Review: Battlefield 3

Over the past few years the October/November game release schedule has never been one to disappoint. This year sees a handful of top class titles being released almost on top of each other. After being impressed by the multi-player beta of this game, I decided to invest my hard earned cash in this, the first of my Christmas gaming purchases.

Firstly to the single-player campaign which has received a lot of negative press, some reasonable and some undeserved, I don’t agree that the game should have been solely an online experience, but am left disappointed with the single player experience, the story, although told interestingly through a series of flashbacks, isn’t really that gripping or emotive, the difficulty tends to be all over the place, with me ace-ing one chapter, and then dying countless times on the next, I think the quick-time events aren’t synced as well as they should be, but perhaps that’s just me, and on occasion it isn’t immediately obvious what my next objective is.

However, in it’s defence there are many great things about the campaign, the variety within the chapters of the story, the sound design is truly amazing, and destructible environments add a little something extra to the game as a whole.  The lighting effects are also very good throughout, and without spoiling anything the campaign does contain some rather memorable moments.

This game only truly shines when it’s multi-player experience is added into the mix, with all the usual FPS shenanigans of different modes and maps, but with added classes/roles which genuinely change how you play the game, vehicles, and again, destructible environments.  Sounds are immese, gameplay is fast paced and you are rewarded for both run and gun, and stealthy thought-out gaming styles, I would go so far as to say this is the most well rounded multiplayer experience on any console at the moment, the maps are huge, the biggest I have played, and the variety of modes mean that I won’t tire of the game quickly.

There’s lots of weapons and upgrades to unlock and the addition of forming mini squads is welcomed and works well.  You can track your progress in the browser based Battlelog system too, which really adds another great element into the experience.  There are also 6 co-op missions based loosely on the events of the story, but I shall refrain from commenting on these, as I have only had the chance to attempt one of these so far.

The final verdict is a lacklustre single-player campaign mode, but possibly the best multi-player experience around at the moment;

General Scoring

Gameplay 8/10 Lacking in single-player but amazing in multi-player, pick up and play addictiveness.
Graphics 8/10 Great lighting effects and smooth lag free visuals.
Sound 10/10 Simply excellent.
Music 7/10 Good choice of music in many scenes, but nothing special.
Story 7/10 Lack lustre but told in an un-ordinary way.

Wildcards

Pacing 8/10 The single player campaign may be lacking but the story is well paced.
Trophies 8/10 Challenging but fair.
Multiplayer 10/10 Guns recoil, vehicles are easy to drive, maps are huge and different play-styles are rewarded.
Variety 8/10 The use of different locations, weapons and vehicles keeps things fresh in both modes.
Immersion 7/10 Dialogue is clichéd in single-player, but the multi-player experience is an addictive one.

Total Score: 81%

In summary with regards to first person shooters, after buying and playing a couple of Call of Duty games, I found it difficult to see why the games are so popular, as I didn’t connect with the campaign, and find the multi-player maps full of annoying run and gun type players, with the game rewarding people playing with little or no style or strategy.  For the best single player campaign experience, Medal of Honor gets my vote, for all your multi-player needs, it’s Battlefield 3 you should pick up, and if you are after something a little different…immensely fun but just as challenging, I say check out Uncharted 3’s multiplayer modes

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4 Comments

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