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I’ve already submitted my initial impressions of Battlefield 3, but now that I’ve spent more time with it I’d like to formally review this hyped to the max video game.  I still don’t see it as the graphical masterpiece that it was marketed to be by EA.  I don’t have the PC version, but even with the HD visuals installed on the 360 this game still doesn’t look to be anymore special than some of the recent launches on this system.  This is the main let down for me.  The game plays perfectly online (when it works), which the Battlefield series is known for, but the rest of the package doesn’t have the same luster as the multiplayer component.

When you take into account the massive amount of hype this game generated over the Summer game trade shows, I couldn’t help but be let down when I played BF3.  It didn’t meet my high expectations on any level, which is why I’m less than impressed than the rest of the gaming world in regards to this title.  For me personally it’s just another run of the mill FPS game.  If you hype your game as the next coming of Jesus it better come through on all levels, or it’s going to be a fail in my book.  I speak my opinions freely, and that’s how I feel.  BF fanboys will wholeheartedly disagree with me, but there’s no way BF3 is the best looking game ever made for the Xbox 360.

 

Battlefield 3 on Xbox 360

EB 7.5 out of 10 Buddhas

The Awesome: Immersive Sound, Realistic Warfare, Vast Multiplayer Component

The Not so Awesome: Less than Perfect Visuals, Boring Campaign, Technical Issues A Plenty

 

The Awesome

Immersive Sound

If Battlefield 3 does anything to perfection I would have to argue that its the game’s sound profile, and not its visuals that are top notch.  If you have a proper sound system BF3 will make you feel like you’re in the middle of a cluster*ck in downtown Baghdad.  The sounds of war echo from all angles recreating the sound profile that our brave soldiers must experience on a daily basis.  The excellent use of sound brings a whole new level of battlefield awareness that isn’t always achieved in other FPS war games.

In the campaign in particular the game’s sound really shines as it helps to set the urgent feeling of being in a firefight firmly in your mind. This frantic feeling helps to further create the illusion that you’re in the battle yourself, and not just controlling a video game character. Battlefield 3’s sound profile is so spot on it helped me get over my initial disappointment with the game’s visuals.

Realistic Warfare

If you’re not into the Hollywood-esque adventures of games like COD: MW then the more realistic warfare of Battlefield 3 will be right up your alley.  The campaign is centered in a plot that I could realistically see happening one day.  BF3 also doesn’t have any over-the-top moments that make you think that what you’re pulling off could only be done in a movie.  It’s as realistic as I like my FPS games to be.  It’s not too strict, although if you play on Hard it’s even closer to real war, but at the same time it’s not just a warfare simulator.  I think there’s a good balance between the two that makes BF3 feel more real than the wacky adventures of Soap and Capt. Price from the Modern Warfare franchise.

War has never looked more real in a video game

Vast Multiplayer Component

Without a doubt the main reason to get any Battlefield game is to play in its expansive multiplayer sandbox.  BF3 is no different (when you can connect), and it’s multiplayer offerings for the 360 version are the most comprehensive to date.  The maps are absolutely ginormous, and the vehicle selection makes for some interesting modes of transport and killing devices.  I can’t stress enough how massive this game is when it comes to multiplayer.  In one match you’re bound to see a tank doing things you’ve never thought possible, as well as some insane flying stunts that you’ll never see at an air show.  I’ve found myself sometimes just standing in awe at what was happening around me while in a multiplayer match.  In one moment I could be engaging an enemy, and then out of nowhere another teammate may ghost ride a jet into this same foe while he jumps out of it as if he were riding a bike.

I mean talk about having options!  If I could ever shoot straight again I definitely feel like I’d dedicate a massive amount of time to the BF3 multiplayer component, but these days my MP stylings are better served in Gears 3 matches, so I’ll keep my n00b a*s off the Battlefield for now.  But if you’ve been a fan of the BF franchise since day 1 I’d have no reservations telling you that you need to give BF3’s multiplayer a try to see how much it has grown over the years.

Tanks A n00b’s best friend

 

The Not so Awesome

Less than Perfect Visuals

I will firmly stand by my claim that Battlefield 3 on the Xbox 360 doesn’t look as sharp as promised.  Before you jump on me for being a hater I have installed the game to my console, and I have also installed the HD pack that is supposed to make this game look crisp on the 360.  Even with all the content loaded on my console I still don’t see the ground breaking visuals that this game was touted to have.  I’m a realist folks, I know that my version of BF3 will never looks as good as its PC counterpart, but there’s no way in hell that this game is the best looking title to date on the Xbox 360.  I’m sorry, it just isn’t that smooth looking.  If you played Rage, or even Batman: Arkham City for that matter, I’d think you’d agree that BF3 isn’t as sharp looking as those two recent titles.  It just seems to be at the same level as most 2011 games on the 360, and not the game changer that it was hyped to be.

Don’t expect to see this level of detail in the Console versions of BF3

Boring Campaign

Battlefield 3’s single player game is nothing to get excited over.  It’s as if DICE knew that most gamers who purchased this title would be doing so just for the multiplayer, so they skimped out on the game’s solo campaign.  It’s only about 5 hours in length (little longer if you’re a man and play on hard), and there’s not a single moment that will make your jaw drop like the airport terrorist scene from Modern Warfare 2.  The story they try to weave is less than perfect and highly forgettable, and I still couldn’t tell you who the main character was, because nothing has been done to make me give a sh*t about him.  BF3’s campaign is about as generic as it gets, so don’t expect any major set pieces to wow you while playing this game solo.

Moments like this are too few and far between in the BF3 single player campaign

Technical Issues A Plenty

Unlike Epic with Gears of War 3 it feels like DICE didn’t do their homework for Battlefield 3.  From launch day gamers around the World couldn’t play online matches due to server issues, and some PC gamers couldn’t even play the game due to issues with Origin.  On day 1 I couldn’t connect to a reliable multiplayer match to save my life, and when I did it was nothing but a lag fest.  I’d get bungee-corded around the screen after running for what seemed like miles only to end up back where I’d started, and I’d see opposing enemies moving across the screen as if they were vanishing and reappearing right before my eyes.  To this day DICE is still having server issue, which in my opinion is inexcusable for a game of this scope.  How do you not have the proper infrastructure in place for a game you sold to the public as the next greatest thing since sliced bread?  The BF3 release seems pretty similar to the less than perfect launch of Gears of War 2 back in 2008.

The campaign suffers from some technical issues as well.  During some of the larger skirmishes you’ll visibly see some stuttering on the screen as the Xbox 360 struggles to produce that action that the game is calling for.  I would constantly run into slow downs as if I was playing this game on a NES.  Overall it just doesn’t seem like DICE put that last level of polish on this game, and a beta should’ve been implemented long before it was.  It’s clear that there’s still some glitches in the system that DICE will have to fight with now that the game is live, and they could very well leave a bad taste in thousands of gamer’s dirty little foul mouths.

 

The Final Verdict

Battlefield 3 is a quality game if you can look past the hype that you were promised.  For me personally if a game claims it’s one thing, and in reality it’s not, I have a hard time getting over that fact.  Don’t get me wrong, I think BF3 will sell sh*tloads of copies, and gamers around the world will praise its excellence, but to me it just doesn’t tickle my taint they way I thought it would.  I was expecting a piece of art, and what I got was just another good game in a 2011 line up of mega titles.  BF3 doesn’t have enough bells and whistles to wrestle me from Gears 3, which is disappointing, because I wanted to have my face melted by this game, but it just didn’t happen.

Fans of the franchise will undoubtedly love BF3, but as a casual purveyor of the Battlefield series I’m less than impressed.  Due to the visual let down I’m inclined to give BF3 a 7.5 out of 10 Buddhas.  It’s not a turd by any means, but it just isn’t ground breaking enough to warrant my undivided attention.  Luckily I’m not some poor piece of sh*t living with my parents, so I’ve got video games coming out of my a*s to fill the void that BF3 left in my gaming soul.  Alas, there’s always Skyrim to look forward to!  You’ve been getting ready to tear the EB a new a-hole over this less than perfect BF3 score…

 

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Tags : Battlefield 3fanboysHype MachineMeh
Matt Heywood

The author Matt Heywood

Matt Heywood is the founder and EIC of EntertainmentBuddha.com where he strives to make you a better geek, one post at a time! When he’s not scouring the Internet for interesting nuggets of awesomeness he can be found in his secret lair enjoying the latest and greatest video games, taking pictures of toys, or talking Star Wars on EB’s Star Wars Time podcast show.