Here’s the deal. I love Battlefield 3. I cannot hide this fact nor do I want to. Battlefield 3 is, without a doubt my favorite multiplayer game ever. You read that right, I said “ever” and according to RAPTR I have played a total of 106 hours so far (even though Battlelog shows a total of 69H 48M).
Now, I’ve played a ton of multiplayer games in my time, and I’ve enjoyed most of them, hell the only other multiplayer game that I’ve played more of (total hours played) is Black Ops and I have a feeling that Battlefield 3 will be taking that top spot soon enough.
The Battlefield series is definitely not for everyone, there is a fairly steep learning curve, the game relies very heavily on teamwork over “lone wolf” game play, the vehicle combat can be and often becomes very overwhelming at times and at the end of the day your Kill/Death ratio really doesn’t matter (unless you’re playing Team Death Match). This is what turns a lot of people off from the Battlefield series, for me however the reasons above are exactly why I prefer the multiplayer in Battlefield over the others currently on the market.
I’m not going to get in to comparisons to other FPS games and I don’t want to talk about the single player campaign for Battlefield 3 (which I thought was very good), instead I want to talk about my time with the multiplayer portion of the game and the elements that have completely won me over.
The first thing I want to talk about is “Battlelog”.
Battlelog is basically a one stop shop for everything Battlefield 3 MP related. On the Battlelog website I can join or form my own platoon, create my platoon emblem, track my stats, learn more about maps, guns and vehicles and organize play times with friends or other people who belong to the same platoon as me.
Now, Battlelog has been compared to the “Elite” service offered by Infinity Ward for the Call of Duty series but unfortunately I have not spent enough time with Elite to give a solid opinion on which I enjoy more. I’m sure that both services are comparable and offer everything that the player would need to keep track of their playtime with their respective game.
My accuracy may be shit but at least I have more wins than losses =)
As you can see in the picture above all of my stats are right there for me to look at. The nice thing about Battlelog is that it tracks everything in real time. If I have Battlelog open on my PC while I am playing I can hear it making noises as it updates with games won/games lost as well as messages or comments that people may be leaving.
Another nice feature of Battlelog is the platoon section. Platoons are basically “clans” that you set up for people to join. Obviously if you’re going to join a platoon the Destructoid platoon is the best. One of the cool features on the platoon page is the stats link (on the left under Mr. Destructoids helmet) here you can see how you stack up against other people in your platoon. (see pics below)
The main page for the Destructoid Xbox 360 Platoon
Some stats from our platoon (XBOX 360)
*Side Note: Before logging in to Battlelog (at least on the 360) you need to put your game disc in and link the game to your EA account. This is a small annoyance but an annoyance nonetheless.
When I first started playing the multiplayer I was a bit overwhelmed. Now, I had played Bad Company 1 & 2’s MP as well as Battlefield 1943 so I knew what to expect but Battlefield 3 puts all the other iterations to shame. The sheer size and scope of the multiplayer maps are in a word, amazing. Unlike Call of Duty (the game that Battlefield is most compared to) the maps do not feel cramped or too small, on the contrary the maps in Battlefield can and are often one of the reasons why many people shy away from the series. As far as I’m concerned the maps (and their size) are one of the major draws for me. I love being able to flank an enemy tank by running behind a hillside and then slowly creeping up on him, planting my C4 and then watching that tank blow sky high, especially when you know that they never saw it coming.
Out of the box you get a total of nine maps; Seine Crossing, Demavand Peak, Operation Metro (map from the beta), Grand Bazaar, Caspian Border, Operation Firestorm, Tehran Highway, Noshahr Canals and Kharg Island. Now, nine maps may not seem like a whole hell of a lot but no worries, coming sometime this December DICE is releasing the Back to Karkand map pack (free for those who bought the limited edition) which will include 4 new maps bringing the total number of maps to 13.
If I had to pick a favorite map I would have to go with Grand Bazaar, lots of choke points, lots of hidden passageways for flanking and definitely enough room to drive a tank straight in to the heart of the enemy base. As far as the biggest of the maps I would definitely have to say that Caspian Border takes the cake. I accidentally spawned at the starting point during a round of Rush the other day and decided to hoof it to the last set of points. Needless to say that I never made it before the match was over (I ran for a good 5 minutes).
Oh and one last thing before I move on, when playing Rush on Demavand Peak you have the ability to “base jump” off of a mountain top, free fall for several seconds and then deploy your chute before slamming in to the ground. This never gets old and is definitely one of my favorite moments of the game and is definitely something that has to be played to be truly appreciated.
Vehicles are, without a doubt one of the major draws (as well as drawbacks for many people) in the Battlefield series. Tanks, Humvees, AMTRACS, Fighter Jets and Helicopters, plenty of choices for those daring enough to try their hand at vehicle combat (32 total vehicles at launch). Personally I stick with the vehicles that have four wheels or two treads; I’m no good at the aerial stuff. That’s not to say that I haven’t at least tried flying a fighter jet or attack helicopter. My limited time piloting a helicopter was met with mixed results as I only lasted a few minutes before being shot down by multiple rockets. My time spent piloting a fighter jet is even more limited as the only time that I attempted to fly around was met with me crashing in to a cell phone tower (epically I might add, just ask Mr. Andy Dixon, he was there for the whole thing).
I'd rather plant some C4 on the side of a tank than drive it.
Personally I love the vehicle combat; it adds a whole new layer as well as new tactics that need to be employed in order to be successful. Thankfully DICE has given the player plenty of options for fighting back against vehicles, from tank mines to RPGs, C4 to SAM Missiles no vehicle is safe from an experienced player.
*Not pictured: Me flying in to some random object and dying a horrible death
WEAPONS & UPGRADES
What multiplayer shooter would be complete without weapon choices and upgrades? Thankfully for us DICE has decided to shower us with so many weapon and equipment choices that you may very well find it difficult to keep track. Every class (minus support and recon) has eleven main unlocks which include various weapons and equipment such as EOD BOTS (for arming and disarming M-COMM Stations), defibrillators, land mines, claymores, mortars, portable spawn stations and more. Seriously, the sheer amount of unlocks alone will keep you busy for hours trying to unlock them all.
My gun of choice would definitely have to be the M249 with IRNV scope, fore grip and extended mag, the IRNV scope makes it seem almost unfair as it acts as a thermal scope during night or daytime play. DICE has already said that they plan on nerfing the IRNV scope to make it more balanced although no further details have yet surfaced as to what exactly this means. Whatever your play style though there is definitely something for everyone. Prefer close quarter combat? There’s a gun and loadout for that, long range support more your thing? There’s plenty to choose from to get the job done.
THE OTHER STUFF (TL;DR)
I could literally go on and on about my love for Battlefield 3 but I’ll try to wrap it up here with some final thoughts and a couple of favorite moments.
Battlefield is not for everyone, if you didn’t care for the previous versions then there’s a good chance that you won’t care for this one. The maps are huge, the destruction is massive, the vehicles can and will be a nuisance and the action is fast and violent.
The matchmaking has been greatly improved and as of this blog I have had zero issues getting in to a game either by myself or with a squad. Things were pretty rough at the beginning but things seem to be running just fine now. I’ve only been kicked from a game once and I rarely experience any lag issues.
I have no intentions on slowing down, I plan on unlocking everything that can possibly be unlocked, whether that be a weapon or dog tag, I will not stop until everything is mine! Hopefully I’ll see some of you on the Battlefield with me, if you can get though the first few levels and learn the intricacies that make Battlefield what it is then I truly believe that you will find a game that is both enjoyable and fulfilling. If you have the game and haven’t joined a platoon yet feel free to join the Destructoid Xbox 360 Platoon and if you plan on picking the game up at a later date we’d love to have you as part of our team.
BONUS FAVORITE MOMENTS
Favorite Moment Number One: Trying to fly a fighter jet only to find myself flying face first in to a cell phone tower. The explosion I caused and the falling debris of the jet was absolutely ridiculous and hilarious at the same time.
Favorite Moment Number Two: Playing Rush on Tehrahn Highway. Defending the last M-COMM Station I saw three enemies hiding behind a brick wall (saw their tags on my mini map) with no way to shoot them I pulled out my RPG, blew a hole in the brick wall and then unloaded on all three with my SCAR-H, killing all of them and ending the match with a win.
Who needs doors? We make our own in Battlefield 3!
Favorite Moment Number 3: Base jumping off the mountain top on Demavand Peak for the first time. It was so epic that I forgot to deploy my parachute and ended up as a small crater and wet spot on the ground.
See that cliff right there? yea, you get to jump off that sucker.
And it looks something like this.
Favorite Moment Number Four: During a game of rush on Caspian Border I planted C4 and destroyed six enemy tanks during one round, stopping the enemy forces from taking either of the first two points.
Thanks for reading and see you on the Battlefield!