Battlefield 3 has finally descended on us like a roaring Apache attack helicopter. It has made it’s presence well know to the gaming world and has been publisher’s EA weapon of choice against the heaving Goliath that is Modern Warfare 3. For the past few months we’ve had to endure countless speculative comparison articles, and the fanboy wars have been constantly stoked by Activision and EA leaking information strategically  to keep interest peeked.

The real question is, does Dice’s latest game into the Battlefield series live up to the hype? In answer yes, however it is not without it’s faults. Most of the these blemishes occur in the games single player, however Battlefield 3’s multiplayer is a technical marvel.

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Battlefield 3 like the previous Bad Company games has a structured plot with a story to string the levels together. It’s plot concerns a plan to detonate some nuclear devices in two western cities. The game is told through flashbacks from the stories’ main character Sgt Henry Blackburn whilst he is being interrogated. The story is confusing to begin with but eventually things begin to connect and make sense. It’s entertaining, and takes itself a little too seriously, it has a similar feel to the first Modern Warfare but with a Bruckheimer budget behind it.

The cities, deserts and forests you fight across are some of the most enjoyable moments of gaming. I wont bore you with the details on how it plays, because in this day and age if you can control one FPS you’ll be able to control any. However Battlefield’s trade mark has always been making you feel like a soldier. As you play you can almost feel the weight of your firearms and your characters pack, and is the antithesis of Call of Duty’s twitchy stream lined controls, and is the same for Battlefield 3.

The Frostbite 2 engine is Battlefield 3’s crowning glory. The way buildings crumble and how cover will chip away around you is frighteningly realistic. One of my favorite moments in the game is the use of lighting. It’s the first time that I have seen it used to such effect. If you’re rushing an enemy who has flashlight attachment on his gun it’s impossible to see through the light and it is actually dazzling leaving you to fire vaguely at the light source.

Against this marvel though is the way the single player is laid out. I have always considered mounted machine gun sections in games as being out dated, there was one too many through this game for my liking. You could boil down some of the game’s flashier moments down into these such as the jet fighting scene, and I think replaying these scene’s a second time may be a bit dull. However for every error there are countless moments of greatness like sneaking through a devastated Tehran with only a knife, it is incredibly tense and thrilling moment of gameplay.

Many think boarder control is going to far, we just like to think it shows we care.

The single player is a decent enough of a challenge on medium difficulty and having just swapped over to hard having finished the campaign. It’s dam hard and it’ll take me a while to get through which I’m looking forward to. The enemy AI is a interesting affair as well, sometimes you will find yourself being unlucky and taking a headshot when peaking round cover. It’s not like every enemy is a sniper it’s just occasionally they get lucky, and as much as I curse and throw my pad down I does feel more like a challenge and that you fighting real players, which makes the campaign more fun. It’s not perfect though you will get the odd fighter who’ll run at you from miles away hoping to get a shot on you.

Everyone knows that the real game is found in the multiplayer and that is what puts Battlefield 3 as one of the contenders for game of year. The levels are large and the Frostbite 2 engine means that large destructible cities are now possible. No expense has been spared to level design for multiplayer I have yet to play a level I dislike.

It plays similar to Bad Company 2 but there are several changes. One being the changing of support and assault class play styles. Now the assault class doubles as the medic and the support lugs around the extra ammo. Also there are the Jets to add a new dynamic to the war.

Yup………….that there’s a map!

Whereas Call of Duty focuses on personal glory and your own goals. Battlefield encourages team work and talking among it’s players. The Rush and Conquest modes have remained, Rush being a version of Assault and Conquest a style of domination. There are squad versions as well which are just the same but on smaller maps and there is a team death match, for those who don’t want anything too complicated.

Working with your team capturing objectives. With armored and airborne support gives a sense of satisfaction that is difficult to find in other games. The way each class is well balanced so that none of them is over powered makes every round a thrill ride of adrenaline.

Battlefield 3 has now added a new mode of gameplay for everyone to enjoy and that is the co-op mode. Taking some similar scenes from the single player and making them into two player co-op. Very much like Modern Warfare 2’s Spec Ops mode. It has six levels to play through it may not seem a lot. However when you play a level you get points to unlock more guns in the competitive multiplayer, which is a great incentive to replay levels and to try the harder difficulties. As a harder difficulty wields more rewards. (I would gamble good money on there being more Co-op levels with DLC.)

Overall if you’re looking for a great shooter that’ll blow your socks off and leave you stunned at it’s technical capabilities then Battlefield 3 is the way forward. Battlefield 3 is a great game and if you purchase this then you’ll be left with a game that’ll last you much longer than most shooters with it’s very in depth multiplayer. Do yourself a favor and go out and get it now!

Score 10/10