Battlefield 3

This is my rifle, this is my gun.

They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery and, if this is the case, then developers Infinity Ward must be creaming their pants. To be fair, constant references to this game being the ‘Call of Duty killer’ or ‘the end of Modern Warfare’s reign’ are all extraneous.

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Despite the rivalry between EA and Activision over the years, Battlefield 3 is only like its competition in the fact that they both have guns. And they’re both set in modern-day military combat. And they both rely heavily on multiplayer gameplay. But ultimately, it’s like comparing oranges with satsumas. Can’t we enjoy a healthy serving of both these citrusy treats and make a fruit smoothie?

Battlefield 3 is worth all the hoopla we’ve been experiencing over the last few months. But lets get one thing straight: anyone looking to buy this game for a rip-roaring single-player campaign will be disappointed. Battlefield 3 is definitely a game to be shared with other fellow humans - whether you are covering their backs or shooting them in the face.

It’s still a good place to start, though, and the campaign story revolves around disgraced Staff Sergeant Henry 'Black' Blackburn - a member of the United States Marines who is caught up in an International terrorist plot.

From here, the list of expected military clichés kick in; Middle Eastern turmoil, weapons of mass destruction, walking away from explosions in slow-motion, and a sense of patriotism that would make even Tom Clancy wince. Amazingly, though, despite all of the over-the-top Hollywood heroics, Battlefield 3 still feels like a terrifyingly real simulation of modern day warfare.

This is probably thanks to the monumental level of detail that the Frostbite 2 engine manages to spew into every nook and cranny of the game. Battlefield 3 is a stunning game to behold, whether it’s the dusty dilapidated streets of Sulaymaniyah or soaring through the bogey-ridden skies in a Super Hornet.

Even the minor details, like tiny scratches on metal surfaces, Islamic propaganda on walls, and blood splatter on your visor are like candy for your eyes. The lighting and particle effects are some of the best I’ve ever seen in a videogame as well. You’ll be able to taste the sand on your tongue and flinch as bullets whistle past your ears as you scurry for cover.

Battlefield 3 truly encapsulates that white-knuckle, ‘death is all around me and I want to get out’ atmosphere that is reminiscent of Evan Wright’s brilliant Generation Kill chronicles.

The voice-acting throughout is phenomenal, and adds a whole new dimension to the human casualty side of urban warfare. The writers have certainly dropped their share of F-bombs into the mix too, but considering there are seven shades of painful death waiting around every corner, a few obscenities seem pretty appropriate. Not to mention realistic. As you scurry for cover from a tank bearing down on you, you’ll probably be dropping more than a few F-bombs yourself.

The soundtrack plays its part as well, slowly building in the background during moments of high tension before dropping away when you have your balls to the wall and are whispering prayers.

The campaign mode is packed with non-stop action, including some short but memorable vehicle missions. Throughout the story, you’ll come across other characters as well - including tank operator Corporal Miller and aircraft weapon’s specialist Lieutenant Hawkins, both of which offer a different gameplay experience.

Overall the single-player is far from terrible. But it is brief, clocking in at around six hours, and it suffers from some uninspired plot development and even worse AI. It all feels rigid and far too controlling when compared to the action that can be found online.

Although cinematic and worth the ride, little quirks like the numerous quick-time events, occasional bugs (I was swimming through air in a car-park at one point), and invisible ‘out of bounds’ restrictions mar the experience. It does, however, set you up beautifully for the open-ended, seat of your pants madness awaiting you in the multiplayer.

Continue reading on page 2.


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Comments Comments (17)

Posted by psgamer16
On Friday 28 Oct 2011 4:03 PM
i really wont this game but how did it get a better review than uncharted3 its not that i dont agree with this review but uncharted3 should have gotten at least a 9.5
This comment has been down-voted by the community.  
Posted by phantom
On Friday 28 Oct 2011 4:27 PM
28 October 2011, 04:03 PM Reply to psgamer16
i really wont this game but how did it get a better review than uncharted3 its not that i dont agree with this review but uncharted3 should have gotten at least a 9.5
Have you played both games?
Posted by Chris Redfield
On Friday 28 Oct 2011 4:54 PM
28 October 2011, 04:27 PM Reply to phantom
Have you played both games?
He probably doesn't wont to.
Posted by KatalystaKaos
On Friday 28 Oct 2011 5:14 PM
28 October 2011, 04:03 PM Reply to psgamer16
i really wont this game but how did it get a better review than uncharted3 its not that i dont agree with this review but uncharted3 should have gotten at least a 9.5
There's a scary trend beginning to emerge on NZgamers comment's section, with Fanboy nonsense like this being spouted, please folks leave save this for IGN et al.
Posted by octopuskull
On Friday 28 Oct 2011 6:04 PM
28 October 2011, 04:03 PM Reply to psgamer16
i really wont this game but how did it get a better review than uncharted3 its not that i dont agree with this review but uncharted3 should have gotten at least a 9.5
i would be first to admit that i love uncharted, but these are vastly different games one(uncharted3) is meant to be mainly single player based, and the reviewer didn't find it up to par while battlefield is supposed to be multi-player based game so story didn't matter as much. they're different games so don't go comparing two. we don't need over dramatic fan boys on here.
Posted by Helbringr
On Friday 28 Oct 2011 11:03 PM
Even though you cant really change path or make your own way through the singleplayer levels and such and it has a load of clichés I still find the single player to be extremely entertaining. And the multiplayer is amazing I can see many many days of this game to come to both the horror of the powerbill payer and my boss from my lack of ontime-ness due to sleeping in after a long night of admiring the lighting and sounds... oh who am i kidding i'll be kicking some ass :D
Posted by PunisherNZL
On Sunday 30 Oct 2011 1:56 PM
BF3 Sucks and im really disappointed in how this game turned out =( it has more bugs than the beta did (hard to believe i know) so far i have respawned as a human target about 80% of the time while ive been playing online. and what i mean by human target is that im always spawning with NOTHING!! no guns, no knife, no med kits or anything!!?? so im running with no weapons and all i can do is jump? also ive found rocks/walls on the odd map u can hide in where u are unkillable (hide in middle of rock u can shoot out but they cant shoot in) It really really sucks! obviously the reviewer didnt run into any of these problems but this game is a huge fail in the online part of it. And if it isnt patched by next week sadly this will be getting traded in. Are there any other NZG guys/girls out there that have been having the same troubles as me?? and if so did u find a way to stop it bugging out all the time?
Posted by stormrunna
On Monday 31 Oct 2011 7:53 AM
PunisherNZL I would be interested to know what platform you areplaying this on on?
From my expereince I would say your machine might be contributing to the issue not the over all game, and if you are going out looking for bugs and issues thenyou will find them, the only issue I have encountered is the occasional graphic pixallation when running around, that I put down to playing on the aussie servers and internet connection(wife playing facebook games)slowing alittle.
Overall what a game love it I see many hours having fun a great game...Definalty the way to release a PC game maybe ID should learn from this... took my copy of Rage back to the shop for refund...Now that is a game that needs complaining about....
Posted by Deanology
On Monday 31 Oct 2011 11:46 AM
So keen to get this.
When i can, i will.
(& when we get the internet installed).

Also, good review.
People need to stop comparing BF+MW.
Posted by cortez72
On Monday 31 Oct 2011 11:52 AM
Never played any of the games from this series. It feels to me, from my friends gaming trends, that these games are some of the most played of current gen.

If thats the case, they are clearly making alot of money, and it shows. Those visuals are amazing, they have clearly spent alot to make the product look top notch.
Posted by OriginalSin
On Monday 31 Oct 2011 1:01 PM
@stormrunna I'd be interested in what system you were playing RAGE on, as I had practically no bugs or problems on the PC. Seems more likely your PC's fault than the game.
Posted by LongMuckDong
On Thursday 3 Nov 2011 10:26 PM
Best multiplayer game i've ever played... and i've played A LOT.
Unlock system / Strategy / Fun / Guns.. all are great. Campaign was a bit ass, but who cares, this is an online specialist game. :)
Posted by mattyj1974
On Tuesday 8 Nov 2011 10:33 AM
I take it you are a free frolicking happy shiny CoD fanboy then; because I own this on PC and Xbox and niether version has any bugs at all. All in your head mate.
Posted by marvelboy
On Tuesday 29 Nov 2011 7:57 AM
to be Honest I was overall pretty dissappointed with the game compared to 1 & 2. The campaign was pretty short and I did not think the graphics were anything special, still good but did not blow me away. I am not an online player so cant realy comment on that to much
Posted by Black-man-down
On Saturday 29 Dec 2012 1:22 PM
31 October 2011, 11:46 AM Reply to Deanology
So keen to get this.
When i can, i will.
(& when we get the internet installed).

Also, good review.
People need to stop comparing BF+MW.
I agree - I have played all the games in MW and BF and just enjoy them for what they are; similar types of games but different characters and different styles.
Posted by sick_wierdo
On Saturday 6 Jul 2013 3:39 PM
Just picked this up for free on Playstation Plus, not too concerned about any bugs etc, can't complain when it`s a freebie. Probably won't play it that much, just a quick blast through the campaign, my backlog of games is just growing to quickly at the moment.
Posted by Classy_Shayne
On Monday 4 Nov 2013 8:06 PM
I still play this daily, even though BF4 is out lol