We journey to the desert to destroy everything in sight.
PlayStation 3 gamers are in for a special treat on November 19 when the Bad Company 2 multiplayer beta launches exclusively for their favorite system. PC gamers can look for a beta to launch in December, while Xbox 360 users can expect a different demo to launch early next year. I recently got the chance to venture down US-101 to EA’s Redwood Shores studio to get my hands on the PS3 version of the multiplayer beta. Players can look forward to a classic Battlefield experience with tons of vehicles and finely tuned geometry that encourages large vehicular skirmishes in the beta map titled Arica Harbor.
The map is a desert setting with buildings following along a dirt road that bisects pretty much everything in the stage. The mode I played was called Rush and featured an attacking side and a defending side. The attackers were charged with raiding the enemy encampment and destroying two gold bullion locations. You can do this a number of ways. You can either infiltrate the structure housing the gold (or blow the walls up and create your own entrance) and set C4 to do your work, you can rattle off several shots and grenades or you can drive a tank into the place to speed things up.
Among the tanks, hummers and ATVs that Arica houses, there’s also a new vehicle in the form of a small UAV. This is used mainly for scouting as it has limited offensive capabilities. If you get in a bind, there is access to rockets but the reload time is pretty lengthy and the design of the UAV isn’t exactly built for heavy combat.
I found myself selecting the engineer class more often than not as he packs a hefty rocket launcher in his kit along with repair equipment for damaged vehicles. Since this map is filled with all sorts of enemy and friendly vehicles, having the ability to combat and aid them was a must. Grenade shells still do next to nothing against a tank (for whatever reason) so you’ll want to have a heavier weapon in your stash when you hit the sand in Arica.
As I’ve said, this map is perfectly suited for some epic vehicular battles. With TOE missiles garnishing the tops of buildings that look down on the main alleyway there’s plenty of room for players to setup shop above the mayhem. I, on the other hand, liked the more direct approach of hopping in a tank and bringing the hurt. I was disappointed to learn that the build I was playing didn’t feature the squad support that you’ll get to enjoy on November 19. It made it difficult to join up with teammates and formulate a cohesive attack. Hopefully the feature is working well when the beta drops.
The amount of vehicular battles that I saw transpire as my defenders kept getting pushed back — thus making the map expand into new areas — was staggering. Humvees and ATVs were usually the first to hit the scene and were easy enough to deal with, but once the tanks rolled in all hell broke loose. I found that arming myself with a rocket launcher and keeping between the houses worked as the best defense. Tank shells would have to be perfectly aimed to cause damage while sneaking between buildings. It was only when the structures were rendered into rubble that my cover solution got me into trouble.
The Arica Harbor map is a great introduction to classic Battlefield multiplayer for those who haven’t experienced it before. It packs tons of vehicles into a relatively small space and the results can be pretty spectacular. You’ll be able to get your hands on the Arica Harbor map on November 19 if you’re a PS3 gamer, in December if you’re a PC gamer and Xbox 360 players can look forward to a different demo coming early next year.
We’ll have more on Battlefield Bad Company 2 as its March 2, 2010 release date on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC draws closer.