Battlefield Bad Company 2

Battlefield has always been a popular FPS ever since the release of Battlefield 2 in 2005. Bad Company was a segue for the Battlefield franchise that was released only for the consoles and was received tepidly by fans of the series. However, when Bad Company 2 was released in March 2010, FPS fans were agog with excitement and popularity for the Bad Company moniker changed overnight. Although the game… didn’t sell as well as its Call of Duty counterpart, Modern Warfare 2, Bad Company 2 still brought to the table many great improvements in terms of graphics, gameplay dynamics, and seemed reworked from the ground up with DICE’s Frostbite engine. Bad Company 2 was one of the central games on the PC platform in 2010 to utilize Microsoft’s DX11 technology effectively. With a Metacritic rating of 87% on the PC as of December 2011, Bad Company 2 filled the void of thrilling action in the FPS genre until the newer games such as Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3 were released in late 2011. As of mid 2011, more than nine million copies of Bad Company 2 had been sold across all platforms. Of course, here at 30 Inch Reviews, we only look at the best platform; the PC!





The Battlefield series was never known for its singleplayer campaign or story; Bad Company 2 is no exception as it takes place in various locations around the world from the dense jungles of Bolivia to the glacial paradise of Alaska. The story is linearly structured as is expected of most single player games these days even outside of the FPS genre. Bad Company 2, however, suffers from the strange condition known as “rigor-shortis”; originally prognosticated and diagnosed by yours truly at 30 Inch Reviews. That is, the campaign mode is woefully short and the excitement of taking on South American drug cartels and evil Russian invaders passes by like sandstorm in the desert. That is not to say that during those short moments, there was no dearth of action-packed gun fights and Carl-Gustav-laden shelling! What is really remarkable despite the short nature of the singleplayer mode is the assortment of weaponry, vehicles, and undoubtedly refined graphics. Bad Company 2 was the best looking FPS on PC when it was released. Until very recently, it remained to be one of the most incredibly graphically-diverse games ever developed due to the brilliantly designed levels; lush jungles, barren deserts, icy glaciers, and everything in between. There were times during the campaign mode that we just stopped “Left-Shifting”, uhh, running, and just took in the sights. And here at 30 Inch Reviews, we enjoyed those sights even more with the grandoise views made possible by the 3 30″ monitors at a resolution of 8100x1600px!

Viet Cong!

The singleplayer campaign was fun but rather forgettable due to its short-lived nature. That is however not a knock on this game because as all Battlefield games are known for, Bad Company 2’s forte is multiplayer.


Where most FPS games shine is the battlefield, pun-intended, of multiplayer mode where tens of gamers from around the world gather to wage war against each other virtually. Bad Company 2 really shone in this regard for several reasons. First and foremost, since the game utilizes DX11 technology quite well and with the level design being top notch, visually the game really stood apart from its competition. Most games compromise some aspect of the game, usually graphics, in order to maintain stability and playability for a wide range of gamers with and even wider range of hardware. This seemed to be minimal in the case of Bad Company 2. The maps were well designed with very few bottlenecks and gameplay was silky smooth in almost all occasions. Of course, no game is going to be 100% free of imperfections but our tendency here at 30 Inch Reviews is to look at the positives of a game rather than focus on the negatives unless they ruin the experience of the game.

DICE/EA came up with a complex tree of unlocks and upgrades by allowing players to progress from a level ‘0’ to level ’50’. There are an incredible number of guns, attachments, and upgrades to the various types of weapons that players can unlock in Bad Company 2. In addition to this, upgrades for vehicles such as tanks, LAVs, and helicopters insured that players were never left to use a weapon or vehicle that they couldn’t improve. There were also seven different map packs that were released in addition to the initial set that came with the game. This made the game fresh and players were able to explore new strategies and levels in ways that weren’t possible before.

In essence, the multiplayer experience in Bad Company 2 was fantastic and with the sheer number of weapons, levels, and unlocks, gamers were kept happy and busy for many months. Most popular modes in the multiplayer were Rush and Conquest with a cap of 16 players per side for a total of 32 players per server.



On a single 30″ monitor, Bad Company 2 is a great experience. By turning all the settings to “HIGH”, turning on ambient occlusion, anisotropic filtering to ‘x16’, and anti-aliasing to 32X CSAA, coupled with the jaw-dropping level design, the game really is a marvel in graphics technology. With four GTX-580 Classified 3GB GPUs, however, playing on one screen makes V-Sync somewhat of a necessity. This makes sure the framerate is locked to a solid 60 FPS which corresponds to the refresh rate of the monitor @ 60Hz. By turning certain setting such as Bloom “OFF”, the over-exposed/washed out look is gone and the colors really pop out during gameplay. One of the most vital settings in all of Bad Company 2 is the Field of View (FoV). If you happen to be playing the game on a single monitor, whether it’s a 30″ IPS panel like the Dell U3011 or a 24″ TN panel like the Samsung T260, turning the FoV setting up makes for some really exciting fun. The default setting is at 55 in the settings.ini file and has a range of 30 to 80. At 30 Inch Reviews, we found that 75 was the sweet spot in terms of FoV. This creates a perfect balance of wide angle of view without much distortion of the image on the sides (similar to a fish eye effect).

As we will see below, Bad Company 2 really shines in multi-monitor gaming or “Surround” mode. There simply isn’t any comparison between one monitor, even a 30″ one at 1600P, to 3 monitors, especially 3 30″ monitors like we do at 30 Inch Reviews!

8100×1600 (Surround)

Any first-person shooter (FPS) game is an attempt to create an immersive atmosphere for the gamer giving him/her the feeling that they are in the thick of it; running straight into the battlefield with bullets whizzing past, explosions galore, and gut-wrenching screams of soldiers getting an unhealthy amount of lead. The reality is that this immersive atmosphere, or rather, the attempt thereof, has fallen short for many years and some would argue still continues to do so. Of course, nobody is going to claim that a computer simulation and/or game would ever mimic the real thing. Yet, for those of us too scared to step on the real battlefield where men and women get killed fighting to protect our freedoms, FPS games give us a peek into their adrenaline oozing, terrifying “job” as soldiers on the battlefields of the world. A game like Battlefield Bad Company 2, with its advanced graphics engine, character models, scenic vistas, and incredibly detailed weaponry including vehicles such as tanks, jeeps, and helicopters does a fine job of creating a heart-pounding battle-laden feel to the game. Still, in order to get the really immersive experience, nothing can parallel playing FPS games in Surround mode (or Eyefinity)! No matter how sweet a single monitor is, there is something fundamentally lacking when compared to multi-monitor setups in terms of screen real estate. At 30 Inch Reviews, with 3 30″ monitors, playing Bad Company 2 at 8100x1600px is truly a glorious experience that is perhaps only bested by the most recent games such as Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3.

By running the game at such a high resolution, the only thing we had to turn “down” on the settings was anti-aliasing. We were able to play the game with 16X CSAA with the framerate constantly between 50 – 70 FPS. Before chuckling, remember that at such a monstrous resolution, the system has to render 12,960,000 pixels every second and to be able to do that at at least 50 FPS is no small feat. The sheer might of the hardware required to run such a configuration at playable framerates is astounding in and of itself. The hexacore i7 990X overclocked to 4.4 GHz and the four GTX-580 Classified 3GB GPUs overclocked to 910 MHz enabled the game to average around 60 FPS at 8100x1600px. The amount of VRAM that was being used was amusing to say the least. Using 16x CSAA, we saw VRAM usage at around 2900 MB which is close to the GPUs limit of 3072 MB. Now that the AMD/ATI 7970 is coming out with the new 28 nm architecture, there are rumors of cards coming “stock” with 6 GB of VRAM! Surround/Eyefinity gaming is truly going “public” now!

C4 - BOOM!

As far as the gameplay in Surround mode for Bad Company 2 is concerned, the only hitches we saw was playing the vanilla version of the game in multiplayer; the game has a weird Surround/Eyefinity bug, commonly known as the frame-buffer bug, which causes the game to randomly crash to desktop (CTD). DICE’s and EA’s scant regard for this issue is highly irritating given the fact that a rep from DICE promised gamers on an online forum that a “fix was coming” more than 14 months ago! There is still no fix for that issue and so the only way to play in Surround without the annoying CTD is to set the graphics settings to “LOW” instead of “HIGH”. What is peculiar is that the expansion pack that was released in December 2010 called Bad Company 2: Vietnam works wonderfully well in Surround! The frame-buffer bug was apparently fixed during development of that expansion pack but the geniuses at DICE/EA decided it was not necessary to do so for the vanilla version of the game through a quick “patch”. Sometimes, PC gamers have to suffer for being so awesome (LOL).

5160×2560 (Surround)

Once the Uber Rig was upgraded from 3xEVGA GTX-580 3GB in Tri-SLI to 4x EVGA GTX-680 Classiifed 4GB in 4-Way SLI and further to 4x EVGA GTX-Titan SC in 4-Way SLI, the monitors, 3x Dell U3011, were oriented in Portrait mode. This setup now uses a higher resolution, 13.2MP instead of 12.96MP! Bad Company 2 is absolutely brilliant at this resolution and makes the experience surreal. Averaging about 130FPS, Bad Company 2 really shines in all levels whilst using the highest settings available including 32x CSAA! VRAM usage now goes to around 3100MB but it is nowhere close to the 6GB available on the GTX-Titan SC!

Maxed Out!

At ThirtyIR, we tried various maps such as Valparaiso, Isla Inoscentes, Cold War, Port Valdez, etc. and were simply amazed at how fun this game still is! Many years after its release, there are a lot of people still playing Bad Company 2!


All in all, Bad Company 2 is a completely different and superior experience in Surround. The immersive feel is something to savor and makes the replay value of the game much higher. In fact, we found ourselves going back to the single-player campaign, which was mediocre at best, just to see how awesome the level design and firefight sequences were at 8100x1600px and 5160x2560px! Although the game is definitely fun on a single monitor, even a 30″ monitor with all the settings cranked up, playing in Surround/Eyefinity makes for a much richer experience. At ThirtyIR, we feel that the game could have been better optimized with Surround in mind. Other than the vexatious crash to desktop bug, Bad Company 2 is a winner by any definition.

Bad Company 2, along with its expansion “Vietnam”, is a must-buy for any FPS fan and most definitely so for fans of the Battlefield series!




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