Battlefield 3

I have a habit of picking games up, sometimes years after I last played them, only to inject into it a renewed interest. This can often lead to fresh insight, and often, new appreciation.

Battlefield 3 isn’t something I didn’t appreciate from the beginning though. I’ve always loved being a supporter of BF3 over COD. It’s far more an intricate world, has proven itself as a steadfast companion to PC gamers and more recently has successfully migrated as a console power franchise.

BF3 is best appreciated with real friends. Someone you can join a private Live Party with, swap information and instructions over mic and headset and enjoy some fantastic squad based playtime. Becoming telepathic with your squadmates provides an added dimension to your gameplay with cooperative gameplay necessary to a succesful campaign. Having your teammate jump out from your tank to repair it as you fire salvo after salvo into enemy vehicles mean you can rest assured you have your back covered.

That feeling of comradarie and teamplay isn’t reflected this well in any other game. Balanced gameplay is something that the game revels in. You can never really expect to dominate the skies as there will always be a foot soldier with a Stinger missile launcher. Tanks are only a strength as long as you don’t have a havoc helicopter hovering over you. This infinte game of rock, paper, scissors ensures you revive from being killed knowing it wasn’t a unfair disadvantage you’d succombed to, but in fact some mistake you’d made.

It isn’t without issues though. Joining a game with a group of level 100’s in the opposition team is deliriously frustrating. Some of the players are so damn good that you can’t make any progress with them hindering your every move.

BF3 also appears to have fallen victim to the micro-transaction world. They no longer have officially provided servers but instead have come up with the ingenious idea of renting out official servers with Xbox points. I did this a few days ago, it costs about £15 per month. Except nobody joins. So it sits there empty. On top of that is the endless map packs and weapon unlocks they pimp out. I guess it’s a shortcut to those who have not the time to unlock weapons, but there’s a sense of ingeniousness about it.

Forget about the single player campaign though. It’s terribly scripted and has some ham fisted oo-rah american acting which is nauseating at best.

Finally, I don’t know why, but the BF series has just the most perfect sound effects. The weapons are incredible to listen to with 100’s of different items available to try, each with strengths and weaknesses and different suitability for each level. Shotgun rampages are terribly satisfying and taking out a Havoc chopper with a tank shell is one of gamings sweetest sensations.

Dialogue is diverse and dynamic with no repetitions in vocal samples. Only complaint is that there should be an option to turn off swearing. It’s a shame I can’t play this game in front of the kids.

BF4 gameplay trailer has just been released. It appears to show more of the scripted single player scenarios, but the graphics are suitably uprated with beautifully rendered textures of post apocalyptic war zones. But show us what multi-player will hold and then we’ll comment.

I wanna bounce grenades of my mates skulls.