Battlefield 3 Review

battlefield3_1
What we liked:
+ Looks amazing
+ Sounds incredible
+ Multiplayer is great (when it works)
+ Co-op is fun
What we didn't like:
- Uninspired story
- Frustrating glitches
- Battlelog is complete rubbish
Good
DEVELOPER: DICE   |   PUBLISHER: EA Games   |   RELEASE: 10/25/2011

Review
Does EA strike the first critical blow of Shooter Season ’11?

After placing their bets on Medal of Honour last year, only to leave the casino with nothing except the shirt on their backs, EA have brought out the big guns this year, and they really mean it this time.

Battlefield has to be their ’go to’ guy when it comes to shooters; with a loyal following and being developed by DICE, it makes you wonder why they bothered dragging MoH out of retirement in the first place. Unfortunately, after all of the hype surrounding Battlefield 3, it seems that EA has let this year’s crown slip from their grasp. Battlefield 3 isn’t a bad game; it just seems to be surrounded by imbeciles.


From broken promises to broken servers, the Battlefield 3 experience has been a painful one for the average fan. For almost 3 days after launch, few people were actually able to get online to play a game of multiplayer or co-op; this from a game whose marketing so far has been focused solely on that aspect of the game. In fact, EA are still having issues, and it can be quite frustrating trying to start a quick match, with the game repeatedly kicking you back to the main menu after failing to connect to a game. If you are lucky enough to join a game (I found the best way is to find someone on your friends list who’s playing and then join their game), you have to suffer through some annoying lag. It doesn’t happen every single time, but when you get in a game that has it, expect to see it throughout that round. I can understand that Battlefield 3 is a massive title, with lots of people trying to play online at the same time, but surely EA would have known that demand on the servers would be high; wasn’t this what the ’Online Beta’ was for? You can search for a game using the Server Browser option, but this can take time, and in most cases, all you want to do is press a button and get in a game.

Then, there are the in-game glitches; some of the funniest stuff I have ever seen, from players clipping the scenery to firing bullets from my hands in a helicopter. Sure it may be funny at times; but really, In this day and age?

Other than the annoyance of connection issues and glitches, the multiplayer is an incredible experience and exactly what BF3 fans have been hoping for. This is not Call of Duty, and if you want to start winning, you need to start thinking more and twitching less. There are, of course, the obligatory Deathmatch/Team Deathmatch games that can be played, but unlike CoD, these aren’t the best ways to play multiplayer in BF3. My personal favourite, Rush Mode, is an excellent mode in which to exercise teamwork and, by far, the most entertaining mode. There is also Capture the Flag, another mode where teamwork prevails. You can expect 64 player matches on PC, and while it drops to 24 on console, it can still be tons of fun. The best thing about Battlefield Multiplayer is that I may get frustrated that I am getting killed a lot, but this is frustration because I know I made a mistake, not because some idiot has gone nuts with an LMG. Those kinds of actions will cost you dearly here, my boy. There are the usual classes to specialise in: Assault, Recon, Medic, and Engineer. As you level up your character, you will unlock new weaponry and by levelling up your class, you will gain access to new equipment. This will help you do your job better on the field of battle.


As you can expect, vehicles have made a welcome return. Expect some old favourites, and a few new surprises when playing certain maps. Most of the maps I have played include something to get you from A to B with ease, but the controls can still be a bit tricky, so it is best to practice if you can.

While we are on the subject of Multiplayer, I would like to draw your attention to Battlelog. Sounds a lot like Autolog, that really awesome feature found in EA’s NFS: Hot Pursuit. I bet you are thinking ’Wow! All those incredible features found in Hot Pursuit have now been implanted into my favourite FPS’. Well, guess again my friend. Battlelog is an absolute turd of a feature, and a complete waste of your time. To start off with, you will need to create an account in the Battlelog Battlenet (one too many battles for my taste). This is done by getting off of your couch, heading to your PC and logging in online. I guess that would be fine if, by doing that, you would unlock all of the tasty features; but alas, it was not meant to be. For some completely bizarre reason, unlike Autolog, Battlelog does not use the people on your friends list to fill up the Battelog timeline. Instead you must create a new profile and add your friend separately (they must also have created a Battlenet account). Did they look at Autolog and wonder what they could do to make an excellent feature completely suck?

Again, it is an opportunity missed, as when you do set up an account, you can access all sorts of stats for your time with the game. Why did they have to make the whole process so convoluted?
As well as having multiplayer, you can also get some friends together and head out for some co-op action. Six missions in all, they are made up of various game types, which can be taken on with a friend. From sniper missions, to horde style combat, the co-op can be fun, if a little short.

Continued on the next page…

Review copy provided by publisher. Primary play on PC and Xbox 360.

Pages: 1 2

John Whitehouse

News Editor/Reviewer, he also lends his distinct British tones to the N4G Radio Podcast. When not at his PC, he can be found either playing something with the word LEGO in it, or TROPICO!!!

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  • Mookie

    Was EA & DICE were too worried about MW3 so that they released it early on with the glitches? If that’s the whole story then they lost this round and will see how stupid they were by the time and if MW3 will rock this year.

  • Vince

    The game may look amazing on console but the screen tearing is killing me!!!

  • ipro

    Overall after playing this game online and campaign for a few days i agree with this review. When this game works it is incredible. Still I have spawned right in front of enemies about 1/5 times that I respawn. This game possibly has one of the worst spawn systems I have ever dealt with. Also I don’t know if it is a connection problem or a problem with the hit boxes but it seems that pray-n-spray combat dominates trying to be accurate and aim for head shots. I seem to be killed mostly from unknown angles and have to resort to camping the entire match in a controlled location to keep a decent ratio. Navigating the menus also is a pain. I don’t know why the “B” button is to change anything and not just back, i don’t know why you cant immediately make changes to your kit when you die, and I don’t know why you are forced into another game with the same team members and not allowed to change your kit/perks/etc in between matches but instead forced to do that all before you deploy.

  • DJ

    Battlefield is a multiplayer series. The single player campaign is solely practice for multiplayer. Battlelog is great you can see all your stats, future unlocks, friends stats, and form clans (platoons). It is a great system I just can’t understand how some reviewers do not even understand the purpose behind some of the features in the games they play.

    Since day one me nor any of my friends ever had trouble getting into a match.

    Your complaints about battlelog are just annoying. You do not like it because you have to get up and use the computer. NEWS FLASH BATTLEFIELD 3 IS A PC GAME. The entire battlefield series has been developed as pc lead. This is the only “Battlefield” game ever to grace consoles. If you do not like the features then go play the games design for console (bad company, modern combat). It is pretty sad you are so lazy that imputing a name, password, and email is to much work for you. Maybe you would of liked battlelog better if you had to pay for it and was available for pre-order.

    • http://www.ztgd.com Michael “PaladinXII” Futter

      Battlefield shipped as a package with multiplayer and single player. If EA had not wanted us to review a single player experience, then one should not have been included.

      Other multiplayer focused games have included true “multiplayer training” experiences rather than narratively-driven campaigns. EA did not choose to go that route and, therefore, should be judged on what was presented.

      As for your assertion that Battlefield is a PC game, certainly using Battlelog when playing the PC version is *less* annoying, but having to run a separate browser to access the features rather than have that in-game is folly. Additionally, the game DOES appear on consoles and EA has made no effort to make it a friendly experience for those users. Having to add friends through that system rather than the game taking advantage of PSN/XBL is frustrating and confounding.

      Your thinly veiled assertion that there is some slant toward Call of Duty is the ranting of a fan looking for any reason to discount a valid opinion of a game that clearly has flaws.

      I am thrilled that you have had no problems getting into a match, but clearly, you are lucky in a way that so many other users simply aren’t.

      We are certainly glad to discuss and debate points, but you need to start with civility. Calling our opinions “annoying” and asserting that we are “lazy” because a mechanic is far more cumbersome than it ought to be in this generation diminish your own credibility and viewpoints.

      Certainly, you would rather not be a troll… right?

      • Mr_Armageddon17

        That was awesome. Finally someone from a site does something about comments of their articles. Well done Michael, well done. I think I’ll be comming to this site more often.

        • http://www.ztgd.com Michael “PaladinXII” Futter

          We try to respond to as many comments as possible. I think it’s important for people to remember that there are real people with their own opinions that play and write about the games.

          If anyone ever has a question about a game, review or opinion piece, we’re here to answer. We love talking with our readers and would love to count you among them.

          Thanks for reading and for commenting. :)

  • Paul

    Somebody is in Activisions payroll.

    • http://www.ztgd.com Michael “PaladinXII” Futter

      I would urge you to look out our review guidelines. Unlike other sites, we use more than 7 – 10 on the scale. A 7.8 is an extremely respectable score that indicates a very good game with some pronounced flaws.

      7.0 – 7.9 (Good)
      This is the famous middle ground where the game is definitely enjoyable, but that full price tag may scare you. Don’t let it, this game is definitely worth checking out if you enjoy the style.

      It’s already a stretch when people argue that publishers pay for review scores (especially here… do you see any advertising?), but to go so far as to argue that they pay for bad review scores for games they don’t even consider to be in competition?

      C’mon. Take off the tinfoil hat.

  • http://steamcommunity.com/id/mookiesgroove Mookie

    I’m suffering issue with battlelog, they better fix it soon specially on PC. i mean why opening a browser for the game to start? its a big chunk of hassle.