Review – Battlefield 3
Thanks to EA for supplying us with the review unit for the PS3
Battlefield 3 might just be the most important game in 2011 for EA, especially with the pure dominance of Call of Duty games. But as all things go, they’ve had to come out swinging from the start in order to make sure they keep up with the competition, and come out swinging they have with Battlefield 3, the most anticipated shooter game to ever come out of Electronic Arts and Dice. Their trailer and graphics have mesmerized us and we hope the game lives up to expectations.
To find out if it does, keep on reading our review.
Gameplay: Let’s not kid ourselves here. In the last few years, the focus has shifted away from Single Player Campaigns and more towards the massively addicting realm of online gaming. Battlefield 3 unfortunately is no exception here as it seems much more work has gone into the Multiplayer mode (which is obviously the reason for people to keep coming back) which is unfortunate as it seems like two different companies made the different modes. The game, powered by Dice’s Frostbite 2 engine certainly impresses, but it seems like the graphics have only evolved slightly from last years Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (a game which we’ve put on over 150 hours of gaming into since it came out) on the PS3 which is a disappointment, but by no means a failure. We’re huge fans of the Single Player Campaign which is why we were disappointed with how short the storyline was (6 – 12 hours), but do take note – the AI can be very difficult in Single Player.
It seems like the AI (ie: computer) can detect your movement in a second (for instance, I slowly crawled around a table to see where to AI was, and within a second one of them was firing at me). I suppose in a way this is a good thing as it means you can’t go all out Rambo on the AI, or you’ll die far too easily. However, we felt the game was quite unbalanced on this front and didn’t appreciate how many time we had to restart a level because some random grenade was thrown at us without an indicator (or because quick time events were incredibly hard to complete). Also, thank god for the Aim Assist in this game, otherwise it would be nearly impossible to kill our not-so-friendly AI who are very quick at shooting, especially on hard.
On the other hand, the Multiplayer can be quite fun, and the controls are generally the same as you’ve been used to on most Shooter games in recent times. We love the animation of how you slide over railings or walls, it feels so realistic that we end up going that route far to much to notice an enemy is taking aim down his barrel right at our heads. The maps can be incredibly big and roaming the big open spaces in a Jet or Helicopter is quite entertaining, and the controls aren’t so hard to get used to either. We found that no matter how frustrating the multiplayer got, we kept on coming back to it which was probably why EA and Dice focused on this aspect so much, yet we still wish they had paid more attention to the slightly lacklustre Singly Player Campaign (even if does look better).
That’s not the say Multiplayer isn’t without it’s faults, but they are far less noticeable than on the Single Player Campaign.
Storyline: You won’t find a Multiplayer storyline here, but there is a single player storyline which should keep you invested in it for the graphics. The story is basically set in 2014, where Sergeant Blackburn is leading a team in order to capture some very dangerous terrorist organization leaders (known as the PLD here). Sergeant Blackburn is recalling the story of what happened in Iran as he was sent in to capture Al-Bashir, the leader of the PLD and the game shifts between him recalling the tale to a police organization (most probably the CIA since he was under arrest for being suspected of Terrorist Activity). In a nutshell, the story swaps between different missions and different characters and the video of him being interrogated about a potential Nuclear attack in New York, after similar events in Paris. It’s a bit confusing at times, and we had trouble keeping up with the storyline through out the game.
Having said that, we weren’t exactly disappointed with the game. The Graphics are always going to be better on the single player campaign, and the storyline wasn’t the worst we’ve ever seen. But unfortunately it did feel a little weak and as if Multiplayer was their focus, so we found ourselves zoning out and getting slightly bored during Single Player Campaigns (especially since it could get quite hard). Points for trying EA and Dice, but next time we’d like to see a full and immersive Single Player Campaign.
Graphics: It’s strange to think what a gap there is between the PC version of this game and the PS3 version in terms of graphics. While the PC version is amazing and blows Battlefield: Bad Company 2 out of the water, the PS3 version only improves upon it slightly. What’s better is that lighting and shadows are much improved across the board and the game still feels quite realistic on this front, but at the same time Dice’s Frostbite 2 Engine isn’t really outshining Bad Company 2 on the console. That’s not to say it’s worse mind you, but we were surprised at how little of a difference there was once you get past the initial shock of playing the game. The reasons being that for the first time, the PC version was their premier development platform of choice over the Consoles (it’s usually consoles first).
Having said that though, we still think the graphics on Battlefield 3 outdo Modern Warfare 3 on a console to console match-up which is good news for the Battlefield series. In a sense, Battlefield 3 looks much more realistic with the lighting like we already mentioned, but the fact it’s not exactly feeling like a new game is a little disappointing on this sense, and it feels more like a graphical expansion and not an upgrade.
Still, we quite enjoyed playing this game on the PS3 despite the few issues that may or may not have cropped up (some bugs still plague the console version), but it wasn’t anything that turned us off (like how the bugs ruined games like Dead Island for us). We hope that a few updates are on their way from EA so that they can fix a few issues.
Game Value: The Single Player Campaign can take you anywhere from 6 to 12 hours to complete, depending on your skill level and the level you played the game on. It took us just over 8 hours to finish the campaign properly, possibly closer to 9 hours but that’s not what makes this game, as that leaves a little to be desired on the gaming front. It’s the multiplayer mode that will keep you and I coming back again and again. And while games like Call of Duty may seem more fun on the multiplayer mode, we cannot lie when we say Battlefield 3 feels more realistic and if we were to choose which multiplayer mode to play with we would put Battlefield 3 in front.
It takes a lot more work to get upgraded in Battlefield 3, as 4 hours of gaming can only take you to level 3 on the game since it’s harder to level up. People who want a challenge should seriously consider Battlefield 3 if you want to feel rewarded for mass noob hunting (or even Pro sniping). There are a considerable amount of multiplayer unlocks and that will keep you coming back to play Multiplayer, even long after the Single Player Campaign has been completed.