Battlefield 3 Review (PC)

Dice has always been on the top of its game with their critically acclaimed online shooter; “Battlefield 1942” since it’s debut in 2002. However, gameplay has not changed much over the years. The biggest change the franchise has seen is the “Bad Company” spin-offs. After six years can they make a successful numbered entry and return to their 64-player origins?

The presentation in this game is fantastic. The Frostbite 2 engine manages to show it’s incredible power without needing a very expensive gaming rig. I was playing the game on low setting on a $400 laptop and it still looked incredible. All of the effects look amazing, and the heavy use of particles make explosions look better than ever. It’s amazing the amount of detail Dice went into, from bullet hole textures, to trees waving in the breeze. I did notice some strange screen flashing and other graphical glitches, but it could quite possibly have been my computer.

When it comes to game mechanics for shooters, Dice is still the best in the business. The default controls are very comfortable and fully re-mappable. And the ability to vault over things is a great addition. The maps are designed to support all kinds of play-styles and work well with vehicles. But I do have some complaints. To start, buildings are much bigger than they were in the Bad Company games, but in the 10+ hours of multi-player, I did not see any fully destructible buildings. It seems like there is overall less destructible architecture; this was upsetting to me because I loved bringing down buildings in Bad Company 2. Also, if an enemy is looking through a window. You have to shatter the glass of the window before they can be hit by bullets. That being said, everything about this game is still very satisfying. Especially the return of taking dog tags when you kill someone with your knife.

The sound is phenomenal. I played the game using a $20 pair of ear-buds and the sound mixing was just fantastic. The realistic gun firing noises mixed with background explosions along with the constant battle chatter is sure to bring the game’s intensity to it’s max. All of the voice actors do a great job as well. I did notice that some sound effects would be missing at some points but again, it could quite possibly have been my computer.

Online is what you buy a Battlefield game for, and once again it delivers. I played ten hours and enjoyed every minute of it. The vehicles add a new team element with some being capable of holding more than 5 people. Also, combat is more satisfying than ever. The inclusion of a Team Deathmatch is something I am particularly happy about. My only complaint is the infamous Origin Client. In order to play, your default browser has to open, and it takes you to an awkwardly set up menu. And the server list is very poor. I also experienced a considerable amount of lag in some games.

Single player is where I found the most problems. Although it has some unrivaled set pieces, it does nothing new. It has some very unnecessary QTE segments that do nothing but take you out of the action. I also was able to beat it on normal without dying, so if you want a challenge I would suggest you jump straight to hard. This mode should be considered as a bonus mode and nothing more.

 The Good : Graphics, Guns, Gameplay, Being able to see your feet

The Bad: Your computer not running it, Origin, Multi-player being the only mode worth playing

The Ugly: A very Call of Duty inspired campaign, FREAKING ORIGIN, forgettable  Co-op Mode

Final Thoughts: Although it’s Multi-Player is the best out there, there isn’t much of a game beyond that.

Score: 8.75