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Xbox 360






Electronic Arts






M (Mature)



October 25, 2011



- Dropping to prone
- Multiplayer maps (and more on the way)
- Co-op
- Matchmaking works well
- Some important class changes/adjustments for hardcore Bad Company 2 players
- Jets..



- ...but other than ramming them into the ground, what can I do with them?
- Screen splatter and irritating lighting effects
- Environments don't feel quite as destructive as Bad Company 2
- An odd chatter-free experience



Review: Battlefield 3 (PC)

Review: Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (360)

Review: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (PS3)

Review: Gears of War 3 (360)



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Battlefield 3

Score: 8.0 / 10


battlefield 3          battlefield 3


After tearing through the single-player campaign of Battlefield 3, which is basically a long shooting gallery so you can try out all the weapons, I jumped online to find a multiplayer game with jets. New to me at any rate, flying a jet seemed like such an awesome idea. I imagined myself screaming around the map dropping bombs and firing missiles, much like a Calvin & Hobbes cartoon. Kind of a disappointment to find that the best thing to do with a jet is take it as high as you can go then




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accelerate into the ground. Ejecting is an option but it's not one I've exercised that often.

I heard from multiple gamers that jets are deadly in the right hands and with some coordination on the ground moreso. It speaks to the problem with Battlefield 3's multiplayer in the early days. This review is coming less than 30


days after the initial launch, and a lot of players are still experimenting, figuring out strategies, or just plain learning the controls. Coming off Bad Company 2, which I've been consistently playing up until a couple of months ago, the experience is night and day. Where the people still playing Bad Company 2 know the maps inside and out and carry out specific strategies, while talking (this is important to remember), in Battlefield 3 there's a lot of fumbling going on right now.

Just the way these things go and as an operation of time, some of my annoyances with the multiplayer game will be smoothed out as players become more experienced and hopefully more talkative.

I thought there might be something wrong with my headset when I'd played for a number of hours without hearing anyone else say one single word. Are the loudmouths playing Modern Warfare 3? I have no idea, but without the chatter it's really hard to maintain any kind of cohesiveness as a squad. Plus, there's no mentoring going on either.

"Okay team, don't go that way. We need to go up the middle, with an eye on those buildings to the right because that's a prime sniper position."

There's none of that. And that's exactly the kind of thing that helps new players along and get into the game. This isn't a fault of the game; it's a fault of the player base.


battlefield 3         battlefield 3


There can be fault found with the destruction aspects of the game. With Bad Company 2, there was a real sense of being able to affect the environment but with Battlefield 3 (at least on Xbox 360) it feels somewhat muted, especially in the urban environments. A bullet fired from a high-powered sniper rifle will pass through a car; deflect a little certainly, but it will go through the car. So when I'm firing on an enemy that's taking cover behind a car bumper the fact he doesn't die or at least sustain some damage can be quite irritating.

When the new game engine works to show off destruction, the results can be spectacular. However, you might miss it because the developers have thrown all sorts of debris on-screen to obscure the view. While this might be authentic to a real-life military experience, it's just irritating. The worst cuprit is the blinding flashlight that you'll quickly encounter online. Opponents can essentially blind you without much effort. Maybe there's an easy "trick" to taking these flashlight weilding jerks out but as I said before, I think there's a great deal of strategy and tactics that need to be shared and developed over time to deal with this.

It seems unfair to review Battlefield 3 right now. Not because it doesn't compare extremely well to other action shooters, but because so much of the experience of a Battlefield game is working as a team and coordinating with other squads on the multiplayer side of things. That will come down to the maturing player base so it's one of those shooters that will likely offer a much deeper level of player the older it gets. All the other components are in place and Battlefield 3 is a good game, but the x-factor of the players is holding it back right now.

- Aaron Simmer

(December 13, 2011)


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