Fans of Battlefield 2142
and its large-scale multiplayer mode, rejoice.
At its most inclusive ("Conquest Large"), Battlefield
pits 64 players against each other (32 per team), which means even the
noobest of nublets can get happily lost in the milieu. That's
fortunate, because the starting kits for the assault class and recon
class (in particular) suck in the extreme and aren't likely to improve
much in your first few hours of multiplayer. It's good to
blend into the background as you tier up, and thanks to the large scale
multiplayer, you can.
Multiplayer is at least as
chaotic as this looks.
It might come as a surprise that all three Battlefield
game modes are
launched from your browser. Firing up the game will take you to EA's
fully integrated social network experience, complete with platoon
associations (similar to guilds), a friends list, a Battle feed that
tracks your accomplishments and allows you to "Hooah!" (or "Like") your
Finding out I dropped $60 on a browser-based game was something of a
disappointment until I found out how extensive the BF3
Everything is tracked, and almost everything is rewarded. Individual
weapons and vehicles progress as you do - sights,
suppressors, vehicle upgrades, and better ammo being rewards for
reaching different kill milestones from 10 kills all the way up to 270
70+ exquisitely detailed weapons are unlocked by
ranking up either in each class or by progressing through the
game's evening sized co-op campaign - a tree of six missions
playable on easy, medium, or hard difficulty. Interestingly, different
players in co-op can play in the same match on different difficulty
Not all was roses and kills. The smaller, indoor-centric multiplayer
maps featured easily defensible chokepoints, which seemed to lead to
few point changes once flags were initially captured. Even though the
game featured a
League of Legends: Dominion
style countdown to loss
format, I have yet to see a team pull out a win from almost certain
A beautiful night for an op in
The game's built-in matchmaking system was the low point; I'm
apparently such an awesome player (or such a terrible one) that no
match could be found for me. The alternative was to seek out a server
with a low ping, which inevitably pitted me against players way above
my pay grade, skill level, and equipment tier. Which brought
death, early and often.
I remain a proponent of having separate SKUs for campaign and
multiplayer in games like Battlefield
- not only are Campaign and
Multiplayer essentially separate games, I think they're separate
audiences as well. If you have no interest in multiplayer,
it's impossible for me to recommend that you drop even half
the current price point on this game.
Lasting Appeal87Very Good
On the other hand, the multiplayer depth goes well beyond anything
we've seen before in the military FPS genre. The social
network-inspired approach is impressive - I wish all MMOGs exposed half
the stats and offered half the skill-based unlockables - that
does. If you're the type of player to wring a
game out of ranks, unlockables, and achievements for all it's worth and
have a high tolerance for online FPS shenanigans (the
more-than-occasional headshot from the blue, a solitary teammate taking
off with a four person vehicle), then BF3
will be a sixty-spot well
The F18F Super Hornet is one
of the 32 vehicles you can control.
Pros and Cons
- Incredible level of
graphical detail and rich sound direction.
- Deep multiplayer progression
that could keep a dedicated online shootist busy for weeks, if not
- Graphical gotchas -
scratched up goggles, blinding flashlights, and retina-seeking laser
dots go beyond realistic and enter the realm of the exploitative.
- Little done to
constant gameplay thorns, the
impossibility of piloting aircraft with a mouse and keyboard, a solo
teammate zooming off with a multi-person vehicle, fast scoping, etc.
Boasting a robust multiplayer experience (including a satisfying amount
of co-op), Battlefield 3
is a solid continuation of a
franchise which (to this reviewer) never deserved its underdog status.
With the inevitable duel with Call
of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
a week away, BF3
seems primed to take the multiplayer FPS throne, even
though the campaign mode was fairly forgettable.
- Game Name:
- Review Date: November 2nd, 2011