On top of this, countless enclosed arenas with spawning enemies account for some terrible difficulty spikes, with the bombastic nature of the combat proving too much to cope with - to make matters worse some of the checkpoints are bordering on cruel and it's often easier to sprint straight through levels to reach waypoints or move from cover to cover while waiting for a countdown to finish.
You are no doubt meant to be able to deal with the hostiles thanks to a quartet of special abilities: Adrenaline, Explosive Bullets, WMD Airstrike, and Target Pulse Wave. Of these the Adrenaline ability is the most useful, giving you a speed boost and temporary invulnerability to bullets, and the Explosive Bullets ability comes in handy now and again, but the other two are either used so rarely they needn't exist or are next to pointless.
The idea is that you collect Intel (dropped by fallen enemies) to power these abilities, with chains of accurate, explosive or impressive shots rewarding you even more, but the payoff for doing this is rarely worth it. Much more useful in most situations are your mines, which enemies love walking over, sending them and their close buddies to an explosive death.
It's also somewhat baffling that Bodycount uses the same engine that powers the gorgeous-looking DiRT 3. Although a completely different genre you'd think some of that loveliness would rub off, but it really hasn't. The best thing to be said about the visuals here is that the game is colourful, but it's also horribly textured, glitchy, unoriginal and at times plain ugly. Codemasters has bigged up the destruction (or Shredding as it likes to call it), but it's frankly years behind the curve - even the original Bad Company did it more impressively.
If the core gameplay had been solid the included high-score and multiplayer modes would have been nice inclusions, but only those who manage to find some enjoyment in the flawed mechanics will want to give them a look. Bodycount mode lets you replay completed levels for high scores, while there's also a survival two-player co-op mode and 12-player Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch.
Bodycount isn't a good game. It might provide a few hours of entertainment if you're into basic, straight-up shooting, but the controls and dodgy AI will likely put off most players. Nothing exciting comes from the special abilities and the visuals are disappointingly lacklustre despite their garish appearance. This, along with the admittedly better but still fairly standard modern take on the Operation Flashpoint series, suggests Codemasters should stick with racing.
VideoGamer.com Score5 Score out of 10
- Grenades are good
- Horrible difficulty spikes
- Garish and ugly
- Aiming mechanic is awkward