After a couple rough with very little sleep, I’m finally rested to give a full take on the game. Of course, you must be tired by now of all the thumbs-up-thumbs-down reviews after the whole month. Like I said once, I’m a realist. When you think it’s perfect, it’s really not (also I don’t like the word perfect, implies an impossible human condition/expectation; more on that later). Though on the outside, it seems pretty great with a thorough campaign sticking to the multiplayer controls. However as you game on, you would start noticing a few snags that may deter you from playing.
So far the pros of having this game is fully expected. Good graphics and textures, physics seem more real, lighting and other environmental effects are top notch, weapon systems are somewhat realistic. A lot of your usual FPS expectations just been checked off. Starting with the campaign, the campaign straight up introduces you to the graphics in Frostbite. You can notice the camera transitioning from the dark interiors of your IFV to the glorious warm Iranian sun. As you walk pass your fellow soldiers you can see the landscape fairly much alive and would seem almost as if you’re just walking right passed them. Once again after your quickie briefing you can noticed a lot of smaller shadowing details and how sound is affected in certain spaces. I must thanks the script writers to give us a story that just kept asking question about why this sole marine is being interrogated by a couple agents taking us to bizarre surreal locations we wouldn’t necessarily imagine of going (unless you you sign up for a real tour, country permitting). At times the script seems a bit rushed, seems as though some dialogue was put in to change the story up rather than really moving on with more single-player action. Example being the pool side sequence where you question your own loyalty, you guys totally could’ve had another ending to the game. Nope, decided to go linear I see. First somewhat disappointed that I had to shoot the poor guy or redo it. After awhile, you just accept the fact it’s not like Grand Theft Auto IV’s story ending.
I find the system requirements to be really crazy. As an XP user and a proud Nvidian, I was worried about my GPU being under the limit of what the game can do. Well fool me once, shame on you because with even the recommended requirements you can run this thing real well on just a 430 card and not worry about overclocking. But for those not so lucky, worst case is that you don’t have the GPU and the operating system. You’re looking at a $300+ investment that in the end might have to go high end to let it be all and end all card purchases for the half decade. If you’re running an AMD/ATI card, probably sticking to the high 6000 or 5000 series would still work out. Just make sure you know how to overclock, or set the texture rendering to auto. Since I know a guy running a gaming laptop from Alienware, I’m not recommending this to anyone with a gaming laptop. A, no such thing. B, gaming laptops can’t be properly maintained unlike a desktop. C, just an over glorified word processor (my views, but if you got it installed and working like a charm…grats, go to Subways and get yourself a cookie).
Moving onto the MP component, seems fairly much the same from it’s Bad Company iterations. Not much has changed except for a slight map size increase. Vehicles are pretty standard; went with the usual Marine/RU vehicles. Apparently a Stryker is equal to a BMP, who knew two different era military machines could be equals. Weapons have lots of customizable features. Which inherits a flaw where each map may require a different set of weapons and attachments that would take you about a minute to click them all. Load-outs would come in handy especially 3 per class per map. Also most attachments are really useless, I see more people run around without the laser and get more kills than people with the laser equipped and activated. Goes about the same for certain sights, where it’s just a matter of preference between Optics A x3.4 and Optics B x4.0. There’s a slight change yes, but doesn’t matter so much since it’s a medium range optical sight. Also most of the weapons are pretty cliché for a FPS game. One such weapon is the .44 magnum. Literally every game I know has it or some variation of it. One other popular one to date, Glocks. Though I must admit having two versions of the pistol doesn’t add to the cool factor. The G18 and G17 are approximately the same in the game. I haven’t really noticed anything different except one has a full auto functionality, but as a pistol with only 17+1 rounds per magazine I like to make each shot count. Also M16A3 and A4 variant, difference being burst or full auto. The 416 has both so what the hell, DICE? In short, staying with my M1911. I enjoy the levelling set-up though with the auto-balance features out of balance (pun intended) makes gameplay really one-side since the unlocks are much better than the standard given load-out or weapon. Co-op thus far isn’t as exciting as I expected since most of the time I spend sitting here waiting to get matched with a partner or getting some crazy lag from my partner. As a precaution, I’m going to stop playing co-op until I know they have the problem solved or what have you. Aside from content, the system seems to have some green screen flickering. Likely more bugs in the system.
Optimistically, I think Battlefield 3 is doing pretty well. Overall it has some major features that seem to be half-ass tested. But in time, they can work it out. The social features are a main drag and it seems they’re jumping on too many bandwagons at the same time; mainly cloud computing and social networking features. Cool and all, but as a gamer; I want to play, so let me play and stop making me come to your site to play (now read that back like a child whining.) Not the best game so far, but it has made some improvements on itself making the best in the series or at least a close tie to the Refractor iterations of Battlefield. If rating out of all the games released this year, I would award Best in Show to Battlefield for the look and feel of the game. No so much content since it’s pretty much the usual storyline producing you some twitch based gameplay. If not Best in Show, probably a case a beer and call it even.