Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Review: Battlefield 3

Battlefield 3 is a mixed affair; on the one hand you have the highly polished and extensive multiplayer portion of the game and on the other you have the unoriginal and uninteresting single player offering. Graphically BF3 on the PC is one of the most consistently beautiful games that I have ever seen, every time you look somewhere new there is something else to marvel at, whether it's the particle effects, the character models or just the general environments. The lighting effects, whilst impressive, are a bit over the top, if someone shines a flash light or a laser at you you are completely blinded. Just walking around you can't look at certain angles because the sun causes so many light spots to appear on the screen making it hard to see anything. To start up BF3 you have to go to a webpage, called Battlelog, and choose either Multiplayer, Co-op or Campaign. I don't see why Battlelog is necessary though it's really easy to use and does allow a lot of statistics to be easily tracked.
Battlelog doesn't seem like it should be a good idea but it works really well.

Multiplayer is probably the biggest draw of this game and you wont be disappointed. The levels are huge, varied and progressive; so you may not see a whole level in one game. In rush mode games you unlock more areas as targets are achieved so you can go from assaulting a compound to having to parachute onto an objective, the change of pace helps to keep it interesting. Also being able to fight on foot, in a tank or in the air means that if you get bored of walking everywhere you can jump into a helicopter or a jet and just fly around. I have major problems in the air but a lot of people seem to be able to use jets and helicopters efficiently; maybe I'm just doing it wrong.
The graphics are beautiful and this isn't even on ultra.

There are four classes to choose from; assault, engineer, support and recon and each of these can be customised with a selection of weapon and items to create a class that can fulfil whatever role required. Vehicles can also be upgraded with items to make them more effective in combat, for instance the jet can gain air to ground weapons or flares to get away from homing missiles. The diversity in load outs, maps and objectives is brilliant and will hopefully keep a lot of people interested enough to keep playing BF3 over the next couple of months. The sound is terrific throughout but I think it shines most in the multiplayer. Its something amazing when you can hear the sound of helicopters overhead, the sirens of objects and every single bullet that flies over your head. It really feels like they spent a long time getting every sound right and it is so worth it when you hear it in all it's glorious detail.
In multiplayer environments are destructible.

Going from the multiplayer to the single player was a huge disappointment; I was expecting the same sort of depth and customisation as the multiplayer had but all I found was a short and shallow experience. The story revolves around the conflicts in the Middle East as well as Americas constant distrust of the Russians, so it's all been excessively done before and offers nothing new. The story structure is very similar to what happened in Call of Duty: Black Ops where the protagonist is being interrogated about what's happening and is the only person that can avert a catastrophe. At a couple of points in the game it will try to play on your emotions but it fails miserably at this as you wont care about any of the characters.
The single player is full of gorgeous environments.

Like in all CoD games you play as multiple characters throughout the course of the campaign however in this game it often feels as though the other characters where just shoehorned in without good reason, just to show off. For instance the jet mission was graphically impressive and really showed how beautiful the game is but as you didn't get to fly the jet it was pretty dull as most the time you aren't doing anything. It's probably lucky I don't have to fly to progress in the game as I am hopeless at piloting anything. Throughout the game missions are split up by cut-scenes where the main character is fully voiced yet in each mission he is totally silent as he is told to fulfil every role at the forefront of every battle. The campaign is littered with quick time events which were obviously put in for console users but I found that they just distracted from the game and didn't add anything to it.
The lighting whilst a wonderful effect can be a bit over the top.

Overall Battlefield 3 is well worth the asking price with it's stellar multiplayer however don't expect much from the singleplayer; on normal it took me roughly five hours to complete the game and it would be easy to do it in less time than that as I died quite a lot. It's a shame the single player was so cliched and short but the multiplayer more than makes up for this so I'm going to give Battlefield 3:

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