Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Digital Illusions CE
Platforms: Playstation 3, Xbox360, PC
Before the days of Call of Duty’s dominance, Battlefield 3 (BF3) was long considered to be the king of military-based online multiplayer shooters. With online multiplayer at an all-time high on every platform, BF3 looks to prove the Battlefield series as the most dominant force on the online first person shooter scene yet again, however some of its developers’ choices are questionable. The online multiplayer has been emphasised, at the expense of what remains a mediocre campaign mode.
Bearing a resemblance to an underdeveloped Call of Duty campaign, it is abundantly clear that the campaign mode is not the main draw of this game. Instead, it serves more of a tutorial function, teaching the basics of the game for when you want to partake in online multiplayer. BF3 also included a cooperative series of objectives, which, if you consider the main campaign to be a basic tutorial, are a welcome warm-up for team play on the online circuit.
Presentation-wise, BF3 is what you expect in a generic war shooter, however in this case you’ll be taken aback at how beautiful war can be. In spite of this, the wooden, clichéd voice acting doesn’t help the already generic script, although the intentionally sparse music punctuates the high-pressure atmosphere exuded by the game. Gameplay is satisfyingly familiar to previous iterations of the series and is also surprisingly varied. Mission objections are given as you proceed, and ironically thanks to the short campaign, keep from getting boring.
Teammates provide little in the way of support thanks to glitchy AI, serving more of a purpose as guides showing you where to go. Your arsenal is extensive and extremely varied. Land-based vehicles are easily controlled, however mastering the game’s aircraft is an art in itself. Twenty-four player matches (or sixty-four in the PC version) across a host of large, albeit frustratingly smaller than the PC version maps urge and encourage you to make full use of the vehicles.
With the different game modes available there is some varied play here, though not as much as BF3‘s contemporaries. A selection of four classes to choose from keeps online gameplay from becoming stagnant, yet the inability to create custom classes is a major drawback. Class upgrades come at a slow pace; make no mistake, BF3 wants be your new online shooter of choice and this drip-feed of upgrades only confirms this.
In summary, if you want a lasting single player experience, don’t pay the admission price for BF3. If you’re looking for an unmatched online experience however, you aren’t getting a bad Modern Warfa;re 3 rip-off, but a brilliant continuation of the series.