March 1, 2010

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 – “We take our PC Games Seriously”
By Dakota Grabowski

“We will make sure the audience gets what they need.”

This past Friday, February 26, GameZone sat in a conference call with Senior Producer Patrick Bach from DICE on Battlefield: Bad Company 2 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.

From the conference, journalists were able to ask any question that their heart desired and here are the results from the forum.

On PC development:

After receiving negative feedback from the PC gaming industry, Electronic Arts and DICE are out to remedy the situation with releasing the highly anticipated Battlefield: Bad Company 2 on the platform alongside the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Having a separate team working on the PC development, Bach explains, “We see it as very, very hardcore and important part of our customers. So we put a lot of effort into making sure that everything worked perfect.”

On feedback and changes from the demo:

There are a lot of changes to the final product that aren’t in the demo. They are looking at the feedback from the demo too, so fans shouldn’t be discouraged to voice their opinion.

 “It’s more of finding the right balance and getting people to feel like, ‘I am on an even battlefield and I have a fair chance to win this,’” said Bach.

They are always looking to make the game better, so they’ll be scavenging thoughts from the forums.

“We will make sure the audience gets what they need.”

On the characters and gravity of the storyline:

Using the same characters and squad from the original, Bach guarantees that the storyline is being turned up a notch.

 “What people will find when they play the game, is we actually changed the situations that we put the characters in. So, for instance, in the first game, they weren’t really put into not too much stress. There weren’t too many dangerous situations.  So, the stakes are higher this time around.”

On piracy and cheating:

Never one to support online piracy of their own games, Electronic Arts and Bach want the Battlefield: Bad Company 2 experience to feel genuine.

“If you buy the game and support the development this game, you shouldn’t feel trick or feel like it’s easy to get the hacked version of the game,” said Bach.

On the topic of cheating, Bach hopes players get their money’s worth.

“If you get on a server and someone is cheating, for everyone, you may not want to go back online. Because, you never know, if I get shot by someone and just the idea of that person might be cheating is something we need to prevent. We need to have it feel like a secure environment for players.”

On comparing the single-player campaign to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2:

The comparison is bound to happen after release, but Bach wants to make one thing clear: “We are not trying to build the same game as our competition. We are not trying to be, you know, playing the cover band situation here. We want to be the stars ourselves.”

Discussing Private Matches:

For all the clans out in, here is the positive news you have been looking for.

“You can create a private session and invite up to 24 players on the console, up to 32 on the PC. So there’s definitely room to build your own play sessions. The ability to create private matches is a way to everyone to build something of their own and have play sessions that are more personal.”

Why was the specialist kit removed?

If you fall into the group that has been crying foul for the exclusion of the specialist kit, Bach has a quick reply to all our questions: “The whole idea with kits in Bad Company 2 was to, first of all, make them differ…You can create your own specialist kit by building on the kit you have in the game. All the features, all the gadgets and all the guns are in there.”

Peripheral support for the consoles:

While PCs and consoles have always been magnetically different, Bach has thoughts on why peripheral support for the consoles hasn’t been a feature regularly explored.

“I don’t think that we have any special connections to peripherals to the consoles … The biggest problem with peripherals for consoles is that the console itself is a level playground. It’s even and you know the consumer has the same technology and have the same peripherals and same controls – which makes it easier for us to create a game that feels fair. By catering to a mouse and keyboard for the consoles, it would maybe skew the even playground.”

On what DLC and the speculated cooperative mode:

“We have not done any official statements on what we are releasing post-launch, except for the maps… We are looking into different game modes, of course. Coop would be a game mode that would be interesting to get into the Battlefield universe.”

Separate controls for the infantry, vehicles and aircraft and mouse sensitivity:

Hearing feedback from players who have actually played through title on the controls of Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Bach decided it was a good time to discuss the controls and their reasoning behind having vehicles control different.

“There is, of course, sensitivity settings, but I don’t know if they are individual on specific vehicles … Looking at the UAV versus the helicopter controls, we tried to make a distinct difference between the two.  Having the UAV be a more easy to maneuver and easy to control vehicle… It’s a more of a hovering entity. As opposed to the helicopter that you should not die when you fly the helicopter – that was a key thing… It needed to be more agile to do more spectacular moves and do things that helicopters can do. That was a call that we made quite early to make a distinct difference between the two.”

On desires to have a World War II map pack:

“I cannot answer that question. That could, in theory, be one of the things we talked about with the DLC … If people are willing to fight for it, we would definitely consider it.”

Experimentation of PSN vs. XBLA contests:

“We actually talked about it. We found it to be a successful recipe. We are not planning, right now, to do anything like that for Bad Company 2.”

So there you have it, straight from the mouth of DICE, many of the questions about EA’s much-hyped first-person shooter have been answered. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 releases in North America on March 2 while landing in Europe on March 5.

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