For Whom The Boom Tolls
Imustn’t let this register on an emotional level. This sniper, perched on high like a disgruntled postal worker, is quashing any hopes of little ol’ lone wolf me rushing behind enemy lines with his 360-degree view of the battlefield.
The surface-level problem is my lack of respect. My onfoot frontal assaults are all for naught. The deeper issue is this sniper has popped more heads than an acnephiliac. It’s time to try something new. Thankfully, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 offers variety in explosive spades.
Like any shooter, I could sneak around. But that’s boring. Maybe I counter-snipe. While poetic, in a Saving Private Ryan kind of way, it’s not the calibre of frag my nemesis deserves. Jets, choppers, and tanks are in high demand, and probably better used for anti-vehicular uses rather than my vengeance on this sniper, even though he ain’t Vasily-come-lately.
Besides, it’s unlikely any of these delectable war beasts are sitting around waiting for me. It’s time to think laterally. I’m looking to discombobulate or, more specifically: detonate. I lay down some fire at his nest from afar, making him duck down. As I sprint in, I have a sneaking suspicion he’s being reinforced by a Support player, which means his unlimited supply of motion sensors will let them both know I’m coming.
To rush into the building and up the stairs would mean certain death. I could try my luck with a frag, but I don’t back my Kobe skills. Then it hits me. Sniper Steve can’t shoot from on high if he doesn’t have a tower.
I whip out my C4 and put my Red Faction Guerrilla anti-architectural knowledge to good use, slapping an oblong-shaped kaboom stick on the corners of the building.
With a squeeze of the kind of stress-button device that’d make Arnold Schwarzenegger sigh, the corners of the bottom floor blow out. Then the building topples. Finally, I’m awarded two zero-risk frags. It’s the end of them, but the beginning of an obsession for me.
The next time the same map rolls around, I vapourise the tower before anyone can perch on high. But Bad Company 2’s destructibility isn’t just for deterring campers. I use it wherever possible. A frag grenade to open a door before I get to it. A grenade launcher to weaponise rubble for a hapless foe I know is waiting on the other side.
I use rocket launchers to take out floors and ceilings. C4 to make dusty flanking routes. Hell, I level entire towns with an attack chopper to force the fighting out onto a literally level playing field. Destruction is the real MVP of Bad Company 2. This is why I and, I like to imagine, many others feel that Bad Company 2 is Dice’s best Battlefield game. Still.
It’s surely an intimidating challenge to create maps knowing that boom-happy fraggers like me will flatten everything. But it’s that freedom to create an explosive playground that made combat feel fresh every time in Bad Company 2.
I knew my enemies were just as explosively empowered as me. And that’s why Battlefield needs to be less about nitty-gritty damage and more about the option to level everything. No pressure, Dice, but please channel your inner Chris Taylor and bring back the total annihilation.