In a time where Call of Duty seemingly runs the gaming world, the question every year come up of just who is going to take down that juggernaut. Here comes Battlefield 3 hoping to be the title to bring down the Goliath of gaming known as CoD. With a proven track record, DICE has the tools, but can they find the right chemistry to make Battlefield 3 King of the FPS?
There's No "I" in Team - Multiplayer in the Battlefield series has always been about teamwork. Modes like Conquest and Team Rush stress the importance of working as a team. A lone wolf is not going to be able to carry their team into victory. In multiplayer, players can choose to be a Medic, Recon, Assault or Engineer class with every class having their own equipment and abilities. Finding the right mix of classes is essential to winning, a good engineer can repair your tanks to keep your opponents contained or a Recon can help his side spawn in more ideal points of the map to begin an assault. Combine that with the ability to gain a significant amount of xp by simply helping teammates, without the need to have the highest kill count and you have a bigger focus on teamwork. The xp goes toward unlocking new equipment, upgrades and abilities. With all that, you have a formula that forces people to play as a team which can be such a rarity these days online, and that is part of what makes Battlefield 3 so attractive in comparison to Modern Warfare 3.
The same can be said for co-op where watching each other’s back is essential to completing the objectives. Each co-op scenario features an onslaught of enemy soldiers, and it is not easy. To entice you to play through co-op, DICE has made some equipment unlockable if you play though the co-op.
Sights and Sounds of the Battlefield - DICE was pounding their chest about their new Frostbite 2 engine, and after spending a lot of time with the game, that pride is well-deserved. This game looks absolutely beautiful. Colors, textures, character models, environments, shadows, and every other tech word for graphics, are immaculate. A true sign of a great game engine is when you look at other similar games, *cough* Modern Warfare 3 *cough*, and they look dated in comparison. Then you have bullets whizzing by, explosions and the other sounds of war that get your adrenaline going. Everything comes together to create a presentation for a military game that no one has seen before.
A Big Empty Battlefield - The Battlefield series have always had huge maps to accommodate all the vehicles that can be used during a match. Unfortunately, for some reason, DICE kept the player limit to 24 even though the maps are so freakin’ big. What this means is that if you’re not in a full 24 player game, you could go for long periods of time where you don’t see an enemy. Oh and pray you don’t get stuck in a game with less than 10 players, because you might as well quit right there as you won’t be finding any enemies in about the same time it will take to load a new map on a new server. I find this completely frustrating because DICE were the first ones to have 64 players back in the Battlefield days, but since they started with the Battlefield: Bad Company series, they’ve kept it at 24 making for some very lonesome matches. I’ll put it this way, if I have to run for a few minutes before I can get SNIPED then you need to INCREASE THE AMOUNT OF PLAYERS!
A Story Tom Clancy Would Poop On - Yes, there is a campaign in the game, and as you may expect, it’s very bleh. I won’t bore you with the details, because it is boring. Let’s just say that it was a failed attempt to make a Modern Warfare plot. You’ll control different soldiers from different countries who are discovering that they share an enemy who is planning to destroy the U.S. Everything about the story is sub-par. The voice acting, pacing, believability, and everything else that could be bad, is very bad. It’s a bit of a shame because the Bad Company series had enjoyable characters, but I couldn’t give a shit about ANY character in Battlefield 3. Unless you’re internet is down, avoid playing the single-player campaign because it’s a waste.
Quick Time Events, REALLY? - I have to say, I don’t mind Quick Time Events. For some people, as soon as game uses QTE, they immediately call the game crap, but to me, I enjoy them…when they’re done right. In the Battlefield 3 campaign, there will be several QTEs and they are absolutely ridiculous. You can go through a whole mission killing hundreds of soldiers, and then at the very END of the mission, you have to press ONE BUTTON as the big QTE of the mission. That’s an absolute waste, and all it does is remind you that “HEY, WE HAVE QTE!!” I think the longest QTE sequence consisted of about five button presses. Use of QTE like this is what makes so many people hate them so much. DICE, leave the QTE alone.
If you’re tired of the Call of Duty series, jump on the Battlefield 3 tank. Better graphics and a more teamwork oriented multiplayer make for a different experience from Modern Warfare. Multiplayer is where it’s at as the single-player campaign is complete drivel.