Battlefield 3 review
A worthy competitor to Call of Duty
I am not the most hardcore of Battlefield players. My first was Battlefield: Bad Company 2, which to this I have amassed around 54 hours of game time. I have also bought Battlefield 1943, which then led to the beta of Battlefield 3. I saw a friend playing it on the PS3 and immediately went to download it. Having played the beta almost every day of its existence, my hype for this game was high. I loved it.
I bought Battlefield 3 on the first day of its release and banged it out all day, for the next couple of weeks. Unfortunately Modern Warfare 3 came out soon after which diverted a lot of my friends attention away from Battlefield. I am more of a group player, as I prefer to play games with friends so I made a switch to Call of Duty. I never really touched Battlefield again until around May, to which I rekindled my love for this game. It is actually incredible.
Being a PS3 gamer, I have not fully experienced the capabilities of this game while on a PC, although I have seen videos on YouTube. Having said that, the graphics are sublime, bettering any game I have ever played. The sound too, amazing. I use a headset and the surround sound seriously enhances your gaming experience. There are sometimes a few issues where the sound will suddenly halt while playing but that does not deter the fact that the sound is definitely a 10/10 in my eyes (or ears).
Battlefield is never famed for its campaign, and to be fair, it is not the best. I have played through it a couple of times, mainly to obtain trophies.
You are a US marine, named Henry Blackburn, who is interrogated about previous operations during his career as a marine. You play as him, going through his past, in order to stop a terrorist, named Solomon, who is planning an attack on New York.
The majority of people do not favour the campaign, but I actually thoroughly enjoy it. How it ranks against Call of Duty is difficult but it definitely had my attention throughout. One of the negatives of the campaign is that certain missions are insanely difficult while playing in the hardest difficulty.
A differing game mode, one I do not think we have ever seen on a Battlefield game. This allows you to pair up with a friend and embark on a set of 6 co-op missions. From the co-op mode, it allows you to get trophies, but also unlock weapons for you to use in the multiplayer mode. Just some of them are the M93 Raffica, KH2002, MP7 and G3A3. All of them arguably are pretty solid weapons. I especially love using the M93 Rafficas as a last resort.
Once again, it is actually a game mode I really like playing, if I just want to relax with a friend. There is even a mission while flying a helicopter so you can use it as an opportunity to gain some experience in the air (and also gunner skills!)
Now the main talking point. I primarily bought Battlefield for the multiplayer. The beta was a major factor in this. The only map playable was Operation Metro, possibly the smallest map in the game, but I find it is actually one of my favourites even in the full game.
- Gun Variety / Balancing – the sheer fact that there are a hell of a lot of guns to use can only be a bonus. Not only that, but all the guns are relatively balanced. There are no seriously overpowered weapons. In the beta, arguably the PP-2000, F2000 and UMP45 were slightly too powerful but one thing that Dice always look out for is balancing, which they have done. Another point I would like to raise is the use of submachine guns as 'All Kit' weapons. At the moment, assault rifles come under 'Assault', carbines come under 'Engineer', sniper rifles are in 'Recon', and machine guns are found in 'Support'. If you are looking for a more mobile weapon to run while using recon for example, you have the option to select a submachine gun, like the UMP45, P90, MP7 or PP-2000. This selection gives you the chance to utilise the advantages of each kit without being limited to a weapon that you may not enjoy. For me, the most used kit I use is the 'Engineer', because I like to get involved with destroying vehicles as fast as I can, along with repairing and utilising them. Recently though, I have been exploring, and unlocking things for the other kits.
- Support from Developers – Dice are always looking to improve the game. Something that I feel makes them a ten times better producers than for example, Infinity Ward and Treyarch is that they are always there to fix problems as fast as they can. Any balancing issues with guns and attachments they will fix them until they are at the level playing field. An example that comes to mind is the FAMAS, which was claimed to be far too strong. Dice reduced its magazine capacity to 25 from 30 and altered its damage.
- Vehicles – one of the vital components for an army is the vehicles. To put it in simple terms, the vehicles that you can use are a tank, humvee, helicopters and jets. A well organised and piloted helicopter can turn the game to your side. In terms of full-on helping your team, the jets are probably the least useful however it can give you the opportunity to clear the skies of any enemies. Mastering the jets is a tall order. The helicopters on the other hand, once kitted out with all the unlocks, can dominant the battlefield of any vehicles or air attacks. One distinctive example of air dominance is this video from LvLcap. Having said that, they are by no means overpowered. To a single soldier, any of the 4 vehicles are difficult to take out, but once you team up for a two-pronged attack, they can be vanquished with ease. On a personal level, I have not experimented too much with the jets and helicopters, but it is something I want to improve on, having seen a few videos of the power they can have on YouTube.
- Attachments to weapons – one thing that you do not usually see from games is the difference certain attachments can make. I was primarily a Call of Duty player so attachments never provided much of a change (apart from rapid fire) but Battlefield really gives you the chance to customise your load out. Since the recent patch in April/May, each attachment has been altered. The foregrip is no longer the stand out attachment that everyone uses. At the gain of reduced horizontal recoil, you lose a little bit of aimed accuracy. Some with some guns, such as the M4A1 and M16A3, it may actually be more suitable to not run the foregrip. The laser sight, improves hip fire accuracy however you do make yourself visible when running around dark maps. The heavy barrel, improves aimed accuracy, however you lose out on more vertical recoil and increased hip fire spread. There is plenty of other attachments but the fact that they can alter the way your gun acts is massive.
- Kit specialisation – from a Call of Duty point of view, these are similar to the 'perks'. A change from Bad Company 2 is that you only get one of them. Also gone are the days of whacking on Magnum ammo. Now you can choose between, sprinting faster, increased/reduced suppression, increased amount of explosives, reduced explosive damage, increased ammo, and extra grenades. Not only that but you can include the squad bonus, giving your specialisation to the whole squad! With a good squad you can provide each player with differing specialisations to improve your character in the game.
- Suppression – an introduction to the game was the element of suppression. This is when bullets are being fired at you, your screen becomes blurry which can put a hindrance on your aim, giving you the advantage in a gun fight. Once suppressed, it is recommended to seek cover. A tweak they have made recently is that suppression has increased, but to me, it is not much of a problem. On the other hand it may be advisable to shoot slightly before aiming to try and let the suppression set on your enemy.
- Rent a server – prior to this feature, servers were generally quite limited. This feature has given the game a new life. You can increase the amount of tickets, prolonging the game, you can customise what maps you want and in all set it to how you want to play. There are now so many servers that finding a game for your squad is easy.
- Back to Karkand + Future expansions – I was lucky enough to buy the Limited Edition for the same price as the standard game so this provided me with Back to Karkand for free! I have not fully divulged into Back to Karkand but the addition of new maps is always handy. Furthermore it also gave you the M1911 and Type 88 for free. One thing that sets this game aside from Call of Duty is that I actually want to buy these expansion packs. Lined up in the future is a 'Close Quarter' DLC, featuring four new infantry-oriented maps, ten new weapons, HD Destruction, ten new assignments, five unique Dogtags, and a new game mode, Conquest Domination, a Conquest mode adapted for smaller spaces. This is definitely something I am looking forward to.
- Assignments – one of the new features after the release of Back to Karkand were assignments. This is actually a really good feature that gets you to use different load outs to unlocked certain weapons. At the moment I have only unlocked 3 of the 10 weapons however I want to unlock them all as soon as possible. The announcement of there being more assignments to come is a massive boost for me.
- Game Modes – the standard game modes that people are used to are Rush and Conquest. Personally I love both, but one thing that these customised servers allow for is the use of Team Deathmatch to the rotation. I generally do not favour TDM as much but it is quite refreshing for some close quarter fun. One of the negatives is that the spawns are quite sporadic in TDM. At the moment, I play Conquest more often as it usually lasts longer and you can earn more points. With a really strong team on Rush, the game could be over in a matter of minutes! I just love the fact that they are so unique to the game and you cannot really find any similar to them. Plus, everyone usually plays the objective, so that is always a bonus.
- Battlelog – Call of Duty introduce a subscription based stat tracking application in terms of COD Elite, Battlefield introduce a similar concept called Battlelog, which is free. What this does is really highlight every thing there is to do with stats, and your character. I love to look at stats so this addition is definitely one of my favourites.
- Squads – when playing in a squad of 3 or more players, there is a chance that you will not be on the same team, or same squad. The latter is easily changeable as you can just switch squads. The former, however, if a little more difficult. You can swap teams but you cannot if it will unbalance the game. Just after the release of the game, this was a massive problem which did annoy me. As we are in May, the problem is still there, but you can sort of fix this by joining lobbies where there are little amounts of players.
- M26 Dart – basically a glitch that has arisen from a recent patch, and hopefully it will be patched soon, but it is the M26 Dart. Virtually a shotgun that can wipe through your team with ease. You will always get an idiot wanting to exploit the glitch to make it seem like he is good at the game. Usually though, they will get kicked by admins.
- Claymores – I am seeing these slightly more often these days. Support players just slapping a claymore on the door of a building, waiting upstairs for the kill, then placing another. It is a massive annoying on Seine Crossing, as there is quite a lot of buildings to hide in. I personally would prefer that these were not in the game as they just promote camping, especially if several support players deploy similar tactics.
- Throw that ammo! – This is more of a personal annoyance, where fellow team mates would run the 'Support' class. Now what this gives you is an ammo box to throw to the ground to allow others to resupply their ammo and grenades. There is a distinct lack of people who are willingly throwing these ammo boxes down. If you play with friends, make sure one of you guys are supporting your team with ammo!
Overall, to put it bluntly, I thoroughly enjoy this game and it makes me regret the fact that I have not played it longer. You can check out my Modern Warfare 3 review just to see my contrasting opinions between the two but I definitely feel that this year, Battlefield has won the battle.
Furthermore, if you would like, you can check out my Battlelog page to see my stats! If you require tips to improve your gaming, I would recommend Level Cap, rivaLxfactor and iPwnstar4hire for some solid gameplay.
So this has been my review of Battlefield 3. Thank you for reading, if you have gotten this far! Do you have a differing opinion to me? Feel free to leave a comment below!
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