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About me: My name is Ben Nacca and I specialise in game reviews. Check here for the reviews in their natural format at www.lanraiders.co.uk Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BenNacca

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Review: Battlefield 3

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26.10.2011

Advantages:
The best multiplayer you will get your hands on  |  Great visuals  |  Sounds great

Disadvantages:
Not the best campaign  |  Need to install a textures disc totalling 1 . 5GB's  |  Not on PC, so not as g

Recommendable Yes:

Detailed rating:

Gameplay/Playability

Graphics

Sound

Value for Money

Difficulty & ComplexityA difficult game - needs a lot of patience

LongevityVery good longevity

MultiplayerExcellent multiplayer functions

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Battlefield 3


Tested and reviewed based on the Xbox 360 version.
Review by Ben Nacca
(Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/BenNacca )
XBL GT: Darkeyes1991 PSN ID: Darkeyes2k11


It has been a long time waiting for a true sequel to DICE’s Battlefield 2 that made an appearance back on PC almost 7 years ago now but finally it is here, on consoles as well as PC boasting spectacular graphics, huge vehicular warfare and the best online gameplay you can get your hands on.

Arriving on two discs, one for the campaign and the other for HD textures (more on that in a bit), Co-op and Multiplayer, Battlefield 3 gives you a wealth of options to experience but the truth is that your main outlet will be online.

Before anything else, on Xbox 360, install the 1.5GB HD Texture pack onto your hard drive because without it, the game looks like something in 2003. With that done, which takes under 10 minutes to install, you are ready to dive straight in.

Let’s start with the campaign to begin with, because essentially it would be best to get the worst over with first. Battlefield 3 boasts an action packed campaign, no one can deny that and personally find the campaign quite engaging and pacey which is all good. The actual mechanics is what essentially makes Battlefield 3 feel like two separate games; singleplayer and multiplayer.

As Blackburn, a Marine for the United States, you are mysteriously being interrogated as the missions form up accounts of recollection similar to Black or Call of Duty: Black Ops in a way and features skydiving, nuclear weapons, F-15 jets and car chases. No one can argue there is action but it is how it is executed that it the issue.

No matter where your team mates are, you are the one the enemy aims for most of the time. Your ally could be standing in the open, reading a paper and occasionally shooting a plant pot and they will still aim for you. On top of this, there are at least 3 points in the campaign where they use a good old favourite Call of Duty trick; infinite respawning enemies. It isn’t cool and neither is it very nice of DICE to do this but at least the enemies do not spam grenades, though when they are thrown, they are reasonably effective.

The campaign is quite buggy as well, with team mates gliding a foot off the floor, bodies falling into walls and checkpoints in places where you spawn and die straight away because there are 5 enemies in front of you. The campaign boasts 6-8 hours roughly depending on skill and difficulty though I completed it in 6.5 hours on hard with aim assist turned off. The game is hard, but it isn’t particularly long. A 2 shot kill rule on hard difficulty and a 4 shot normal exist as a general rule it seems and any explosions on hard in close range will kill you outright.

There are loads of button pressing sequences too where it attempts to blend cinematic action with drama and it works to some extent and breaks up the gameplay quite nicely at times. The main issue is that the first mission is where most of the Frostbyte Engine 2.0 is seen in the entire campaign with buildings tumbling down and explosive damage. From then on it is effectively cover being blown to pieces and bullet holes. Firing an RPG at a building won’t blow it to pieces or let you walk through it which is a shame. It is this aspect that you notice most when playing online as it is destruction everywhere.

Graphically, you cannot fault Battlefield 3 though with some lovely visuals and fantastic facial capturing to accurately portray the characters in the game. Voice work comes out of sync occasionally and the subtitles always seem to be a second or two behind the actual speech itself which is distracting and breaks the immersion. On the final level, there were frame rate issues with myself, though it was on a new slim Xbox 360 so that shouldn’t have been a problem. It must have been purely just too much going on at once with water flowing and quite a few enemies, I had to pause it and let it recover as I was fearful it would freeze on me. Obviously, it is pushing the console to its and I would recommend that if you have a PC good enough, obviously play on that.

With all that said though, it does not make Battlefield 3 a bad game by any chance. What it is achieving is ground breaking and innovative in terms of multiplayer. It is just the campaign that will be visited, probably completed and never returned to again. It is disc two that will see most of the action.

There are numerous maps that take you all over the globe in Battlefield 3’s online portion, with the option if you preordered it, to get a few of the original Battlefield 2 maps updated with the Frostbyte Engine 2.0. It is a nice piece of nostalgia for those original players. However, it looks and feels on console a lot closer to Bad Company 2 now, with the menu and colour system very similar and obviously the destruction element. It could be mistaken for Bad Company 3, of course, but I’m sure one of those will be in the making soon regardless.

Back to the maps themselves, on the Xbox 360 the cap is limited to 24 players on the network so rather than 5 conquest points on PC, there are only 3 but the maps are still enormous in size and really urge the player to explore and try different routes, hiding places and so on. It is worth noting that Rush is back for Battlefield 3 after being made popular with the Bad Company spin off of the Battlefield series and the older maps have been adjusted to accommodate that game mode as well.

Customisation, from Dog tags to class loadouts work in a similar way as Bad Company 2, with earning points in a respective class earning you unlocks to use for that class. The Assault class is now combined as a medic too, with the Engineer class in charge of resupplying ammo and anti-tank measures as usual. The Support class have the big guns and the Recon class have the sniper rifles to their repertoire. Within each of these, you can choose your weapons, gadgets, perk but you can also change them during the match as well which is handy.

If you make an EA account or already have one, you will find it is now called an Origin account. Use this to sign into the Battlelog which is essentially Facebook for Battlefield. There is no hiding it has a similar layout but why change what works? When the community grows, your friends will be on here and as you earn ribbons, medals, achievements and so on, they will all show on here. Think Bungie.net or the Call of Duty Elite service and you got a rough idea. It is completely free though.

The other distraction on offer is the Co-op mode which is essentially based around the campaign but you can play with a friend over Xbox Live. There is no splitscreen or system link either unfortunately so just online with a buddy with several missions available but once again, serves as a mere distraction to the gigantic multiplayer portion.

Visuals 8/10

Nothing short of spectacular in terms of environment, the Frostbyte engine and characters but with the occasional frame rate issues, buggy character models when dead and the necessity to install 1.5GB of textures to your hard drive drop the score slightly.

Audio 9/10

The guns, vehicles and voice acting all sounds fantastic and it is good to have the Battlefield soundtrack back once more for pure nostalgia purposes. It sounds great but it let down by the campaign’s inability to sync with the characters at times.

Gameplay 8/10

Now multiplayer is 10 out of 10. No doubts about that but the campaign for the issues it has affects this score slightly. Solid controls and good ally A.I., the enemy A.I. is questionable how they always shoot for you when there is an easier target or always know instantly where you are. Multiplayer is flawless practically and will take loads of your hours away from you. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Delivery 9/10

A dodgy campaign, solid co-op mode and a marvel that is the multiplayer section, this game was born and bred for online play so do not deprive it of such. With the promise of DLC in the future, potentially a mixture of maps and co-op missions, there is still plenty to do and experience in the multiplayer.

Summary 9.1/10

Will it surpass Modern Warfare 3 in terms of sales? Maybe not. Does it deserve to? Yes. The multiplayer is exemplary and nothing short of what I expected from DICE. The campaign, although fun, was brief and frustrating at times despite the story and will largely be forgettable but your experience online will not be. This is Battlefield 3 and it is awesome.

This guide is the property of Ben Nacca and is for the sole use of www.lanraiders.co.uk, www.dooyoo.co.uk and www.ciao.co.uk. No copying to other websites or other mediums without written permission first.
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daisyleex 27.10.2011 00:56

Well reviewed :) E xx

Nar2 26.10.2011 19:58

Really well written here and a pleasure to read!

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Long Name Battlefield 3
Publisher Electronic Arts
Genre Shooter
Platform Xbox 360

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