However, it's the audio that really makes Battlefield 3
stand out. As you duck behind a wall after being spotted you can almost count the bullets as they fly over your head. You can hear shells chip away at the wall, and RPGs fizz past. It really is a pleasure to hear and it will make those who have invested in a decent sound system appreciate every penny that they've spent.
These audio and visual treats are all present in the single-player and multiplayer campaigns. In fact, presentation may be the same across the board, but the single-player game lacks what makes Battlefield
's multiplayer so much fun - freedom.
When attacking an enemy base in the multiplayer game, you're constantly considering your options. You question how to get to your location. You worry about where the enemy are camped up. You consider taking long routes in order to flank your foe.
These options just aren't available when playing alone. Instead you're forced down narrow corridors picking off soldiers one after one. Battlefield
games should feel open, full of options and choices to be made, but it's all too evident how each level in BF 3
has been designed.
For example, in every gunfight there is a clear area to take cover in. Trying anything else will result in what feels like a completely unfair death.
Everything is overly scripted, too. The game is full of trigger points, character-following and even QTEs. In fact, it feels like it is trying to take as much from the CoD
single player as it possibly can, but restricting it even further. It even forces you to drop guns you're happy using mid-level and replace them with ones you have no interest in trying out.
There are some fun set-pieces, but if the price for that is a linear, controlled gaming experience I'd rather not have them. Battlefield
's solo campaign had so much promise. It was being promoted as an important part of this year's offering but you'll notice that on the 360 version of the game the full single-player game has been relegated to Disc 2.
It's a short, frustrating and ultimately dull gaming experience, and while playing you'll wonder how DICE managed to make polar opposite games and put them in the same package.
Battlefield 3 is one of the best multiplayer games on the market. Whether it's better than CoD's online game mode is a matter of taste, but my opinion is that it is. I'll be playing this for months to come, developing and levelling up my soldier in all classes and learning how to take off in a helicopter.
With everything looking and sounding amazing, the only let down is the single-player game. I was hoping for so much more and, while not being a complete write-off, it only leaves you wondering why DICE decided to remove all the fun from the multiplayer game in favour of a hand holding, frustrating bore-fest.
Still, it's the multiplayer that Battlefield is known for, and this will attract fans and newcomers alike. If you plan on getting into any online shooter this year, this is the one that's looking like your best bet.
SPOnG Score: 87%