While the Call of Duty series has long been known for its epic singleplayer campaigns, that is something the Battlefield series has lacked. Enter Battlefield 3: The latest in the venerable shooter series, which also promises an epic singleplayer campaign in addition to its multiplayer components. Does Battlefield 3’s singleplayer campaign live up to the hyper? In creating a singleplayer component, did EA DICE sacrifice multiplayer quality? Find out, After the break!
Battlefield 3 is a beautiful game to experience. Visually, it is second to no other shooters currently on the market. The Frostbite 2 engine is a work of art that breeds cinematic scenes of wonderment and joy. That being said, without a good story, all you are left with is visual wonderment. Unfortunately, Battlefield 3’s singleplayer campaign suffers from a predictable plot and a lot of heavy-handed hand-holding in terms of mission objectives. You jump around between various characters – from a marine to a US Navy pilot (in a so-so on-rails sequence which could have been a lot better) but, even with these character changes and variations, the experience falls a bit flat. That is not to say the singleplayer campaign is not worth playing – it is, if only for its visual eye candy and infrequent moments of awesomeness. The campaign just doesn’t do enough to take the singleplayer shooter crown away from the CoD series. In closing, with regards to the game’s singleplayer, EA DICE has done a nice first-attempt at bringing a campaign to the base Battlefield franchise and I would like to see them flesh it out more next time around – maybe even see if they can integrate some of the aspects that made the Battlefield: Bad Company game’s campaigns so much fun.
Battlefield 3’s most-awesome and epic feature is, by far, its multiplayer game component. The multiplayer experience you loved from past Battlefield games is back, bigger and better than ever. Maps range in size from small to huge and feature a ton of vehicles and weapons to operate and deploy. Gameplay this time around is a bit more realistic than past games. Bullets are far more lethal and the game favors teams who utilize unit tactics over all-out, uncoordinated rushes. The game even replicates the effects of suppressing fire, blurring an enemy’s vision to decrease his or her combat effectiveness. As a long-time in-game SAW gunner, I really appreciate this. Aside from the standard competitive modes, the game also includes six cooperative multiplayer missions as well! These missions are set in the same game world as the singleplayer campaign, and do a great job in providing challenge to the players. The only drawback about this mode is that there are ONLY six missions. Even when playing them through on various difficulty levels (to unlock new weapons and equipment), the lack of missions is apparent. Hopefully, this can be remedied in some DLC packs!
Unfortunately, I did encounter a couple of problems on the PC version of the game. First and foremost, there was some confusion about the game’s control setup. Running up to the shotgun holding the subway doors shut in the game’s first level left me confused for a while as hitting the “E” key (which is use/interact) did nothing. I actually had to hold down the “R” key to pickup the weapon and continue. There were no on-screen cues to do this, though, which left me feeling confused. Why hit the reload button when you should using the item? I digress… I also encountered various game freeze-ups which, hopefully, will be patched in the near future. We are running a fairly high-end gaming rig with three-way SLI and more CPU cores than you can shake a stick at, so hopefully it gets fixed soon so we can go back to drooling over its visuals!
Overall, Battlefield 3 is a great shooter game. It may have a “so-so” campaign, but its multiplayer makes it a must-purchase title, well worth your hard-earned cash.