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SummaryA damn good addition to a damn good game
- All the strengths of the base game are intact
- Great maps
- More strategic depth in weapons & classes
- Authentic, immersive feel
- Some great tunes to listen to while blowing stuff up
- Also keeps all the weaknesses of the base game
- Have to edit the .ini to get the Radio working
- No added map support
- Grimy, faded visuals - especially compared to base game.
- No single player addition
- Weird hitbox issues
The Bottom LineAnyone who knows me knows that when it comes to the world of online military shooters, the Battlefield series is king for me and leaves the competition in the dust. It's hard to topple BF2 or 2142 but the recent the first time the battlefield series has gone to Vietnam and thankfully the experience shows. The atmosphere in this pack is one of its best attributes; you'll hear classic tunes playing while you hang out of a chopper mowing down Charlie, flame throwers will crisp bunkered soldiers and you'll even scale the notorious Hamburger Hill.
The authenticity goes a long way to making the game feel distinct, even if the guts and gameplay are largely the same as the base game. There is a bit more strategic depth though, namely in the weaponry and the way maps are designed. The weapons require a bit more skill and practice to work with, mainly because you are not given assistance from modern amenities like an ACOG scope or a tracer dart and the HUDs used in vehicles are more primitive. While this may isolate people who prefer the modern tech, the authenticity of each weapon and tool makes it all the more satisfying to master.
The terrain in the maps are far more varied than the base game as well; as mentioned earlier, there's a map based on the battle of Hamburger hill and it serves as a good example in the "Rush" game mode as the battle and how it plays out changes based on how far back the Vietcong are pushed. Even a good US team will probably sweat the final check point, as it will have the Vietcong having the protection of their makeshift bunkers on the hill; but with strength, you can prevail.
There are some technical flaws; for some weird reason the radio won't turn on unless you fiddle with your .ini files and the visuals have taken a hit from the base game. They are grimy, murky and lacking in colour and while some argue that it's to make the game more "realistic" - it honestly makes it feel more like they just didn't want to use as wide a palette as they did in the base game. I'm pretty sure that the leaves and plants that grow in Vietnam are still green, not a sickly brown. The game also has some weird hit box issues, there's a rather annoying exploit that gamers can pull off when using the AK-47 that results in a headshot nearly every time. I discovered it by accident once and got blamed for aimbotting.
I do kind of wish there was a single player addition, even a short one. I know that the focus is on online play, but the base game had a pretty good campaign; plus, how many good Vietnam games have there been other than... well, Battlefield Vietnam? A GOOD single player 'Nam game would be nice, and I'm sure that DICE could pull it off.
If you enjoyed Bad Company 2, this is a great expansion to buy. You technically already have it - if you remember that ginormous update that took about a billion hours, that was EA plopping it on your hard disk gratis. All you need to do now is buy a key. Definitely worth it if you are still playing and enjoying Bad Company 2.