Should You Buy Battlefield 3? Yes.

Battlefield 3 was one of my most anticipated games of the season. It is the latest iteration in a long-line of beloved shooters from a team of developers who know what they're doing, but I also love a good fight. I'm not just talking about the endless gun battles you get into in the game. I'm talking about the tooth-and-nail brawl that pits Battlefield against Call of Duty. Things tend to get better when two developers are trying to be the best at something. So how did it work out for Battlefield 3?

Brian Crecente, who will be reviewing the game and has played through a chunk of the campaign and online: Battlefield 3's multiplayer is as good as its single-player campaign is bad.

Dropping into an online match of Battlefield 3, on computer or Xbox 360, is a bewildering first-time experience. I've played all of the Battlefield games, all of the Call of Duty games. First-person shooters are my football, my baseball, my basketball. This is what I play when I want to kill a little time in the evening or relax with a beer. So I'm not new to the different forms an online match can take in a military shooter, but falling into a match of Battlefield 3 is still awe-inspiring, distracting, immersive. The game's use of sound, its massive battlefields, the disintegrating cover, the vehicles, the push to get players to act in concert, all combine with a new level of graphical detail and smartly sharpened levelling up and unlock system that delivers the deepest play experience I've ever had in an online shooter. This is the new bar for online first-person shooters, when it works. Launch day jitters hit my PC matches with some dropped play and an occasional bungee run back and forth on a couple of maps. The Xbox 360, after valiantly delivering mostly fault-free gameplay for a half a day, just gave up. The developers later said they were investigating server outages.

Where does sublime online multiplayer leave Battlefield 3's campaign? At the other end of the spectrum. I've played through maybe a third of the campaign so far, so it's possible that the game will shape up by the time I've finished it and I'm writing my full review next week, but I doubt it. Battlefield 3's story is a confused hodge-podge of events that still hasn't delivered a single spectacular scene. I don't mind a game leading me by the hand, but it needs to take me somewhere, and this one hasn't yet. Worse still, the Xbox 360 version of the game shows significant slow down during key firefights. I'm not sure why the game stutters and slows, but I suspect it has to do with the destructible environment, something that's a nice touch but isn't worth the cost if that's what is causing this problem.

Should you buy Battlefield 3? Absolutely, just don't expect to spend any time playing it alone. If that's all you're looking for, go somewhere else. Yes

Evan Narcisse, the guy who's spent chunks of time with Battlefield 3 in researching an article for Time Magazine: I've always hated the argument that multiplayer makes up the main portion of the modern-day FPS experience. Mind you, I recognise that it's become more true in recent years but I dislike the thinking that's led to single-player campaigns that have so obviously been given shirt shrift. Yet, my time with Battlefield 3 just backs up.

In the run-up to the game's launch, it seemed like DICE was putting as much effort in crafting a single-player game that would fold in some of the lesson they learned from their multiplayer successes. They specifically talked about creating moments of surprise for the solo portion of BF3 but that's exactly what it's lacked to me so far.

However, surprises abound in the multiplayer. Whether it's the big ones of building falling on people or tank-vs.-jet skirmishes or the little ones of how interconnected the assist and XP systems feel, the times I've stepped into BF3's online conflict have left me blown away. So, my thinking is if you keep expectations low and think of single-player as a training ground, Battlefield 3 is a must-play game. Yes.

Luke Plunkett, who has played a ton of the game at events, but waits patiently for Battlefield 3's Australian release: I'm giving it a conditional yes. A half-assed response, maybe, but this seems a half-assed game. Battlefield 3 is a multiplayer game. If you want to buy something to shoot at people over the internet, this is it, especially if you own a decent PC. If you value a blockbuster singleplayer campaign as much as multiplayer, though, you may be slightly disappointed, as what I've seen and played of Battlefield 3's seems a little bland.Yes.

Gut Check is an off-the-cuff impression of what we think of a game: what we'd tell a friend; how we'd respond on Twitter or Facebook or over a beer if someone asked us "Would you buy this game?"


Comments

    Eh, I'll wait for the price to drop.

      Troll?

      It's 60 bucks at bigw!

    indeed price drop....it'll take me that long to save and get enough money together to buy some burglars tools so I can rob my local computer shop for a GT 590.

      580's in sli will perform better my friend, says nvidia atleast.

        Single 590 is cheaper, performance difference is tiny at most, and leaves you a second PCE-E if you want to run 590 SLI (QUAD SLI :D) later on when they get cheaper.

        ^_^

    $44 is what i paid for the game, and i would happily have paid double :)

      how'd you score it for $44???

        ozgameshop. $50 for the limited edition.

      $36 (Aussie) here for limited edition :D gotta just shop around online and u will find it cheaper.

    I've finished the campaign and had a go at multiplayer for a few hours on PC.

    The campaign isn't as bad as reviewers are making it out to be.
    - The shooting mechanics felt great
    - The gameplay just felt good, except for a couple of sections near the end
    - The story is a bit lackluster, but it's no worse than Black Ops' campaign (and not as exaggerated)
    - The graphics are amazing
    - For the most part it felt polished, no bugs that I noticed, and the engine felt very robust

    In the multiplayer on the other hand...
    - The game has not improved much since the beta in terms of netcode
    - Even when connecting to a server which apparently had only 6ms ping, the game was EXTREMELY laggy
    - Bullets felt like they didn't hit when they should
    - Players jittered and teleported around short distances
    - My character kept getting caught on the edges of things as I tried to run, whether it was a curb, a doorway, or a fallen twig
    - The graphics were glitched somehow, same as the beta, with the occasional frame where it doesn't render the landscape properly

    I just don't understand how the engine could seem so flawless in campaign mode and so messed up in multiplayer. :(

      It has a lot to do with the server hosting the game, I've found the game arena servers to be pretty terrible (they were also the worst in BC2). I dare say there's a fair few providers out there that haven't upgraded their fleet in a while and we are now seeing the strain on the old server hardware that hasn't had to deal with something this robust in a while.

      I've also found the hate directed at the campaign isn't warranted. I found it to be pretty enjoyable overall, with some really cool set pieces.

    No thanks, ill be picking up Arkham City next

    BF3 is the best looking game I've ever seen or heard. Graphics and audio are simply mind blowing.

    I still won't be buying it because of Origin.

      just because of origin? origin server downloads is insanely fast!! and at a constant rate also. Was downloading the 400mb update at 2.5mb/s constant! while if i try download something off steam it does reach 2mb/s but not consistently. I say origin is not bad of a service then everyone else bags about it.

        yeah I found this as well as I was downloading this morning, downloading the 200-odd meg patch this morning, it was downloading at a solid 2.4mb/s whereas on steam, I'm extremly lucky if I can get a solid 1-1.5mb/s

    Ill wait for the Steam release ;)

    or

    For EA to drop the regional pricing...

      Dude, go to cdkeyhouse.com. It's $43 (or at least it was on preorder) and I got all of the preorder bonuses, i.e. BF2 maps, dog tags, weapons unlocked, extra challenges (whatever).

      You buy a key from those guys and redeem it in Origin. Worked a treat for me.

        Are these guys any good? Their offering a very fair price on Skyrim.

    This game probably would have been served better if they chopped $10 off the asking price, left out the single player campaign and instead included some offline training mode bits and bot matches for people to learn the mechanics like they did in previous titles. They would likely sell more copies at the lower price and save a bundle on the development costs of the single player side of the game.

    The multi player as always with a Battlefield title is where the action is, and it delivers it in spades. This is by far the best online shooter I have played in years and it's an absolute joy to play a PC title which hasn't been thrown together as an after thought for a change. The visuals are stunning however the engine is nice and scalable across a range of hardware and the audio design is second to none.

    If I had one gripe with the multi player it's that they should probably remove that Operation Metro map from the conquest rotation, that shit is ludicrously imbalanced and broken (The people who spawn above ground always win, nothing you can do about it).

      Totally agree with this. I played a lot of BC2 but still haven't played past the first few missions of campaign.

      It'd be an interesting experiment if they offered both 2 versions of the game - one with single and multi, one with multi only, at $10-15 less. I certainly wouldn't bother with the single player version.

    What happens with the Origin EULA scanning your system for everything?

    So... I braved the flock and played my first BF game since 1942 and got flogged so terribly I'm ashamed of myself, lol. Planning on doing the Campaign just for the sole purpose of training. Still not used to the blinkering minimap though all the vehicles are substantially more fun than 1942.

    Enemy players are very hard to see I find, and people can hide in bins & boxes, they bullets clipping through. I do like that grenades glow orange, easier to see in the middle of some thick underbrush.

    Also bonus point for the ability to blow just about any cover off your enemy.

      I hope you like boatloads of quicktime events and rail shooting sections, because that's pretty much all the training you'll get in the singleplayer campaign.

    Been playing for about 3hrs now and loving every second of it.

    Paid 78 at jb. best $78 i have ever spent period!

      Same but at Harvey Norman..

      would have paid more.. this online play is beyond epic

    This game has improved alot since the beta build. I've noticed my 5770 is even capable of running high now. Yayer!!

    no thanks, i've already got medal of honor, it's the same thing anyway.

    I bought a cd key and tried to download it on origin; except their CDN apparently blocks Australia. Sooo after installing some kind of IP tunnelling thingy I downloaded it.

    Now I find out that the Origin EULA lets them scan your disc and send back any info they please.

    Not impressed.

    Not buying it until I can get an Origin account up.

    I've tried, and tried, but it just won't let me make an account. It's getting sooo annoying.

      Make a new email address. Origin didn't let me use my main one, for some strange reason.

    Update: after installing the game, it took me 3 hrs to get origin working, involving fun things such as securom removal tools and whatnot.

    A bunch of blue screens later and many failed connection attempts, I got to play it for 30 mins. Now it appears to no longer want to connect to servers.

    **** this.

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