Starting from the first release in the Battlefield series there was a difference between an ordinary FPS (First Person Shooter) and what EA have achieved. Battlefield is known for the huge battles and vehicle usage while delivering a unique multiplayer experience. With Battlefield 3, EA have raised the bar of experience and managed to deliver a breath taking game with their new Frostbite 2 engine along with the best multiplayer experience of the year. Well this paragraph already says it all, but let’s go through what else Battlefield 3 has to offer and where it needed improvement.
The single-player campaign will surely take your breath away with the impressive graphics and how the story evolves while you play. Most of the time which is set in 2014, you will play as a US Marine Staff Sergeant Henry Blackurn and yes, the US Marines are the only people you will be able to play with, although there is a mission in Paris/ France where you will play the role of a Russian undercover agent by the name of Dmitri. So to cut the story short you will be a part of a group of US Marines who discover one of three Russian nuclear heads in a bank’s safe while looking for the notorious Al-Bashir while Solomon’s plans are revealed to set the nukes to explode in Paris and New York. You i.e. Blackburn are interrogated by two officers of being an accomplice in this mass destruction and you will play while he talks and reveals what really happened in Tehran.
As soon as you start the single-player campaign you will play a guy with handcuffs who has escaped and jumps on a running train to stop some terrorists which ends badly… and then your story will start in the interrogation which happened before the train scene. The single-player story is somewhat similar to the TV series 24 where everything that happens in the story is shown from different perspectives and it will reveal itself slowly.
The single-player campaign is fantastic and it will make it’s best to show off the new Frostbite 2’s engine capabilities. Thou to single-player campaign missions aren’t very long, the mode is like an introduction to what the game will offer since it major focus of the release is for the multiplayer which we give the two and even three thumbs up.
In fact in some missions like where you will play as the co-pilot on a jet shows off the brilliant effects of the game and for the destructibility of the environment around you, the best mission was ‘Comrade’ where you play the part of the Russian agent raging havoc in the stock exchange building. In fact the use of vehicles in this mode is quite limited like in the jet fight mission although tempting you will not be able to fly it, but it’s like a taste of what to expect in the multiplayer mode. On the other hand, the single-player offers some kinky stuff like skydiving from the sky on a point, huge and impressive explosions featuring the demolition of whole buildings falling in front of your eyes. The maps are varied in the missions and they are highly detailed and varied since it goes from Iraq to Paris and New York, so there is a very good mix of terrains and environments. Although the AI will give you a good challenge there are some parts where things can get a little frustrating as noticed in some parts that the AI will not be affected when shooting them while a door is opening, but barely minor things.
Thou the focus of the game is in the multiplayer, the single-player offers the ability to play the campaign on a split screen with someone else which to be honest was quite enjoyable and it helps to have someone else giving a hand with the shooting and killing. The online ladders will allow you and your partner to get in the ranks for trying to beat other team’s scores along with ability to track their performance.
The graphics and sound effects of the game are a masterpiece and the Frosbite 2 engine does it job very well. The scene that caught my eye was the mission that takes place on the jet during the campaign overflying the aircraft carrier. The scene was fantastic with all the nifty gritty features in the air and sea which made the gameplay quite authentic. The feel of the destructibility especially when you’re in the Paris mission and in the car-park of the Stock Exchange, you will see a mix of great effects and when you get out of the building you will go berserk in the streets that will make you enjoy the experience. Thou there are some small glitches with some textures not instantly loading here and there and maybe a tree planted in the air, it will not affect your experience and they are minimal. To accompany this, you will get a bashing sound effect processing which every bullet and building crumbling sound as authentic as ever.
Now, for the focus of the game… the multiplayer. Battlefield has always been known for the massive battles and vehicle usage and Battlefield 3 doesn’t disappoint its audience. The multiplayer mode offers the player to play as one of the US Marines or the Russian Spetsnaz with the roles of Assault, Engineer, Recon and Support. Some key additions to the multiplayer feature for Battlefield 3 are the console server browser and the highly customization system where there are a huge number of perks that include attachments, gadgets, weapons which includes upgrades to yourself and the vehicles as well. Apart from those, the scope glare which will create a visible glare; shining off from the scope, the commo-rose coming from Battlefield 2 and the battle recorder which will enable you to record gameplay videos along with taking screenshots.
The battles can get quite big as on the consoles there is a maximum of 24 and a massive 64 for PC simultaneous players on a map where the map is the same but it will be extended depending on the number of players. The gameplay is fantastic and you will surely not find an online FPS as good as Battlefield 3. The in-game server browser was an awesome and needed feature on the consoles and it will your life easier when trying to find the exact game or game-type you are looking for. Levelling up is quite interesting for the fact that there a good number of unlocks depending on the XP you get which will open up a lot of stuff to your soldier and vehicles. The multiplayer offers 3 game modes that are Squad rush, Team Deathmatch and Conquest. The Conquest mode is the standard capture the flag mode where one side must capture the flag on the other side, while the other side must make sure the enemy doesn’t get it. The Team Deathmatch is the side against side battle and the Squad Deathmatch is basically an alternative to the Team Deathmatch but it puts 4 squads against each other. Thou the game offers the DeathMatch mode, the focus sits on the team-based model and it works beautifully.
Battlefield 2 was a great success and Battlefield 3 makes a great successor along with the Frostbite 2 engine. The game is an unforgettable multiplayer experience and although the singleplayer mode is good, the game’s focus is on the multiplayer modes. Great graphics, superb sound and immersive gameplay is what you will get with Battlefield 3.