Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Battlefield 3 for Xbox 360

If Call of duty was my first post it only seems right to put its competitor next on my list, there is mass hype surrounding both games and trying to compare the two is utterly useless, apart from both being about modern war they are completely different genres and each offers game play worlds apart from the other. Lets take this in depth shall we?

Single Player - Campaign

Stunning scene showing graphics at their best

As in both Call Of Duty and EA's Battlefields of the past and present Single Player is always just 'another' linear shooter with little to no tactical decision making in play, opting to throw the character down narrow (invisible) environment walls to their objective, giving no tactical routes or larger tactical areas.

I have played through Battlefield now almost two times and have to say i am rather disappointed about how the games AI plays out, everything is set in stone. Every enemy position, explosion time, squad placement remains the same on every play through.

Of course death is something nobody wants but when its accompanied by massive load times and clumsy check pointing it even becomes a bit of a chore. With no warnings when you are in danger death can become a regular thing for newer players bringing in an era of trial and error. I challenge you to complete Battlefield 3 on your first play through with a clean streak, i can guarantee one moment in particular will haunt your chances.

A few technical issues reared their heads while i was making my way through the game such as clipping - Finding myself stuck in a car door during a cut scene as i had moved to far back before it was triggered comes to mind. 

All these negative points aside DICE have managed to make an surprisingly good single player game, fitting in a story which gets you interested and a nice 6 hour of game play (normal) or even more on a harder difficulty.

I wont go into to much detail here because i don't want to spoil it but i will say there is an alternative point of view on offer throughout the story giving you greater depth of the story. Along with each of the levels having a snappy pace and consistent action, they never feel like 'extra' padding.

When Battlefield pushes the limit is where it shines. A flight section in the story line may see you only manning the guns but the first time your put in this situation, you feel a sense of awe, everything is tense and scenes around you are breathtaking. These points coupled with the incredible voice acting capture the atmosphere and sense of dread better than ever before.

Being reviewed on the XBOX 360 with HD pack installed i can say the graphics are stunning and i haven't noticed any lag while playing, the game runs at 30 fps meaning it isn't a fluent as Call Of Duty but that is because COD is not visually as stunning.

Without ruining the game with spoilers that's about as much as i can give you. The single player works, but never really threatens to change what we expect from the genre or push it beyond its incredible graphics and sound play. Single player is defiantly worth a good play through. Once.

Online Multiplayer

Showing the frostbite engine in play

If you have played the beta version of Battlefield 3's multiplayer throw everything you saw out the window. This could give Call Of Duty a run for its money. The Beta only included one game mode and no vehicles this caused doubt in gamer's minds everywhere whether or not Battlefield 3 would deliver a game worthy of besting Call Of Duty.

From the very start of plunging into one of the massive visual rich maps players will stand in awe. PC vs console graphics is a long debated topic but seeing the HD package come to consoles has made many gamer's day. Everything is as crisp as it could be, there is no texture pop up (Texture pack installed) and the environments bring battles to life.

Anyone familiar to the Battlefield franchise will recognize the pre game level map showing spawn points and squad locations allowing you to strategically map out where you want to attack or defend, or which squad mates you could backup. Below the map is your current class and weapon load out which can be changed during play, a huge asset as there are dozens of attachments and specs to choose from.

Players can pick between five classes: Assault, Combat medic, Support, Engineer and Recon. One of these classes is catching everyone's eye on other reviews i have read in the form of the Combat Medic. This is a class created by DICE who decided that people running the front lines would be the ones who risk everything to save a dying comrade, dodging bullet after bullet to help their team. This adds nicely to the support and recon classes providing support from afar and engineers defending command posts. All coming together to give you a real sense of being a unit in the middle of a war.

A great point that makes Battlefield different to other FPS war games is the character weight, the gear they carry will slow their movement and every weapon feels so much heavier than in Call Of Duty which is a great addition. Running past gunfire, artillery shells and feeling explosions miss you by inches, stumbling over obstacles and through enemies while making your way to an objective has never been so satisfying. This sense of (loose) realism has yet to be accomplished by any other game.

Vehicles when used correctly will turn the tide of battle, clearing out whole command points if no engineers are present. The game provides you with a real sense of character roles and keeps you on your toes about the next move you make as a squad.

Team based game play is the main focus of battlefield 3 with many 'lone wolves' falling short on points. Meaning even though they have a nice 20 - 0 Kill to death count, the players who are working together capturing command posts and throwing out supply's for other players are the ones reaping in the points. This is where i think Call of duty players lose interest in the game.

In Conclusion

Battle Of the Gamers

Im not going to conclude this review with why one of the games is better than the other because ill leave that up to you.

I will however sum up on this amazing release by DICE with an impressive single player that does show some depth in the story the player will follow accompanied by perfect voice acting and stunning visuals Battlefield is worth purchasing for the avid gamer. But where Battlefield really shines is its massive multiplayer world filled with team work and customization, i cant explain how awe inspiring the graphics are on the maps, you will just have to buy and find out yourself. You wont be disappointed having this title in your collection and it is definitely a contender for GOTY.

Graphics            : 9
Sound                 : 9.5
Game play         : 8
Lasting Appeal : 7.5

Final Verdict: 8.5 / 10

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