You know that expression, "don't fix what isn't broken"? Well that seems to apply to Battlefield: Bad Company 2, or at least the limited beta we had a chance to get our hands on. Instead of reinventing the series, it seems that DICE has taken the solid base that was established with the first Bad Company and improved on what was lacking.
Upon entering a beta game one of the first things I heard a teammate ranting about was not in fact something going on in game. Rather, this person was going on and on about how fantastic the netcode was. He was letting anyone who would listen know how many problems there were with latency in the first game and how this game, only in its beta phase, was running flawlessly. I couldn't agree with him more. Technically everything worked the way it should, the vehicles handled well and buildings crumbled at your command.
Did I mention that the environment is destructible? That means hiding behind a wall of some building doesn't mean you have cover… for long. With an improved destruction engine the field of battle can be drastically changed throughout the course of a game introducing new strategies as well as opening up new paths.
This beta had one playable map titled Arica Harbour, featuring buildings, hills and lots and lots of desert sand. Arica Harbour is situated on the coast so the blue water gives a nice contrast to the desert aesthetics of the map. The only game mode available in the beta was called "Rush" which required the attacking team to destroy four crates that are placed around the map. The attacking team has a set number of respawns so if one of the crates remains intact when respawns run out, the defending team wins.
Although there were no air vehicles available on this map, tanks were supplied and cause for a good time. Defenders need to have their wits about them to take out an attacking tank or else going on something of a rampage becomes rather likely. If you're paired up with a gunner on top, a tank can be a very powerful tool to secure an area and eliminate enemy forces.
Along with these improvements come numerous customization options. As you level up, you unlock new guns and attachments. You can customize which gun you want with what attachment so that your load out suits your play style. During the beta the Medic, Engineer and Recon classes were available, each with a special ability, a defibrillator, mortar strike and repair tool respectively. Aside from these unique abilities, because of the deep customization, you can likely use your desired weapons irregardless of your class. Stat lovers can also rejoice because Bad Company 2 has a deep and detailed tracking system that will follow every possible stat, from how many kills you have with each gun to your kill death ratio while driving a tank.
Although a multiplayer beta does not give much of an indication of how the single player campaign will turn out, all signs point to Battlefield: Bad Company 2 being a more completely and enjoyable experience than its predecessor.