Well, it’s finally here. The first of the two ‘titans’ who will be squaring up this year in an effort to be crowned ‘Best Selling Shooter’ for 2011.
Released last week, Battlefield 3 – the sequel to the massive PC hit of 2005 Battlefield 2 – has hit the ground running and received amazing praise from both critics and gamers alike for it’s impressive graphics and physics engine, along with a solid multiplayer experience. However, there have been lot’s of criticism over Origin – EA’s own proprietary game delivery and management software for the PC, and for the apparently ‘lacking’ single player side of things.
We here at StickTwiddlers have been playing BF3 now for around 10 days on both PC and console and having made sure we have put as much time as possible into the title, it’s now time for our comprehensive verdict on Battlefield 3.
Let’s tackle the single player side of things first. You play the role of Sgt. Blackburn who, after a series of unfortunate events, believes he has uncovered an apparent plot to detonate WMDs in American cities, a fairly standard modern warfare plot line, and end’s up being interrogated by the CIA in an effort to…oh you get the picture.
It’s a typical storyline, the likes of which you will find in most FPS games which have been released in the last 3 years and this is the main issue with the campaign side of things.
There are so many good things to speak about in the campaign such as the various types of missions you will encounter – the aircraft and tank based ones being of particular note – but they all get let down by the lack of an unimaginative storyline. It’s almost impossible to shrug of the feeling of ‘been here, done that’ that even the most exciting campaign missions feel somewhat underwhelming.
Another problem the title suffers from is the ‘stop/start’ feeling that many of the missions give you. Quicktime and scripted events are the order of the day here, and while it can give that shock and awe feeling on occasion, more often then not it kills the moment and slows down the fast pace of the mission. Not a bad effort on the part of EA and Dice, but nothing which has not been done before however.
On the flip side, and I’m sure this may offend a few people, but if you have purchased BF3 for the campaign side of things…well, you’re doing it wrong.
Multiplayer always has, and always will be, the bread and butter of the series and with this new incarnation of the franchise, DICE have really pulled out all the stops.
Obviously, as I’m sure you are aware by now, this game looks fantastic. The level of detail and destruction on offer here makes every single match feel different and the Frostbyte 2 engine not only delivers the goods in the visual department, but also makes sweet, sweet love to your ears. It’s often an overlooked part of any title but Dice really need to be commended on doing such an amazing job with the sound design.
Aside from the glorious nature of the games engine, the gameplay is frankly superb. The two main game modes which you will in all probability be playing will be either Rush and Conquest.
Rush has stayed largely the same as it appeared in BFBC2, including the dynamic map sizing and all that other good stuff, however it seems that DICE have listened to players of BFBC2 and tweaked Conquest mode by making the control points closer together and a little more strategic which is a much needed change and improves Conquest mode ten-fold.
Everything else that you would expect from a Battlefield game is also here. Playing as different classes unlocks various weapons for that class as well as more gadgets than you can shake M’s walking stick at. As well as the class unlocks, earning experience in the various vehicles allows you to open up different customization options for them.
Overall it’s a fantastically well rounded package that rewards you not just for kills, but also for playing as a team and completing the various objectives.
The third mode on offer are the Co-Op missions, taking you and a partner on various excursions including helicoptor support, sniping and infiltration. These missions are responsible for some of the best moments of hilarity and fun I’ve had in a long time.
From 20 minute arguments about whether we ‘go ON 3, or go AFTER 3′ to cruising through a rocky valley in a cobra gunship humming the Airwolf theme tune, these missions are a great addition to the package.
As a side bonus, earning points in the Co-Op missions allows you access to certain equipment in the Mutliplayer side of things.
As a whole package, BF3 lives up the expectations that many gamers have of it. The multiplayer is probably what most people will be wanting to get this for, and they wont be disappointed. There have been a few problems since it launched, namely server issues and a few glitches, but these are being fixed.
It’s a real shame that the single player element lets the side down a little, but if you team up with a good friend, the co-op side goes some way to make up for it.
Battlefield is back, and it’s flexing it’s muscles once again. And we love it.
+ The Frostbyte 2 engine really brings whole new level of detail and realism
– Still come across some rather interesting (and hilarious) bugs and glitches will I’m sure will get ironed out. Example.
+ Epic battles online, huge amount of things to unlock mean it’s a great time sink.
Co-Op is a demonstration of ‘how to do Co-Op properly’
– Single player campaign is dramatic and fun, but nothing new at all.
+ It’s astonishing. You will be ducking for cover.
SO YOU’VE READ THE REVIEW. NOW, WIN A COPY OF THE GAME!
Thanks to the awesome crew over at EA, we’ve got a copy of Battlefield 3, including the online pass, for Xbox 360 to give away to one lucky reader.
We’ve decided to throw it a little bit old skool with this competition allowing you to DOUBLE your chances by entering in one or both of the following ways:
1) Follow @StickTwiddlers & tweet the following: ‘To win a copy of @Battlefield 3, RT & Follow @StickTwiddlers and/or leave a comment here http://bit.ly/sWFZ2p #STBF3′
2) Leave a comment below with what you would name your Battlefield 3 platoon and why.
Competition closes Friday 11th Nov 2011 at 6pm and is open to all UK residents. Remember to use a valid email so that we can contact you if you win.
Good luck soldiers!
Remember to sign up to the StickTwiddlers platoon! OORAH!