The lights are on
Oh first person shooters, what ever has happened to you? Most would agree that the FPS genre is becoming less and less original with each new title. Especially in the Military vein. So here we have another one, but the Battlefield series is of good reputation. In addition, it's one of the top competitors with Call of Duty who seems to be currently running the genre with it's addictive multiplayer, and action packed campaigns. But Battlefield 3 is different. I can assure to that. Even different enough that comparing the two series doesn't make much sense.
Because Battlefield 3's multiplayer is so huge, I've decided to give it its own review. So stick around for part 2 which should come shortly after this one. For now, please enjoy my single player review.
Battlefield 3 looks fantastic, and runs great. But that's not what's impressive. BF3 has a high focus on simulating real warfare. In fact to me, I look at it more as a military sim that anything else. Looking into bright lights will cause glare on the screen making it hard to see, being shot at causes you to loose your aim, and enemies with flashlights can obscure your vision. These features and others make the game feel so much more realistic, but at the same time take away from the ease of play most FPS fans are used to. Because of that, a lot of those gamers will reject the concept and find it infuriating. But like I said, to me the game feels like a sim, so it seems appropriate.
Not to say this doesn't cause some issues. Needless to say, due to it's simulation factors, death comes by a lot quicker. If you stand out in the open, you'll die. And if you think it a good idea to run behind enemy lines guns blazing, think again, because chances are an enemy will knife you from behind. Once again, it makes things more realistic, but it limits you from certain play styles.
You know the story here isn't bad. It isn't anything crazy either, but there is one flaw that makes it completely forgettable. The story is told through a soldier who is being interrogated, and you play through his memories as he's telling his interrogator. The problem is, the characters in this time obviously know something you don't this entire time, and nothing they say will really make sense until later. Way later. In fact, I didn't really understand what was happening until right before the final level. I get why they did this, but it didn't quite work. Sure it kept me always wondering, but I spent more time confused and trying to figure out if I missed something rather than wonder about what will happen next.
Once everything comes together though things make some more sense, but for all that led up to it, it wasn't a fair trade off.
Well, what can you expect from a military shooter? The campaign mode plays like every other shooter at its roots. There are some cool portions where you drive vehicles and the realistic feel to them is jaw dropping, but they are few and short. One of my favorite missions has you as a gunner in a jet, and that whole first half of that level was awesome. But the rest of the game doesn't feel that much different from you're average shooter.
Furthermore, due to realism of the game, there aren't very many crazy action packed scenes. It stays true to it's theme, and keeps things as realistic as possible. There was one level towards the end where I was thinking "wow, this is intense!" and then i realized how rare i said that with this campaign. I'm guess I'm just used to big sequenced events we see in so many games it feels odd to not see them. Some people won't really like this, but i respect what they're doing with it.
Battlefield 3's campaign mode is impressive. At least from a presentation standpoint. It looks great, and the dedication to it's realism is worth admiration. Unfortunately, it's heavily weighed down by a confusing story, and gameplay that doesn't change pace until the very end. Some might not mind this, but it won't be for everyone.
But this is only the beginning. The multiplayer is so huge i felt it needed a second review just so I could cover it. I can assure you, this is Battlefields strong point. So stick around for Part 2 of my review for Battlefield 3.
Nice. Game looks great.