Electronic ArtsDeveloped By:
DICE (Digital Illusions CE)Genre:
M for Mature (Blood, Intense Violence, Strong Language)Release Date:
October 25, 2011Screenshots: LinkAmazon: Buy Now!Written By:
Marcus PruntyApril 12, 2012
- War has been the dominating thought on the minds of gamers for most of this generation. Prior to this, platformers like Mario, rhythm games like Guitar Hero and Rockband, and adventure games like Assassins Creed were the main attractions. However, as the world around us falls into more and more turmoil; wars and other conflicts popping up around the globe, the shift in all facets of media has been made to the battlefield. This is evident within the video game industry where franchises like Call of Duty, Killzone and Battlefield have become the popular mainstay and have catapulted the average everyday gamer into the role of a super soldier in order to save the world. Transporting you too far away destinations like Iraq, Iran, Russia and even France; you globe trot around the world solving global conflicts; feeling like part of an elite squad is what gamers have come to love because it allows them to experience the grittiness and violence of war from the safety of their homes.
With the release of Battlefield 3 by publisher Electronic Arts and developer DICE, this shift in gaming mindset is further entrenched in the gaming world. Something that the Battlefield franchise has always done well is immersing you in the world of war and combat. Making you feel and see things from the eyes of soldiers that defend the world, as we know it. The single-player campaign begins with Sgt. Henry Blackburn, a marine who is being interrogated about events in the past, as they try to prevent a future terrorist attack. You take control of him and several other soldiers as you travel around the world gathering Intel about what is going on so you can try to prevent it from happening. Most of these missions occur in flashback moments and are not linear in any way. When you are playing, you feel like you are in a cross of cinematic moments and real world events. Many people I have played with have complained about the campaign being too different from the multiplayer and not quite up to snuff. That it just rehashes what they have seen before. This is when I remind them that the game shows a pretty accurate portrayal of the way modern wars are fought and that it seems like a rehash because the campaign is portraying what we see in every first-person shooter game based on the modern era. In addition, that they need to give the game a chance as DICE did a good job in providing an immersive experience.
DICE accomplishes this level of realism through the use of their Frostbite 2 engine, which renders the in-game environment realistically. There are very few moments within Battlefield 3 where the frame-rate takes a dip, which is an impressive feat considering there are several battle sequences that tax the capabilities of the engine and console. All the environments are detailed and breathtaking; from the mission in Paris to the ones in Iran. You feel like you are actually there and not just watching it from a television screen. The sound design for the game is amazing as well. from the voice acting of Sgt. Blackburn as he’s being interrogated to the sound of bullets whizzing by your head in the heat of a firefight, to the music as it plays in the background as you crawl on your belly from cover to cover as bullets fly by. When I say immersive, I truly mean it as when everything is pieced together, you are provided this amazing experience.
Another part of the experience, which most people that play FPS nowadays consider the main experience, is the multiplayer aspect of the game. No longer are they so worried about the campaign/story mode being short or unfulfilling. Players are more interested in the scope of the multiplayer experience and being able to wage war with their friends and strangers around the world. Nine maps encompass the online multiplayer; each allowing 24 players to play at once in a variety of locales from military locations to urban environments to industrial areas. There are five different game modes in the multiplayer – Conquest, Rush, Team Deathmatch, Squad Deathmatch and Squad Rush – all of which give you a taste of the action on the battlefield within unique and challenging parameters. Conquest Mode is a capture the flag type game, whereas Rush Mode has one team defending M-COMS and another team coming to destroy them. Team Deathmatch is where two teams go against each other and the first team to get the required amount of kills wins. Squad Deathmatch is a lot like Team Deathmatch in that the only difference is there are four squads instead of just two teams and there is a vehicle that you can use. The last game mode is Squad Rush which has two M-COMS that must be destroyed and four squads are trying to do it. I am in love with Squad Deathmatch. I think it is intense and so are most of the other modes when you are playing them. But the four on four on four on four makes for some pretty intense battles and if you can get to the vehicle and use it your sure to win most of the time. In these various multiplayer modes, many of the environments are destructible which can be an advantage and a disadvantage if you are not paying attention. Just like in real combat, if you shoot enough bullets through a wall or throw a grenade at it you will blow a hole through it and you instantly have a new route to the enemy. That is one of the instances where the gameplay is affected by the environment as you no longer feel safe while hiding behind a wall because in reality you’re not safe when you hide behind a wall at least not for a long period of time.
Another major feature of the online multiplayer is the use of vehicles. If you want the experience to be realistic, you got to include the various vehicles - humvees, jets and helicopters – that are used in war and be able to control them while on the battlefield. Different vehicles have different uses while on the battlefield; some are better utilized for transporting troops, while others help fight against infantry surging towards you, or have anti-air and anti-vehicle weaponry that will aid you greatly when fighting your matches. The use of vehicles can earn you upgrades and bonuses; whether you are the one driving, flying, or just enjoying the ride, they can help your team or squad greatly. There is a downfall to including vehicles; you do not get much practice time for jets or helicopters other than in the actual multiplayer matches. Therefore, there will be plenty of hilarious and frustrating moments of you or someone flying into a mountain or crashing into a building. The multiplayer centers around teamwork, the more prepared and cohesive team will win most of the matches.
There are also co-op matches which are about six missions that are actually harder than the campaign missions are and do not have all the people that the multiplayer have. These missions are fun and intense and can help you practice commandeering vehicles and piloting them in combat situations, which will help you in multiplayer matches. DICE and EA also included Battlelog, which lets you see your stats on your computer and keep track of leaderboards. Battlelog is a cool feature that competes against COD’s Elite feature.
Modern day conflicts are raging both in the real world and on our consoles. We have come a long way with graphics and sound design that the immersion in these games is getting more intense and advanced. The conflicts that are portrayed in Battlefield 3 look pretty close to the ones that are taking place this very minute on the other side of the world with the same kind of soldiers going through nightmarish scenarios and experiencing the horrors of war as you do in the game. The grittiness and unforgiving nature of war experienced from the safety of our homes. Games have come a long way from simply mimicking real world and real life scenarios and instances, to recreating the experience all to see. While our real world reflects these conflicts, games like Battlefield will keep chugging along and providing us with a glimpse into that which we do not want to fully see or experience. The online multiplayer gives you a great team experience and gives you hours and hours of gaming fun. The more you play the more you will want to play. While the campaign mode is a bit on the short side, it is still worth the play through. Let us all be elite soldiers, get on the battlefield, and play this game.9/
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