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Review: Battlefield 3 multiplayer impressions - rant included

by Steven Williamson on 9 November 2011, 16:38 4.5

Tags: Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA), PC

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Final verdict

Soldiering on the job

Nonetheless, as you move through the upgrades and get the better weapons you do feel like you're becoming a better soldier, and along the way you're becoming a master of the battlefield because of the experience gained from spending time on the maps. Getting access to vehicle specialisations, such as heat-seekers, thermal optics and reactive armour, is great reward for your efforts and the accessories and modifications really do improve efficiency on the battlefield. Indeed, the more you play Battlefield the better it gets and the deeper the experience becomes as you learn the strengths and weakness of classes, vehicles, weapons and gadgets.

The four game modes: Conquest, Rush, Team Deathmatch, Squad Deathmatch and Squad Rush are predictable, but offer more than enough depth to ensure you get a varied Battlefield experience. While Deathmatches can be extremely fast-paced - especially if playing in a random server where team-work might not exist - series favourites' 'Conquest' and 'Rush' offer a slower-paced, more strategic alternative across some large maps.

Pushing defences back in 'Rush' and playing a cat-and-mouse game in 'Conquest' can be very intense and exciting, and each of the maps gives plenty of opportunity to utilise the strengths of the various classes and vehicles to create war on an unprecedented scale.

Unparalleled excellence

Indeed, when engaged in a game of 'Conquest' or 'Rush' with team-mates that communicate and work together, there isn't a game on the planet that can compete with BF3's heady mix of vehicle and infantry-based combat. The convoluted menu system for switching classes, changing weapons and customising load-outs could be simpler - and not being able to get back to the server-browsing page without quitting the game entirely can be annoying - but overall DICE has created a massive production and compelling multiplayer component that rarely fails to excite and entertain.

Seek and you shall find

The fact that Battlefield 3's multiplayer can often feel like an isolated experience, rather than a team game, is more of an indication of the changing attitude of gamers, who evidently prefer run-and-gun thrills to measured, strategic attacks. And, yes, DICE has pandered to their needs to a certain extent with the likes of sprint specialisations, which also applies to vehicles now - especially for those who just can't wait to get a taste of the action.

Overall though, Battlefield 3 offers an in-depth and rewarding multiplayer component for those who seek it. And, once the run-and-gunners disappear, probably to play Modern Warfare 3 when their parents buy it them for Christmas, we should see 2012 develop into a memorable year for Battlefield fans. Just remember to be a team player and we'll all have a good time.

The Good

Rewarding unlock and upgrade system
Brilliantly-designed maps and weapons give you freedom of choice on the battlefield
Quality audio and visuals

The Bad

Some people play it like Call of Duty - sprint specialisations now apply to vehicles too
Difficult to master aircraft controls No easy way to get straight to server browsing once you're in a game

HEXUS Rating

Battlefield 3

HEXUS Awards

HEXUS Innovation
Battlefield 3

HEXUS Where2Buy

Battlefield 3 is available to buy from Play.com

HEXUS Right2Reply

At HEXUS, we invite the companies whose products we test to comment on our articles. If any company representatives for the products reviewed choose to respond, we'll publish their commentary here verbatim.

HEXUS Forums :: 31 Comments

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I was just thinking that BF3 is slightly meh when you play multiplayer on your own. But playing in a clan with Ventrilo makes it a whole different game, even if people are on different sides, as it just adds a bit more fun to it.

I also fell into the upgrade trap, wondering why my IR flare's didn't deploy to realise i needed the upgrade first :(
“… Xbox Live Party Chat”

See, you're part of the problem that creates that “stony silence” as well.

side note: The article has the platform as PC.
side note: The article has the platform as PC.

That's a glitch in the system…fixing.
Used to have similar experiences during the HALO1 and HALO CE days. COD is a different type of game. Unless it's Search and dEstoy, I am all out for kills and being the one with the best K/D ratio
Good article! :thumbsup: (apart from one part) I particularly empathise with the bit about the every-man-for-him-selfishness that predominates - surely the games houses could start penalising “lone wolf” behaviour? At least the author managed to “clan up” in short order - for us folks who chose PC when everyone else chose console, it's not that easy. Seriously, I've never managed to play a “team” game - despite all the boasts from the game studios that their “matching” would make this easy.

I'll gladly raise a beer, (or three), to anyone who can solve this one. :woowoo:

And now to the “one part” I mentioned, to whit:
Apart from the odd, loud-mouthed teen - usually an American cursing an English player for drinking too much tea or having bad teeth - players communicated during matches, talked tactics and flagged-up enemy positions to help each other out. … In a short period of time, usually less than an hour or two, I'd be hosting a team deathmatch game with a full complement of England-based players, all wearing head-sets and all wanting to communicate and win.
So basically you're saying that Scots, Welsh and Irish folks don't play this - or has Mr Williamson fallen into the US habit of saying “English” rather than "British? :mad:
(and before anyone accuses me of rabid Scots nationalism - I'm not, and this'd be obvious from the accent wafting across XBL or PC equivalent!)