Battlefield 3 review for PS3
Battlefield 3 is EA’s great big war-shaped hope, available for the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. It’s the game that could potentially tip the balance away from the Call of Duty juggernaut in favour of its own first-person war effort. Battlefield 3 cannot possibly topple Call of Duty, can it? Stephen Ebert strapped on his bullet-proof vest to find out.
Going for a typically war-esque sounding plot, Battlefield 3 revolves around the disappearance of some nuclear weapons and a hunt for terrorists deep in the heartlands of the war-torn Middle East. Hardly original – but even if competing with Modern Warfare 3, the Battlefield plot still didn’t need to be.
In fact, Battlefield 3 is in some ways the closest thing to the Modern Warfare games in its series. Yet at the same time it isn’t, because, unfortunately for EA, developer DICE and Battlefield 3, nothing does Modern Warfare like Modern Warfare does. Battlefield 3 is let down by a single player campaign that only occasionally hints at brilliance.
Combined with a highly enjoyable and engaging multi-player segment, Battlefield 3 can be one frustrating game – good and bad in equal measure. But it’s one that does multi-player very well, which for some will be the deciding factor.
Games published by EA tend to feature stunning presentation, and Battlefield 3 is no exception. The story plays out in a flashback of events from one soldiers account as he is interrogated by two of his superiors. These cinematic sequences in between the action as look if they’ve been picked from a Hollywood film, and do well to build the tension and set the scene, presenting some of Battlefield 3’s more interesting scenes.
Some of Battlefield’s best moments take place near the beginning. Soon after a dramatic opening scene involving a train hijacked by terrorists, the action turns to the war on the Iran border. The first feel of action in the warzone almost takes you aback. DICE has done a marvelous job in the sound department. Play this game in surround sound and listen to the sounds of bullets, debris and shrapnel whizzing around you. Battlefield 3 sounds like war as one would imagine it to sound.
Other moments later on stand out, including one in which you’re behind the controls of a jet tasked with dropping bombs on an enemy airfield. But where Battlefield 3 feels most at ease in its single player campaign is its tighter shootouts where the player is penned in, and dust from walls being torn apart by bullets fills the air. A bank vault scene later on being the best example of this.
Multi-player is still Battlefield 3’s strongest point. Like Battlefield games before it, Battlefield 3 does a great job at creating an experience that feels fair. The emphasis as always is on careful fighting. Go it alone in shootouts and you’re sure to be a goner. Teamwork is key. Different kit, and weapon classes are there to suit pretty much every type of player, and Battlefield 3 is just as big on vehicles as before. Players can pilot F-15 jets, helicopters, tanks and jeeps in the most varied war-based multi-player around, with modes such as Rush – where destroying enemy crates is the name of the game, and the flag capturing conquest mode are as fun as they’ve always been. And for fan of more conventional modes, Team Deathmatch makes its first appearance in Battlefield, which should please many.
When it comes to the single player campaign, Battlefield 3, perhaps more than any other Battlefield to date gives the impression of attempting to beat Modern Warfare at its own game. It never really succeeds. The set-pieces are big and dramatic, but fail to capture the excitement they intend to. The feeling is one of watching the action unfold, rather then being part of it.
Battlefield 3 too often takes control away from the player, resulting in a kind of “are we there yet? style of gameplay.” There are signs of greatness, but not nearly enough. It’s also worth pointing out that the PC version of Battlefield looks far superior to how it does on console. Those expecting the console version to look as it appears on the adverts are in for a shock.
The bottom line The single player campaign may struggle to impress, but players will discover some damned fine multi-player action. If you’re the type to spend months on end fighting it out with your squad in multi-player, Battlefield 3 may just be worth a purchase Purchase Battlefield 3 for its single player campaign and you’ll come away disappointed.