Let me start off the review by being completely honest, I wasn’t even closely interested in this title, not at all, Battlefield for me is a title that died off a few years back after they started mimicking the COD franchise and trying to look like the next Michael Bay movie. I first took a look at this game in the last PAX conferences, which turned up to be a huge disappointment to be quite honest, but as DICE explained it was still in beta phase and the focus of the game is the Online entertainment value with the campaign mode coming as a second, but I’m one of those few people who still considers the game as being primarily the offline game, and the online system comes as an extra. But that’s just me and I might be wrong, and with these facts in mind I took off my pants and ventured into the world of Battlefield with a beer in my hand and not a care in the world.
The Plot: I love having a full package when buying a game, which means I want a game to deliver on Gameplay, Audio, Video, and most important of all, Story, and Battlefield 3 must be one of the most boring stories I have ever encountered, so much so I stopped caring midway through the game and just admired the scenery. But anyway the story is set in 2014, the game starts with your character trying to apparently foil a terrorist attack in a subway, the story abruptly halts and goes back in time with the protagonist Sgt. Blackburn being interrogated by the CIA. Much similar to another title (*Cough BlackOps) during the interrogation, you are taken back in time to the missions that make up the story being told. You start off trying to extract a US militia team from an Iranian market controlled by the hostile militia, the PLR. The team is then ordered to capture a high value member of the PLR, Al-Bashir. During this mission the team learns that the PLR have two Russian portable nuclear devices which will be used to destroy Paris and New York. The CIA do not beleive the story that the Sgt narrates and try to pin the terrorist attempts on the Russians. I will stop here and let you enjoy the rest of the story, as you can see were this goes, every single 90s and 00s movie and every single 00s FPS has this type of plot.
Audio and Video: You have heard me bitch and moan in nearly all the areas, but believe you me, the Audio and Visual characteristic of this game are nothing short of amazing. The visuals have come a long way since PAX and I think it’s one of the best looking games this year. There are a couple of glitches and bugs here and there but you tend to stop noticing them after a while. The best scene I played must have been the dog fight mission, when you get to play as a co-pilot during a flight mission. I actually cannot find words to explain the badassary of the scenery and texture, and I actually felt on an aircraft carrier in a real aircraft. The lighting and textures are brilliant, and the action sequences are extremely realistic giving that extra feel of being in the middle of a warzone. The key strength of this title I.M.O. is definitely the audio, from top to bottom the audio is the best quality audio I have ever heard in a game, from SFX, to the Soundtrack, to the Surround quality, and the Voice acting, everything is in pristine quality sound.
Gameplay: I will be dividing this segment with pros and cons to get a full comprehension of what I’m talking about and why this review might defer from the others you might have read. The game handles really well and the missions are immersive, the aiming and movement controls have been tweaked and you can really feel the difference from its predecessor. The vehicle and aircraft missions are extremely addictive and immerse you in action packed sequences that keep you on edge. On the other hand this title is weighed down by a couple of cons that really got me pissed off, first of all, due to scripted levels AI are dumber than normal, if you take cover in a place where a character should be he will shove you out of place and in the line of fire. Also if you are not in a specific point the game wants you to be, enemies will keep respawning randomly, regardless of whether you found a better location or not to take down the enemies. The AI characters also have a tendency to walk or stand directly in your line of fire, at which point the game will tell you in a condescending manner, that friendly fire will not be tolerated. I believe that in times like these having the gun not fire when a friendly is in your line of fire is more appropriate and adds to the realism of the game. The other thing that infuriated me was the fact that you cannot explore your surroundings; the game generates an area around the team in which you have to stay in order not to die of disorientation I guess. I know that the game had to have some shortcomings, but some of the stuff could have been made so much better, and again I state that this is all in my opinion.
Personal Experience: My first impressions of the game were abysmal, the game took too long to install, had a 256MB update, and crashed several times before I could even get to the main menu. The series seems to be trying too hard to become more like COD, thus loosing the charm and key strengths the series once had. Instead of making what they do best even better, they seem to have been trying to improve the areas that are not as good as the ones in the COD franchise. I know I have focused on the campaign mode, but honestly to me that is the core of the game, if the game wants to be centralised on being online it shouldn't even have a campaign mode like SOCOM and MAG, giving developers more time and resources to invest in making a unique FPS online experience. But after all this I have to be dead honest, this game looks fantastic and sounds amazing. I honestly never experienced such a cinematic effect whilst playing a game in my entire life, every single detail of the game is executed in the most professional way, and I would definitely suggest gamers with a wicked PC system to try this game out.
Overall Rating: 7.5/10
Written By Matthew C.