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Battlefield 3 Review

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By Branden Sails


As all gamers know the legendary battle between PC and Console gamers has raged on since forever, but when it comes to Battlefield 3, it's best to let the console kiddies stick to the Modern Warfare franchise, and let the PC dominate the Battlefield. Battlefield 3 is just simply meant for the PC. If you want the true Battlefield experience, you need to be with mouse and keyboard in hands, running from cover to cover.

While Modern Warfare is great for just killing people, Battlefield 3 excels at immersion. You really do feel like you are in the battlefield. Think of it like this: Modern Warfare is just Halo with modern day weapons and the usual close to ZERO teamwork. No one gives a *beep* about you in Modern Warfare, whereas Battlefield 3, you can really feel the war zone come together, which just endlessly adds to the gameplay. Now, this is also a double edged sword unfortunately, because for a game that relies on people, people are not always the most brilliant.

The multiplayer is everything you would want a warzone game to be. Choppers flying above shooting missles, tanks plowing through concrete barriers, and jets having dogfights in the air, ALL AT THE SAME TIME. It's not uncommon to see all these things happening at once, which can really make you have a good time. BUT, and this is a big BUT, players can really put a dampener on your multiplayer experience. Unless you are playing with a group of people you know, you are going to find yourself frustrated more than not in random servers. Even Modern Warfare suffers from this, something I like to call "Sniper Syndrome". For some reason, everyone thinks that Recon is the best class to play. This is a problem for numerous reasons:

  1. Your team is gong to lose if no one moves up
  2. People playing Recon provide nothing to the team but an occasional kill here and there (some people don't even know that they can drop a mobile respawn point called the radio beacon, so they sit on a cliff, waiting....forever.)
  3. Whatever gametype you're in, it's highly probably the game is gong to be a camperfest, unless you are playing Rush, which forces you to move up. Even still, people will wait for what really seems like hours.

Now, I'm probably making it sound worse than it really is, but don't be surprised when you turn around, and there is no one behind you, and the only thing in front of you is several enemy vehicles. This problem isn't only limited to the Recon class, but also support. People seem to love throwing down med packs, but where is all the ammo?! Even though you can request a player to do their job by hitting 'Q' while facing them, you will more than half the time never get what you need.

The singleplayer however, is very engaging. The closest thing I can compare it to is Time Crisis (yes, the Arcade game, which is also awesome by the way). The single player and Co-Op play very similar, and you will find yourself being ambushed and pinned down multiple times. The "Time Crisis" feel mostly comes from when you're playing Co-Op, because you and your partner move onto different sections after each one is clear, looking for cover, popping up and killing enemies. The Co-Op however is very short and only a few levels. However, for how short it is, it is extremely fun, and it is NOT easy at all. There is a very good amount of difficulty, which can also be quite crappy at times, because there are no save points. You can fail at the very end, and then you have to do it all over again, which can really suck considering how long each level is.

Compared to it's immediate prequel Battlefield 2: Bad Company, Battlefield 3 takes the best and leaves the worst behind. For instance, the 4 player squad system is still all the same, and you can have tons of fun spawning on your teammates and dying instantly, but now, when you get defibrillator'ed by a medic, you can choose to deny getting back up again and losing another life. This is probably one of the most fantastic changes they made. Multiplayer in BF2:BC was plagued with medics constantly rezzing players, having them die over and over again, rezzing them, over and over again. It's ridiculously frustrating when all you want to do is juts respawn, but now you can in BF3.

The weapon customizations are also taken to a whole new level. Your arsenal is huge in BF3, even bigger than previous Battlefields, but it does come with a very annoying catch that can turn away even experienced gamers, and that is the unlock system. Everyone loves achievements. There's just something about that false sense of accomplishment everyone needs in a good game, but when those false senses of accomplishment take roughly 3 hours of gameplay per unlock, you start to get pretty flustered. In Battlefield 3, it takes a VERY long time to unlock weapons, and once you unlock weapons, you need to unlock the attachments for the weapons. Having a better weapon makes a SIGNIFICANT difference.

Now combine the frustration of your team losing over and over because everyone is playing Recon or just not doing their job as another class, and you trying to unlock weapons to get better, but you can't kill anyone because your current weapons suck. It is definitely a problem. If you enjoyed any Battlefield game though, even a little bit, I would say Battlefield 3 is a definite item to put on your wishlist. It's a gaming experience you won't find in any other game. Although, the last bit of all this is Origin. If there is any reason I would say to not buy this game, despite how great it is, it would be because of Origin.

Origin is a VERY poor service AT BEST. EA's biggest mistake was thinking they could compete with Steam, and they definitely tried way too hard. Now, the Battleblog and BF3 on Origin have come a very long way, they do patch it regularly, but when the game was released, it was nothing short of an utter disaster. I'm not sure where EA got the idea that a browser based game UI was a good idea, but we can only hope they never have such an idea again. So even though BF3 took the best and left the worst, it seemed to also CREATE "worst". The only thing stopping me from giving this game a 9.5 is the Origin client and browser based statistic and server selection. I still have to manually load the game in Internet Explorer to see the server list correct. Browser support is abysmal and still VERY buggy.

I want to give BF3 a 9.5, but I'm afraid the browser issues affect playability far too much. The last thing you want before your team frustrating you, is launching the game frustrating you, which Origin does a very good job at.

 

Overall Rating: 7.5

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