Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is already a fantastic game, but the good people at Dice have brought us more of their game in the form of the Vietnam expansion pack. With four brand new maps, six new vehicles, and 15 new weapons, the pack should expand the multiplayer experience for fans of the game. The real question is, does it stand up to the task?
The answer is a most definite yes. This is more than your average $15 map pack. Dice has done everything possible to create a believable Vietnam setting, including creating new character skins to fit the era, creating weapons that look like they’ve already been through a war, and throwing us into the middle of a lush jungle filled with deadly opponents. The pack stands completely separate from the normal multiplayer maps, as is immediately obvious by its own section in the main menu, with a new appearance to the menu and 60’s music blaring out enemy vehicles as you exchange blows.
The maps themselves are quite large, in classic Battlefield fashion. Normally, four maps doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but considering that each map is easily 3 – 4 times the size of ones you find in most FPS games, it leaves you with quite a bit of exploring to do. “Hill 137”, aka Hamburger Hill is easily the most recognizable of them for those familiar with the history of the war. The climb up the scorched earth leads players into numerous foxholes and trenches, which are perfect for utilizing the new flamethrower. “Vantage Point” involves a winding creek that leads up a sharp hill into a small village, and back down the other side. “Phu Bai Valley” is a large map with flatter terrain than the others, but with obstacles in between to block line of sight, and wide open routes without chokepoints. Making good use of the helicopters and tanks are essential to victory here. Finally, “Cao Sun Temple” is a fight through dense jungle from small island to small island, where temple ruins can be found which provide great cover. Patrol boats help the advance along the side, while the rest of your team will have to go on foot. A fifth map, “The Battle for Hastings”, will be unlocked when the community goal of completing 69 million team actions is reached, further adding to the fun.
Weapons and specializations are tweaked to fit the era too. Each class has two to three weapons that look like they’ve already seen their fair share of battles. None of them have scopes for specializations any more, except for the recon class’ sniper rifles. To balance things out the recon class no longer has use of recon balls, but can equip TNT and mortar strikes at the same time. TNT takes the place of C4, with a plunger for the triggering mechanism. The lack of scopes brings an interesting balance to the game, since other specializations will be used more often. Engineers get a blowtorch to replace their repair tool, and only have RPGs and land mines as specials. Medics get a syringe for reviving the dead, and the assault class gets a “blooper” to replace their assault rifle attachment. All kits can equip the flamethrower, which makes very short crispy work of opponents, and is awesome for clearing out trenches.
BFBC2: Vietnam comes with some cool new vehicles as well. The Huey is a lightweight, agile helicopter that launches rockets down on your foes while carrying up to several allies into battle. A new patrol boat joins the ranks, with two .50 caliber mounted guns that are incredibly effective for mowing enemies down. A jeep with a mounted gun and a small white truck make for quick entries into enemy territory. Rounding out the roster are the two tanks, which can be equipped with a flamethrower that will make short work of anyone trying to attach TNT to your back, or enemies defending an objective.
With all these new features Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam is well worth the purchase. It isn’t without its small draw backs however. Some players may not appreciate the low tech weaponry, The new vehicles aren’t very plentiful, with a lot of infantry fighting taking up a large portion of the maps. Destructibility of buildings isn’t as prominent either, with a lot of plant life and small huts instead of larger buildings that can be taken down chunk by chunk. It’s somewhat a shame as these latter two aspects are part of what sets BFBC2 apart from the crowd. However, given the setting and time period, this all makes sense with the overall theme of the expansion. Given the value of what’s included, these are small and forgivable complaints. With comparison with other DLC in the same price range, it’s very difficult to find a better package, and definitely a worthwhile addition to the BFBC2 roster.
PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score
+ New maps, vehicles, weapons, skins and sounds.
+ Great value for the price.
– Limited use of vehicles and destructibility