Saturday, November 12, 2011

Game Review (Battlefield 3 - 360)

Alright, I'm a few weeks late, leave me alone. Better late than never, right? One of the most anticipated games of the year is now available. Does it live up to the hype? Is it the Call of Duty killer?

DICE/EA and Activision had a lot of words exchanged between them in the months leading up to the release of their games, Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3, respectively. Naturally, it intrigued me, and I had high hopes for both games with all the words that were flying back and forth.

Let me just dive right in here - the campaign and co-op in Battlefield 3. Enjoyable, but in no way comparable to Call of Duty. The story is worth playing through, but it's utterly average, at best. As far as difficulty goes, for sake of a comparison, the campaign on the hardest difficulty is harder than Modern Warfare 3's, and about the same length (Roughly 6 hours). For the co-op mode, you get six missions that you can play through with a friend. I must say, these are all surprisingly challenging, even on easy, so consider yourself warned. The missions can all be completed on normal difficulty within about 3 or 4 hours, so it's not lengthy, but it's a worthwhile experience. Still, even with the enjoyable co-op mode, the single-player campaign is just not that great.
Campaign and co-op score: 3.75/5

And the main focus of Battlefield 3, the multiplayer. Battlefield 3 launches with 9 maps on-disc, with more to come in the months following via DLC. DICE really made a huge deal about this game and its new engine, Frostbite 2, and to be honest, I don't see much of a difference at all in map destruction between this game and Bad Company 2. Hell, I don't hear much of a difference, or notice much better graphics period, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, because Bad Company 2 was already pretty snazzy. The maps in this game are pretty nice, despite there only being nine. The only map I don't particularly care for is Tehran Highway, mostly because of the lag issues there are on it, but I'll talk about that stuff in a bit. The gameplay in this game is just what you would expect from a Battlefield game. It's somewhat slow paced due to the map size, but at the same time action packed and exciting. If you read my Battlefield vs. Call of Duty entry, you'll know that I mentioned that Battlefield is for the more cerebral player, and that rings true in Battlefield 3. You really have to think about what class you want to be, and what you want to do to work your way to your objective. In Call of Duty, seeing as how there are no vehicles, you can really pick almost any combination of things and manage, but in Battlefield, you can't go it alone. You need an Assault guy to heal you up, the Engineer to lay a hurting on enemy vehicles while repairing your own, a Support guy to lay down covering fire and provide ammo, as well as a Recon guy to spot enemies, and throw down a radio beacon for your squad to spawn at. Team work truly is essential for a successful squad, and to get the most out of the game.

With all of that said, there are several problems I have with this game... really, so many that I'll likely forget a few in my list. What comes to mind first is the hit-detection. It is spotty to say the least. Some times you can kill a guy in 5-6 shots, other times it really seems to take 15, even if he's nowhere near a medic kit. This can be fixed with a future update, and it likely will be, but as of now, it's really one of the biggest frustrations I have with this game. Second, a close second, is the lag. Even with the game running at 30fps in a Squad Rush match, the game has its fair share of lag, and it's just a bummer to see. This could also be managed in coming months, but I think it'll be more difficult. My third biggest issue isn't with the game, but with some of the people that play it. I really already said it earlier - if you aren't playing with friends or a communicative squad, you will NOT get the most out of Battlefield 3. Hop into a match alone in a random squad, and you'll more than likely find yourself with some morons that are either camping back and doing nothing, or playing Rush or Conquest like it's Team Deathmatch, rather than contributing to the team. Overall, the online experience in Battlefield 3 as of now is just slightly above average. Solid, but in need of several fixes.
Multiplayer: 4/5

And that's really that. TL;DR, Battlefield 3 is a game with a lot of potential. It looks pretty good, and for the most part plays well, but the amount of bugs in this game can't help but make me think that EA rushed this game out to beat Modern Warfare 3. In a few months, and with a few pretty drastic updates to fix the games problems, I could give this game about a 4.5, but as it sits now, the game really just feels like a beta to me in several ways, and so I give it a


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