GAME NAME: Battlefield 3
DEVELOPER(S): Digital Illusions CE (DICE)
PUBLISHER(S): Electronic Arts
PLATFORM(S): PS3, Xbox 360, PC
RELEASE DATE(S): 28 October 2011
After months of hype and continued rivalry with “that other shooter franchise”, Battlefield 3 makes its much-anticipated foray from the noisy trenches to the chaotic and treacherous fields of battle. The game is comprised of an explosive yet familiar and limited single player campaign as well as an amazing multiplayer mode, which not only raises the bar for a Battlefield title but for any multiplayer shooter in general.
Battlefield 3′s storyline campaign is clearly inspired by war films such as Hurt Locker and commences in the year 2014. SSgt Henry “Black” Blackburn and his squad are on a dangerous mission to save a US Squad investigating a chemical weapons site. While Blackburn and his squad are battling their way through the harsh and hostile Iranian terrain, they fall victim to a massive earthquake. The game continues with a series of flashbacks, piecing together the different trials and tribulations, SSgt Henry and his squad experience throughout the campaign.
Battlefield 3’s single player mode is a familiar yet restricted affair when compared to the multiplayer side of things. The campaign missions, while offering huge and detailed locations, are in principle linear experiences. The majority of buildings are hardly destructible and the player follows a “set path” throughout the journey. Unfortunately the player cannot take the wheel of any vehicle in the game and is treated to an on-rails experience instead. Furthermore creating special custom individual moments are not present in the game’s single player campaign. Thanks to the addition of a “quick time event” system, gamers are required to push a specific button in precarious situations. Despite this fact, the system gives the game a more realistic cinematic feel however the sense of freedom takes a back seat.
That being said, some of the limitations present in the campaign are understandable and do not detract from making Battlefield 3 a wonderful albeit frustrating experience. While the great set pieces present in the game have already been created in other titles years ago, the many memorable moments consisting of earthquakes, crumbling buildings and an incredibly realistic cock pit view dog fight, needs to be seen to be believed.
Battlefield 3’s multiplayer mode is where the game truly excels. Unlike the limitations present in the single player storyline portion of the game, the multiplayer aspect feels innovative and encourages the player to explore the vast scale of the game’s maps. Furthermore land vehicles and aircrafts are fully drivable/flyable and adds to not only the authenticity of the war experience with other players around the world (The PS3 version is limited to 24-players online) but in addition, offers a huge sense of freedom and exploration.
Battlefield 3’s multiplayer modes offer longevity thanks to the game’s rewards and progression system as well as the many forms of play such as ‘Rush’, ‘Conquest’ and traditional ‘Deathmatch’ options.
Since the evolution that Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare created four years ago and the consequent incessant yearly releases of first person war shooters, the market has been left with a feeling of over saturation and overkill. Despite this Battlefield 3 still manages to impress. While the games may certainly not be as fresh as it would have been several years ago, Battlefield 3 is still a superb title. There is no denying its uncanny war-time realism and gritty atmosphere found in the single and multiplayer offerings. Battlefield 3 comes highly recommended to fans of the war shooter as well as those who just simply want to pass the time until Modern Warfare 3’s impending release.