Review: Battlefield 3


Developer: EA Digital Illusions CE
Genre: First Person Shooter
Platform(s): PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360
Release Date: October 25, 2011
Compatibility (PS3): 1295MB Mininum Space | DUALSHOCK 3 Vibration Function | HD 720p | Network Players 2-24
Compatibility (Xbox 360): n/a
Rating: 8.9

It’s back. Battlefield 3, the Colonel of war-based first person shooters returns to our consoles – post a very thorough marketing campaign – in its usual loud, dramatic and explosive manner. For many, if not most, multiplayer is where it’s at. You can’t be faulted if you’re one of these people. DICE have provided us with some nothing short of superb multiplayer action in Battlefield over the years; it’s what they do best. Battlefield 3 is no different. That said, let’s first look at the solo-campaign on offer in EA’s latest installment of the series.

Let’s cut to the chase; newcomers to the series may find that the solo-campaign helps them get used to the way the game plays (controls, combat, etc.) but too often Battlefield titles (and Call of Duty for that matter) have weak single player campaigns, skimmed over or left unfinished, saved half way through and forgotten about. For the sake of focusing on the highs rather than the lows, I’ll keep this as short as possible.

Battlefield 3's visuals are some of the best around.

Battlefield 3 is no exception to this continuing trend. Put simply, the solo-campaign is 5-6 hours keeping you away from actually playing the game. Ridiculously linear, you are led by the hand through industrially scarred Iranian war-zones, placing most of the work on your non-playable comrades, urging you to follow their lead and maybe kill a few bad guys along the way. There are plenty of weapons on offer but aside from the big guns available in the last missions, they all seem to be as powerful (or weak) as each other. The plot attempts to create tension as it is told in the style of a movie, placing you in control of multiple characters at differing times. This becomes fairly monotonous and at times quite lackluster.

Atmospherically, Battlefield 3 is top notch. Enveloping explosions and the constant rattle of gun fire make it feel as if you’re actually there. The game is visually beautiful, particularly showcased in its cut-scenes and set-pieces, although its PC counterpart looks far superior on this front with the Frostbite 2 engine seemingly more able on this format. The solo-campaign is not awful but it’s just not that great, and at close to £40RRP ($60 US) it is certainly not worth the money for solo play alone. It is up for debate whether or not this installment surpasses Bad Company’s previous efforts however it is certainly not even close to the single player modes of Medal of Honor or SOCOM in their heyday.

This game is the closest you can get in being in a warzone.

Right, now that that’s out the way, let’s focus on what makes this game great – the superlative multiplayer. Set-aside the rest of your life (or at least until the release of the next Battlefield) and get involved. Arguably one of the best online multiplayer games available today and without doubt definitely one of the most addictive. Built around a system which rewards you for every aspect of your play (kills, assisted kills, type of kill, healing allies and a whole range of other rewards) ensures you never get bored when leveling up to the next rank. To make things even more interesting there are a score of game modes to choose from, ranging from the fairly generic ‘Deathmatch’ to the superbly designed and presented ‘Rush and Conquest’. The game caters for all kinds of players too – from the gun-toting maniac, firing on all cylinders, equipped with an RPG-7 rocket launcher to the shadow master, camped in the hills, biding his time before pulling the trigger of an MK11 sniper rifle. Not one for tackling a war-zone on foot? Fair enough. Plough through the scenery in a T-90 tank or slice the skies in an Mi-28 helicopter. The most exciting part of playing Battlefield 3 online is the moments that you just can’t plan. Imagine the pain of locating a great stake-out point, close to the action but concealed, only to be knifed in the throat shortly after amidst a stealth attack. Then imagine the joy of redemption as a nearby crashed chopper blaze sets your assassin alight, seconds before he is run over by a tank. Fast-paced chaos and carnage hand in hand and commonplace. Similar to online modes of other games, such as FIFA 12, you are matched up with other gamers of similar rank and ability, in order to make the matches as equal as possible. Earlier titles such as Half-Life 2 suffered greatly as a result of ignoring this feature.

Overall, DICE have served up another sublime rendition and welcome addition to the Battlefield series, so long as you plan to play online. The gamer’s equivalent of a book that you can’t put down, the multiplayer will have you consistently coming back for more and the DLC could easily be dubbed as expansion packs for their size and quality (see: ‘Back to Karkand’). The single player mode boasts terrific visuals (however in a year which saw such titles as Uncharted 3, the aesthetics side of things have been executed even better elsewhere) but is overall disappointing. Multiplayer makes up for this, making this a must own title. Best online first person shooter multiplayer? Very possibly – either way, Battlefield 3 sold five million copies in its first week and continues to sell more. Do yourself a favor and add yourself to the list.

Reviewed by deaco2000 – January 6, 2012

Stunning visuals and superb attention to detail, particularly the local streets of Iran.
Explosive cinematic audio creates a tense atmosphere, keeping you on the edge of your seat.
Single player worth a play-through but the real joy is in the multi-player. Expect to spend months in front of this.
Final Score




  1. maybe code monkey need burn down cube and live in jungle outside. maybe he need drink soda in trees and meet other sodpusl-raing mammals.

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