The men of B-Company are those rare kinds of anti-heroes that are extremely likable, completely selfish, and show zero desire to ever change.
In so many games, we’re always tasked with saving the world, sometimes the universe, or at the very least, the day. It can get tiring after a while, so I find it refreshing when a game gives me a different kind of objective, something selfish and un-heroic. The first Battlefield: Bad Company did just that. It put me in a squad of likable, selfish soldiers who would rather go chasing gold than follow orders. It was a fun adventure, but in creating these anti-heroes the game walked a very fine line.
Then you have a character like Nathan Drake. For the first several hours of Uncharted 2, he’s acting in his own self-interest. He’s looking for the Lost Fleet of Marco Polo because of the possible fortune it represents and because he wants to steal the discovery away from a former friend. Then when the war criminal Lazaravic goes rampaging through a Nepalese city, Drake doesn’t go around helping people, he continues looking for treasure. However, despite this selfish streak he’s not really an anti-hero, he’s more of a lazy hero who doesn’t act until the last possible moment. He hops on a train to rescue Chloe after she’s taken onboard and it drives away, and he does eventually confront Lazaravic at the very end. Drake always steps up to save the day, he just needs more of a push than most video game heroes.
Their actions are selfish but not violent like Kratos. B-Company is friendly like Drake but never act for the greater good. These traits create a rare kind of anti-hero that is both extremely likable and completely un-heroic and who shows zero desire to ever change.
Bad Company 2 constantly pokes fun at Modern Warfare 2, both in game and in its marketing. It’s obvious that the developer and publisher want the world to see these two games as rivals, but in their desire to compete with Infinity Ward’s behemoth, I feel like the most unique aspect of the game, the comedy, was left behind. One look at the packaging confirms this. Gone is the grenade with the smiley face pin. In its place is a shadowy figure surrounded by heavy vehicles. Never mind the hovering names that suggest this is a snapshot of multiplayer play, the darkened man alone suggests a less lighthearted experience than what the first game offered, which is a shame because while I love the multiplayer and have nothing against saving the day every now and then, when I kick back with B-Company I’d rather be stealing gold.