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Battlefield 3
Battlefield 3

PC | PlayStation 3 | Xbox 360
Genre: First Person Shooter
Developer: Digital Illusions Official Site: http://www.ea.com/battlefield3
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date:
27th October 2011
Battlefield 3

Genre: First Person Shooter
Developer: Digital Illusions
Official Site: http://www.ea.com/bat...
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date:
27th October 2011
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Battlefield 3 Review
Review By @ 05:38pm 24/10/11
PC
It’s been an unusual past few years for PC gamers, particularly so for first-person shooters. As the genre’s success and popularity on console platforms rapidly eclipsed its traditional PC home, publisher focus followed the money and desktop gamers began to feel like more and more of an afterthought.

With Moore’s Law still in full effect, the dynamically upgradable PC platform never stopped improving, but in 2011 even the grandfathers of PC FPS at id Software have climbed on the “platform parity” train, launching their latest game RAGE with it looking largely the same across all platforms -- despite recent comments from id’s John Carmack acknowledging that a high-end PC today is now 10 times as powerful as an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.

So with the current console generation now getting quite long in the tooth -- to put things in perspective, this many years into the life of the original Xbox, we were already playing Xbox 360s-- it was naturally only a matter of time before game developers came back to genuinely push the tech on the PC frontier to wow us once again and I’m elated to report that the launch of Battlefield 3 marks that moment.



That’s not to take too much away from the console versions of the game though -- having played portions of the PS3 version at demo events, it’s easy to say that it’s still at the top of the pile of best looking games on that system -- but PC BF3 is just in a whole other league. Even before you get to the advanced multiplayer features, the game benefits immensely from both the higher screen and texture resolutions and the potential for silky 60-FPS frame-rates.

Powered by DICE’s homegrown Frostbite 2 engine, the technical marvel is not just the face-value visual effects -- glorious lighting, smoke, lens-flare and particle effects -- but equally importantly, the epic-scale level design that doesn’t skimp on the finer detail, an amazingly fluid and dynamic animation system, an absurd amount of authentic weapons and vehicles with an audio-system and effects that creates an eerily realistic soundscape and, of course, destructible environments.

As the name suggests, Battlefield 3 is intended as a true sequel to 2004’s Battlefield 2 and 2002’s Battlefield 1942. The series hallmark has always been about large-scale military combat and BF3 continues the evolution of its predecessor’s experiences.

The biggest additions this time around are the inclusion of a story-driven single-player campaign and a set of supplementary two-player co-operative missions. Both the aforementioned prequels were multiplayer-only affairs, and successful in their time, but the landscape has changed a lot since then and with most competitors now offering the complete package - and as EA are so clearly posturing the Battlefield franchise for genre-domination - a solo-campaign has arguably become a mandatory ingredient for that level of success.

No doubt many of you reading this will never even load Battlefield’s solo campaign -- heading straight for the multiplayer servers and never looking back -- but it’s difficult to deny the strengths of a good solo experience as a gateway to online play, giving us more new blood to punish. The risk, however, is that a poorly executed single-player offering can tarnish an otherwise good multiplayer game, as we saw all too recently with the likes of Brink and Homefront.

DICE have cut their teeth on campaign narratives with the Battlefield: Bad Company line, but they were very light-hearted and comedic in tone and didn’t speak to their ability to craft the serious war drama that BF3 intended to be. So after enjoying the Battlefield 3 PC Beta and seeing the huge potential there, single-player letting the whole thing down was a big concern.

It’s a relief then to say, that although it’s not right up the with the greatest, Battlefield 3’s single-player campaign is wholly adequate. Clocking in around the seven-hour mark, it might feel a bit brief for some tastes, but high-octane action and blockbuster presentation result in very few dull moments.



Set in 2014 and loosely based around real world locations in Europe and the Middle-East, the story is told as a retrospective from a US Marine Sergeant who relates his tales to a pair of interrogating government agents. These stories put the player in the boots of Staff Sergeant Blackburn and other various soldiers as the narrative slowly comes together.

The game is actually surprisingly mature and responsible with its narrative too. Having an American protagonist and using real-world countries could quite easily have been a recipe for a lot of cultural stereotyping and insulting references, but even with Iran being the game’s terrorist hotbed, it’s careful to note that the fictional PLR is a radical insurgent faction. And in the case of the Russian involvement, it makes efforts to paint both sides of the story as things get politically grey.

Disappointingly, however, the game’s prominent characters all develop quite slowly. The action is almost always so furious that there’s not much time to get to know anyone properly, so when the obligatory deaths of people you’re supposed to be closed to start happening, you haven’t really been given the motivation to get properly attached.

That’s not a huge dealbreaker though, because the real stars of the show are the environments, such as the meticulously crafted alleyways of Paris, the rooftops of Tehran or the mountainous vistas of Azerbaijan. As great as the tech makes them look, a huge amount of credit has to go to the level designers.

The attention to detail is continually boggling and the environmental destruction that occurs dynamically during fire-fights continues to enhance that. The novel idea of an earthquake -- that the player actually experiences in real-time -- serves as a vehicle for more great artistic expression and the scale of these areas really creates the illusion of traversing a real-world city.

The whole game is very heavily scripted and quick-time events are used liberally for close-quarter encounters. For the most part this has been well-executed and works quite well at creating that Hollywood blockbuster feel and orchestrating some truly epic moments. However, having to always wait for your AI buddies to follow their path before you can progress can become tedious, particularly since a lot of the save checkpoints seem to be immediately before long scripted sequences.

Similarly, there are several on-rails sections in vehicles that have a lot of wow factor the first time through, but lose their lustre rapidly if you fail and have to replay them several times.

During my first play through I also encountered a couple of game-breaking bugs where my buddies became stuck, or deviated from their path, halting my ability to progress and necessitating a long checkpoint replay. There was even one pivotal moment during a melee QTE with an important antagonist where the character model vanished entirely.



Beyond that, the only other bugs I encountered were a few very minor clipping and shadow issues. Bugs are always a sour-point though, and as these were all on my first time in the game, I’ve no doubt others will likely experience worse. All told, they weren’t persistent enough to spoil the whole experience for me, but if you have a low tolerance for such glitches, then you might want to wait for a patch or two before jumping in.

Like single-player, the past few years have seen cooperative support also slowly becoming an expected staple of any top-tier multiplayer shooter, with most games opting for an auxiliary set of missions that pit the player and an online friend against waves of AI. In a nutshell, that’s what Battlefield 3 has on offer. Supplementing the solo campaign story, BF3’s six cooperative missions tell other tales in and around some of the same locations you visit in single-player.

With the ability to revive each other if you fall, you begin each mission with a set weapon load out and can pick and choose from a few others before the offensive begins. There are three difficulty settings for each co-op scenario and Hard mode should prove quite challenging to even hardened Battlefield veterans.

With that out of the way, let’s move on to the real reason most of you want to play this game -- multiplayer. To put it bluntly: five game modes, nine maps, dozens of weapons, land, air and sea vehicles - epic.

Departing from the traditional in-game server browser or console style lobby matchmaking, DICE have instead created Battlelog -- a social networking, stat-tracking system for the game that also serves as a leaderboard, clan-coordinator, voice chat service, server-browser and the launching-point for the game’s executable for campaign, co-op and multiplayer.

In essence, it performs a lot of the same functionality that Valve’s Steamworks offers, but serves as a nexus for everything you do in Battlefield 3. Speaking of Steam, it’s obviously to the chagrin of some PC gamers that BF3 isn’t showing up on their favourite e-store, EA are instead currently only using their own Origin digital delivery service for the game due to reasons not completely disclosed.

Now I know it’s nice to have all your purchases neatly in one little service, but having to remember yet another Internet login is not something that I can fault EA or Battlefield 3 on. That Blizzard’s games aren’t available on Steam receives very little criticism from PC gamers, yet when it’s an EA game, tempers flare. As community-serving as our benevolent Valve overlords have always been, healthy competition is still a very good thing for consumers... but I digress.

Browsing servers from an external web-application works surprisingly well, and Battlelog’s slick Facebook-esque presentation is very nice to use, but not without issue. For one, alt-tabbing in and out of game is nice and fast, so you can flick out in between rounds to check on things and check other servers, but if you want to change servers at this point, the game will completely quit out, then load again, taking far longer than if it just connected to the same server.



Secondly, Battlefield 3 supports the Origin overlay in-game, so you can actually bring up the Origin web browser in-game and open Battlelog, but you’ll be met with an “unsupported browser” and not be able to use any of the game-launching functionality.

It’s inconvenient enough have to run both Origin and Battlelog -- not to mention being forced to leave a potentially memory-chewing external web-browser running while you’re gaming -- but that the two applications don’t play nice with each other is quite boggling. That said, when you do get used to the procedure, it is quite effective and easy to find the right game.

In the game itself, those that participated in the excessively locked-down multiplayer beta test will be happy to hear that you can access the in-game menu system at any point and tweak your video settings, key bindings etc at any time. There’s even a command console accessible with the traditional tilde key.

Nine maps at launch for any modern shooter would seem quite generous, but with the scale and the level of detail offered in these, it’s frankly astonishing. The maps also play remarkably different in each different game mode as play is limited to smaller areas for the tighter modes and opened right up for Conquest. Add on the four Battlefield 2 map remakes also coming in the already announced Back to Karkand DLC and it’s going to take a while for these to get old.

The game modes on offer are Rush: the objective-based mode where two large teams have to either attack or defend a series of detonation points, Squad Rush: the same as Rush with smaller four-man teams, Team Deathmatch and Squad Deathmatch: good old vanilla frag-fests and finally, Battlefield’s iconic Conquest: the map-domination mode with the largest scale and 64-player skirmishes.

You have the option of playing as one of four classes Assault, Support, Engineer and Recon, all balanced quite well and good at promoting teamwork. The biggest change from previous games is that Assault -- as the primary frontline fighter -- now has the medic abilities. Support handles the heavy weaponry and can dispense ammunition, Engineer is your anti-vehicle man and Recon is the sniper class.

Also on offer is a huge amount of rewards to unlock -- some class-specific and others available to all. Each class has an assortment of advanced abilities and gadgets to attain and most weapons and vehicles have a complete assortment of attachments and enhancements to collect.

The sheer quantity of weapons in the game (I’m not even going to attempt to count them all here, so let’s just go with dozens) and the variety of other modifiers creates enough goals to keep the average player busy for a long time to come.



On gameplay itself: as those who played the beta can likely attest, combat in BF3 doesn’t have quite the degree of tactile precision as some of it’s more twitch-centric competitors. The hit-boxes don’t always seem completely accurate and player movement -- particularly when vaulting over objects -- can be a little sketchy. But when the game looks and sounds as good as it does, the maps span square kilometers and you’re jumping in tanks and jets and parachuting from hundreds of meters with walls exploding into rubble, it’s difficult to get hung up on those little nuances.

Speaking of vehicles, their implementation here is also surprisingly balanced. It’s not game over when an enemy tank rolls in, if you have the tools to take it out. Jets and helis also have their strengths and weaknesses and the ability to paint an enemy target for your team and give orders as a squad leader aids a coordinated response to take them down.

In the larger vehicular modes, if your base has unoccupied aircraft sitting around -- or a spare gunner seat -- you have the option of spawning directly in them, mostly removing the tedium of standing around on the tarmac waiting for one to respawn. The only let down with vehicles however, is a lack of a training option. One of the cooperative missions lets you learn the ropes with a helicopter, but it’s still far from ideal and there’s no equivalent for jets as the only jet-related portion in the solo campaign is on-rails.

Which leads me to my next hang-up: the closed-server model. Yes, Battlefield 3 on PC will have an abundance of premium dedicated servers hosted in data centres dotted around the globe, enabling the 64 player games that the console’s client-hosted matchmaking can only dream of. But the rub is that the only people permitted to operate these servers are commercial service providers that have been specifically authorised by EA DICE.

Now on one hand, this aids the integrity of Battlelog stat tracking and helps keep a lid on hackers and pirates which all sounds great, but if you want a private server to play with your friends, your only option is to rent from one of these companies and -- if the currently announced per-slot rates we’ve seen so far are any indication -- at steeper charges than any other game.

A closed server model also means no LAN play, so if you cart your PCs to a friend’s house or want to organise a public BYOC event, you better make sure there’s an Internet connection with enough bandwidth to accommodate everyone there. And finally, it fundamentally prohibits mod support.

I’m not necessarily talking about the kind of total-conversion modding we saw with Battlefield 2 here -- as for DICE to release those kind of tools for BF3 with all the middleware considerations et al would be a massive undertaking -- but with an open/unranked server option and even the most basic modification-support, the example of not having a vehicle training mode built-in would be a non-issue; you could just fire up your own game and fly away to your hearts content in an invulnerable jet.

It’s largely a philosophical impasse between the publisher/developer’s desire to protect and enforce the integrity of their product and the gaming community’s desire to extract more emergence from a game at a faster-pace and with more variety than any dev studio can hope to supply with such a walled-garden approach.. but I digress once again (last one, I promise).



The evolution of the genre has meant that successful FPS games today do admittedly provide much of what the majority of players want and need right out of the box, and DICE have undoubtedly made their best-efforts toward that goal here in Battlefield 3.

After a rather a considerably buggy beta, I was quite astonished at the overall integrity and stability of multiplayer. It was only a few short weeks, but DICE appear to have ironed out most of the serious issues experienced during the test. There’s sure to be some left lingering, and your mileage may vary depending on your hardware configuration, but (running on a GeForce GTX 560ti) in all of the hours I clocked in multiplayer, the only obvious bugs I encountered were an occasional stutter in the kill cam, some minor model clipping and what seemed to be a memory leak that occurred after a few hours of consecutive play -- all more than reasonable from a game of this magnitude and technical ambition in it’s launch-state.

The main point I want to make here is that all of the negative spots I’ve touched on above amount to nothing more than minor gripes or contrary personal preferences that are largely eclipsed by everything else the game has to offer players.

There’s certainly room for improvement, but there’s no denying that so many different aspects of the first person shooter experience being dished out here are best-in-class. The multiplayer component alone is more than worth the price of admission and the solo campaign and cooperative offerings thankfully bring more to the table than they detract.

With Battlefield 3, DICE have at long last raised the bar of PC gaming above the long-held bottleneck of console-parity, to bring us a game that’s finally worth upgrading for and I dare say it carries with it a potential for a renaissance of the PC first person shooter.
WHAT WE LIKED
The best looking game to-date and a new poster-child for PC gaming
Scale, substance, destruction and sound -- more than just a pretty face
The continued refinement of the winning Battlefield multiplayer formula
Serious multiplayer longevity with rewarding progression and dedicated servers
Battlelog service is well-presented with all the trimmings
Worthy solo and co-op offerings
WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE
Some progress-halting singleplayer bugs
Battlelog and Origin are poorly integrated
Closed server model means high rental prices for private matches and no LAN play
No modding :(
MORE...
WE GAVE IT:
9.8
OUT OF 10
AusGamers
Latest Comments
reload!
Posted 06:08pm 24/10/11
wooo

hopefully trog says it's ok to order now!
DM
Posted 06:10pm 24/10/11
Those are some pretty serious bugs/features for a 9.8.
rrrocket
Posted 06:12pm 24/10/11
I'll wait till it's on steam.
Rawprawn
Posted 06:13pm 24/10/11
I suppose without those it would have rated somewhere in the region of 12 out of 10. I did read something somewhere that they might be accommodating LAN play in the future, so my fingers are crossed!
Dan
Posted 06:20pm 24/10/11
Those are some pretty serious bugs/features for a 9.8.
Perhaps if they were in multiplayer, but fortunately, they're only in a small part of BF3 that many of those that spend the next few years with this game might never even play.
Sc00bs
Posted 06:23pm 24/10/11
I cant wait to see the pathetic score you give mw3

When is that getting reviewed?
kettels
Posted 06:34pm 24/10/11
Those are some pretty serious bugs/features for a 9.8.


Exactly what I was thinking, and most of it seems to be because of EA rather than DICE and the game.
ctd
Posted 06:45pm 24/10/11
Lols single player. Wouldn't even play if the internets was down.
Tiny
Posted 06:49pm 24/10/11
I'm normally like that CTD. I was able to give the single player a bit of a go at the eb games expo. This games single player actually looks promising. The design of the levels and objectives are fast paced and have a completely different feel to the boring single player experiences in COD.

That said, I'm very excited for multiplayer.
Trauma
Posted 06:53pm 24/10/11
Echoing DM as well, given the negatives listed that score is far too high.

Perhaps if they were in multiplayer, but fortunately, they're only in a small part of BF3 that many of those that spend the next few years with this game might never even play.

Huh, 3 of the 4 negatives you listed relate to multiplayer.
HurricaneJim
Posted 07:07pm 24/10/11
Unless you have a system that struggles to operate the game then 3 of those 4 negatives are negligible.
koopz
Posted 07:08pm 24/10/11
Huh, 3 of the 4 negatives you listed relate to multiplayer.


agreed.

lets users make their own maps already. Dice didn't corner the market when DC came along.
Khel
Posted 07:15pm 24/10/11
Sounds awesome! Most of the negatives sound like stuff that wont even concern me, not really interested in modding or private servers/Lan play, and the bugs in single player sound reasonably trivial compared to bugs in some other games lately (eg. Rage) or games I've enjoyed in the past (Fallout 3). Its likely they could even end up fixed by a launch day patch.
Fixah
Posted 07:41pm 24/10/11
woah, that score says that it's pretty close to a perfect game, as far as gaming goes. Highest rated game by AG?
Kf
Posted 07:49pm 24/10/11
What settings did the 560Ti run and what CPU was in there too?
Sc00bs
Posted 07:56pm 24/10/11
What settings did the 560Ti run and what CPU was in there too?

560ti on highest everything, 1920x1080
3.2ghz AMD X6

barely ever noticed frame dropping, and ran smooth as

Everlong
Posted 08:25pm 24/10/11
It's a little ironic that the longevity of the BF series is due, in part, to a mod. DC added at least 2 more years to 1942, and drew a lot more players into the series. Lack of modding in BF3 is s***, I would of loved to see a WW2 mod like Forgotten Hope made with this engine. Not that that's goona effect my purchase of the game seeing as it's already installed and just waiting for the unlock :)
cJay
Posted 09:02pm 24/10/11
Wow just to think I pre-ordered this in May.
ocarinaboy
Posted 09:03pm 24/10/11
If you don't get this game you must be suffering from a psychological disorder.
BladeRunner
Posted 09:13pm 24/10/11
I plan to play BF3 in window mode, its easier to use with battlelog then. Overall I can't say much against BF3 (from what I played of the beta) it will be well worth the price, I only wish they went with 7 classes instead of 4, I am happy with everything else considering the console centric world we live in.
Mosfxx
Posted 09:14pm 24/10/11
Some progress-halting singleplayer bugs
Oh well

Battlelog and Origin are poorly integrated
Different from the Beta? as I had no issues.

Closed server model means high rental prices for private matches and no LAN play
People still go to LANS?

No modding :(
Oh well.
fryzeegunner
Posted 09:46pm 24/10/11
cant wait
natslovR
Posted 09:48pm 24/10/11
Not only will I not be playing single player, I didn't read the single player part of the review
Tollaz0r!
Posted 10:03pm 24/10/11

Some progress-halting singleplayer bugs


For a 9.8 game I would expect NO progress-halting bugs, even with how little single player BF3 entails. I understand that you allow for a bit of patching, but 9.8 is a pretty f*****g good score. It rates this game as one of the best games ever released, show stopping bugs and all?
Khel
Posted 10:12pm 24/10/11
The bugs don't really sound that show stopping, its not like it destroys your savegame or something, just have to reload the last checkpoint and replay from there. I've had bugs like that in soooooooooooo many games I've played, doesn't really kill my enjoyment of the game though.
rrrocket
Posted 10:21pm 24/10/11
Single player is where it's at.

Love a good immersive interactive story.
Reality
Posted 10:22pm 24/10/11
does the full game run better than the beta?
Eorl
Posted 10:25pm 24/10/11
Haha, IGN has it's biased review up, but check out the scores

BladeRunner
Posted 10:28pm 24/10/11
I don't have any expectations of single player except its going to be a modern FPS set in the middle-east and Europe and its not going to be very long but will have some cool stuff and moments in it. I will play the single player first to get a feel of things again and to see what Dice have done.
Timmeh
Posted 10:33pm 24/10/11
I plan to play BF3 in window mode, its easier to use with battlelog then. Overall I can't say much against BF3 (from what I played of the beta) it will be well worth the price, I only wish they went with 7 classes instead of 4, I am happy with everything else considering the console centric world we live in.

all of this
IneptHG
Posted 10:44pm 24/10/11
I understand that 4 issues can vary in importance player to player - but if you're reviewing something to dish out a global score for the product and giving it a rating, shouldn't it be in relation to a multitude of players?

Regardless, Batman: Arkham City was given a 9.7 by AG with two very very minor (camera issues, a complaint about cameo's - a personal preference) issues; BF3 has four as outlined by you and they're more significant than that. I'm confused.
WirlWind
Posted 11:14pm 24/10/11
OMG that IGN review pic is priceless. I don't know if anyone actually takes them seriously though. They're about as reality based as the WWE.

And also, to someone who asked who still LAN's, plenty of people. I have them every other week with my mates. They bring their rigs over and my cabin turns into the LAN-pad.

Also, there are other things like tourneys that use LAN but will be unable to do that now, having to settle for a 3rd party server which is downright dumb.

Oh yeah, me and my mates still play DC final :) I probably wouldn't even have started playing the BF series if it wasn't for that game, which I incidentally first played at a 120 person LAN.
Eorl
Posted 11:26pm 24/10/11
They are saying in that picture that MW2 on Xbox 360 has better graphics then the PC copy of BF3.
koopz
Posted 11:29pm 24/10/11
Oh yeah, me and my mates still play DC final :) I probably wouldn't even have started playing the BF series if it wasn't for that game, which I incidentally first played at a 120 person LAN.


I'd have to agree..

still, if BF2 and 2142 were anything to go by - going back to playing the game online after a weekend lan would suck by comparison

Khel
Posted 12:17am 25/10/11
This is why actual scores are a bit of a s*** idea in reviews imo, because nobody can ever agree on what they actually mean. Personally, I think they shouldn't be compared to scores for other games, its not like the game is being given a ranking of how good it is in relation to other games. I like 1up's approach where they just give the game a grade, because this is how I imagine scores to work anyway. I imagine it more like scoring a test or marking an essay, rather than it being some absolute indicator of how this game stacks up compared to other games.
Kf
Posted 12:39am 25/10/11
Scoobs:
560ti on highest everything, 1920x1080
3.2ghz AMD X6

barely ever noticed frame dropping, and ran smooth as

<<<<<<<<<<<
Hi Scoobs, are you the reviewer?
I'm surprised that card ren the game maxed out on ultra and 4x MSAA as they said you would need SLI GTX580 to do that!

Still good news...
eXemplar
Posted 12:40am 25/10/11
I'd ignore the rating scores you see websites like ausgamers give out, they pretty much have an agreement to be able to review stuff early in return for positive reviews.

However, I'm concerned over the trend this is setting. No dedicated servers shows a disregard for the longevity of the game and competitive play, and locked down modding pretty much implies they plan on raping everyone with potentially game breaking DLC. Both combined means they'll probably start pumping out a crappier version each year if it sells well.

That said, the game does look good (but I am looking forward to MW3 more cuz they don't seem to be going backwards).
FraktuRe
Posted 12:49am 25/10/11
Hi Scoobs, are you the reviewer?


Scoobs isn't allowed to play games, he's in jail for tax fraud.
Eorl
Posted 01:08am 25/10/11
That said, the game does look good (but I am looking forward to MW3 more cuz they don't seem to be going backwards).

You mean instead of going backwards, they are just standing in the one spot, copying the same s*** over and over?
DM
Posted 01:23am 25/10/11
After playing the beta for a few weeks i'm not sure i'll buy this now. Between Dungeon Defenders, Arkham City, new Rune Factory game and Dark Souls (WOO hardcover guide arrived today) I got no time to spend dozens of hours releveling my old gear back up.
Raider
Posted 01:24am 25/10/11
reviews are horses***, the only reviews i actually watch are yahtzee and that's only because he's a funny c*** but is generally accurate in most things.
DM
Posted 01:36am 25/10/11
Professional reviews now days are more about finding out what games are coming out in the next few days I find. Most high profile games get high scores even if they don't deserve them anyway. I'm not sure if it's just me but I find reviews on forums or message boards much more informative as they will be as cut-throat as they feel they should be. Watch MW3 get amazing marks in graphics despite it looking no real different than the other ones that have come out before it.
Raider
Posted 01:55am 25/10/11
mw3 looks no different to blackops which looked no different to mw2, so how people can still rate those graphics highly dumbfounds me when you have things like BF3 / Crysis 2.
Dan
Posted 05:39am 25/10/11
A lot of people seem to be getting hung up on the listed cons versus the score, so I’ll attempt to elaborate on and clarify why they (and the other minor gripes discussed in the body) amount to only 2% off my take on an otherwise perfect game.

*some progress-halting singleplayer bugs
I touched on this in my earlier comment and Khel also explained it well, it’s just not as bad as it sounds. You restart the last checkpoint and keep going. It only happened twice for me and it’s incredibly likely to be corrected in a patch soon after launch.

But more importantly, singleplayer really is but a footnote in the longevity and overall experience that BF3 has on offer. The average player is going to spend 7-10 hours in campaign, but potentially days. weeks and months in multi.

*Battlelog and Origin are poorly integrated
This pertains entirely to the in-game Origin overlay. You have this functionality in the game to load a browser window by hitting Shift-F1 at any time, yet it doesn’t play nice with Battlelog.

It seems silly to be alt-tabbing to access all of that outside of the game, when you have this interface available that could be leveraged to offer access to all that functionality without having to switch out.

But that’s the extent of my complaint there. Both services are otherwise robust and Battlelog has a lot to offer.

*Closed server model means high rental prices for private matches and no LAN play
*No modding :(
These ones sound like a big deal and admittedly are for a lot of people. But realistically, they are more a commentary on the priorities of the greater games industry more than flaws in this game itself.

As much as many of us want these features in our favourite games, there are some very legitimate reasons for their absence (which I outlined in the review).

I personally feel that BF3 would be better off with them -- that there is a way that the closed ranked system can work side by side with open unranked servers and modded games -- but it’s just that, a personal preference/philosophy and it’s not fair to fault the game for not being designed the exact way I want it to be.

It’s also entirely possible that they’ll be introduced at some point down the track, once piracy in particular is less of a limiting factor.

Ultimately, the fact remains that BF3 is a very complete product that offers a huge amount of value out of the box and even without those (admittedly utopic) wishlist features, it still represents a massive win for PC gaming.
BladeRunner
Posted 06:35am 25/10/11
LANs are only good for large citys anyway, Not everyone lives in Bris-vegas. We had a LAN here in my town, I only got to go a few times before it stoped. The admins had stuff to do, One guy's wife was having a baby or some lame excuse like that lol. Closed server stuff would be annoying for those who wanted their own server with their own rules/maps/modes.
Rdizz
Posted 08:35am 25/10/11
ok.. I just looked around to actually buy this game and before I signed up to origin I noticed 2 things that make me NOT want to buy it, regional pricing and its release date of the 25th. After I signed up the price went up and I can not play it until the 27th. because of this I will not be buying it and will acquire it though other means. I mean this kind of s*** just encourages piracy. If it is good enough I might buy it later on when its cheap for multi-player.

Marketing Stupidity at its finest.
Nerfy
Posted 08:52am 25/10/11
Set in 2014 and loosely based around real world locations in Europe and the Middle-East, the story is told as a retrospective from a US Marine Sergeant who relates his tales to a pair of interrogating government agents. These stories put the player in the boots of Staff Sergeant Blackburn and other various soldiers as the narrative slowly comes together.

The game is actually surprisingly mature and responsible with its narrative too. Having an American protagonist and using real-world countries could quite easily have been a recipe for a lot of cultural stereotyping and insulting references, but even with Iran being the game’s terrorist hotbed, it’s careful to note that the fictional PLR is a radical insurgent faction. And in the case of the Russian involvement, it makes efforts to paint both sides of the story as things get politically grey.

That's awesome. From the trailer I was worried that they were setting it in the current war, which would have been super questionable for a piece of first-world entertainment, in my eyes (though, in a sense they still are, but in-good-taste is fine).
ravn0s
Posted 10:25am 25/10/11
at least ign got their uncharted 3 review right, a perfect 10.
Khel
Posted 10:28am 25/10/11
Thats a pretty thin excuse for piracy, since theres so many ways to buy it cheaper and sooner if thats the major thing thats turning you off. Considering the game is all about the multiplayer, I dunno why you'd bother pirating it anyway.
trog
Posted 10:37am 25/10/11
I'd ignore the rating scores you see websites like ausgamers give out, they pretty much have an agreement to be able to review stuff early in return for positive reviews.
That is complete and utter f*****g bulls***, FYI
Eorl
Posted 10:40am 25/10/11
Oh, for anyone that has gotten in early, search for Ausgamers in the platoons, I've created one, just trying to make a cool logo at the moment...
Beanith
Posted 10:41am 25/10/11
I'd ignore the rating scores you see websites like ausgamers give out, they pretty much have an agreement to be able to review stuff early in return for positive reviews.


Trog, we need to partner up with Multix* for an ad campaign to sell discount alfoil to the ausgamer forums


*This joke would probably work better if there was well known brand of alfoil...
deeper
Posted 10:45am 25/10/11
So Dan, your personal game of the year yes?
Dan
Posted 10:50am 25/10/11
Thus far. I haven't played Skyrim yet ;)
eXemplar
Posted 11:58am 25/10/11
You mean instead of going backwards, they are just standing in the one spot, copying the same s*** over and over?

You mean like dedicated servers? In game server browsers with filters? Full proper steam integration compared to browser based junk? Mapping and probably modding support? Also, EA doesn't rehash games each year, right?

That is complete and utter f*****g bulls***, FYI

So you're saying if you gave the game a less than perfect score, even if the cons didn't quite match up, you would still be invited/able to "participate in very exclusive review sessions" ? Not that I don't appreciate the reviews, you guys definitely do some of the better ones around AUS, but I just don't look at the scores.
Eorl
Posted 12:05pm 25/10/11
Haha, I find it funny your now holding COD in superior lighting just because they decide they can get more money by putting in options that any fps should have. Yeah I know those issues do bring down the score, but it doesn't make it a bad game. Origin/battlelog has been done well. As you said though, you don't look at scores, but I wouldn't say COD is superior just for tacking on things that should have been there before. Just look at MW2 and black ops.
Dan
Posted 12:10pm 25/10/11
So you're saying if you gave the game a less than perfect score, even if the cons didn't quite match up, you would still be invited/able to "participate in very exclusive review sessions" ?
Well we have and we still do. As one example, Steve's BioShock 2 review was one of the lowest globally, much the ire of 2K at the time, yet they still treat us very well.

Perhaps there's something to be said for reviewers that get pampered possibly having a more positive experience with a game than they otherwise would have, but any cries of cash for comments or review buying -- based only on my own dealings with the industry in Australia at least -- are simply tinfoil-hat territory.
Khel
Posted 12:22pm 25/10/11
Mapping and probably modding support?


Haha, thats a good one. Like they're gonna open it up for people to make maps when they can get away with robbing people of more money for map packs.

Battlelog is pretty good honestly, its far from "browser based junk", its a lot better than the in-game server browsers I've seen in many games in the past. And you get all your stats and friends lists and all that stuff without having to pay extra for an "Elite" service, which is nice.
Pirroh
Posted 12:23pm 25/10/11
Question for anyone who may have unlocked it already, do we have to add everyone to our battlelog friends list again?
boba
Posted 12:52pm 25/10/11
Question for anyone who may have unlocked it already, do we have to add everyone to our battlelog friends list again?
Yes
Pirroh
Posted 12:58pm 25/10/11
Yes

Damn it.
Python
Posted 01:41pm 25/10/11
link
Eorl
Posted 02:48pm 25/10/11
Hey Trog or Dan, what's your Origin names? Can give you uber leet status in the Ausgamers platoon.
Pinky
Posted 03:03pm 25/10/11
Echoing DM as well, given the negatives listed that score is far too high.

Huh, 3 of the 4 negatives you listed relate to multiplayer.

I don't think things like "no modding" should really affect the score though. Overall score seems like fair representation of the review IMO.

I'm with a few people in this thread about Single Player mode. I still can't understand why it's there, in fact. I would prefer them to focus 100% on MP and get that experience as perfect as possible.
FraktuRe
Posted 03:06pm 25/10/11
It's there because a console realise with no sp wouldn't sell very well.
Dan
Posted 03:07pm 25/10/11
Hey Trog or Dan, what's your Origin names? Can give you uber leet status in the Ausgamers platoon.
Hey Eorl. I actually already created an official platoon. Didn't mean to step on any toes so feel free to join mine and i'll make you an admin.
Eorl
Posted 03:24pm 25/10/11
Hey Eorl. I actually already created an official platoon. Didn't mean to step on any toes so feel free to join mine and i'll make you an admin.

Haha all good, didn't see any last night so just attempted to unite it xD
Trauma
Posted 03:34pm 25/10/11
I don't think things like "no modding" should really affect the score though. Overall score seems like fair representation of the review IMO.

I dunno, given this franchises history and how reliant it has been on modding I find it hard to ignore modding in battlefield, it will sure hurt the games longevity, but the may just start pumping them out more frequently so that won't matter.
The GuVna
Posted 04:48pm 25/10/11
Just checking with all the people who've got it now, you can change your mouse buttons now... right? 15 years RMB (mouse 2) has been jump, not gonna change anytime soon.... :)
boba
Posted 04:48pm 25/10/11
Just checking with all the people who've got it now, you can change your mouse buttons now... right? 15 years RMB (mouse 2) has been jump, not gonna change anytime soon.... :)


hah no you can't still
Sc00bs
Posted 04:49pm 25/10/11
12yrs my mousewheeldown has been jump for me, will also be hoping you can customize mouse buttons
The GuVna
Posted 04:51pm 25/10/11
haha you serious?

edit : (was replying to Boba's post)
Sc00bs
Posted 04:54pm 25/10/11
why the f*** in 2011 would you not have the option to map whatever buttons to whatever controls you wish....

DM
Posted 04:59pm 25/10/11
Because consoles can't remap buttons so why should anyone else be able to? They'll have none of this hoity toity PC only garbage.
Sc00bs
Posted 05:01pm 25/10/11
ARG f*****g consoles can go eat a d***. The one game that is MADE FOR PC and they still dumb it down for consoles :@
Dan
Posted 05:36pm 25/10/11
haha you serious?

edit : (was replying to Boba's post)
Guv, not sure if Boba's trying to wind you u or his install is just broken or something, but you can definitely rebind your mouse buttons in the launch version, I just tested it then and could bind jump to RMB just fine.

FWIW, you might remember I used to be a RMB=jump guy too, but I forced myself to change when iron-sights became so prevalent. I think it helped that I had a bit of an accidental hiatus for PC gaming there at one stage and when I came back I just left the settings on default.
ctd
Posted 06:44pm 25/10/11
lol not in UK until friday (is tuesday morn) woot.
BladeRunner
Posted 08:59pm 25/10/11
RMB to jump seems very odd to me, thats like some 1998 game or something. Now that I think of it, MB4 would be a good place for jump and have grenade on the space bar........but I need to have a melee button close by....so....I need more handy buttons I think.
The GuVna
Posted 10:00pm 25/10/11
Im a pro gamer tho Dan. I have 9 buttons on my mouse. :D


RMB to jump seems very odd to me, thats like some 1998 game or something.


noob.

last edited by The GuVna at 22:00:54 25/Oct/11
Eorl
Posted 10:14pm 25/10/11
Bloody hell, some people are so bulls***. Versed a guy named Sostopher who just had dead accurate shots.
FulliAutomatixx
Posted 06:40am 26/10/11
I pick up my pre-order first thing tomorrow (Yes, I bought the physical disk pack so I could hold it & caress it...).

Anyone know what time the Oceania servers are due to be serving up this wholesome goodness??
Khel
Posted 09:14am 26/10/11
For anyone playing on XBox 360, I think its pretty much mandatory that you install the HD texture pack, cos holy f*** it looks ugly without. Check this out.

Dan
Posted 09:19am 26/10/11
Anyone know what time the Oceania servers are due to be serving up this wholesome goodness??
PC servers worldwide were already up and running yesterday.
For anyone playing on XBox 360, I think its pretty much mandatory that you install the HD texture pack, cos holy f*** it looks ugly without. Check this out.
It's pretty hilarious that the only reason DICE would have included the option to play without the texture pack -- which is clearly an experience which detracts from the quality of the game -- is Microsoft's mandatory certification requirement that all games are to playable without the HDD.
RockitMan
Posted 09:41am 26/10/11
Will GameArena have BF3 server rentals? Price?
Dan
Posted 10:57am 26/10/11
You're looking at around AU$70 a month for a 64 player server, which when you consider the tech requirements isn't too crazy outlandish, still, it'd be nice if we could run our own, on our own terms.
Eorl
Posted 11:23am 26/10/11
Dan come play some rounds!!
Midda
Posted 11:25am 26/10/11
I activated my copy on Origin last night through a US VPN so I could start playing. The second mission starts with you on an aircraft carrier, walking up to the deck to get into a jet. I just about needed new pants, it looked so f*****g amazing. The water, the rain, the lighting... Absolutely amazing.
Reverend Evil
Posted 12:08pm 26/10/11
EB at Mt Gravatt are doing a midnight launch tonite so I might go down and pick it up then depending on how drunk I am.
E.T.
Posted 03:08pm 26/10/11
So is Strathpine but TBH, I can wait another day.
D-Sub
Posted 03:45pm 26/10/11
Getting stupid long load times and random crashes. Anybody else having these problems? PC is above recommended specs and latest nvidia drivers.
Sc00bs
Posted 04:16pm 26/10/11
anyone else get an email from origin saying that its unlocked a day early?

Thank you for ordering on Origin. The release date for the preorder product has changed. The product listed below will now be available on 26 October 2011.
kappa
Posted 04:20pm 26/10/11
I just got an email from EB games saying its out now so I'm guessing its unlocked on Origin.
natslovR
Posted 04:22pm 26/10/11
3 emails. 2 telling me the same thing, 1 telling me physical warfare pack is available now too.
Sc00bs
Posted 04:24pm 26/10/11
^ yeah same, whats the deal with the warefare pack?
Deviouz
Posted 04:24pm 26/10/11
I juat picked mine up from EB instore,
Reverend Evil
Posted 05:12pm 26/10/11
I just got a text from EB as well saying I could pick it up. But I'm to drunk to bother leaving the house now. Think I'll watch Jurassic Park on bluray instead. Should be f*****g awesome.
Deviouz
Posted 05:22pm 26/10/11
BAM:

This application cannot be used until the official release date has been reached. Please wait until the official release date and restart the application at that time. Click 'Exit' to abort the process.

Please visit the support website to get more information: http://eauk.custhelp.com

Your release date will be: 27 October 2011, 00:0

oh well, looks like im waiting
scuzzy
Posted 06:14pm 26/10/11
JB are selling it as well.
59fifty
Posted 07:41pm 26/10/11
just picked mine up from eb - nearly done installing, probably wont be able to give it a crack till tomorrow night.
DeadlyButters
Posted 07:47pm 26/10/11
yea i got my copy this arvo when i went into local eb games to find out about the midnight launch and saw s***loads of ppl picking up preorders so i got mine. alas when i went to put the disk in my comp it refused to even installed and nuthin happened. annoyed as f** so now im waiting till midnight to see if it will unlock.
rrrocket
Posted 08:00pm 26/10/11
sif you'd but it from EB's. Unless you're buying for console?? But I'd doubt it cause it's a FPS and FPS own on PC's. Any gamer knows this.

right?
Ha
Posted 09:16pm 26/10/11
Seconding the guy who says yahtzee is the only reviewer worth listening to.
scuzzy
Posted 09:18pm 26/10/11
This game is everything I want a BF title to be :3
StopShootingMe
Posted 10:36pm 26/10/11
This browser/launcher system they've come up with is so s*** :) Steam is way better.

*EDIT* Got disconnected, they put this message up:
Be advised: Scheduled maintenance for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 game server back-ends starting soon. Downtime is scheduled for 13:30 - 15:00 CET.

Really? You dropped your entire browser system for maintenance?

last edited by StopShootingMe at 22:36:24 26/Oct/11
Eorl
Posted 11:21pm 26/10/11
This browser/launcher system they've come up with is so s*** :) Steam is way better.

*EDIT* Got disconnected, they put this message up:

Really? You dropped your entire browser system for maintenance? last edited by StopShootingMe at 22:36:24 26/Oct/11

Oh hey, let's just let everyone play while we try to do maintenance shuck shuck. Seriously dude, lrn2maintenance. And the browser is fine, way better then any other s*** I've had to use. I have it bookmarked in chrome, signs in automatically, find server, launch game, enjoy looking at other sites till it auto loads game for me. Wow so hard.
DeadlyButters
Posted 11:53pm 26/10/11
sif you'd but it from EB's. Unless you're buying for console?? But I'd doubt it cause it's a FPS and FPS own on PC's. Any gamer knows this.

right?


yea i did get it for pc only a dollar more than buying the stupid digital copy on origin but i would rather a hard copy in my hands like all other bf games i own and i do a wide search at different games stores and such and eb was the only one tht had the limited edition physical warfare pack in hard copy form (alas i hate f**** consoles y would i ever buy bf3 on it)
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