System: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Release: October 2011
Battlefield 3 is an excellent single player experience. I'd write about the multiplayer and co-op, but EA denies free access to this content if you do not purchase a new copy. I sincerely hope this policy backfires on EA. Odds are if you rent or buy used, you don't have a ton of cash to be spending on games. How likely is the consumer to purchase on-line access to one game? Especially when Modern Warfare 3 is about to be released.
Gamefly, however, appears to be working on the issue and is offering free on-line passes. According to an email I received the code should be arriving within the week.
Any who, as I was saying, BF3 is a great single player experience. The games plot feels like a blend of Black Ops and Modern Warfare, but the gameplay is a more realistic approach not found in Call of Duty. The franchise continues to provide insane combat scenarios featuring a variety of vehicles. There is a fighter jet and tank segment that are like nothing I've ever seen in a first-person shooter. The graphics are top notch, and the gameplay is much smoother then the Bad Company games. EA and DICE vividly illustrate that Call of Duty is not the only military shooter worth playing.
The main protagonist is a Sgt. Blackburn, but players will take on the roles of other characters throughout the campaign. B.burn is introduced to us under arrest which sets up the basic flashback plot device--see Black Ops. As he's interrogated the pieces slowly come together. Nukes end up missing, commands are questioned, unlikely allies are made, and it all ends on a train to Time Square.
Warning Spoilers Ahead....
BF3 has many impressive cinematic moments that build upon the classic Modern Warfare death scene. A solider from the tank campaign is captured and executed. Players witness the atrocity from the perspective of the captive. The bright light blinds you from behind the camera as your head is forced back before the knife slits your throat. Later B.burn comes across the room where the US soldier was executed. The whole sequence of events is very entertaining, and more detailed then what I've seen in the Call of Duty franchise.
The other two segments worth mentioning are the levels set in France and New York. Playing as a Russian you storm through the streets of Paris in an attempt to find a bomb. The level weaves you around populated streets, and the action is very intense. The developers did an excellent job capturing the thrill of the chase. Sure having a nuke go off is cliche at this point, but it was well done and made since within the game.
The same can be said in regards to the New York level. You are chasing the villains starting on foot, then on a train, and finally in a car. Fantastic! This time around the cliche is saving the day--looks like Paris is the only city to be nuked. Add to these cinematic moments the vehicles segments, and you have the top of line military shooter. (Of course that all can change next week with the release of Modern Warfare 3.)
BF3 has everything you could possibly want from a first person shooter. There are awesome vehicles, intense battles, a great single player, and a host of multiplayer modes. Snerts Snazzy Score is Full Price! for fans of the series, and On Sale! for shooter aficionados.