The hype machine has been grinding away for the past year, and has been running on overdrive months before Battlefield 3‘s release. With “Above and Beyond the Call” and the “Is it Real” campaign, BF3 has been boasting stronger graphics, a better solo campaign, and superior multiplayer to it’s self proclaimed rival, Modern Warfare 3.
Can BF3 live up to all this hype? The answer: very uncertain. I know WTF? I understand that’s not a straight answer, but without having MW3 in my hands, it’s very difficult to say where BF3 will stand. I will say in certainty that MW3 will far exceed BF3 sales, the Call of Duty name is just more known. It’s a fact. While BF3′s first week sales of approximately 5 mil is impressive, I think MW3 will trample these numbers in comparison. But I digress, this is a review of Battlefield 3, not a grudge match between two titles. So how is BF3? Impressive.
Battlefield 3 comes with 2 discs, a solo campaign and multiplayer/co-op with an added option to download the HD shading on your HDD. Does the “Is it Real” campaign live up to the hype. It does. I had never played any previous solo campaigns in the Battlefield franchise, usually opting to dive straight into multiplayer, but with XBox servers down (a whole nother can of worms), I jumped feet first into BF3‘s solo campaign,and I mean you jump feet first into the action.
The graphics engine is just beautiful, well as beautiful as Iran can be. The experience spans beyond the graphics though, as you’re battling the PLR you can hear echos of gunshots in the background, bouncing between buildings, sirens can be heard in the distance, and the ever ominous loudspeaker with prayers from an unknown speaker bellow from within the city.
You’re a normal marine, not a special operative or secret agent, just a marine with your squad following orders. I really liked the concept that BF was going with, it made the game feel so much more real, and really actually made me feel scared and proud of our soldiers oversees. That shit is for real, and BF3 nailed it in my opinion.
You get to use a bevy of modern weaponry, both firearms and vehicles. Both are equally impressive, but the F-18 mission was simply amazing. I had continuous goosebumps as I was gunning down enemy Migs and firing off flares to avoid incoming missiles. And that really explains the whole solo campaign in general, simply amazing, leaving me grinning from ear to ear the majority of the time.
Does Battlefield 3‘s multiplayer live up to the hype? Can it succeed as the COD killer? Ready for the shifty answer, both yes and no. They may both be first person shooters, but they really are two completely different games.
I thoroughly enjoy the Battlefield 3 experience. The maps are huge and highly detailed, vehicle combat works, plenty of weapons to work with, and game modes promote squad cooperation. Unfortunately the 2.2 million people playing the first day crashed the majority of the servers, so I was forced upon the single player campaign, and there continues to be lag and server issues. I must admit that DICE are on top of most of these issues, resolving a majority of these server issues really quickly.
The lack of game modes may be discouraging to some, but I don’t mind not being overwhelmed with choices. Game modes include: Team Deathmatch, Squad Teamdeathmatch, Conquest, and my personal favorite Rush. BF3 should stress the importance of squad cooperation, games can be changed by one well trained squad, and watching a squad of 4 dudes teabagging your lifeless corpse via kill cam is always rewarding. That’s something that can’t be found in the previous Modern Warfare games.
There are plenty of weapons to choose from, but be sure to have fun progressing in the game to earn a majority of them. I do find the weapon progression often confusing, and customizing weapons on the fly isn’t the easiest thing to do. I would have liked to see a cleaner weapon customization/loadout screen. And there are plenty of other ways to customize your perfect soldier, camouflage and dog tags being some of them.
All in all, Battlefield 3 is a very strong title. The single player, lasting a little under 8 hours, may feel short in comparison to other titles on the market, but the campaign’s story felt complete and was a stress inducing thrill ride. Multiplayer, while still needing a few fixes, is a fun superior alternative to any other FPS out there. We’ll know on Nov. 8 how BF3 will fare against the juggernaut MW3, with the fallout of players leaving BF3 to play MW3, or quite possibly vice-versa. I can see BF3 stealing a lot of MW3‘s thunder, and I feel DICE has made believers out of a lot of skeptics.
Battlefield 3 scores an A.
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