Half-Ass Gaming – Battlefield 3 Video Review

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The battle for war always seems to be the same in video games. It’s the race for a nuclear weapon that looks to devastate some major city in some way. I wish for the life of me that I could say that the single-player in Battlefield 3 was different…. but I would be lying to you. A war with Iran and Iraq has broken out, and a terrorist blah blah blah… the point of this game is to shoot people in the face. Follow your squad mates, kick a door open, listen to some thin plot line, hop in a jet, more plot line… repeat.

Action junkies will get all of their kicks in Battlefield 3’s single-player. It’s a good thing that it is visceral and as sweet as can be. It’s just sad that it isn’t trying to go above and beyond the norm, even the off the beaten path level with the Russians isn’t something new. The story pops you back and forth between assortments of characters. It’s mostly to keep the action going, and when one of them dies or experiences some kind of loss. You don’t really get the impact, because you won’t even know the role this person plays in the story until the very end.

It all focuses on chasing Leonard Nimoy’s twin brother Solomon, and how to stop some terrorists from creating a radiation wonderland. The story is an absolute mess and makes no sense at all, but let’s be honest… the Battlefield series is not really known for solo gameplay experiences. So you can think of this as a way to get used to the shooting mechanics, but you won’t necessarily get anything memorable out of it.

It does display the perfect showcase for the visuals of the Frostbite 2 engine. It’s not quite at the Crysis level, but it does make some great elevations in lighting and deformation. Looking back at Bad Company 2 and this game is almost impossible to believe. The campaign goes a long way at showing what the visuals can do, the shattering of glass, the wisp of clouds, the glares off of buildings. It’s the simple intricacies like dust, rain, and crumbling concrete that sell each battle.

The 360 version of the game isn’t quite reaching the level of the PC. It however is still beautiful in its own rights, but it’s not going to take the best graphics for a first-person shooter award. It does keep up the beauty of the character models intact, if you install the 1.5 GB HD texture pack. It only really suffers when it comes to aliasing; and the lowered frame-rate will only be noticeable to those who have played the PC version.

The cinematic flair of single-player is dampened by a ton of graphical glitches. There are also quite a few visual cutbacks like 2D trees, and each area is blocked off by a door so that the game can load new areas. The biggest issues however come from random glitches; these can show up just about any place during the campaign. Quite a few enemies will spawn into view, textures will flicker, and there are quite a few low-resolution textures.

Sound is still a big time feature in the Battlefield series. The rattle of bullets is different for each gun and almost too realistic. The crackle of fire, explosions, and random calls from nearby allies and enemies is a tsunami in the eardrum. When you’re playing battlefield you will remain immersed in the action, you may even turn your own head at the rattle of gunfire behind you. It’s a pretty impressive feat and something that continues to impress for the series.

Let’s move on to what everyone wants to know all about. That’s the gunplay and multi-player, and man does this game excel in both of those. I’m not going to say that it is a massive leap in difference from Bad Company 2. In fact, I would say the game plays a little too close to the way Bad Company played. It’s as if no new multiplayer programming was implemented at all. Now the question is… is this a bad thing? Yes and no.

These titles have ALWAYS been known for their stellar open environment game-play. The vehicles deal and take massive amounts of damage. Jets, Helicopters, Tanks, and Anti-Tanks are something to be feared on the battlefield. Infantry, while extremely weak in comparison, have all that is necessary for them to fight back. It’s the perfect blend of the shooting formula that makes the Battlefield series much more tactical than the norm.

Each of the 4 classes has vastly different gadgets this time around. The assault class is the medic of the bunch, recon is the sniper, engineer is the anti-armor, and support carries the explosives. Out of all of the classes, the medic is the only one that remains the same as previous games. Engineers receive an EOD bot that can be used to arm and disarm bombs, or repair vehicles by remote control. Recon has motion sensors, and support can make use of a Mortar.

In a world of 64-player multi-player combat, each of the special talents of the various classes comes in handy in these battles. Large scale combat is incredibly fast paced and furious, utilizing your class properly will get you the win. Learn to use or support any vehicle that comes around, and if switching to another class is what is necessary, do so. Stick with your squad mates and you’ll do great things, run off on your own and you’ll be waiting for the next deployment.

Now the problems with multi-player go back to all of the issues from, Bad Company. I’m talking about bullet lag, overpowered weapons, and glitches that can get you killed. More importantly some of the cooler aspects of Battlefield 2 are still missing from the series. The major issue that really devastates the experience is the collision system; all kinds of items will impede the movement of your character. The simple act of climbing a fence or jumping through a window is a nagging annoyance.

Battlelog, is a leave it or love it affair on the PC. You’ve got to deal with it no matter what, and boy is it a pain in the ass for the most part. It constantly forces you to update plugins, surf through some filters for a match, and wait for it to load the game every single time. When the game finishes, it’ll close the game and you’ll have to wait for it to launch the game, and then load the map you’re looking for. Let’s not talk about the fact that this is a PC game with no in-game VOIP… really… none at all.

The Battlefield series is still outright fun, but the multi-player could have used some improvements. The single-player experience is a throwaway action game, and it’s easy to make the “We didn’t buy this for the single-player “argument. Unfortunately, some people do buy these games for that reason and that portion of the game is beyond uneventful. Half-Ass Gaming gives Battlefield 3 a B, it’s a great experience but it’s much too similar to Bad Company 2.

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  • Buy it Price:
  • Like Bad Company 2? $49.99
  • Everyone Else? $44.99

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