Like everyone I was excited to play Battlefield 3 partly because me, being a COD fanboy, wanted to see how EA/DICE’s big contender agaisnt COD MW3 would do…and partly coz I was flabbergasted by the their new engine..Frostbite 2. EA had been touting about their new baby and their marketing were all based on it. I enjoyed Battlefield Bad Company 2 and Vietnam though I had a bitter experience playing Medal Of Honor due to a glitchy engine, uninteresting campaign & characters and all. So I was skeptical about Battlefiled 3 too. I booted EA’s new crap online service, ‘Origin’ and started playing Battlefield 3…and WHOA I was blown away…by the stupenduously GOREGEOUS Frostbite 2 engine’s visuals albeit at the cost of a mild stuttering at high settings. These people has put a lot of effort into making the visuals as exquisite as ever…the textures (most of em) are sharp, brilliant lighting, character & weapon models are top notch, even the sun flares are astounding to look at. I have to add that its the best damn looking engine out there and perhaps better than id’s Tech 5 engine and at the best settings it really renders movie quality visuals. Though its not without issues though. As previously mentioned at High settings it did stutter a bit and felt heavy on my system not being properly optimized and had a load of glitches & texture loading issues. Evidently its not as polished as CryEngine 3 engine. And I suppose when EA boasted about the destrutible enviroments they never bothered to add that unlike the Multiplayer maps, most of the campaigns’ enviroments were’nt so.
I started playing the campaign as Sergeant Blackburn and was greeted to a fast paced action sequence on a train and was introduced to a quicktime event sequence…I am usually welcome to quicktime events but somehow the incorporation of it in a game like this felt jarring…suffice to say it wasn’t well executed. After the scene I was taken to an interrogation scene with the same Blackburn leading to flashbacks and missions there of. The singleplayer narrative was much better than last years’ Medal Of Honor and a notch above Battlefield Bad Company 2 but definitely not the best. EA/DICE did their best to make it engrossing and cinematic with abundant twists throwing in characters like Sergeant Jonathan “Jono” Miller & Dimitri “Dima” Mayakovsky but I never found myself caring or attached to them. Somehow I felt it was tryin hard to pull off a COD. Setpiece moments were aplenty though one particular sequence involving riding a Jet atop a naval carrier and a dogfight caught my attention and I enjoyed it thoroughly…me especially not being a flight sim enthusiast. The campaign could be finished off in about 6-7 hours and I wasn’t yearning for more unlike the COD series.
Composed by Johan Skugge & Jukka Rintamaki, the score was another thing I took delight in hearing even after finishing the game. The Main Theme put me off initially as it closely resembled Terminator themes but later seemed to be liking it. The score strangely seemed familiar and it was no wonder that DICE. It had a very reminiscent touch (Kaffarov’s Villa, The Death of Vladimir) with the Mirror’s Edge’s OST by Solar Fields. I found ‘Solomon’s Theme’ a really enjoyable track.
Battlefield series are never famous for their singleplayer campaigns though…so I tried my hand at Multiplayer…and bloody hell it was frantic. Most of the servers were fullhouse and I found people really enjoyed it especially the vehicular action and the destructible environments and strategic tactics that followed. I’ll be honest I was’nt very familiar with the Battlefield multiplayer as so I never gave in much time. But reasons including a heavy engine and a crappy broadband lines over here put me off playing it more online.
So once again EA/DICE has to accede to just a marginally better Campaign (compared to COD series). For now Battlefield 3 wins remotely with its beefed up Multiplayer…ie however..until Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 releases. I am not saying its a mediocre game but frankly alot of expectations werent met. The introduction of the FrostBite 2 engine is something to look out for. We could hope to see more ‘better’ titles based on an optimized version soon. Need For Speed The Run is on the way based on the same engine.