The battle starts, me and my buddy go for a jeep. We rush into the field of battle and go for the center right in the start, in front of our main army. As it is very risky, it is rewarding and we are able to capture the middle point. We have the hilltop. Now we can see almost everything and we start to spot enemies and inform our friends in the skies where are the tanks, where are the mobile AA and soon enough, they are gone. There are casaulties on our side as well, while one of the planes took out the AA, the AA also took out our friends plane, but luckaly, he ejected and is now far behind enemy lines and we don't hear from him anymore. Now both armies colide and barrage of explosions, wall of bullets and dead bodies start to come up. Soon enough, it ends and we are pushed back. Ofcourse, as assault, I can keep my friend safe as he lays down on a cliff in bushes, lays down bipod and unleashes the very death from his machine gun. In less than a minute, there are 5 dead bodies on the road who tried to advance on our positions. While he reloads, we are at our most vulnerable. We see a flash, a bullet swirls right pass us, we crawl back into the cover of rocks and realise a recon has positioned us. We must take him out before he takes us out. We try to ask for help from others, but they are silent and do not care for we are to blame to advance behind enemy lines. We go for a diversion, my friend must set up his deadly weapon in a place from which he can kill the recon unit, but first, we must know where he is. As I have gotten a bit of experiance, I more or less tell him, where he could be shooting from. I tell him to go a bit higher on the rocks as I will try to divert recons attention. As I spot the recon and start shooting at him, soon enough bullets start to towards me as there is not just one, but two recons in a rocky hill. I spot them both and lucky for me, my friend has some good aim and distance judgement and they both lay dead. We know we are not safe so we rush towards the bigger groups and start helping the advancement of our team. The map is divided in two and the front is changing in matters of minutes. Plains are shot down, tanks blown up, people shot and explosions go on and on. It seems like chaos, but yet it is all just a compilation of small tactical diversions, rushes and intensive duels from distance and close quarters as well. The battle is soon over, we have overwhelmingly won, I have been awarded badges, medals and even a new weapon. If only the commander have been here to see our victory.
Ahh, Battlefield 3 multiplayer, how fun and epic can you be. Yes, it may seem like a chaos for the first timers - just bunch of dead bodies on the ground, explosions, dogfights in the sky and overall - what the hell is going on? When you get used to all the things that are going on the battlefield, you start to understand, you start to enjoy and you know what you must do in order to be victorious. But there are some thing that Battlefield 3 has dropped and I am craving for them, I want them back, but I will get to that later on.
But the game does not only consist of multiplayer. Singleplayer is, well, OK. I can not really say it is bad or really good, it is just OK. It didn't really overtake me nor did it amuse me to a new level, but still it was good, I did enjoy it, but it was short. I enjoyed the story, but it could've been done better. AI sometimes did do stupid things but it was not all that bad.
I will indulge more into the multiplayer of this game as if not for multiplayer, I would not give this game more than a 6.
The first thing you will notice is that you are not entering the game via exe file or shortcut on your desktop. You do so via Origin. I have read and heard a lot of complaints about origin but I like it actually. Origin is the same thing as Steam if someone is interested, but the Origin then takes you to the Battlelog in your browser and a lot of people have trouble with that. The filters for servers, ranking and basically everything you want to know about your, your friends or any other players stats, playtime, kits and all of that- they all are in the battlelog. It does not change the actual experiance with the game so I just got a little sidetracked with it as I wanted to address this.
After you have chosen a server based on your preferences, mods, maps, player amount etc., you start either the entering process or you get in queue, it depends if the server is full or not. Now the good thing about the battlelog is, you can easely decide to leave it and search for not full server, all in the matter of 2 mouse clicks. There are a lot of filters to get you to a server you will enjoy the most, but now, to the main course - the game itself.
Now, you have more choices to do and this is something I like, when game gives you choices - the battlelog filters for servers (there is also co-op missions), you can change your loadout of weapons, change your appearance, change add-ons on your weapons - all in the battlelog, but you can also do that in-game. Now, you will have to choose one of four specializations. Assault/ Support/ Engineer/ Recon.
- Assault, is basically a medic, his main goal is to heal and revive. He does also have some quite good weapons and is good at shooting people as well. But his main goal still stays - medic. What surprised me was that when you start for the first time, you do not get the defibrilator (gosh I hope I spelt that correctly) and it was my first sad moment, but after you play a while you unlock it. ( I will talk about unlocks after the classes). Most of the times, assaults are the ones that will save you and if you have assaults who do what they must do, you will surely have much more odds to win.
- Engineer. Well the word explains it. He is the technical assistant and will repair vehicles or destroy them if needed. He has repair tool or can have mines that are absolutely devastating if placed right. Now when you start with engineers, you get anti-tank RPG/ bazooka. But, it does not lock on them nor does it lock on the planes or helis. After that, you get another unlock that will lock only on air units and after that - both air and ground units. This is somewhat unfair and can be unbalanced at times, but if Battlefield 3 want to thrive for realism - war is rarely fair.
- Support. In my intro, the man with his death machine is support. Oh, the fun and joy this class can bring as the main goal for him is not only to give your teammates ammunition for them to be able to keep on shooting, but also to suppress and kill every man that moves and is not on your team. Your main arsenal consists of machine guns. You also get C4 which is a great thing against walls, people, tanks and basically everything you can throw it on, step back a bit and BOOM! Whatever was there, is there no more. They have drawbacks ofcourse, like long reloading, not really accurate but in close quarter places and maps, they are the most deadly thing out there as they will mow down anything that tries to cross a street or room.
- Recon. I do believe that most people do not play this specialisation correctly. It is not a sniper- it is recon. There is a difference. But I can not blame people for their choices and what they like. So the recons mission is to help his teammates to know what is going on around them, where are enemies, tanks, planes etc., and ofcourse they have a sniper rifle. They also have a sapwning beacon that your squad can use, there are also ways for recon to find out where are the nemy and report that info to your allies. So he is more or less responsible for giving his teammates the coordinates of enemy.
These classes all can be very fun, based on your gaming style. As I do not really like recon class and engineers in close quarters but they are useful in big and open type maps and areas. So it is matter of taste and situation.
Battlefield 3 also lacks some balance if you are a newcomer. Because you will die more often and you will recieve the punishment for mistakes more. This is because you start with very little choices in arsenal and add-ons (there are no add-ons in the beggining), but in time you will get all that anyway and from a point, it is kind of good that it is so. It gives you a lot of choices later on when you have spent more time playing, not all of those weapons are better so you will get to know your weapons and add-ons better when you unlock them. There are 3 types (I would say of unlockables).
- Specialised unlockables. If you play recon and you advance your reacon to the next level (they also have advancements) you for example recieve a sniper rifle, but you can not use it on engineer, assault or support and same goes for other classes.
- All class unlockables. When you reach a new rank you get unlock that you can use on all your classes so you can get more weapons on recon even if you play only assault.
- Vehicle unlockables. These are for the specific type of vehicle, like assault heli, scout heli, MBT (main battle tank, I think), AA and so on.
So it is fairly simple, the more you play, the more you start to recieve so the game keeps you entertained and it sets you up for goals in long-term and helps you understand more about each weapon you get. But not always the "longer you play, the better you are" applies. There are casual players and there are more of a pro players. The casuals just want to have fun, make big explosions and really do not care for the tactics involved. And there are pro players, the ones who spend time to understand each bit of the game, what you should do, how you shold do it. In this case, I don't use pro player as in really good player, but more as in - he is doing what he is supposed to do. As I said, each class has it's role and if you play that role right, you can be rewarded more. As for almost everything you do, you gain experiance points and the amount of points depend on what you did. For example if you spot and enemy and someone else shoot it , you get 10 points, if you kill the enemy, you get 100 points. But each class will get the most of it's points if they do what they are supposed to do. So if you are a medic, even let's say rank 10, you can be the best player of the round points vise if you do what you are supposed to do - reviving and healing. The medics are really the best choice to rank up.
Now that we are past the systematics of the game ( I hope everyone got that), lets deploy. Oh yeah, deployment and teammates and squads. This game is complicated isn't it? Well yes and no. As it is complicated with all these bits and peaces that pro players pick on and develop strategies on how to play etc., the interface is really really simple and the system itself is easy to understand so if you are a casual player, you can just do whatever it is you want to do.
Ok, there are mostly 2 teams (there can be more), who fight against each other. The goals depend on the game mod you are playing but it is always related to some kind of amount of tickets. When your team gets 0 tickets, they loose or if they get the goal amount of tickets, they win.
Squads, there can be 1 squad and there can be 10, it really does not depend on anything (except the maximum and the minimum, and in Squad deathmatch or Squad game mods, there is usually 4 squads playing). The maximum would be 64 squads as anyone can create one. The minimum would be 1 if there would be 1 player. There are 4 player capacity for each squad. You can deploy on a random point, checkpoint, beacon or on an alive squad member (depends on game mod).
Now can we deploy and start the game? Hmm, I guess, yes, we can.
OK, apart from all that non-complicated complicated things, you can enter the game fairly easely and deploy on the field really fast. So lets forget about the game mods, unlocks and classes and just enter the game. The first thing that went into my mind when I deployed in-game for the first time in multiplayer (I did play multiplayer first) was -" This is amazingly beautiful!", even on my laptop which is I would say medium-low on specs. The graphics are just amazing, explosions are scary, not just some poof of smoke and dust. So, I have no complaints about the visual effects of the game.
So now that you have deployed on the field, what next ? Well the most obvious thing to say would be - kill and capture. That is the case for conquest, for death match it is just kill and for rush it is defend and attack. So even if we want not to talk about classes, roles, missions and all that, we actually can not talk about the game while excluding all that. The tactics and roles are what makes this game so great, those things make this game into the obsession of fanboys. Any Battlefield fan will celebrate me if I will say this game is perfect and we all know that CoD fanboys will want to choke me for saying that Battlefield 3 is the better that MW3 in multiplayer. Now I will not say that, because each games offers us all something different and the goal of the game is different. The Battlefield 3 wants us to cooperate, use tactics, specialisations and unlocks to win, CoD is more of a plain ol' shoot em' up. Sorry, but it is so. You remember Counter Strike 1.6 ? Yes, it is basically very advance version of that, but even so, Counter Strike had drivable vehicles in them.
So the game and maybe even the experiance is dependant on others as a single person will be nothing compared to 32 opposing players no matter how good he is. He may go for the more lethal blows and help more, but the goal is to get everyone work together and this is the point where I say. WHY ? Why Dice? Battlefield 2 had this amazing thing called - Commander! Yes, usually he was the highest scoring man in the map, but he was rightfully so if he did what he was supposed to do. You get points for doing things right. Another thing - in-game voice chat. Was it really that bad, that it had to go? Are you afraid of the ragers like in CoD? Don't be, it should be part of the game, people have to talk to get better experiance out of the game. Really? 4 people talking would be that bad ? You can always change squads and kick someone out of your squad if you want so. So I really don't see why it had to go. Before you tell me about the voice channel battlelog offers - NO, just NO! If you play with your friends, you will use Skype or Ventrillo, or Teamspeak or other software. There is actually no point of that.
That was my little rant about the things I don't like about the game and it could be great with those things. So let us get back to business.
Despite this, the game still is fun to play and often I find myself in a situation when there is no need for talking with squadmates as we have the same ideas and in that case, we can dominate the whole map and the game. Did I mention the planes ? Yes, I did, also the tanks, helis, jeeps and other vehicles. Do not forget I am reviewing Battlefield 3 (period- not expansions in which you get even more stuff).
One of the best things in Battlefield 3 is that you can get into the tank and roam the field killing everything that moves, but a good plane pilot will destroy you in seconds. So everthing is balanced out, there is no ultimate weapon, class or vehicle in the game and that I really like. I am not talking about who gets the most points, I mean in the sense of how well one type can stand up against other type. Everything has weakness and strenght. Even a soldier can bring down a plane if he is good enough with his stinger or even sniper rifle.
There are annoying things and moments, like being revived in the middle of a street where on each end there are 10 guys shooting at each other and you get shot in matter of miliseconds, but most of the time the game is really fun. It can be played casually, but you will get better results if you actually co-operate and understand what your squad wants and what your whole team is doing.
I don't really have complaints in hit detection as some do, because those are things that will affect very little of your gameplay. And a bad player will always find something to blame while a good one will find ways to improve.
If you are a big fan of the game and franchise, you may find some things that you may not like but until you do, you will be amazed by the epic of this game.
To sum up the game, I would not indulge into the singleplayer as most of the people play it for the multiplayer and actually, have you forgotten that Battlefield 2 actually had no singleplayer campaign? It did have singleplayer games which lacked in this one as I would have loved it, but it does not bother me so much.
The game is dynamic, fast paced and made for those who want to work in team. It is beatiful and you could just watch others play as it is really well made visually and the amount of players ( I am talking about PC version) adds to all that as bullets fly, tank shells and grenades explode and the whole war like fell just seeps into you.
It does lack in-game voice chat as it is key to teamwork based games, there is no commander mode which is just, sad. And if both of those things would have been included and done right, and I believe they could do it right, this game would get 10/10 out of me, but it falls short from that and gets 9/10. Still amazing game, still one of the best shooters I have ever played and still am playing. If you want, you can invite me in Origin (skichylv) and we could play for a while.
Sorry that I have not included any screenshots, I will try to add them later on if possible as I don't have a lot of time.
Please give feedback, tips and what you would like to see more/ less in future reviews, as I plan on doing reviews on games that are out for a while now, but after those, for new games that you may be considering to buy or play.