Battlefield 3

The launch of one of the biggest games of the year is now behind us and, for those who have read our Xbox 360 review of Battlefield 3, you will know that this game has so far rated very highly around these parts. It was preceded with a lot of hype, and it's early release - prior to the release of it's main competitor (Modern Warfare 3) on November 8th - was an obvious and concerted effort to capture the market.

Does it fare as well on the PC? Let's take a look...

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The single player game is interesting with a solid storyline to follow, however - like the six mission co-op - it really is there to make up the numbers, and it shows. It's not awful or anything, but... it's not going to get people that excited. If you're keen to find out more about it, Angus covered it nicely in his review.

So let's peel back the covers on the multiplayer game. You have 4 basic player classes to choose from. Assault is designed for those who like their combat up close and personal, while the Scout is your sniper who likes to reach out and touch their opponents. The engineer has the skills to repair vehicles and the support unit is your heavy weapons team member who forgoes accuracy for volume of fire. What is impressive in Battlefield 3 is how the multi-tiered character advancement system ties all of these classes together.

The more kills and games you win, the more points you accumulate. As you rank up (thanks to those points you just earned), more perks - such as camouflage, pistols, etc - become available. Depending on your class, you also have points applied to your specialty - each of which have their own ranking system that opens up improved kits (better primary weapons and scopes etc). There are also kits for vehicles and aircraft.

So although you are an assault player, if you take the driving seat in a tank you can rank up a tank kit. There are a lot of unlockables and perks to get, too, and this alone can easily result in feeling the need to play just one more game to get that next unlock.

There are eight multiplayer maps to play on, and you could not get a more varied set: -

The Caspian Border
A wide, sweeping valley that is mainly grasslands - with a factory complex at its centre. With some smaller industrial areas - intersected with roads, a highway, and a canal it is one of the bigger maps. With the starting points requiring you to cross a lot of open ground, the foot-sloggers get it rough. Rocky outcrops and wooded areas closer to the middle make up for it though.

Damavand Peak
Longer than it is wide, this was a favourite of ours. The central area is a large mining tunnel. It's dark, close, and full-on combat pretty much from the get go.

Grand Bazaar
Close urban combat over a couple of city blocks. The Market is a nasty choke point where the bodies tend to pile up in the central alleyway.

Kharg Island
Basically a U-shaped set of hills surrounding a small town and port area. It usually descends into snipers on the hills, with tanks and fighting vehicles battling in the town. It’s a tough map with a lot of flanking opportunities.

Noshahr Canals
A port city that is criss-crossed with roads and canals. As the US have assault boats, attackers have a lot of opportunities. Helicopter assaults also mean that any spawn points you have captured need to be protected.

Operation Firestorm
A big oil refinery in the middle of the desert. Some insane distances if you are on foot, but - thankfully - there is a lot of heavy armor on this map.

Operation Metro
Yes it's been done before, but this underground map is set in a modern day metropolitan railway. It's a map with a lot of choke points, but invariably combat happens around the main ticket office, with each side trying to command the escalators and stairwells.

Seine Crossing
This one is a little beauty of a map. A river with two bridges, each of which is fortified. It's well balanced with lots of options and some brutal combat on the bridges.

Tehran Highway
Kind of speaks for itself, really. With some wide and dividing roads, mad tank driving is the order of the day. If you are on foot, look both ways!

One of the great features of all of the maps is how a lot of the terrain features are destructible. Not only can you blow holes in the wall, but some of them you can reduce to a pile of rubble. With the return of the ability to go prone, the wonderful array of terrain objects gives the player a lot opportunities to hide (we had a memorable game where we were within 5 metres of an enemy sniper and both of us were unaware of each other's presence for a good 10 minutes). There is no doubt that the graphic quality and depth of detail is a significant step up in the genre.

Continue reading on page 2.


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Comments Comments (5)

Posted by OriginalSin
On Monday 31 Oct 2011 7:01 PM
Even for single player.... seriously?
Does it requires a persistent internet connection like Ubisoft's recent games? Or just a log in every time you start a session? Then you can disconnect and use an offline mode?
Posted by fauzman
On Wednesday 2 Nov 2011 4:21 PM
Disappointing. Considering the fact that BF is a pc series and that the focus has all been on the pc version with its graphics, its disappointing that the console versions (i assume the ps3 version is equivalent with the xbox even tho it hasnt been reviewed) are superior to pc. Its really why i have a console - inferior graphics but much greater convenience.
Posted by kiwi68
On Thursday 3 Nov 2011 6:51 PM
Just like BF2 there are big issues with joysticks, on my first day the joystick (X52) caused all my guns to fire straight away and the only way to fix this problem was to unplug it, which makes using the aircraft and helicopters a F**king pain in the a-hole.

Maybe in 6 months and several patch's later this game may become great to play but as it is I rate it 5/10
Posted by Ron
On Thursday 3 Nov 2011 7:01 PM
3 November 2011, 06:51 PM Reply to kiwi68
Just like BF2 there are big issues with joysticks, on my first day the joystick (X52) caused all my guns to fire straight away and the only way to fix this problem was to unplug it, which makes using the aircraft and helicopters a F**king pain in the a-hole.

Maybe in 6 months and several patch's later this game may become great to play but as it is I rate it 5/10
That really sucks to hear man, and one of the main reasons that I'm put me off by PC gaming. So many games release with huge issues.
Posted by mattyj1974
On Tuesday 8 Nov 2011 10:58 AM
Hello NZ Gamer. My first comment relates to the factual nature of your PC review for Battlefield 3.You state that the game has eight multiplayer maps to play on then promptly roll off nine seperate map names; two words proofreading and numeracy.

Also after your review was released they now have done away with need to go to origin and instead just to Battlelog directly.
There has been a crack released circ*mnavigating the need to visit either.

My second point is not a criticism rather I would like to say my experiences with this game on PC have been different. I have a high soec PC eith an over-clocked gtx 580 gpu and quad core hyper threaded processor with 8 gig of ram. I find the game silky smooth, no rubber banding, no crashes, no problems gtting into origin / Battlelog on release day and no issues at all.

I am loving this game and would give a personal score of 9.7 (Only because nothing is perfect).