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Old 11-08-2011, 10:14 AM   #1
Ghostbear
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[Multi] Battlefield 3 Review

[Multi] Battlefield 3 Review

Product: Battlefield 3
Platform: PC/360/PS3
Developer: DICE
MSRP: $59.99
Available: Now
Editor: Jeremy 'Ghostbear' Spurlock

Quote:
What's Hot: Some of the best multiplayer gaming in years.
What's Not: Single player component is weak.
It’s been some time since DICE has made what some would call a “full” Battlefield experience. Did they succeed with Battlefield 3 or was the mission dead on arrival? Join us, as we dive into the fight and hopefully manage to escape unscathed.


Some folks just need to be the tough guy and pull their chute last.

For the majority of the Battlefield series’ lifespan, it has been a primarily multiplayer experience. This time however, DICE added a single player campaign and a co-op campaign. I have to admit that upon seeing the commercials, I was ready to be impressed by what appeared to be stunning set pieces and vistas. While I certainly got pretty stuff to look at, the single player campaign fell flat in almost every other way. The campaign is short, and it's something I can't really hold against the game. Especially considering that its length is on par with most other modern shooter campaigns. The problem is, while the campaign is chronologically short, it still felt like it dragged in several places. The primary reason being that for a chunk of the time control is taken out of your hands. Playing on rails is one thing, watching the rails can be quite another. The campaign is decent enough, but certainly not worth the price of admission.


I see you!

The co-op is definitely more interesting. The campaigns are built from the ground up to require two players working together in order to achieve objectives. One of the better examples is a mission where both players are given sniper rifles. You are presented with two enemies, if you do not drop them at the same time an alarm will sound and your job will get much harder. This idea is repeated through the six missions of the co-op campaign. The missions range from a helicopter mission, to a defense mission, to the aforementioned sniper level. I have to say playing this with a friend is good fun. It is also useful, as you unlock weapons to fight with in the broader multiplayer game.


King of all I survey!

Everything in the game is controlled by the Battlelog, a browser based portal that you launch the game from. Here you can setup platoons, check statistics, browse servers and see what your friends are up to. I think this system is pretty useful, the ability to change and explore so many game functions without launching the program is lovely. I have found myself taking a look at it while away from home just to sate my curiosity about what was going on with the soldiers in my platoon. Launching the game is very fast from the Battlelog, if you are using it to launch the multiplayer it skips all the normal startup splash screens and takes you right to the match you want to join. Obviously, this functionality is not present in the console versions, but having all the useful stat information is reason enough to enjoy and use the Battlelog. As much as I like it, I wish there were a few more options, like the ability to setup loadouts for your various kits or change key bindings. These are options that still can only be accessed within the game.


In spaces both large and small, the CoG Platoon will kill you all.

Multiplayer is at the heart of the Battlefield series and they have really managed to show that when it comes to this type of game play, DICE is the best in the business. The sheer chaos of the battle is always around you, from building to building firefights to tank battles and aerial dogfights all happening in the same sphere of engagement. Is a tank harassing your control point? Better call in some engineers or your own armor to deal with them. Perhaps a sniper is causing havoc with your squad, get someone in a chopper to end that punk’s existence. There is no one approach to solving a combat issue, but you will need to coordinate with your team to win.


Unlocks can be critical, consider the night vision scope.

One of the things that I have always appreciated with the series is that things like your kill/death ratio, while somewhat important, are not the only metric of your team contributions. I have seen numerous games where the top scorer had far more deaths than kills. Things like capping objectives, damaging vehicles, assists and spotting the enemy all contribute to your score. If you heal your teammates or give them ammunition, points. If you suppress your foes, points. The list goes on. There is a useful role for every player. Speaking of which, there are 4 main classes, Assault/medic, Engineer, Recon and Support. They all have different functions and no one class is good in every situation. You will need to combine your tools to make a useful, functioning squad.


Just two EOD bots, cruising the town.


Like most DICE games at launch, Battlefield 3 has had its share of issues. Widespread reports of crashing, server lag and the total outage of the XBOX 360 servers. I can safely say at the time of this writing many of the issues folks were having have been resolved. I can’t say these issues troubled me very much however, as my experience was mostly painless and the problems I did run into were easily forgotten in the wake of the ludicrous amount of fun I have been having. Indeed, the primary reason for the delay in getting this review out was that writing it would take away my precious Battlefield 3 time. DICE provides a multiplayer experience that is not replicated anywhere else. From infantry mode, to armored combat, to character unlocks, this game has it all. If you are looking for a multiplayer game that will keep you entertained for years to come, look no further. It’s been a long time since Battlefield 2 and I finally feel like I have come home.


Score: 4.5 out of 5 CoGs


Jeremy says “If you are looking for a single player game, look elsewhere, but if you are looking for the best, most intense multiplayer gaming experiences look no further. This game has captured every moment of my free time. I do not begrudge it that.”

*Review based on the PC version of the game.

Last edited by Ghostbear; 11-08-2011 at 11:06 AM.
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