This is the year that gamers have been waiting for: something to topple the powerhouse that is Call of Duty in the first person shooter genre. Well, Battlefield 3 has pulled out all the stops to achieve that. Although the game has not been released yet, a beta version to test bugs and glitches in the game is open to the public, and it is really, really good.
Immediately when you jump into the online multiplayer, the game just looks beautiful. The new Frostbite 2 game engine that Battlefield 3 is running on has received huge improvements from its predecessor, Battlefield: Bad Company 2. This means improved graphics and game flow, making it possibly the best looking game available that doesn’t run on a PC.
Another immediate addition that you notice is that the game just feels better. In previous games it felt awkward jumping over a fence or going into small places; almost like you were in a fat suit. Now, the controls are now almost up to par with major series such as Call of Duty and Halo. These series have seemingly mastered the feeling of controlling a virtual person, which is good if you want to run around and play aggressively, and Battlefield comes extremely close.
The game is definitely more effectively paced than earlier games in the Battlefield series. Whether this was an attempt to copy the adrenaline rush of run and gun style of Call of Duty, or not, it’s a big improvement for most, because everyone has had the feeling in earlier Battlefield games of running across the massive maps in Battlefield to get to a certain point because your character can only spawn in a place a mile away.
Then there is the mistake many games make: weapon balance. In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 there was one man army, danger close, grenade launchers, commando, do need I say more to those familiar with the series? When combining a certain weapons with “perks” you can choose, you could become invincible, and making the game extremely frustrating. I’ve tried to find any possible setup people could abuse in Battlefield 3, and even though the game hasn’t been out long enough to unlock every possible thing, it doesn’t seem like there is any setup that is too strong or too weak, but those problems may arise later, which a beta cannot solve, but later updates can.
The only complaints I have found is that the only playable map in the beta is very difficult to navigate in certain places, as there is a big “chokepoint”, where everyone must go in order to advance in the map. This means either someone must sneak around, or the defending team will pick them off easily. Also, when “burst firing”, which is tapping the trigger to reduce recoil, the gun actually has more initial recoil when you pull the trigger, which is frustrating when you want to be sneaky and not waste all your ammo.
Other than those minor issues and some glitches that should be resolved when the game is released, the game is definitely great. The hardcore battlefield fans should enjoy the game because you can slow the game down and pick one enemy off at a time, but newcomers should enjoy that you can run around if you wish. Is it going to be better than Modern Warfare 3? It’s too early to tell. But, is it a great game that I’ll be getting the day it comes out? You better believe it.