After I beat a game I reflect everything that I did on the game; Was it good? Was it bad? Was it worth remembering, and going back to? Unfortunately, Battlefield 3's answer is no. From a technical standpoint, it's great. The characters go past Uncanny Valley and into something more real. From a gameplay standpoint, it's greatly lacking.
Battlefield 3 is the definition of mediocre. All the buttons you have used in past first person shooters can be used here. You aim and you shoot. Nothing changes. In the game you either follow someone, or there will be an indicator telling you where to go. There is no freedom in this game. If you stray to far you will die. It's either do this, or risk taking a bullet to the head. While the areas do feel big, where you will go is not. Because you are following something 90% at the time, you can't go out and explore different vantage points and ways to flank. The game lets you flank whenever it tells you to. The game will also tell you to do something that will guarantee an instant death.
Push To Win
The game does allow breaks between the shooting. In one mission you can drive a tank. The controls of the tank is like every other game out there; awkward. Because they tell you where to go and who to shoot, this section of the game is more boring than it should be. If the section was more exciting, I would not have mind the awkward controls. In another section, you are a co-pilot of a jet. While you don't get to fly the jet, it does leave with something exciting. You can shoot down other enemy jets. I was never a good flyer in games, so this was gladly welcome. This is the only truly exciting part of the game and it does not last long.
During all the shooting you will do, and you will do a lot of it, there are one too many quick time events. I'm not one to complain about quick time events. When done properly, it can be very exciting. Battlefield 3 is the exact opposite of that. When you get into a quick time event you and another enemy will start hand to hand combat. Instead of pushing a button to trigger the next move, you just push one button and lean back as you watch the scripted fight plays out. This game could have benefited from having a mini brawler game. Push X for punch, Push Circle for kick. Nothing fancy, just something better than this. It happens way to frequent for it to be surprising.
The Graphics in this game is insane. The attention to detail should not be ignored. From the faces, water, fire, and environment, all looks amazing. Once I found out Glenn Morshower was in the game, I noticed his character talked the same why he does. It's very startling and awesome. The guns feel real and they each has a unique look to them. However, if you played past military themed games before, you will already know which one is your favorite.
Can you see them?
The lighting is just as detailed. When light is facing you, it does as it does in real life. Gets annoying and blinds your vision. While having flashlights on you make sense, not so much with lasers. The lasers gets right in front of your eye. No matter where the enemy is point and where they are at, it's always following you. This section of the game was stupid and I was shaking my head in disgust.
The audio is also another thing worth noting. The voice acting does a good job on showing some emotion, it's not the best we've ever heard, but it works. The explosions, the firing of the weapons, the yelling for orders. Everything is in top form. I was afraid that my headphones was going to blow out. While the sound of the weapons is amazing, it still sounds like a pea shooter. When firing a gun, I expect it to make loud cracking sounds. While it does sound weak, the guns is powerful. It takes a couple of good shots to take someone down. DIFFICULTY At least it looks good
Make no mistake, this game is surprisingly difficult. I'm not used to Battlefield games, but the ones that I have played was just a difficult. While I can see someone blowing past this with ease, with cheap deaths in the short amount of time I had the game I reluctantly switch the difficulty. I manage to beat the first few missions on normal and that took a good 40 minutes. On easy, it took no less than 20. Easy is too easy. Normal is too hard. If I had the game longer, I would have beaten the game on normal, but I was in a timetable. This is where the game separates itself from other military themed games. You are a badass in the game because the game didn't make you one. The game can be beaten in 6 hours. It's not that long of a game, but because the way the game is, it feels like it's long just to be long by giving out cheap deaths when ever you mess up. Whether by your moves, or where you went.
This is wasted potential. You play as a marine named Blackburn. He is sent in of questions of treason. The entire game feels one massive flashback into how you got the way you are. This would have been interesting, but they started to add more characters for you to play as and the story is not in order. I love nonlinear storytelling. I blame Quentin Tarantino for this, but at least his storytelling is focused. Here, it's all over the place. Nothing really make sense. All it is, is an excuse to throw many missions under one game. They tried to be shocking the way Call Of Duty is, but where Call Of Duty succeeds, Battlefield 3 fails. There is one mission where you are a french solider and you start killing cops towards the end of the mission. It's all pointless. Then you see a character get executed. Again, pointless. This is all this story is, pointless. This story would have been better if it was told in a linear line. Not all games need to be nonlinear.
Battlefield 3 takes everything you like about Uncharted, Rainbow Six, and Call Of Duty and makes it as dull as possible. The team at DICE knows the Frostbite 2 engine and knows it well. What they don't know, or at least forgot to, is to make an exciting game. In that stupid war against Battlefield and Call Of Duty, there is no winner. At least Call of Duty, despite it's tired formula, is an exciting game.
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