Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform: Windows / STEAM / PlayStation 3 / XBOX 360
OFLC Rating: MA
Ah yes, one of the very franchises that put competitive team-based action multiplayer on the map, the Battlefield series. The franchise began with Battlefield 1942 in 2002. In 2004 after expansions came Battlefield: Vietnam. However both the BF194X and BFV games as their titles, set a historical theme that focuses on the conflicts their names refer to, 1942/43 covering World War II and Vietnam the war with the same name that occurred during the 1960s. 2005 saw the release of Battlefield 2 which unlike it’s predecessors followed a theme suggesting near future as it was a “Present Day” one featuring conflict involving USA, China and the (fictitious) Middle Eastern Coalition (MEC). The following year saw Battlefield 2142 which was the year suggests this is of course a science-fiction conflict with a real-world spin put on it.
What all these games had in common was the that all them presented a multiplayer-focused game where players fought for control points across the battlefield hence the name. This particular game mode was the game’s signature feature known as “Conquest”, however you had other more traditional competitive such as deathmatches. One thing that made the series stand out from it’s competition was that it featured a range of vehicles available on the field, even marine vessels. The other was the use of selectable classes that offered unique playing styles and strategic position on the team, much like you would find in team sports like football and basketball etc.
Normally at this point I like to open with the featured single player mode of a game, but in the case of Battlefield 3 there’s not much to tell with regard to the story as it’s both unoriginal and uses woeful storytelling techniques as far as action games go. But for those willing to risk their sanity (by suffering unnecessary frustration) the campaign story combines plots and similar settings to what you would expect to find in Call of Duty’s Modern Warfare Trilogy and Black Ops, which for those of you who couldn’t be buggered trundling through four games to get the same type of story that BF3 offers in one – Being the games only advantage over it’s rival’s single player storytelling. As for the rest of it Battlefield 3 despite having some solid on-foot combat action, the occasional quick time events that pop up when being jumped by clever hostile individuals and unforgivingly difficult objectives that do nothing but frustrate you. Although in all fairness with regard to the harder objectives, I can understand the emphasis on the high stakes. Traditionally the mainstream Battlefield games featured a single player campaign that offered you a means to practice for the multiplayer experience against the AI. With exception to the story-driven spin-off series Bad Company, Battlefield has always focused toward offering a highly competitive strategy-intense team oriented multiplayer experience.
You’re probably wondering what I meant by that last statement…
Well, when you have a multiplayer game that pits two teams against each other with large environments and vehicles ready for use, this game is significantly different to it’s competition Call of Duty in that regard alone. Upon closer inspection it’s like it’s predecessors BF3 offers some reasonably accurate physics, particularly those effecting projectiles versus moving targets. However Battlefield’s team oriented nature shows with the class selection. In Battlefield 3 there are four positions players can choose from when doing their part for the team – Assault, Engineer, Support and Recon.
The Assault class is a forward fighting position specialising in firefights while having the ability to administer medical attention to wounded comrades. The Engineer class is a defensive support position that is centred around vehicles, as you can use a repair tool along with having anti-vehicle weapons and explosives at your disposal. The Support class is as the name suggests an assistive position specialising in fire support and having the ability to resupply comrades in the field. The Recon class is somewhat of a tactical position that specialises in range combat and possesses the passive ability to reveal any hostile targets in view on the team radar. Each of these positions can use similar weapons if not the same, but differ in bringing their own disciplines to the (proverbial) table.
Along with the traditional Conquest, Battlefield 3′s game modes centre around deathmatch and objective-based scenario types.
As you would expect in Conquest, the game centres around capturing and holding strategic points throughout the battlefield, where the environments are often large areas and offer a selection of vehicles scattered throughout. Whereas deathmatches take place in smaller environments where players are restricted to fighting on-foot.
Overall Battlefield 3 is an impressive package and a worthy successor to it’s mainstream predecessors despite it’s shortcomings.
Is Battlefield 3 worth getting?
If it’s a story-driven modern military action shooter you’re looking for. I would be more inclined suggesting you check out Call of Duty as it does a better job at storytelling.
However if it’s the fiercely competitive multiplayer you know and love from the Battlefield franchise, then that is all the motive you need to run out make the purchase as it is well worth it for that reason alone!