The nights are drawing in, the weather’s getting colder; that’s right, it is winter, the perfect time of year to save the world from those baddies and all from the comfort of your living room with the aid of you little black box … I am talking about the latest offering from publishers Electronic Arts and games developers Digital Illusions Creative Entertainments: Battlefield 3 on PS3, Xbox360 and PC.
The campaign mode in Battlefield 3 tells the yarn of a fictional conflict that centers around a small group of American and Russian soldiers trying to stop nuclear attacks by a terrorist’s cell called the People’s Liberation Resistance (PLR) and a man called Solomon who plans to detonate the two nuclear devices in New York and Paris. Along the way the Americans discover that the Russians also have the same agenda.
As the game kicks off, you’re in handcuffs jumping from a bridge onto a moving train (which is carrying a bomb) as you attempt to stop the train filled with terrorist. The story is then told by a series of flashbacks through the eyes of Sergeant Henry Blackburn as he is being heavily interrogated by the CIA.
The flashbacks see you switching roles between Staff Sergeant Henry Blackburn, Sergeant Jonathan Miller, Lieutenant Jennifer Hawkins and a Spetsnaz operative Dimitri Dima Mayakovsky all with their part to play in this tense tale.
Battlefield 3’s, eye catching and varied level design is truly amazing, from the firefights through crumbling city streets to the visual splendor of the dogfights high up in the big blue yonder which competently showcases DICE’s impressive Frostbite 2.0 engine.
For instance, early in the game you’ll walk out onto the deck of an aircraft carrier and stretched out before you is the raging sea. Then, seamlessly, just moments later you are soaring high into the cloudy, blue skies as a jet pilot’s gunner shooting the hell out of the enemy fighter planes then watching them plummet in a ball of fire and let me tell you the graphical realism is both breathtaking and beautiful.
Staying with the graphical prowess of the Frostbite 2.0 engine the lighting effects give the environment within Battlefield 3 a rich sense of depth. Your surroundings are lit up with the addition of realistic looking flashlights beams that picks up the dust particals in the dense air around you, and you can also use the flashlight quite effectively to blind your enemies.
You can also use the shadows from streetlights and lamps to gain an attacking advantage over your enemies, depending upon the angle of course. Combined with the engine’s destructible environments, this provides an ever-changing landscape that play a little differently depending on how the battles plays out.
All the good work in Battlefield 3 has been slightly let down by the restrictions in the campaign mode. My main gripe is this: I like to decide how I approach every situation in games of this elk. You see, Battlefield 3 gently pushes the player, to go where it wants you to go and prompts you with warnings when you stray too far. This can be annoying when you think that a side street, roof top or burnt out vehicle might offer a suitable flanking position to enable you to get the jump on your enemies but, this aside, the action moves at a fast pace throughout.
Many of you will instantly try to compare Battlefield 3 with the Call of Duty franchise, but Battlefield 3 should be given the respect it deserves as this is a good game despite the tried and tested told to death story in the campaign mode. What you need to remember is that Battlefield franchise has gone from strength to strength mainly thanks to the online Multi Player action which is head and shoulders above the competition, but that’s another review.
If you are a newbie to the Battlefield universe, the learning curve on the controls is easy to get to grips with. The weapons on offer are extensive and what you have come to expect from the Battlefield franchise. You can have two primary weapons on you at any one time from Assault rifles, Carbines, Machine guns, Sniper Rifles, Shotguns and more.
The sound in Battlefield 3 is awesome as you can feel yourself dodging bullets as they ping, wiz and ricochet past you in 5.1 Dolby Surround sound and the outstanding graphics is without doubt the best I’ve seen thus far.
Sure the campaign mode is not the best as there are other single player games on the market for you to spend your hard earned bucks on that will offer a more engaging story driven experience, but frankly, Battlefield 3 will sell millions purely down to the Multi Player action. Nonetheless, the campaign mode I played took me about 6 hours to complete. I was left wide eyed and slack jawed by the graphics on show, but the graphics alone does not make a good game. Overall I did enjoy the single player experience and I am looking forward to playing online.