The eleventh installment of the Battlefield series is finally here. It seems like just a minute ago we were being captivated by the amazing graphics seen on the PC version’s trailer. The PS3 version, although not as graphically impressive as its PC counterpart, still managed to do justice to the standard of Battlefield visuals this gen. The truth is, Battlefield 3 isn’t completely what I expected in terms of everything except online multiplayer. However, it still does manage to deliver one hell of an FPS experience.
The Battlefield 3 campaign immediately launches you into the story. Sgt. Blackburn, the main character that you’ll spend most of the time playing as, is being interrogated by two agents. Solomon, the main antagonist, plans to bomb both Paris and New York. While this is going on, you’ll go through a series of flashbacks as the marine recalls all the pieces that lead us to where he is now. You’ll find yourself having to find men that are well acquainted with Solomon along with any enemies in that area.( ex. Al Bashir and PLR). This was a simple yet creative way to guide players throughout the campaign. Certainly it has been done before, but at least it’s not too unoriginal. You’ll also play as other characters in the game such as Sgt. Miller and Dima. The story is a bit tragic, but with the help of some philosophical words by your Russian comrade, Dima, you’ll learn to accept its harshness. The only flaw that stands out completely in this game’s single player is how abruptly the campaign ends. Some missions are simply epic, while others leave you asking why it couldn’t have been made better. It’s like a rollercoaster lifting itself to a steep upward climb only to drop 20 ft. There should’ve also been a more personal take on some of the characters, such as Miller’s son, or a slight look at Blackburn’s past, just so that more of those emotional scenes would’ve had a bigger impact on the player.
Most of Battlefield’s personality when it comes to gameplay is taken right from the Bad Company series and improved on slightly. The A.I. is great, although the scripted events don’t do them much justice and the quick time events are a bit lazy. Press X once and you’ll punch your enemy twice, he’ll attempt to hit you, and then you’ll throw him down a staircase. Of course, this is somewhat exaggerated, but it could’ve definitely been done better. I also dove into the co-op for quite a bit and I have to say that they were just as beautifully presented as any other mission in the campaign. However, it would’ve been nice to have some split screen, two player action added.
Of course, many will jump immediately from the campaign right into the online multiplayer and why not? It’s amazing! Almost everything is done almost perfectly, from the sound to the maps, the vehicles and kits, all aspects are crafted to suit a very enjoyable style of gameplay. The sound in this game easily outshines that of any other shooter. Every gun, explosion, scream, and/or missile is extremely realistic when heard throughout the game. The kits have a special strategic value to them, whether it be the upgrades on land for your soldier or those on vehicles. There is a small issue though among the multiplayer modes. It seems that in team deathmatch, the developers found it a bit humorous to have enemies spawn right next to you throughout the match. This becomes a bit unfair for those unlucky souls that happen to spawn right in front of you and your ever so shiny knife. For those of you who are newcomers to Battlefield, you will do a lot of dieing, and then some. You will learn to appreciate every single object that you can use for cover. If you run out in the open for one second, you are basically spinning the wheel of fortune, except all of your possible outcomes all include death. Once you understand this, your skill will be able to develop easier with fewer frustrations. This is something that I both love and hate about Battlefield, because even when being smart about where you go in the huge maps, you always run the risk of dieing in a random event. Even in smaller, more crowded maps like the Seine crossing there are tons of alleys and buildings to get outflanked from. Not to mention that as buildings are damaged you will have to become aware of their potential dangers since players can use them for cover or good old camping.
A specific concern with this game is how tedious its own presentation is. From the beginning of the game’s opening cinematic to the main menu, it is an epileptic’s worst nightmare. Fonts will blur, pop, and fade in a way that you will think that the developers tried too hard in that aspect. Surely, the same cannot be said for the graphics. Now I will say that Battlefield 3’s graphics did not live up to the hype on consoles, but they are still stunning when you look at any other shooter this gen, besides Killzone and Crysis. Problem is, the lighting seems to be an annoyance at times. To be honest, some maps are so bright that heaven seems to be about to reveal itself with a choir of “It’s raining men”. On the other hand, it’s forgivable when you think of the level of detail that the developers have put into this game.
Although it didn’t live up to the hype (at least not mine), I am finding Battlefield 3 addicting between its online multiplayer and the usual list of trophies. Just some better presentation, an improved campaign, and the same addicting multiplayer will be greatly welcomed for its successor, but for now, I’m enjoying 2011’s best shooter.