- Dropping to prone
- Multiplayer maps (and more on the way)
- Matchmaking works well
- Some important class changes/adjustments for hardcore Bad
Company 2 players
- ...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
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Score:8.0 / 10
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
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.
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
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.