Battlefield 3 (Console) Review
Can DICE’s game put the Call of Duty franchise to rest? Or is DICE all bark and no bite? Find out after the jump.
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360 *reviewed on the PS3
Genre: First Person Shooter
Modes: Single Player, Co-Op, Multiplayer
Many people like to compare games because they have a couple of similarities and Modern Warfare and Battlefield are compared ruthlessly. Which one is better? Battlefield sucks, Modern Warfare is king! You know, stuff like that. However, I feel that compare these two games are unfair because they have different goals that they try to reach despite being in the same genre. I feel that comparing Call of Duty to Battlefield is like comparing apples to oranges. With that said, I will actually refrain from reviewing Battlefield like a Call of Duty fanboy elitest. Instead, I will be reviewing Battlefield as its own game, as it should be. I will, however, some times address some issues when it comes to why people tend to compare the two.
Battlefield 3 was made with one thing in mind; to get the player as close as to a warzone as a game possibly could. To accomplish that, DICE tried to recreate humongous environments, large-scale vehicles, and realistic weapon physics. Do they accomplish that? Completely. The environments are great and, if played in surround sound, the sounds of the battle like jets flying overhead and tanks firing in the distance are just amazing to experience . Battlefield 3 recreates the warzone perfectly.
Battlefield 3′s campaign would be your typical FPS campaign, over-the-top, in your face, and overused. Many people said that it was basically a Tom Clancy novel recreated in Frostbite 2. It is not a bad thing; however, as the campaign is very engaging and fun. Just do not expect a deep story and well developed characters. Co-op mode is basically the same but with a partner. The multiplayer is amazing if you can understand what is going on. Basically, get rid of your Call of Duty tendencies of going rogue and winning the game by yourself as that is not going to happen. Battlefield 3 is a team game and individual performance does not usually attribute you the best player in the game. That notion right there is why some people dislike Battlefield 3 when they play because they come into the game thinking it is Call of Duty when it is not.
Other than that, the game is very fun and the campaign is good enough to go through at least once. You will be playing multiplayer for hours if you enjoy it because it is loads of fun. While some may prefer how Call of Duty caters to the individual, if you can come to terms with the fact that Battlefield 3 is focused solely on squad play, then you will appreciate Battlefield 3 for what it does.
Battlefield 3′s campaign puts you in the shoes of a marine being investigated by the government. Missions are brought about through flashbacks as the marine recalls what happened. While the missions are fun, they do not necessarily tie together as well as DICE probably intended. They all just seemed like standalone missions that do not relate to each other whatsoever. As far as story goes, the campaign can be a bit confusing but it is still engaging to play. It is not like you bought the game for its single player campaign anyway.
The campaign mode is good enough to warrant at least one playthrough and it is good enough to kill some time if you are ever caught in a situation that does not allow you to play the multiplayer. You will be able to do your typical modern warfare, FPS stuff while still be able to drive vehicles around like jets and tanks. While the experience is not as fun as driving a jet is in the multiplayer, at least you get to taste it in the campaign. You could say that the campaign is sort of an appetizer for what is to come.
It is no question that Battlefield 3 is probably the best looking FPS game out right now and even one of the best looking games overall. Despite having gimped visuals on the console, Battlefield 3 still looks great. Battlefield 3 was developed in DICE’s Frostbite 2 engine and everything looks wonderful. Environments are large, vehicles are detailed, and the textures on everything is just amazing to look at. You can see the details that was put into fully erect buildings and then the details of the same building when it has been shredded by tanks. You can see buildings crumble and be blown to pieces as bullets fly past you. The graphics are just great and DICE does a great job of adding in a bunch of detail to everything in the game. However, while the graphics are jaw-dropping, one cannot forget what allows the gamer to immerse themselves into the game in the first place: the sound.
The sounds of the game are just phenomenal. They go so well with the environment of the game and you can literally immerse yourself to the point where you actually believe you are on the battlefield. You can hear the distinctive rat-ta-tat of the assault guns, jets zooming in and out of the warzone, and the tanks decimating buildings off in the distance. The sounds make you feel like you are in the game and on the battlefield. DICE even touched on the little things like adding human chatter here and there so that it does not feel like you are just off in a warzone fighting by yourself despite seeing other people around you. It is not much but it is a welcome addition since Battlefield 3 aims to be as immersive as possible. I mean, it really does not make much sense when you are in a battlefield and no one is screaming at you as you fight the enemy.
While the campaign mode and co-op mode are fun time killers, multiplayer will be where you will be investing most of your time in the game. The multiplayer experience is one of a kind and can be completely disregarded due to Call of Duty players coming and thinking this is just another FPS when it really is not. In order to transition from Call of Duty to Battlefield, you must first rid of all your thoughts and tendencies that you would use in Call of Duty. Battlefield 3 is a completely different multiplayer experience and bringing Call of Duty to Battlefield will not translate completely.
Battlefield 3 offers a couple of multiplayer modes: Rush, Conquest, Team Deathmatch, Squad Deathmatch, and Squad Rush.
Rush is an objective game, where the attackers will go against the defenders. The objective of the mode is very simple. Attackers are to find the M-COMs and arm them to destroy them. Defenders do just as the name implies. Attackers win the game by destroying all the M-COMS. Depending on the size of the map, attackers will have to destroy 3-5 sets of two M-COMs. Defenders when the game by eliminating the attackers. Attackers are given 75 or 100 tickets depending on the map and they can be considered lives. If the defenders can hold down the two M-COMs and deplete all of the attackers’ tickets, then they win the game. However, if the attackers manage to destroy the two M-COMs, then the tickets reset back to the original quantity. With that said, Rush matches can be very short or very long. M-COMs can only be destroyed by arming it. This means you cannot use your own explosives and you cannot destroy the building that M-COM is housed in.
Conquest would be Battlefield 3′s equivalent of capture the flag. Three to four flags will be placed around the map and the players will have to battle each other for those flags. Just like in Rush, Conquest also had tickets but this time, holding a flag will deplete the tickets. Kills will also deplete tickets but capturing flags will deplete them much faster. The more flags one team captures and defends means the tickets will deplete faster than a team with only one flag captured. First to have their all their tickets depleted loses the game.
Team Deathmatch is your typical team deathmatch scenario. First to kill the other team 100 times will win the game. Unfortunately, vehicles are not available in Team Deathmatch.
Squad Deathmatch is team deathmatch with a twist. Four squads of four players will go against each other to kill the other squads 50 times. One vehicle is available in this mode and you can either decide to use it or destroy it.
Squad Rush is the smaller version of Rush. One squad of four will face off against another squad of four. There are only a total of two M-COMs in this mode and you will have to destroy one at a time. Only 20 tickets are given to the attackers but teammates can revive squad members in order to keep a ticket. M-COMs in this mode can be destroyed with your owned explosives as well as destroying the building. It is not limited like the regular Rush mode.
Even though Battlefield 3 has only five game modes, they are more than enough. The environments are large already so adding extra modes would just be superfluous. There is also the fact that Battlefield 3 revolves around team play so adding modes like Free For All, Gun Game, etc would not recreate the Battlefield experience fully. And, like I said before, the maps are just way to big for matches to be made for individuals.
What You’ll Like:
- Vehicle Gameplay
- Team-Orientated Multiplayer
- Individual performance is not rewarded as much as team performance
- It’s not Call of Duty
- Occasional frame rate drops and bugs
- Online pass
Occasional frame rate issues and hiccups do plague Battlefield 3 just like any other game. I noticed that sometimes they game would lag or freeze for a couple of moments when it would autosave the game. There are also still some bugs in the multiplayer but I feel that DICE did a decent job fixing what was in the beta. You will run into some bugs every now and then but it is nothing to fret about. Overall, Battlefield 3 is a great, fun game. The campaign may be a little lackluster in the story side, but it is still very engaging to play. DICE’s Frostbite 2 engine makes the game look simply gorgeous and the sounds just add to the realism of the game.
Call of Duty players may find the game either overwhelming or underwhelming depending on how they look at it. Is Battlefield 3 a Call of Duty killer? I would have to say no because they are just simple dissimilar in nature. It plays nothing like Call of Duty which is why many people complain about Battlefield in the first place. Other than that, I believe Battlefield 3 deserves some attention and should attempt to separate itself from Call of Duty rather than claiming that it is its slayer.
Buy It: Buy this game if you are looking for a very fun multiplayer experience that is one of a kind and you are a graphics buff.
Rent It: Rent this game if you are only looking to enjoy the eye candy that it provides and to run through the campaign mode.
Pass It: Pass this game if you are not into FPS games.