While everyone is probably still playing hours and hours of Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer, I'm apparently in the Battlefield Bad Company 2 closed multiplayer beta thanks to FilePlanet. It is arguably the first big shooter of 2010 coming out on February and this beta I think lasts till the end of December. There are other ways to acquire this beta from random giveaways of codes by Twitter to pre-ordering the game. At this point, this beta is exclusively on Playstation 3 with a PC one out in the coming weeks. If you prefer the Battlefield style over other shooters, its more of that which is a good thing.
There is one map playable in this beta is a harbor level that is huge as one mode is also playable, which is the standard attack/defend certain choke points for victory. Since the levels are in fact huge, on-foot movement may feel somewhat of a drag because you just want to go straight to the action. Luckily you can do that by spawning close to your squadmates if they are alive rather than spawning away from everything taking a while to get there. As with Battlefield games, there is a class system of different skills with the standard assault class, engineer, recon, and medic offering different weapons and secondary abilities for players to mess with. Along with the class system is the level up system racking up points by killing the opposition, assist kills, and completing objectives. As you level up you gain more weapons to use that are better than the standard equipment you are offered when you first start. It may be a cheap advantage for starting on the beta now rather than later as you may see players that are high leveled with more toys to fire upon. With the classes being offered, they definitely have their separate roles from the assault class being for mid to close range, engineer for taking out vehicles by a secondary rocket launcher, sniping for the recon class, and so on.
If you played a Battlefield game before especially the first Bad Company, you will feel right at home with this sequel as there are definitely improvements in place that hardcore players have noticed that I don't care about since I was like why not get this beta for kicks. The shooting feels fine and especially satisfying getting kills by an assault rifle from far distances that you don't expect it would kill them. The level in this beta is also good being mostly an open environment along with some buildings to destroy, which made Bad Company such a hit with everything being destructable and it remains true here. My minor gripe about the mode being played is maybe the attacker respawn count is too much, which starts at 100, but I don't mind if the defending team keeps shutting them out. Their respawn count does restart again back to 100 when they control both choke points at certain areas as all that hard work can lead to nothing.
In terms of the graphics, it is a beta even though Bad Company 2 looks and performs fine at a constant framerate. When getting hit, at least your screen is not filled with blood stains like Modern Warfare 2. As for the sound, it is also fine considering its in the beta stage as things could be worked out for the final game. Did I see players hopping to Bad Company 2 when it comes out in February? I think so if they are tired of Modern Warfare 2 in which they won't be, but they are two separate games as I consider MW2 more in your face while Battlefield requires more teamwork completing objectives and handling the vehicular combat. We shall see when Bad Company 2 releases in the coming months if people are indeed ready for another shooter to play.