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.
Published: October 29, 2011
Unless your PS3 is unable to go online I’m going to assume that if you’re getting Battlefield 3 it’s for the multiplayer. Yes, it’s only 12 vs. 12 and some will find this to be a deal breaker when the PC version has 32 vs. 32 and is also $10 cheaper. Of course I would love the chaos that goes with having that many players going at once, but I find 24 players to be a nice point to settle on. If you’ve never played a Battlefield game then let me explain things a bit. There are four kits to choose from, Assault, Engineer, Support, and Recon. Assault takes on the medic’s abilities, allowing you to heal and revive players. Engineer allows you to repair vehicles and gives access to mines, rocket launchers, and other anti-vehicle weaponry. Support is all about big guns, causing chaos, and placing anti-personnel traps (C4, claymores, and even a mortar gun). Recon is for all your sniping needs and also allows you to place spawn points, movement sensors, and help clear the “fog of war.” As you progress each kit you’ll unlock new and different weapons, accessories, and other items. Some will choose to focus on one expertise but if you’re like me you’ll constantly bounce between all of them and adapt to whatever the team needs. There are three multiplayer modes, Squad Deathmatch, Rush, and Conquest.
Squad Deathmatch is forgettable and most players that I have encountered tend to avoid it like the plague. In the mode you’ll spawn in random locations on the map and these may put you literally in front or behind an enemy. The goal is to accumulate more kills before the other team and while it can be fun with a group it’s easily the weakest of the modes. Conquest is all about capturing points and trying to deplete the opposing team’s tickets (a pool of respawns shared by everyone on the team). As you capture a point you can spawn there, giving your team a tactical advantage that can sometimes lead to spawn camping. Rush is the mode most recognizable with the Battlefield brand and if you just hop on for a quick match, it’s likely you’ll end up here. You can either be attacking or defending and there are two points on the map at any given moment. If you’re attacking then it’s your job to destroy those by planting a bomb and if you’re defending then, well, you don’t want that to happen. The offense has a certain number of tickets and each time one of them is killed they decrease. The defense wins if they exhaust the attackers’ tickets before they lose both points. As the points are taken the map opens up and two more points appear and the attackers’ tickets are refreshed to their maximum amount. This goes on a handful of times until all of the points are gone or the defense locks things down.
The online combat is as fun as you would expect, and it can go toe-to-toe with any game on the market or yet to release. Tanks roll through the streets, infantry are running from cover-to-cover, snipers are perched in buildings, and jets and/or helicopters fly overhead. With the planes added in I felt like I was back to my days of playing Warhawk religiously and that put me back in my happy place. It’s easy to pick up and use any tank, AA gun, or other weapon, though flying is a bit of a different story. Some will pick it up right away and patrol the skies with an iron fist. Most will pick it up after some practice and hold their own. If you’re like me, though, it’s best to stay with your feet firmly planted on the ground. I love being the gunner in my friend’s chopper but don’t ever ask me to fly the thing. I tried the jet exactly once and I think I lasted 15-20 seconds before depositing it right into the ocean. Guess it’s my fault for trying to control it like Ace Combat Assault Horizon but the controls aren’t exactly bad. As I said before, I wish there was a practice mode where I could get down the basics without putting my team at a disadvantage or asking a co-op partner to bear with me as I struggle to keep things level. That said, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any online experience that is as fun as Battlefield 3, from being in a great squad (shout out to Lawyer Team Alpha) to luring an unsuspecting enemy into a hallway packed with C4. I’ll never tire of watching a building come down upon an unsuspecting enemy and taking down a tank with a well-placed rocket.
You can probably guess what the biggest detractor is going to be. The glitches are more abundant here in the multiplayer than anywhere else on the entire disc. A lot of these things will be patched and DICE will fix the most widespread problems. The first bone I have to pick isn’t actually a glitch, but why can’t I quit a match immediately after it’s over? For some reason I have to wait until the next match begins, quit, and have that put towards my quit percentage. It doesn’t make sense but this is the most minor offender. The voice chat and squad systems are also currently broken and problematic but again, these are already being patched and supposedly DICE will have them taken care of (along with horns on vehicles for some reason) in the next patch. Connecting to the online is a bit of a problem and it usually took me two or three tries just to get into a match. There are also some bugs that were present from the beta, like enemies going underground when near a wall or getting super jumped into a suicide by a friendly tank, but again, none of these things are game-breaking.