Battlefield 3 is so dramatically different from the “fun” FPS games that I have played extensively in the past that it has become a bit of an obsession for me as of late.
One of the main reasons is the difficulty factor in both the campaign and multiplayer modes (yes especially the evil co-op modes). In other games you can play the part of sniper, lay prone in some glitched up grass on high and pick off ignorant victims for hours on end… I know this because I’ve been doing it for years. I however have missed out on the amazing Battlefield series and this being my first game of the set; it makes me feel as if I need to re-earn my sniper certification because to put it frankly, it’s not easy at all.
“Okay So It Looks Amazing But How Does It Play!?”
Playing Battlefield multiplayer like the other FPS titles will get you lit up and sniped at just about every juncture. When you move in on a flag in Conquest, you need to do it within the company of 2 of your brothers (or sisters) laying down suppression fire so that you can hit the stunned victim with a well-timed kill shot. You have to have eyes in the back of your head, or better yet a Marine worth his salt watching your six as you set the charges in a Rush game. If you’re recon you can snipe, call out enemy positions and pinpoint targets for your buddy in the air to drop payload. Oh and you better not lay there sniping for too long, one flash from your muzzle can be seen by a pissed off Russian and before you know it he is behind you cutting your throat and removing your dog tags.
Yes, you heard me right about the aerial strikes: your buddy drops the bombs, not some automatic magical pilot doing a fly-by to level the board and give you 13 extra kills. You better hope that whoever is in that pilot’s seat has earned his/her stripes in flying because they will have to dodge enemy choppers and engineers with heat-seekers in order to fly by and disable the tank that you just marked.
There is just so much to do in terms of duties in Battlefield 3.
As you can see the matches are very much based on teamwork, even in pickup games with no microphone and headphones; which happens to be broken at the moment on the PS3 version… I never said the game was perfect.
Bugs, Bugs and Things That Make No Sense
Okay as you can tell from my tone, I really love this game and continue to plug hours into it like a mad man (31 hours at the writing of this article). This does not stop me from telling you that this game needs a lot of patches and careful fixes before it can be the perfect war simulator that it’s meant to be.
I have to say that the PS3 version of this game has some real annoying issues that have affected my gameplay. Outside of the voice thing not working for your squad, sometimes when you make a squad to enter into a matchup you get split up! Talk about annoying. The other thing that bothers me is that there is a feed included that tracks all of the members of your Platoon (these are guilds created at http://battlelog.battlefield.com/bf3/) yet when you login to manage your soldier, see stats etc. it pushes you to install things that are only relative to the PC version. ಠ__ಠ.
Knife kills are the bees knees and allows you to collect dog tags and the names of the players who you cut up… but try to knife 2 guys in a row and you are done. Seriously, I’ve crept up on 3 guys sniping out of a building, Rambo ganked one out of the view of his buddies and moved in on the other for my Ezio props and my guy somehow forgets how to do the knife kill, leaving me looking like a jackass slicing mid-air. This right here has made me stick to one knife kill every 5 minutes or so. LAME!
Remember what I said about sniping? I am not sure whether this is intended but sometimes my bullets disappear… not kidding, wish I was. Having a guy dead to rights at 100 meters and using a long-ranged rifle with no interference has its moments where I am just firing blanks. I am not sure whether this is lag, a glitch or if weapons pick and choose whether they can make the distance or not. This glitch happens with guns that I have made headshots with at 150 meters. As you can imagine it is extremely frustrating.
While I’m on sniping… what’s with guys needing 2-3 headshots to go down sometimes? Can someone explain to me how this is even decent?
I am going to stop now as bitching about flaws is something I can do until the sun sets.
So If it’s so Buggy Why is Everyone Acting Like It’s The Second Coming?
You don’t see people liking the NFL any less for the shady trades, crappy referees and ridiculous rule changes do you? For all the locking up that occurs sporadically and the fact that customizing my soldier is about as minimal as making his camo blue (really the loadout/customization feature is sad and needs a revisiting) you still forget all of that when you base jump into hell dodging helicopter fire and snipers trying to take you out while you parachute in.
The fact that every single aspect of your job gets you points and experience in that particular thing adds a real element of ownership to the game and by the time you make Sergeant you will be firm in the type of soldier that you are. The 4 choices to spawn out as are Assault, Engineer, Medic and Recon – each equally important. Each team has a number of “tickets” and dying reduces your tickets as well as losing control of flags and bases. Medics reviving your bullet riddled body gains that ticket back, engineers can disable an enemy tank, kill the driver and fix it back up to drive it themselves. Recon can move in, make a key snipe and target the enemy so that everyone knows where they are. Assault is exactly what you think it is, they lay down the heavy fire, can use C4, mines and even supply ammo.
Trust me; if you have a medic, an assault guy and a sniper holding a building, it is the most annoying thing to try and break through, being that there will be mines on the stairs, heals for the shots that the sniper sustains and more ammo for the assault to suppress your approach.
What About Co-op Mode?
This mode is something that I actually enjoy a lot being that it allows you and a friend to use strategy and skill to maneuver through some really difficult situations. In BF3 suppression happens and if you have bullets flying over your head the screen gets blurry, wobbles and you become a tad incoherent. The stages in co-op has a ton of insurgents firing at you from all over the place, snipers, heavy artillery vehicles and a crappy AI trying to play soldier behind you. Still it’s awesome fun and while you die a million times, the points you earn can be used to purchase nice default weapons for the next time you try it.
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All-in-all, Battlefield 3 is a skilled fraternity that welcomes you in with open arms and headshots you quickly to let you know your place. Stat junkies will rejoice as you can earn levels and unlocks for every single weapon along with collect dog tags to wear and medals to display for the true badasses online. My only disappointment so far is with the fact that I slept on this series and haven’t earned my “veteran badges” for having played the former titles. Still as a newb I feel at home and the late nights and constant discussion I have with Batman333 about our platoon should be proof enough that this game rocks hardcore.