Battlefield 3 Review
System: 360, PC, PS3
*Note: This is the old type of review with criteria
Battlefield 3 was released on October 25th for the PC, 360, and PS3. EA and DICE have been boasting about this game for some time now. The marketing of the game has been big and has hyped up many gamers alike. Now that the game is out the reviews are proving to be pretty high overall showing that this game can stand on it’s own two legs without the marketing needing to push it forward. The game has amazing graphics and overall appeal but tends to fall a little short in the Single Player campaign aspect. However this isn’t a large deal considering most gamers won’t even touch the campaign since Battlefield 3 is all about the multiplayer. In that regards, it really delivers.
For the most part the game feels pretty good. You can run with your gun but you can’t sprint all that fast so it gives the illusion that you are carrying a heavy weapon. In fact when you have heavier weapons your character does actually move slower. On top of this the sound in the game is just amazing. If the graphics don’t really make you feel like you are in a war of sorts then the sounds definitely will. Hearing those bullets hit everything, the ground, pavement, walls, vehicles, and of course people just really sells you on the fact that this feels authentic. Some downsides to the gameplay have to do with the fact that considering how big of a battlefield you have to work with you can’t explore it nearly as much as you’d like. When trying to go outside of the “designated area” you get a warning sign on your screen and it goes black and white. For singleplayer that warning gives you 5 seconds to enter back into the “Mission Area”. By failing to do so you die and start over at the last checkpoint. Due to this there are cases where you think you can flank the enemy but the game doesn’t let you. This is definitely disappointing and makes the game very linear. With a game like Battlefield that has such large draw distances and maps, you would expect to have a little bit more freedom to explore your surroundings. Take a look at the video below to see some gameplay and pay close attention to listen to the sounds including the ambient ones that really make you feel like you are there.
Let’s start off with the strongest category and one of the main reasons everyone is excited to get their hands on this game. For the PC this game really does look amazing. From great lighting effects to tons of destructible environments you feel like you are in a dynamic world. I myself have the luxury of playing this game at Ultra settings at around a constant 60-70FPS with my new rig and it really is quite extraordinary to look at. Now that’s not to say that there aren’t a few shortcomings. At times, even on PC, the game has some pretty low res textures and also a fair amount of texture pop-in. Even still though this is one of the best looking games to date with some of the best procedural physics around. Just take a look at the screenshot below to see the beautiful vistas that Battlefield 3 has to offer.
There have been a lot of people complaining about the story and some are even claiming that AAA FPS Shooters single player campaigns are as good as dead. For Battlefield 3 if you are looking for a very engaging story that will put you on the edge of your seat, well, look elsewhere. That’s not to say the story is bad by any means. Without giving away too much and spoiling it, I can safely say that the campaign took me about 6-8 hours to complete on normal difficulty and by the end I was satisfied. Not overly excited and cheering but the campaign was kind of what I expected it to be. The basic storyline has you ,”Sergeant Blackburn”, being interrogated and blamed for the reason a nuke went off. The government thinks not only were you involved but you in fact turned on your own side and joined the enemy. The game starts off with you in that room and in between certain aspects of the story your real gameplay starts. Essentially you play through the memories of Blackburn. EA used a similar tactic like that of Modern Warfare where you actually play different characters who are involved in the same story. The pacing wasn’t too bad and at times I really did feel emotionally attached to some of the characters. The story is worth a single playthrough. One probably won’t want to go back since there isn’t much replay value as it is but it’s like a movie that is worth seeing once.
If there is one game that is known to have some of the best ambient sounds and realistic sounds, it’s Battlefield 3. You really feel like you are in an all out war. This includes the amazing sound of random radio chatter, explosions all the time, crashing vehicles, and of course each individual gun has it’s own unique sound that allows you to determine what gun is near you or even being shot at you. The voices of the main characters isn’t anything special but they do a good job of getting emotion across which makes the characters more believable. Considering this game is a shooter and and not a dialogue heavy game, you can’t complain about the amazing sound it has to offer from every vehicle, weapon, and just random war sounds, you might just get scared.
The multiplayer is where Battlefield 3 really shines and shows why it has been so successful for many years and will continue to be for years to come. As far as multiplayer goes, Battlefield 4 isn’t even on my mind. There are so many weapons to unlock and unlocks for each weapon as well as vehicle unlocks that are specific. Not to mention your character has his own level system that is set at a maximum of 100. It’s also said that it takes 25 million points to reach this rank. That is not going to be an easy quick task. Hours upon hours will be spent in multiplayer leveling up. The nice thing about the PC version is that you can have up to 64 people on a map at a time with tons of varied vehicles. This, with the ability to have some destruction thanks to the Frostbite 2.0 engine, is what makes Battlefield 3 multiplayer so fun and dynamic. If you have the money the multiplayer alone on this game is worth every penny. Many people won’t even touch the SP campaign but truthfully there aren’t missing out on much. Multiplayer is what this game thrives at hands down.