Battlefield 3

7 Overall Score
Visuals: 10/10
Story: 5/10
Multiplayer: 8/10

Excellent multiplayer with immense replay value, topnotch visuals

Poor story, boring single-player campaign

War is perplexing.

It’s been a long road to release for Battlefield 3. When the game debuted, we saw stunning visuals that were almost surreal for a videogame. We also saw well-scripted moments from the game’s single-player campaign that told a story of hot-blooded action and gameplay that’s second-to-none. That was then, however, because after playing Battlefield 3 for quite a while, I’m left feeling split. Yes. Battlefield 3 is a game you should buy, and at the same time it’s a game you absolutely should not waste your money on. The decision, however, depends on where your loyalty lies.

The opening cinematic of Battlefield 3 is something taken directly from Call of Duty’s playbook. In truth, the entire single-player campaign we’ve seen before from either Infinity Ward or Treyarch, but the sad thing is, DICE fails terribly at imitating. So much so that you’d think you’re playing a rather poor version of Black Ops.

The story, well, there’s no story. You are disgraced marine Sgt Blackburn, who’ve been tasked to make sure rogue middle-Eastern men don’t get their hands on nukes as they seek to destroy the world. You’re eerily in a room similar to the interrogation chamber Black Ops main protagonist was held in, confused as to what was really going on. Only in Battlefield 3, you’re well aware of your surroundings.

And so it begins. Battlefield 3′s linear as can be, press A to do this and B to dive out of a window. Then inadvertently, the soldier you’re assigned to follow takes the lead from there. In fact, sometimes you’ll feel as if the game’s playing itself because most of the time you’re following men yelling vulgar words as if they had not brains. Almost every other word is F**K this and MotherF** that, as if soldiers in real life could utter nothing else but profanity.

The pace is mighty slow, too. In trying to beat Call of Duty at its game, DICE managed to only magnify how accomplished both Infinity Ward and Treyarch are at what they do. It continues. Painstakingly, almost like a chore, I labored through the campaign and between silly deaths and some bugs, Battlefield 3 is a stunning piece of work visually. And I say this from a multiplatform perspective. The game’s beauty is to be beheld in every location: from the nights of Iran to the streets of France. From the deck of a warship to freedom of the open skies, Battlefield 3 is a stellar accomplishment in the visuals department. However the very moment you begin to take in the beauty in the cockpit of a fighter jet, you’re brought low by the inevitable gravity dragging you back down to the realities of the game.

Even the jet ride lacks luster. It takes too long to load up, and even when you’re in the sky battling enemy jets, you feel lost. The story doesn’t relay clearly why you’re fighting in the skies, or on the ground. Your guns ricochet off broken walls with sounds only DICE could achieve, yet you’re being killed from unforeseen enemies. They’re barely visible. The momentum that was clearly intended to be built as the game proceeded, always ended with an anti-climax. Like blah.

Battlefield 3′s single-player don’t have many memorable moments, bar the game’s conclusion, but even that was too short. You can beat the shooter in about 4-5hrs, and never feel like going back to it again. Perhaps if the game’s AI was clever, you’d feel more challenged, adding a bit of excitement, but the AI in Battlefield 3 are the dumbest I’ve come across in a long time.

The game also includes a co-op feature in which two players team up to tackle a variety of missions,and although the mode holds promise, it fails to deliver a lasting, memorable experience and, like the campaign, is linear. There are six stages in co-op and you proceed to the next defeating the enemies without dying. The mode could be fun at times but then everything becomes repetitive, and instead of actually waiting in anticipation for the horde of enemies coming your way, you’ll know exactly where to hide and take out the enemies as the AI always lineup in the same location.

EA and DICE talked up Battlefield 3 as a Call of Duty killer, the new standard of FPS games. They claimed it would change everything, and promoted their trailers as “above and beyond the call”. But in earnest, Battlefield 3′s single-player portion plays like different scripts taken from multiple war novels and patched together rather confusingly, and if your loyalty lies in single-player, don’t waste your time or money. Multiplayer on the other hand, is a totally different beast…

Battle Online

It seems as if Battlefield 3′s single-player was just plastered on the disk just to add more dollars to EA’s coffers. I actually believe DICE should have made the game multiplayer-only because it’s obviously where the developer is strong. Really Strong.

Battlefield 3′s multiplayer puts the beta to shame. Everything runs smoothly with almost no glitches (at least I haven’t spotted any).

In MP, there are four classes to choose from: Assault class (medicine in mind), Engineer class (repairs in mind), Support class (with ammo in mind) and the Recon class (bastard snipers!). Every class is well balanced and none feels overpowered as the weaponry in each class are comparable. There are three modes in multiplayer: Team Deathmatch, Rush and Conquest.

If you’re a FPS fan, you know Team Deathmatch is kill or be killed. The team with the most kills at the end of a match is the winner. Battlefield 3 does Team Deathmatch with real war intensity. DICE has curtailed the maps for said mode to make sure people are not too spread apart, and it works nicely. In fact I enjoyed Team Deathmatch more than any of the modes, and constantly found myself going back to the action.

The game’s visuals holds the same fidelity in the multiplayer as it does in SP, and with all the nine maps being playable in every mode, you’ll be mesmerized by the amount of detail that went into making Battlefield 3′s multiplayer on not only the visual level, but in every thinkable aspect.

Conquest mode is basically Capture and Hold, but the problem with said mode is how far and wide it is. There’s a huge focus on vehicles and sometimes you go around roaming for minutes trying to find some action. It actually got boring after a bit. You’ll want to enjoy Conquest, and for a time you will, but if you’re used to jumping in a game and getting into the action, you’ll leave Conquest for the hardcore. I also must make mention of the number of vehicles available to you in Conquest, from choppers to tanks, jets and trucks, DICE held back no punches. Yet, it feels like something is missing. Perhaps, like I said before, there’s too much emphasis placed on vehicles.

Rush is the last mode, the very mode made available in the beta. It’s a mode in which one team attacks while the other defend their M-COM stations from being destroyed. If the attacking team is successful, the defending team is pushed back to defend even more M-COM stations. Rush is the best suited mode for the big maps of Battlefield 3, and it too is very enjoyable and intense.

Make no mistake about it, there’s a mode in Battlefield 3′s multiplayer for everyone, and a gun for even the youngest of recruits. No other developer has been so ambitious as to bring such a massive game to consoles. You can swim in the ocean, man any vehicle, jump over walls and crawl like a snake. Yet that’s just the beginning: the rewards you get for just about doing anything are endless, and without ever shooting a gun, you can go from Private to Commander in Battlefield 3. That’s the beauty about it.

To conclude, I’ll remind you of my opening question: where does your loyalty lie? Are you big on single-player? If so, don’t buy Battlefield 3. It’s not worth your time. However if you’re multiplayer-only type of person, then absolutely, buy Battlefield 3.

One more thing, it’s not a Call of Duty killer.


Reviewed on PS3
Also on: PC, X360
Genre: First Person Shooter
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Digital Illusions CE (DICE)
M for Mature: Blood, Intense Violence, Strong Language

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Author: Ernice Gilbert View all posts by
Ernice Gilbert here. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Gamesthirst. Thanks for stopping by, make yourself at home!

14 Comments on "Battlefield 3"

  1. nick November 12, 2011 at 4:18 am -

    sorry dude, but how does the story in this get a 5 and MW3 gets a 10?
    might as well say rouge warrior is a better game then uncharted 2!
    at least BF3s story made sense, it did not have you scratching your head whenever you switched characters.
    thats one thing ive always hated about MW, the story is as consistent and believable as a fairytale!
    the SP in this was far better too, at least you feel like a proper soldier not some special operations guy out to capture some terrorists.
    thats another thing that made no sense with MW3s story.
    its all WW3, but it feels nothing like war, felt more like a bunch of pissed off terrorists and PLRs!

  2. Ernice Gilbert November 12, 2011 at 5:54 am -

    Bro, I felt the sense of what was going on in MW3. You know it’s world war III, you know it’s chaotic. Globetrotting with big guns, skilled men trying to end the life of the one who started this. It feels epic. epic! I understood the story easily.

  3. LilKaneTGOD November 12, 2011 at 8:26 am -

    this score for bf3 is just……wrong! theres no reason to give this game a 7, doesnt make any sense

  4. LilKaneTGOD November 12, 2011 at 8:28 am -

    it deserves more than that….

  5. Ernice Gilbert November 12, 2011 at 8:33 am -

    @Kane: Bro, tell me why you feel this way? The review is very fair. We made it clear that if you like MP, then buy it, if not the leave it alone.

    The game has mp and sp components, and we rated it accordingly, as a full game.

  6. LilKaneTGOD November 12, 2011 at 10:41 am -

    no, i dont agree with the story score, i loved the campaign and im sure a lot of other people did, and it wasnt boring at all, that 5 was definitely influenced by the first reviews that came out the day before the game was released, so im with Nick on this one

    And another thing, i think u should use the same game aspects to give the final score for every game or at least games of the same genre, for example: on MW3 u used Gameplay: 10, Story: 10 and Replay Value: 10 and for BF3 u used Visuals: 10, Story: 5 and MP: 8
    Why not Visuals-Gameplay-MP or something like that for BOTH ?

  7. New Inductee November 12, 2011 at 11:06 am -

    Battlefield 3, the campaign is dull and to me a lackluster. I watched friends play this game and would not dare purchase it for myself. Talk about an Epic Failure! I won’t lie the sound and graphics are stunning but the game play in itself is somewhat missing that zing to it;that one thing that causes a player to daydream, to go to bed at night and can’t wait to rise in the morning and dive back into immense action. Nope, it just gives you that: I’m bored and your bored so lets just play something beautifully looking bored and probably will make a Hit. On to the store for MW3. it’s the Call of Duty. Soldiers, forward march!

  8. nick November 12, 2011 at 11:39 am -

    it does not feel like WW3, as i said it feels like a bunch of pissed off terrorists and PLR groups!
    every mission is set in a closed area, you have no open warfare spaces like operation gulotine or the SP level based off caspian border.
    MW3 lacks the scale and the war feel to it, you dont feel like a normal soldier in the army you feel like a special operations unit sent out to take out pissed off terrorists!
    as i said BF3 kinda feels the same which is why allot of hardcore BF fans were so disappointed.
    but at least BF3 was half a proper war game, half pissed off terrorists.
    not saying its a bad game, just saying the story makes absolutely no sense what so ever!
    hard to remember whos who when your switching from character to character every 20 minutes!
    every level i was like hey was this the guy that this happened to, or was it this guy.
    hey, who am i playing as now?
    dident he go down in the chopper crash?
    they need to stop with the constant switching of characters it gets really confusing.

  9. nick November 12, 2011 at 11:39 am -

    3 was the best game infinity ward has done.
    but black ops is still and probably will always be the best COD game!
    at least SP wise.

  10. Ernice Gilbert November 12, 2011 at 11:42 am -

    @Kane, bro, we’re not the only site to score Battlefield 3 a 7, plus almost every review knocked the SP as poor and uninspired.

    About the review system, we use the aspects of a game that stands out the most, and rate from there. For example, Battlefield 3′s story was poor, the visuals were superb and the MP is stellar. We rated these aspects.

    Same thing for MW3. The story is amazing, replay value is high and gameplay is topnotch.

    If say Modern Warfare 3′s visuals were terrible, we’d rate that, but the visuals were good, but not stellar therefore it wasn’t an area of concern as most people will be satisfied with it.

  11. Ernice Gilbert November 14, 2011 at 5:42 am -

    @Kane: Like I said, we weren’t the only site to rate the game 7. Many others did the same, I’ve even found one that scored the game 6.5

    We never did follow the crowd with our review, and we blatantly said if you like MP, then you should buy BF3.

  12. foxton November 14, 2011 at 9:13 am -

    Nice review Ernice, I am a little dissapointed with the score but i can see why you have given it a 7.
    I have to say that the multiplayer is the best FPS i have seen, so much so i havent even given the single player a go yet!
    I think if EA / DICE hadnt come out publicly to take on MW3 then this game would of scored higher. I can see that your trying to rate this game individually, but i cannot help feel you have directly compared it to MW3 and scored this game accordingly.
    Im not a huge COD fan, and had never played any battlfeild game before this one so can only go on this game and have nothing to copmpare it against.
    I also dont see how MW3 can get a 10, effectively your saying its perfiect and cannot be improved in anyway! From what ive seen of it, its just like all the others. But i suppose why would you change something so succesful. But come on, they just churning them out now, nowing thta they gonna make millions but the actual game, style and MP has changed very little for years!
    But anyway, im not knocking you! great review, everyone entitled to an opinion. Keep up the good work!

  13. Joshua Tompkins November 14, 2011 at 10:36 am -

    I absolutely can’t stand the single player in BF3. Dice should just stuck to the MP like BF2. The MP on the other hand is amazing. I am addicted to it. I play COD for the run n’ gun aspect but love BF3 so much more for the open fields and vehicles and actual weapon physics such as recoil. It feels much more realistic. I am already bored with MW3, but it is what I prefer. I do not think MW3 deserves a 10 because it is just to similar to MW2, almost to the point to where some people do not even see any changes. I would give BF3 8.5 and MW3 an 8. I think both games are fun, but I feel like I just paid $60 for an add-on map pack for MW3. They could at least use another game engine and make some changes to the mp like Treyarch did. I personally like Black Ops better because I felt like they really tried hard to change aspects about the game without changing the core mechanics. If they do not do some kind of drastic change in some area of the game, fans will loose interest in the series.

  14. Ernice Gilbert November 14, 2011 at 4:44 pm -

    @Foxton: First off thanks for the compliment. I really appreciate it. But here’s what I’ve got to say about the review:

    No game is perfect, and that’s not the reason I scored MW3 10/10. My reason is two-fold. Modern Warfare 3 represents the best Call of Duty title ever made, and both SP and MP modes are fun to play. Both have issues but nothing that warrants points to be deducted.

    Many people bash the game for being “more of the same”, and some reviewers deducted points for that. My view is, it’s a sequel, a culmination of three great titles, and what I got was more than what I expected.

    Sure, I’ll be looking for innovation in the upcoming games, but MW3 is the best of all COD games put together.

    Also, Infinity Ward deserves to be recognized for pushing out such a quality piece of entertainment under impossible circumstances.

    It’s a mammoth piece of work.

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