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Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam Map Pack DLC Review Verdict

KevinG4
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Posted December 30, 2010 - By Kevin Kelly


  • Videos
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  • Videos
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  • Screenshots
  • Cheats and Walkthroughs

  • Videos
    (9)
  • Screenshots
  • Cheats and Walkthroughs



The Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam map pack was released last week, and inquiring minds are wondering if it is worth picking up. At $15 for this piece of DLC, that’s a sizeable investment for four new maps (with a fifth on the way), 15 new era-specific weapons along with six vehicles popularized by the unpopular war. Is it worth it? Hardened Battlefield vets will give you an immediate “yes.” But if you’re a casual Battlefielder, you might want to pass on Vietnam.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam Launch Trailer »




Vietnam is a multiplayer-only map pack and weapons upgrade for the game, which brings along six new vehicles, including the iconic Huey helicopter. The new weapons range from a flamethrower to the chattering AK-47 to the ever-popular “Thumper” grenade launch, and the entire piece of DLC is basically a Vietnam “skin” that you’re applying to your standard multiplayer. Besides giving you new toys to play with, it’s not changing the BFBC2 that you’re used to at all.
As with most multiplayer games, new maps are always a welcome addition.

Vietnam offers up four new maps from the start, and each Team Action you perform (resupply, revive, heal, spot, and repait) counts towards unlocking a new map, Operation Hastings, which is an update of the map of the same name from their standalone Battlefield: Vietnam PC title back in 2004. The trick is that 69 million team actions have to be performed individually on all three platforms (Xbox 360, PS3, PC) in order to unlock the map for that particular platform. Right now, the PC community has successfully unlocked the map, while the Xbox is nearly at 50%, and the PS3 is at about a third.

 

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam Map Pack DLC Review Verdict

So what about the maps that you don’t have to wait on? Here’s the skinny on them from developer DICE:

HILL 137

"Here at DICE, we call Hill 137 ‘The perfect flame-thrower map’ Partly because it has lots of tunnels, foxholes, and small buildings to clear out using flame-throwers -- partly because fire and napalm-scorched earth is a wicked combo.

VANTAGE POINT

A long and winding map with major changes both in height and the type of environments you get to fight in. Vantage Point starts out in a shallow creek, climbs a steep hill into a small village, and then drops again via the mountain-side down to the liberated NVA POW camp.

PHU BAI VALLEY

Also known as ‘Rice Fields’ internally, this is one of the flatter maps in Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam. Don't let that fool you, however -- it's full of vegetation and other obstacles that make sniping hard. The American advantage in helicopters is balanced by the large number of NVA tanks.

CAO SON TEMPLE

An upwards struggle through dense jungles, eventually reaching a secluded Vietnamese temple. The initial push by the US forces is a narrow and tough one, but can be helped by the patrol boats off shore. Except for the patrol boats, this is all infantry, all close quarters combat."


Or as I like to refer to these maps, in order, Flamethrower hate, Sniper hate, Tank Hate, and More Sniper Hate. I’m not sure what Hastings will give me to hate, but signs point to that sniper again. You’ll definitely want a skilled one on your squad when you’re defending M-Com stations in Rush, and if you’re facing one when you’re on the offensive, just pray. Then try some extreme flanking. By which I mean the very edge of the map. As with the normal BFBC2 maps, Rush and Conquest are the most popular (and the most fun), with Deathmatch and other variations back in the mix for good measure.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam Vantage Point Trailer »



My personal favorite has been Hill 137, which is peppered with tunnels on the defending side and awash with burning embers. Looking at the map from the attackers starting point really gives you a sense of the horrific scope and scale of the Vietnam War. The other maps are lush and gorgeous to be sure, but they are mostly dense jungles and hills next to muddy brown rivers.  Hill 137 is a fiery landscape that takes your breath away at first glance.

Speaking of those bodies of water, one of the new vehicles this time around is a MKII PBR boat, famously known as the boat that took Commander Benjamin Willard upriver in Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now. It has front and rear mounted machine guns, so it can carry up to three passengers and rain down death on shorelines and nearby buildings. While it can’t get you into the heart of enemy territory, don’t ignore these floaters. They come in very handy when you’re trying to flank an embedded enemy.

As the only aerial vehicle the Huey in the game isn’t anything like the choppers in Battlefield: Bad Company 2. While the Huey is heavily associated with Vietnam, they must have been made out of paper, because you can bring these down with standard assault rifles and the like. Which is handy, because you don’t have any weapons that can lock onto them. It does have rocket pods and side-mounted machine guns, so it’s still a deadly airborne threat. But concentrate your fire on one and you won’t have to worry about it for too long.

The weapons you’re outfitted with are all era-specific, and range from the ever-popular M16 to the Rambo-tastic M60 to the hotter than hell M2 Flamethrower. It spews a jet of burning hot fuel, and will completely ruin your day in enclosed spaces. Particularly on Hill 137, where the foxholes and tunnels can be the bane of your existence when there is fire involved. You’ll find yourself wishing you had some asbestos fatigues.

Battlefield: BC 2 Vietnam "Operation Hastings" Trailer »



Ironically, one of the best parts about Vietnam is something you don’t have a lot of control over. The soundtrack in the game has iconic music from the 60s, including Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son” (which seems to be a requirement in any game, movie, or television show about the Vietnam War), and Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries.” Granted, it’s a thrill to hear these belted out when you’re roaring across enemy lines in a tank or perched in a Huey, but they only come out of vehicle radios, and you’re limited to just a few “stations” that let you cycle through the two-hour soundtrack.

These new maps, weapons and vehicles combined with the new achievements and trophies (a particularly enjoyable one is “Would You Kindly STFU?” where you have to destroy a propaganda speaker), the DLC is a lot of fun if you’ve hit the wall in normal BFBC2 multiplayer. But, it’s really a shame that this just isn’t a standalone title like Battlefield 1943.  You have to purchase Battlefield: Bad Company 2 in order to play this, and that seems a bit heavy-handed since 1943 was an equally enjoyable experience in a download package, and one of the most popular pieces of DLC in history.

If you’re a Vietnam War nut, or you’re looking for more maps to get your frag on in, Vietnam is an easy purchase. But it’s on the cusp of not being worth picking up both BFBC2 and Vietnam, which you’ll need to play this. Even with BFBC2 on sale at low prices, by the time you add $15 to that price, you’re nearly paying for a full retail title all over again. So if you have the game already, consider this a strong recommend, but if you haven’t dived in yet, you might want to hold off.

 

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam Map Pack DLC Review Verdict
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