Why Battlefield 3 Has A Singleplayer Campaign

Why Battlefield 3 Has A Singleplayer Campaign

Battlefield is a series long renowned for its multiplayer prowess, but for the latest instalment, developers DICE dropped in a fairly slick and expensive singleplayer campaign. Leading many people to wonder, uh, why?

Normally it’s the other way around! Singleplayer games get multiplayer modes added because that’s where the longevity/money supposedly is, but adding singleplayer to a multiplayer game isn’t so common.

EA’s Frank Gibeau says that, while Battlefield is “an online service”, the “single play experience is important”.

“It’s a great way to get fans into the experience, have them train up and get ready for multiplayer. And a lot of fans just enjoy having that single player experience. So I think you have to have both.”

Something EA CEO John Riccitiello agrees with. “Remember as well that single player is often how new players ramp into the game,” he told investors last week.” It’s a way for new players to get exposed to a franchise.”

As Gibeau says, there are lots of people that enjoy a singleplayer experience, even in games like this. Myself included, as despite the over-reliance on hand-holding, I’m loving Battlefield 3’s singleplayer campaign. And I can’t be the only one, otherwise developers like DICE, Infinity Ward and Bungie wouldn’t keep including them!

EA justifies Battlefield 3 single player [Eurogamer]


  • I whole heartedly support the need for SP in games, regardless of it’s MP pedigree.

    I know I’m not the only who likes to hit SP first and see what I’m dealing with before hitting MP. Nothing worse then looking like a complete MP newbie on such a highly geared MP game such as battlefield.

    Thankyou DICE!

  • Games should be able to stand alone on their SP as easily as they do their MP. Personally great examples of this are Transformers: War for Cybertron, Halo: Reach, the Gears of War trilogy.

    I really enjoyed the BF3 campaign on the PC. It was tight, intense and cinematic. My only complaint would have been that it ended abruptly. Two or three more missions would have been nice.

  • SP is great for those times where you want the challenge without the competitiveness. I love MP however I am absolutely crap at it. It’s nice to play without the constant defeat.

  • I heard the SP in this game was garbage according to Gamespot. You don’t need to have good SP and good MP for a good game, as long as you do one of them right.

      • It is heavily scripted and has loads of quick time events. So at times it feels like an interactive movie. And that is not a good thing. My beef is how easily it could have been great considering the awesomeness that is multiplayer gameplay.

      • Im currently playing on hard and enjoying it, only complaint is checkpoints are sometimes quite long and playing on hard 10-15min work crawling through a level can be undone in 2 shots.

  • I love a good single player campaign. If its going to be kinda rubbish though I’d really rather they didn’t bother but instead programmed some decent AI for offline practice.

  • My thoughts on the Single Player was to show off the new game engine, what it can do with sound, visual and destroying. It did a great job going that but it was far too short for my liking, I was enjoying the new engine far to much and then it ended.

  • I think that SP integration with the MP component of a (mainly) MP game might also be a way forward.

    For example, why not write a SP story arc that has some resolution to the main points, but then leads into the MP game as a sort of “continuation” of the story?

    That way there’s a more or less seamless transition from one to the other, and makes the SP section worthwhile even for those who are buying it for the MP.

  • I know a lot of my friends overlooked the StarCraft 2 campaign, too, though I think that was generally much better received than BF3’s campaign. The plot was questionable, but the varied mission types actually taught you a lot of ways to deal with the pressures facing you in the multiplayer. From the looks of it, the BF3 campaign is scripted and linear…so I guess it doesn’t really teach you much about how to play the multiplayer.

  • I liked the campaign, but it wasn’t quite as involving or even as good as Medal of Honor’s was (and that’s saying something). There were times when it would have been great to have had a huge open environment and stealth sections, such as when you were going up against a whole Russian battalion, and there were other times when things weren’t properly explained, such as why Dima was left all alone or what happened to Sgt Blackburn after he stopped the nuke. I think that MW3 is actually going to have the better campaign this year, at least in terms of story telling and mission variety.

  • The campaign screams lack of refinement; waiting for scripted events, series of QTE’s, average level layouts. So much could’ve been done better and it would have been fantastic. Also the score didnt really match any individual moment, or was often out of place. Combine this with ambiguous objectives and generally uninspired set-pieces and the whole thing comes off like a big missed opportunity.

    What happened to the team that made the BFBC campaign, where it was basically just a multiplayer map that you played in the campaign, with some amusing characters and sufficient plot to keep you entertained?

    Still loving this game though 😀

  • Being a noob to console multiplayer, my over reliance on simple, every man for himself deathmatch (Which is what multiplayer shooters are supposed to be: Fun.) means i HATE Battlefields multiplayer. I bought it for the single player, almost done with it now, and will hopefully get $60 on eBay.

  • After the hype and trash talk the SP didn’t deliver, in fact I’d go so far as to say it was an homage to MW and COD IMHO! Also with strange squad mechanics, as in ‘let’s stand here and wait for the player to clear the area’ and bizarre accuracy from enemies it was quite lacking in a significant difference to anything else! I will say that the game looked great and often I was walking aroung looking at textures! Don’t get me wrong I’m glad I played it. Multiplayer was never an option for me and any hope to touch Co Op with a friend was lost when I discovered I had to go onto their servers first! Yep, I’ll be trading this for MW3 next Tuesday!

  • Yes, the singleplayer campaign WOULD be a good launching point for multiplayer, if the multiplayer were a rail shooter that was full of quicktime events.

    • Havent finished the single player so might be wrong on this score.
      But comparing to bc 1 to bc 2,
      bc1 had some quite wide open areas that then unlocked the map further so it was a little more free roam in the map.
      bc 2 was more linear in my opinion.
      it would have been nice for the campaign of bf3 to have a familiarization with vehicles and load outs, here is a chopper and heres an opportunity to learn how to fly it etc, so im all for having a single player
      not just a botmatch but it could have been more of a launchpad for the open approach for battlefield games with a narritive, it would have been better for it
      that said so far it is at least as good as any of the MW series

  • I played quite a bit of bad company 1 and 2, but given that it’s been so long I am grateful for the single player. I started the game with the multiplayer disc but soon enough found myself overwhelmed with people who knew the map, shitty starter weapons and basically making all kinds of noob mistakes. I just finished the single player campaign, and found myself performing a lot better.

    plus the single player was actually quite enjoyable, not sure what people are complaining about..

  • In my experience, single player does very little to train anyone for multiplayer. It familiarises you with the concepts in the game but rarely teaches you any useful tactics. I’m sure I’m not the only person who blitzes single player and then fails dismally in multiplayer.

  • It depresses me that Multiplayer is becoming primary and Single player campaigns are starting to be the “does this game really need it?” feature…

    I hope everybody realizes that in 10 years we won’t be able to play ANY of these games because the servers will be shut off and you won’t be able to host your own. Imagine if that had been the way it was when Doom, Quake, Unreal Tournament, etc. all came out.

    Call me old-fashioned, but if a game relies on Activision or EA to keep its servers alive so I can play the game in the first place then I’m prolly not gonna buy it. There are a ton of games out there that are now useless.

    • In my geezerly ranting I became incoherant and unclear 😛

      I wasn’t talking about Battlefield 3 specifically, because it does include a campaign even if it is a meager one.

      I was talking about all the multiplayer-heavy or multiplayer-only games that rely solely on the publisher keeping its servers open/online. It seems like people are all too willing to just go along with that trend… or are even encouraging it.

      an MMO, well that’s unavoidable. A FPS? If they’re not going to allow for dedicated servers or private game hosting or even same-couch-multiplayer, then the least they should do is provide bot support, but it seems like hardly anyone includes something as simple as that anymore.

      Aaand I’m an old fart ranting to nobody in particular and I’ll stop now 😛
      Where’s my damned ginger snaps and prune juice?

  • To be honest after playing the first few missions of the SP campain on hard, I was dissapointed and very frustrated. The jet fighter mission started out fun but became very annoying trying to keep a mouse on a randomly moving target. And then came Operation Guillotine. This was when I just gave up.
    I’m a completionist and almost always play my shooters on hard. I’m happy to replay the same level many times to get 100% or to finish it “properly” but I found this mission too much. The smoke, glare and light bloom makes it impossible to see enemies, who never miss and kill you in 2 hits. It sounds like I’m just complaining but because the game is so linear there isn’t even anything tactical you can do to overcome the enemies. There are multiple bottlenecks that you have to push through for the mission to continue. This basically becomes a series of “sprint and pray” events hoping you’ll make it to the next rocky outcrop without having to restart.

    I feel like BF3 should have had a short tutorial style single player and focused everything else on the multiplayer. Don’t get me wrong, I love my singleplayer games and co-op gaming is the most fun I think I’ve ever had in games. However I feel that with the single player and co-op BF3 is just trying to compete with MW3. This is dissapointing because they are different games and cater to different playing styles.
    I dont mind having more “COD-like” maps such as Metro, I think they work well. But the campain doesnt come anywhere close to MW2 (I didn’t like Black Ops much either).

    I feel like they should have focused on what they do well – the MP, instead of trying to do a bit of everything and spread themselves too thin.
    I’ve put in about 20hrs into MP now and I’m getting quite bored of the maps already. I think once I unlock everything for each class I will have no further reason to play this and I’ll move on to MW3. More maps and more game modes would make BF3 last longer.
    Thats just my 2c tho…

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