The lights are on
Although I may be a little late for a review on Battlefield 3, I know full well there are still some of you out there that aren't aware of what exactly makes this game great. Like the heated hyperbole thrown about by Infinity Ward and EA execs, Battlefield and COD communities are about as understanding of one another as Israel and Palestine. And like that age old battle, these two communities have hated each other since time immemorial. I don't know what started the fight, if you ask me they're both military FPS's and they're both a lot of fun, so what's the problem. But you know who you are out there. This review is for you and all the other people that have avoided BF3 for whatever other reasons.
Firstly, there is no comparison between Battlefield 3 and any other military FPS. What DICE/EA have created here, I have never before seen in all my years of playing FPS's. The scope of the battles, the full on feeling of being a part of a war, the vehicles, the beautifully destructible environments, the wonderful balance of classes, the depth of the leveling system, and of course, the shooting. All of these things, and more, make Battlefield 3 well worth the admission price, and an absolute must play for anyone that enjoys military FPS's. And for the rest of you that are either on the fence, or don't know where to begin, this is the place. Not only are you blessed with what I consider one of the better campaigns in Battlefield's history, but you get probably the greatest multiplayer that's ever been made. And that is what BF3 is all about. Large scale battles full of chaos, destruction, and the most fun you'll ever have in a digital environment.
Don't let those PC players get you down either. Console players still have never seen a bigger battlefield, with more soldiers, than BF3. The 12 v 12 battles almost always leave you feeling like you are part of a war instead of the skirmishes most FPS's feel like. With choppers strafing your tanks, jet fighters dogfighting in the sky, and jeeps and IFV's roaming the streets, you'll be on your toes for the entire match. For the most part BF3 is all about the teamwork. You are placed in a squad of 4 people on a team of 12 and it makes all the difference in the world how you balance the 4 classes (Assault, Support, Engineer, and Recon) amongst yourselves. The Assault class comes equipped with medkits and defibs to revive and cure your teammates. The Support class carries the ammo to resupply teammates with much needed ammunition. The Engineer is the ultimate anti-vehicle class, stacked with anti-tank launchers, Stingers, mines, and a repair torch to nurse your own vehicles back to health. And Recon rounds out the mix with the ability to spot enemy targets and positions with the Micro Air Vehicle (MAV), Laser designate enemy vehicles with the SOFLAM, and throw down a TUGS to warn you and your teammates when an enemy is approaching your vicinity. Balancing your squad and team with a healthy mix of these classes will make all the difference between victory and defeat. Without your Assault class on the front lines with their AR's, and your Support class laying down covering fire with their LMG's, there'd be no respite for your Recon class to lay down some sniper fire, or any room for your Engineer to back it all up with their Carbines. DICE ensures that you utilize all 4 classes by giving you a steady stream of unlocks. Not only do you get new weapons, attachments, and specializations for yourself and your squad, but you earn valuable stars for both Classes and Weapons by racking up kills and points. All and all the deep leveling system, the variety of classes and the sheer scale, destructibility, beauty and challenge of every map, makes BF3's multiplayer the premier destination for the battle you are absolutely looking forward to fighting.
But what about the campaign? Well, there's been some debate on this issue. Some Battlefield veterans feel that their beloved campaign has been watered down and corrupted by the hollywood-style, globetrotting, action packed, nuke chasing, terrorist hunting extravaganza that is the calling card of another franchise. Well, I suppose it depends on how you look at it. Certainly the Campaign Mode is full of all of those things, but it really comes down to whether or not you enjoy it. I for one don't see a problem with packing the Battlefield campaign full of all those things. For me, it certainly beats the light-hearted joke fests that were the Bad Company campaigns. The BF3 campaign is fast paced and packed with all the highlights of the game. Massive battles, jet fights, tanks fights, urban warfare, and race against the destruction chases. I enjoyed the story that follows a US Marine's interrogation and his recollections of past events. His backstory takes many twists and turns and puts you not only in his shoes, but other US soldiers and even the russian special forces. It's a great mix of all the different elements that make Battlefield such an interesting and exciting game.
Overall, I highly recommend this game. You would absolutely be missing out on a masterpiece of multiplayer mayhem if you decided, for whatever reason, to not pick up Battlefield 3. As I've said, there really is no comparison between BF3 and any other military FPS. It stands completely on it's own very sturdy two feet. Not only would you be missing one of the better Campaigns i've ever played, but you'd be missing the absolute greatest multiplayer, military FPS experience, so far. Battlefield 3 simply feels more like battle than any other game I've played. Whether it's the realistic destructibility of it's environments, the battlefield full of vehicles, or the realistic bullet drop absent in almost every other game, BF3 really feels like a battlefield experience (yes i realize it's just a videogame). As both a COD and BF fan, I was pretty much caught in the middle of last holiday's battle for the #1 spot. I personally feel that if you're a FPS fan, you'd be remiss to skip either title. But BF3 is now my #1 destination for some multiplayer action. For me, and so many other people, it is quite simply what a FPS should be, and what a FPS is.
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