Battlefield 3 is the latest modern-era FPS that is the only real contender to the Call of Duty series.
I paid nearly fifty pounds for this game, and whilst it's very good, there's also a lot wrong with the tech that has hindered my enjoyment.
In single player you take the role of various people around the globe as you fight against the baddies (this time it's Russians and terrorists). There's some excellent set pieces, a nuke goes off, you have to fight your way out of ambushes and are involved in some exciting chases. These intense FPS sections are split up by sections flying jet fighters, conducting UAV bombings and blowing stuff up in a tank. There's enough guns and variety in combat to keep you excited.
The gameplay is enhanced by some very advanced graphical tech using the Frostbite 2 engine. Even my powerful gaming machine loses FPS on maximum settings, but the character models look fantastic, and the special effects are really good when everything starts blowing up. Bullets zip and ping around you convincingly, and the firearms are well-realised acoustically, so you can often guess what armaments you're up against by sound alone and plan accordingly.
I got to the seventh mission or so before the game crashed. I loaded it up again and played to the same point and it crashed again. To date I have got to this exact point five times and it's crashed every time, so it's stopped me from making any progress.
But screw single-player. I bought this for the multiplayer. In multiplayer you can join a war online with up to 63 other players and fight it out using the weapons, tools and vehicles. There's an RPG style unlock path included so by playing well you unlock new guns, abilities and gadgets.
New to Battlefield 3 is the co-op mode, where players are all on the same side fighting against CPU controlled opponents. Again this has an unlock system and looks like good fun.
When multiplayer works, it's great fun. But often it doesn't. The game uses a heavy-handed DRM interface masquerading as an online shop and community called Origin, and it's hell to get it to work. It crashes when joining a game. It crashes whilst I'm in a game. It crashes between game rounds. It's very frustrating. Origin is owned by EA who won't admit that there's any sort of problem, all of my attempts at contact have just been ignored. It usually takes me around seven attempts to get to an online game, and then I still run the risk of being disconnected from the EA servers, which happens frequently.
Once more, in their haste to prevent game piracy EA have penalised regular users. If I go to any torrent site I can find a working version of the game for free, but I get a broken game because I coughed up the money?
There's thousands of users like me having the same issue apparently, and the general consensus is EA rushed out Origin and Battlefield 3 without finishing it properly. I imagine the issue will get fixed eventually but until then this game-breaking tech forces me to give the game a very low score.
You asked for a lot of money for this game EA. The least I could expect would be a functioning product, but no.
Ah the Battlefield series is back again. Hoorah.
I've been a fan of the Battlefield games for quite some time now starting of with 1942 back in the day. I then moved on to what most people consider the best in the series, Battlefield 2.
This is how I see Battlefield 3. I'll split the review up into different sections to simplify the matter.
Single player Campaign:
The single player campaign is quite short. Some people are reporting that it takes around 4 hours to finish which isnt amazing if were honest. Personally I have found that its a bit too cinematic for my liking. Its a case of watching a cut scene, taking part in a few moments of action before you see another cut scene, perhaps a quicktime event, a few minutes of action and then another cut scene. I'd rather see a cut scene at the start of a mission, show me the objectives and then leave me to it - but thats just me.
In the online mode you can play as 4 different classes. Assault, which is what it sounds like, the bread and butter. This class also doubles as a medic.
Engineer - these guys can sport rocket launchers and mines to take out tanks and other armoured nasties.
Recon - Sniper, nuff said.
Support - Think of rambo with his big machine gun in Rambo 3. This class can also throw down ammo for their team mates.
There are different modes of multiplayer in Battlefield as you would expect. My personal favourite is Conquest mode. This is where each team starts off with a set number of "tickets", there are a few sectors of the map which have to be occupied by each team and by controlling more sectors than the other team you make their "tickets" go down faster. The feeling of being part of a huge battle is really there, its brilliant. Seeing choppers taking out tanks off in the distance is a sight to behold.
The other modes that are available are Rush - which is pretty much attack vs defence. With one team trying to stop the other activing the bombs at 2 points on the map. And then there is deathmatch mode which is the staple of the online shooter game.
Overall I'd have to call Battlefield a success. Im not a fan of the single player mode, but the multiplayer is brilliant fun. Couple with the unlocks and countless ribbons and dogtags to collect its very addictive.