A few months ago, while at E3, I saw a trailer for Battlefield 3. I turned to my cameraman and said, “Wow! This is going to better than Modern Warfare 3 if they make the story as powerful as that trailer was.”
In the interest of full disclosure, I have never played Battlefield. None of them. I have nothing against the franchise it was merely a matter of choice and time. However, after spending some quality time with Battlefield 3, I will be playing this game. A lot.
Let it be known, I love shooters. Let it be known, try as I may, I am not a skilled PC gamer. I may even go so far as to say I am slightly below novice-level in the PC arena. Let it be known, I am a control freak. When I lose control, well, let us say I don’t like it and it is obvious. While playing the PC build of Battlefield 3, I may have gotten a little on the frustrated side because while I looked down to see which key allowed me to change my weapon I was sniped. Suffice it to say, I was much better at dying. On the bright side, I was not the worst one on my team.
Once I got used to the basic controls of the PC multiplayer, I was able to fall in love with the beauty of the graphics and seamlessness of the actions. I was taken aback by the number of voices I heard coming through the Astro Gaming headsets as we fell into the groove of the 16v16 match. Strategy is the key and at first we continually dove down into the subway tunnels only to be met by a barrage of bullets. It helps to know the right people and with a little assistance (Thanks, Seeson!) we quickly started to flank right and make our way down towards the objective. Again full disclosure, we still lost. Despite all of this, the commentary coming out of the game was incredibly positive. We did not let our lack of skill taint the game experience.
The Playstation 3 co-op gameplay was, in a word, exciting. I am more comfortable with the PS3 controller so I was able to get into the game even more. As with everything in life, I jumped into my game late and was thrust into the action. My partner mentioned something about following him and I did…until he died. After a shooting anyone who looked like an enemy, I figured everything out and we started running through the building taking out bad guys and saving good guys. Turns out we were supposed to rescue the hostage. *Oops* Our mistake was in not communicating better. Once we started talking we were able to better suppress the enemy, working as a team. I must admit I thoroughly enjoyed jumping in the truck and handling the big guns. While I am NASCAR-level pro in real life, driving in a video game is not something I enjoy so I left the maneuvering to my partner. The heavy artillery tore through the enemies and buildings with equal ease. I find I still enjoy demolition and there is plenty of it in this game.
My chief complaint? I didn’t get enough time. I felt a little rushed through each preview. Or maybe, I just wanted more.
DICE is well-known for its multiplayer superiority and it was clear why when I was playing. The mission was challenging, yet another on the long list of reasons gamers will fall in love with Battlefield 3. No one wants to play a game they can run through in 4 hours and the only thing you return to is the store to trade in the game. We want replay value and socializing, hence the incredible popularity of great multiplayer options.
The game is true to the first-person shooter genre and the details are placing Battlefield 3 above its competitors. The storytelling will be a major factor in determining the final outcome and while I still don’t know what the plot is, I am dying to find out. And the Frostbite 2 game engine has set a new standard. I have to comment on the amazing sound effects in the game. It may seem trivial to some but I find attention to detail in such things enhance a game’s experience but are often overlooked. Trailers are supposed to look good but when you get up close and personal with the actual game, it is just so damned pretty!
Battlefield 3 is clearly the one sitting on the throne and whether the competition can execute a successful coup in the fall remains to be seen. Either way, the only loser in this battle will be the gamer who forgets to make this game a part of their collection.