls on a weeny little screen. RPGs and casual games are a far better idea - or just carry a netbook too and play proper games on the train (Alpha Centauri & Fallout FTW!!)
Largoftw 11th January 2011, 19:20 Quote
Originally Posted by Fizzl
Funny, those screen shots remind me so much of early counter strike.

Early, more like CZ! Thats actually good looking, and considering its an IPhone, What the ballz.
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