Battlefield 3 ReviewDecember 9, 2011
Can Battlefield 3 rise above the flood of mediocre shooters?
As someone who has been with the Battlefield series since I first played Battlefield: 1942 around the age of 12 or 13, I can say with confidence that no one does online warfare quite like they do. From World War II to future warfare in the year 2142, Battlefield has fully explored almost all possible settings and themes for multiplayer shooters. Most of the time, the titles produced have been gems. However, some might say (myself included) that the first person shooter market has become saturated as of late. With so many other series on the market, and with Call of Duty maintaining such a firm grasp over the majority of the online community’s population, one has to wonder if Dice is still capable of making quality shooters that can compete with the best of them. Can Battlefield 3 rise above the flood of mediocre shooters?
First, let me state that Battlefield 3 looks and runs much better on the PC than on consoles, which should come as no surprise. I’ve spent the majority of my time playing the Xbox 360 version, but just from my limited time with the PC version, and running it on a slightly dated machine, it’s obvious that PC users will get the most out of this game. Not that this is anything new, but it’s definitely worth pointing out if you have the choice between the two.
On the Xbox 360, the game comes with two discs (Note: Playstation 3 version is one Blu-ray). One is the game’s single-player campaign, which is something that many fans may bypass completely. This 6-7 hour romp tells us a story all too similar to Call of Duty: Black Ops’ campaign, one of a soldier under interrogation for information that he obtained during his tour of duty. You’ll play in the shoes of a few different soldiers, visiting a few different locales in the middle east that offer little variety. While not terrible, this experience furthers the fact that Dice’s niche is simply not in the area of single-player missions. Visually, the game does look great, but lacks in any real content that we haven’t seen before. No, where this game’s appeal lies is on the other disc.
Battlefield 3‘s second disc includes two things: co-op and multiplayer. Co-op consists of a handful of two-player missions that can be completed to earn progress towards weapons usable in multiplayer. While nothing spectacular, they are much more fun than most of the missions in the single-player campaign. As far as the multiplayer suite goes, it is one of the best that the Battlefield series has seen thus far. The gametypes and maps are limited, but the gametypes are fun and the maps are massive and very fresh. Alongside the locales you’ll be fighting in, the weapons are numerous and quite varied. With four classes to play and level up, with multiple attachments for each individual gun, the game rewards you constantly for playing. Although there is a slight learning curve when first starting out, the game is never frustratingly difficult. Any frustrations incurred will probably lie in the fact that there is no place to practice with the vehicles outside of actual matches. That being said, if you’re able to adjust to the slight difficulty curve and level up a few times, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more rewarding system.
All in all, Battlefield 3 is nothing game-changing. It is not the juggernaut of this year’s shooters, nor is it something that will be considered a timeless classic. What it is, however, is an extremely entertaining shooter that offers a fresh alternative to Call of Duty or Halo, and something that fans of previous games will undoubtedly enjoy. The road to max level is a long one, so if you’re planning on getting out on the battlefield, you’d better set aside some long hours and get ready for war.