Review

Well the blockbuster titles of the Fall continue with our review of Battlefield 3, released on PC, XBox 360, and PS3 on October 23rd. After putting in a good amount of hours in and pouring over all the video and reviews out there in the internet, I’m happy to write that Battlefield 3 is the best FPS out there right now. Before I delve into why this is, let me give you a brief scoop on the Battlefield series. The Battlefield series always prided itself with being realistic and fun shooter at the same time. This holds true for the notable destruction and vehicles you can operate in the game. Battlefield is not an annualized release like its main rival Call of Duty series, which definitely shows in its great leap forward from Battlefield Bad Company 2.

Prepare for some annoyances.

Presentation

DICE’s new graphics and physics engine called Frostbite 2, takes graphics to a whole new level. Incredibly mind blowing in PCs and even outstanding on the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions. The first thing that’s apparent is the amazing lighting in the game. Staring at the sun makes you physically squint, and so does staring at an enemy’s (or ally’s) tactical light or laser. The lighting is so real, that it can get annoying at times to see. This could be used as a good strategy, either to blind enemies, or shoot from darkness to light. Apparently the lighting of a small section of the map had more light programming than all of the lighting scripts in the previous games. All in all, Frostbite 2 is a solid graphics engine that delivers! Second, the smoke and the overall look of the maps are astounding. Most maps are outside on a battlefield, where you can see surrounding mountains, and warfare outside of the map itself. Talking about the map, PC maps can support up to 64 players at one time! The maps are thus bigger in the PC version, whereas the consoles’ maps are trimmed down.

Beautiful Graphics

Last but definitely not least, is the Frostbite 2 damage engine. Almost everything in Battlefield 3 multiplayer maps are destructible. Nothing is as satisfying when you blow up an entire building with a tank, crushing meddling enemy engineers in the rubble. By the end of the multiplayer session, the map looks like it was ravaged in war. Overall the new graphics engine alone makes Battlefield 3 a must have in your console or PC library.

New gameplay animations such as when you die, you see your hands reach out in despair, or when you knife someone in the back (or vice versa) is incredibly immersive. Having someone turn your screen around and stab you in the heart when you were just minding your own business lying prone will always send shivers up your spine.

Single Player

The only reason why this game got a 4 not a 4.5 was because of the single player and co-op.

The single player campaign is a cliche’ story of a terrorist organization that is threatening the greater good. Seriously, how many times have we seen this? The missions aren’t that much better either. Going from checkpoint to checkpoint, the single player is also littered with unfair AI. They take cover and have awesome aim at you from far distances with their light machine guns. Yet when you use your light machine gun, you have to fire in bursts to maintain accuracy. The AI seem to be hitting you with no problem emptying their clip. There is no cover system (I know FPS games don’t and aren’t suppose to) so when you’re health is on the brink of death, you just have to lie prone looking like a dumbass. I’ve played my share of FPS games, and more and more it feels like all these FPS games are me standing with a gun, hoping to kill the enemy before he fires, similar to Time Crisis in arcades.

The story is short, boring, and disappointing. Co-op should be more fun, but playing through it with a friend just felt like a chore. Half way through a section I’d ask myself, why aren’t we playing multiplayer? There is no Kill icon that shows up saying you’ve killed an opponent like there is in multiplayer, so you can never be sure if you’ve fully downed the enemy. The co-op felt too tedious, repetitive (wave after wave of enemies… yay…), and uninspired.

Multiplayer

The inclusion of EA’s Origin account and the new Battlelog, makes making friends, launching games (PC only), and checking up on your soldiers stats fun and streamlined. There is a rumor that the app for iPhones will come out soon, which will further its awesomeness. You can quickly check up on your recent matches as well as aim for better overall Kill/Death ratios and accuracy percentages. You can also check up on what equipment and perks you are going to unlock next as well as every kill you had with a particular gun.

Battlelog is surprisingly fun and intuitive to use frequently.

Battlefield 3 was made for multiplayer. The inclusion of a 64 player match online with jets, helicopters, tanks, jeeps, and destructible environments makes this multiplayer the best you’ll have. Getting points for kill assists, providing squadmates with ammo, health, and repairs, greatly emphasizes the importances of teamwork in Battlefield 3′s multiplayer. In fact, I would advise playing with at least one friend, because every battle you go into without anyone you know is a hit or miss on the matches outcome. Kills don’t matter as much as the objective of the map’s setting. The most popular of them Conquest, is where you have to take certain points on the map as your own, where the team with the least amount of flags slowly bleeds out points. The team that hits 0 points either through not maintaining a majority of the flags as well as deaths loses. To win this game, you need smart teammates who won’t just waste time driving tanks around and LOLing while their overall team is bleeding tickets.

Multiplayer is also addictive as there are tons of dogtags, ribbons, stars, guns, equipment, attachments, and perks to get while leveling up overall and using a particular favorite gun. This addictive process is both rewarding and makes you want to keep playing.

Multiplayer isn’t without its hiccups though. Most notably, like in every FPS game, there are campers who find crevices or roofs not easily accessible that kill you every time. My advice is spawn somewhere else and focus on capturing the objectives. Another part I found disappointing in multiplayer after clocking in hours in it was the lack of maps. There are only 9 maps. I know that maybe a lot, but it does leave a player wanting more. Luckily people who have the Limited Edition and players that are willing to pay, can get 4 more maps by December through the Return to Karkand expansion pack.

Did I mention Jets? JETS!!!!

Overall

Battlefield 3 is this year’s best multiplayer FPS game. I’m no COD hater, but it seems that Battlefield 3 has brought bigger changes than it’s rival this year.

Forget playing the single player, attempt the Co-op, and just spend hours upon hours in the multiplayer. PC is the most recommended of the different platforms, for its even crazier graphics and 64 player maps. However, both consoles aren’t push overs either. Find a truly breathtaking, immersive, strategic, multiplayer FPS game in Battlefield 3.

What do you think about BF3? Do you think its better than Modern Warfare 3? Comment Below!



About the Author

Mark Woo
Mark Woo
Mark has written for AX3.com Asian lifestyle blog on their Tech/Gadgets section. He has also written for Foodology.ca under his M's Food Court Corner. Mark currently owns NocturnalVancouver.com. Using his experiences in Vancouver's night club industry, NocVan is a one of a kind night life blog. Mark is passionate about video gaming, tech blogging, and the NBA.