Characters of Color – Samuel D. ‘Sarge’ Redford

Sarge

 

Once again it’s February people and for those who are experiencing February for the first time, it’s Black History Month. For the Armada that means a whole month of us highlighting the great black characters in games and animation in a segment we call Characters of Color. To start off this year we got an overlooked character in one of my personal favorite games:  Samuel D. ‘Sarge’ Redford. Now this guy is the squad leader of B Company or Bad Company in the game series Battlefield: Bad Company. Why, because this squad is full of soldiers (yeah, all four of them) that aren’t the ‘best of the best’ but the ‘screws ups of the meh’. Sarge himself is a creditable soldier but choose to lead B Company because he can retire early if he does. That’s right Sarge is not only rockin the ‘Retirony’ but the ‘Black Dude Dies First’ tropes. Guess what though, not only is he a component, no non-sense soldier that doesn’t die in the end, but is a wise and true leader taking responsibility for the knuckleheaded crap the team does (I’m looking at you Haggard) to the point of sacrificing his own retirement again and again to keep the brass of their backs. Sarge’s voiced by Bruce Johnson who also lent his talents to Crysis 2, which is also an awesome game. Finally Redford as well as the rest of Bad Company, despite being looked down as bullet fodder, was bad arse enough to steal mercenary gold in the first game and destroy a WWII super weapon in the second.  So Samuel D. Redford and salute you as an awesome character of color as the month is on the way.

 

 

 

 

 

Game Review – Battlefield: Bad Company

The Battlefield series has always been massive warfare; using realistic weapons (most of the time) and tactics to defeat the enemy forces. It is indeed a staple for the PC and now console multiplayer, what it lacked however was a barely entertaining single player. I love the single player experience and (at the time) didn’t have a good PC at the time so I didn’t play this series very much, and what I did play on demos bored me. However this new Battlefield game entitled ‘Bad Company’ will give this online legend a 1st player focus for the first time.

You play Preston Marlowe who did something, at sometime, somewhere, to someone(s) that could have meant ‘X’ amount jail time for him. Instead of rotting in the hole somewhere, they put him to work by serving in the army, fighting a new war with an old enemy; the Russians. Marlowe get pared up with the army’s worst and least combatively trained ‘B’ or Bad Company; who only job is to die in the service of their country. Players will then meet their new best friends: Sweetwater (nerd with gun) Haggard (red-neck demo) and Sergeant Redford (military archetype). While Sweetwater and Haggard are in the same boat as Marlowe, Redford opted to B Company for a way out of his tour of duty quicker (if he’s lives anyway). While finishing up a crap mission they were lucky enough to survive, they discover that mercs known as the Legionnaires are operating with the Russians. These soldiers are the best of the best; and they get paid solid gold bars. It didn’t take these four long to get ideas in their heads; and thus starts their adventure of personal gain without getting caught by the U.S. army or killed on the field. Bad Company is a text book military FPS, complete with numerous gun types (from AN-94 to XM8), rocket launchers, explosives, tools and vehicles. Depending on what kind of shooter you’re used to, the transition we’ll be easy or annoying, but there nothing complicated here so it won’t take long to figure it out. The game gives you various objectives (kill enemies, destroy stuff, etc) to deal with, however it doesn’t care how you do it. For example; the army wants B Company to escort three tanks to their next mission. Of course to get there you all must cross a narrow stretch way, packed full of baddies wanting to give those tanks new ventilation holes, which simply won’t do. So you must figure out the best way to protect the war machines; do you climb into one of them and man the turret, or you stay outside with a repair tool and let the tanks do the fighting while you patch them up, you could even use the RPG you snagged a while back to give your attackers a taste of their own warhead.

Players can do all these options (and many more) if they so do choose, but be careful, your opponents’ do not pull punches and will catch you off guard. Sometimes it’s good to go Rambo, but other times it’s better to be a team player. Speaking of which, your team will accompany you through most of the game and can’t be killed. That’s the good news, the bad? They have the aim of a blind, drunk hippie. If anything they make good distractions, but game leaves you to do all the fighting. Which is irritating, but not the only irritant in the game. During the single player you can collect the various weapons off ammo areas or dead enemies. The then marks them as collected on a list – and that’s it. You don’t get to go back on the list and pick a weapon you’ve collected to use in battle (which would have been preferable); it’s just there to look at (lame). Why have an impressive array of weaponry if you’re only going to use a certain type of weapon once or twice per level (ultra lame). The game itself is the next thing a bring into question; it looks nice, sounds great and characters are solid but all and all it’s something I’ve seen before on more impressive games. There is nothing in Bad Company that truly wows’ me. Single player makes no mistakes, but it also doesn’t do anything to make me go back and replay the stage over and over again (which is something I do all the time, and why I’m always late with my content sometimes) .

Even the game destructible environments’ are only an amusing gimmick; as it falls destroy everything, completely (i.e. houses, guard towers). My greatest ire stems from the multiplayer of Bad Company. Maybe it’s me, but it all seems to be more frantic and simplistic than the norm. It doesn’t help that the game comes with only one mode of play (combination of capture the flag and destroy the objective), and handled poorly. The multiplayer classes (Assault, Demolitions, Recon, Specialist, and Support) are terrible because the most of the weapons and gear for them are locked. They only become available after players level up, which won’t be easy. Chances are you’ll die in the first few seconds of play, if you spawn at the front lines. You won’t know where it’s coming from, or how they got a perfect shot while you got shotty at someone close range and get nothing, but death will happen – especially to Battlefield newbs(like me). Even when players get used to this multiplayer frenzied style, it still won’t help; it’s better to be lucky than good in this game. I could say more how much I hate the multiplayer, but I don’t want that to ruin the whole review for you all so I’ll just close this up.

Bad Company was a great single player experience for me, story-wise anyway. Generally though; the game as a whole was just average; full of missed opportunities, plain/unimpressive combat, and hell-spawn multiplayer (sorry, last time) holds this title back. I’ll give EA credit for trying but I hope the sequel will be at least 5 times as better as the original or I’m just going to give this a pass. Bad Company get’s an average score of a Sliver rating.