Battlefield 3

Make Sure to Tap it Twice

The trigger, that is. Battlefield 3 is sprinting, flying, and rolling into battle. Just don't ask me to be your pilot.
Author: Scott Rodgers
Published: October 29, 2011
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As far as glitches in the campaign go, where would you like me to begin? I saw enemies and allies running through cars, pillars, boxes, and walls. Early in the campaign in a mission called “Operation Guillotine” I was able to replicate one such glitch multiple times. At some point in the mission you have to breach a door - no big deal, right? Well, if you get there first your allies will literally run through the steel door and leave you behind. The first time this happened I was a bit flabbergasted, trying to see if I could open the door in some way, interact with it at all, or just shoot the thing open. Flustered, I ran downstairs and back up and my ally ran back through the closed door and kicked it open, allowing me to pass. I wasn’t able to make this part happen again because every other time I tried, they kicked the door open from the other side. I guess it’s a good thing that it swung both ways.

I may come off as critical of the single player but it really is a fun ride while it lasts. I normally hate quick time events and though it caught me off guard at first, they are forgiving enough (at least on normal) that they were never a hassle. I don’t know if any game has captured the FUBAR moments of war quite like Battlefield 3 did and I liked that. The characters aren’t superhuman heroes who can save the day by taking down an entire army with some duct tape and tweezers. You have to rely on teammates to give you cover and your partners can hold their own in the line of fire. As I said, I wish the AI would turn its eye towards itself every once a while, but I can’t complain about any part of the game being too hard. It’s just unfortunate that all of these awesome moments are bogged down by forgettable characters, including that guy from the soccer team in England and Russians #1, 2, and 3. It is worth at least one playthrough, though, and then you can go back to forgetting all about it.

Next up we have the co-op, which I also had meager expectations for. I played through five of the six missions with our very own Ryan Green and I’m pleased to say I enjoyed it, too. Each mission is different enough that you don’t feel like it’s just fighting wave after wave of enemies. If you plan on sticking with Battlefield 3 for the long haul then you’ll have to find a co-op buddy because some weapons in the multiplayer are only unlocked by accumulating points in co-op. The AI is much better at target recognition and will steamroll your allies if you’re not careful, but thankfully you’ll have a partner to have your back. There are some glitches with AI enemies running through things but these are minor and uncommon compared to their frequency in the single player. I’d suggest starting on easy for these because even on the lowest of difficulties the AI can pose a challenge. Also, make sure you have a friend you don’t mind talking to. Trying to play with pubbies is a nightmare. In the one game I was able to start (most quit at the beginning or get dropped) my partner dropped a grenade at his feet and killed himself for reasons unknown to me.

The second co-op mission provides the best flight training spot in the game but you’ll need a patient and loving partner. For some reason trying to swap spots in this level instantly fails the mission but hopefully it can be fixed in a patch. I wish there was a way to learn flying without testing someone else’s patience (the only time you’re in the air during the campaign an AI NPC flies while you shoot) but that’s neither here nor there. I said that we made it through five of the six missions and that’s because the fifth level is a dramatic spike in difficulty. It’s a sniping section that requires pinpoint accuracy, something I severely lack. Ryan almost carried us through this level while I provided some small assists but after the eighteenth or so try we just threw our arms up (literally for me, figuratively for him) and moved on. At some point I’m sure we’ll go back and beat the final two missions but for the sake of timeliness I was unable to finish the whole thing in time for the review. It’s something I’ll continue to come back to, though, especially with the carrot-on-a-stick strategy that DICE used with multiplayer unlockables.
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