Battlefield: Bad Company 2
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is an M-rated game, unlike the first game in the series which was rated "T" by the ESRB. The first game in the Bad Company series featured plenty of gunplay, but had no blood and only minor profanity. In contrast, this sequel shows blood with almost every bullet impact, and the soldiers’ mouths are decidedly dirtier. Like it's predecessor, it feels more like a rollicking war adventure than a hyper realistic portrayal of combat, but this sequel has slightly darker themes -- such as a hunt for a powerful weapon of mass destruction rather than a search for abandoned gold -- and is more graphic. Also note that it has open online play. Common Sense Media does not recommend open online play for pre-teens.
What's it about?
Unlike its predecessor, BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2, a first-person shooter with a modern setting, is a bit darker in theme. Players once again take on the role of Preston Marlowe, who fights side-by-side with soldiers who, though skilled, aren’t exactly the typically gung-ho grunts normally presented in games. Last time out, they were hoping to find some abandoned gold and retire from the army. Their latest mission is more serious: They’re in search of a powerful weapon with origins that date back to the Second World War. Expect the same sort of non-stop firefights seen in the original, along with environments that are even more destructible. However, be prepared for some adult-only additions, such as spraying blood and plenty of four-letter cuss words.
Is it any good?
Battlefield: Bad Company 2’s most striking feature is that there is no place where you can hide for long. It has some of the most destructible environments ever seen in a game. Buildings, cement walls, and wood piles may provide cover for a while, but if struck at the right place with the right weapon, they’ll disappear. This is good news for strategic players, who can use environmental weaknesses to their advantage, flushing out enemies or destroying the buildings they’re in. However, since the enemy can also destroy your cover, it’s bad news for players to like to hole up and patiently wait for just the right moment to pop out and attack. Consequently, your enjoyment of the game will likely hinge upon the sort of player you happen to be.
The rest of the game is slick and polished, as one might expect from the experienced developers at DICE studio. The story is compelling, the acting is believable, the play mechanics are intuitive, and the online play, which includes an innovative mode that supports a quartet of four-player squads, is terrifically tactical.
Online interaction: This game allows for open voice communication, which creates a strong possibility of the player being exposed to excessive profanity and inappropriate discussions. Common Sense Media does not recommend non-moderated online play for pre-teens.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the differences between ESRB ratings. Is there a fine line between a shooter rated Teen and one that’s rated Mature, or are there clear differences? How do you think the ESRB makes these determinations? What are some of the factors? Do you agree with them?
Families can also discuss soldiers in general. Like those depicted in this game, soldiers tend to be average people who are called upon to be extremely violent in their jobs. They may be fighting for good, but the things they do often aren’t very nice. Do you think it will be difficult for them to adjust when they leave the war zone and come back home?