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Battlefield has always offered a different twist on what everyone has come to expect from the modern shooter market. Some of the renditions have been reminiscent of an anime or cartoon. Others offer a small, niche free-to-play experience. Yet others have full scale warfare of epic proportions on a battlefield that feel very much like a war-zone. Many who choose Battlefield as their shooter do so because, rather than a small skirmish, you get the feeling that you are in an actual war. Battlefield 3 does not disappoint in this aspect and goes above and beyond the others to deliver the best multi-player in the franchise and raises the bar for what should be expected from a modern shooter.
Battlefield 3 is extremely focused on multi-player, but that is not to say that single player is completely non-existent. The campaign is rather short, but offers a wide variety of action throughout and is certainly enjoyable. You spend the majority of the game moving through cut scenes that are taken from the present and spend the majority of your game replaying the small snippets they discuss as the story progressing, until it comes to the ending that can be seen coming from some way away. The campaign, as it seems with many of the campaigns of modern shooters, is forgettable, but it is not the focus of Battlefield 3, so for what it’s worth the campaign is a solid addition to this immaculate title.
The focus on the multi-player is a massive success as Battlefield 3 moves the franchise into new ground and sets itself up for the battle that is sure to ensue over the coming months. Most of the features that fans have come to love have returned and been tweaked to the point that makes all of them work together in harmony. Destructible environments have returned and give the player a sense of never been completely safe. All the vehicles have returned from Bad Company 2, as well as the reintroduction of the Jet, which offers an extremely satisfying and unique experience when flown. One of the main changes in Battlefield 3 is the speed of the online play; the game feels much sleeker and trimmed down than other Battlefield games. This is not to say that the leveling system is toned down, but rather that you move faster, you shoot faster, you die faster.
This makes the return of the massive maps and huge objective-based missions welcome as they no longer feel daunting, because many vehicles are available in every game type, save for Squad and Team Deathmatch. These two game modes are smaller and vehicles are either few and far in between or completely absent, giving a sense that it all comes down to the skill of the players with their weapons to win the war. Many attachments and weapons can be unlocked for the four classes and each class is responsible for their own place on the battlefield. Medics will heal others and save them from death, Engineers can take down enemy vehicles much quicker than any other class, Recons are perfect predators, and Assaults lead the fight.
Battlefield 3 sounds fantastic. Hearing bullets bounce off of the concrete as it begins to chip away, the scream of a jet as it flies overhead and drops a payload to destroy an enemy encampment, and finally the abrupt explosion and deafening silence as that missile is fired on your location. All very immersive. The Frostbite 2 engine is the best the current market can offer and words cannot do justice to how beautiful the game looks. From explosions and muzzle flash, to the simple shadowing on a garbage can in a back alley, everything is picture perfect. While it will be interesting to see how the Frostbite engine evolves, what Dice has done is set a new standard for not only how a modern shooter needs to look and sound, but for many other games as well.
Battlefield 3 will satisfied longtime fans and those just starting out more than any other in the franchise. The changes they made, while small, are enough to offer something for any type of player. The developers have done a wonderful job in creating a game that is nearly flawless. From the graphics to the way your character moves over obstacles, everything looks and runs smoothly. This new, fast-paced installment is worth the price of admission in every possible manner. Whether you plan on playing the game casually just to have some fun, or if you plan to immerse yourself in the war zone that is Battlefield 3, Dice went above and beyond to make one of the best shooters to date.