Battlefield 3 Multiplayer Review: A Masterpiece In a Patch or Two

The Details

Gameplay: Battlefield is a game that is all about fulfilling a role. It’s important to note for newcomers that they should not expect to carry their team to victory as an individual, but to focus more on contributing to the team and working together to achieve the objective. Battlefield 3 gives you all the tools you need to be a great team player. It’s your job to pick a class, either assault, support, engineer or recon, and find out how you can use your abilities to benefit your squad.

The assault’s job is to simply kill enemies and heal teammates, while the support class has the ability to easily suppress enemy positions positions and supply ammunition to teammates. The engineer’s job is to blow up enemy vehicles while repairing friendly ones, while the recon supplies teammates with enemy intel and can deploy squad beacons for teammates to spawn on. With all these roles, DICE has also done a great job of allowing players to play the way they want to, without imposing too many restrictions. This is mainly due to the large number of attachments and accessories you can add to your weapons and all the customization options available. All this  plus a seemingly never ending unlock system gives Battlefield 3 some real depth.

So far, weapons seem balanced, though I’m sure tweaks will be made in coming days and months. When It comes to clases and points, it seems like most players are flocking to the engineer class who can rack up quite a number of rewards thanks to the many vehicles found on each map. Next in line would be the assault class, with their ability to heal teammates. The recon class seems a bit under-rewarded since most of its points come only from kills and spotting, but the support class was a bit left in the dust here. I barely see any on the battlefield.

Graphics: The visuals of Battlefield 3 are truly awe-inspiring. DICE has managed to create extremely detailed and believable environments while still keeping the sweeping draw-distances on all platforms. Maps like Caspian Border and Operation Firestorm can attest to this. On top of this, the Frostbite 2 engine is capable of including a large number of players and vehicles, including destruction, without the frame rate taking much of a hit, though screen tearing was still noticeable here and there. There is also some texture pop-in when viewing characters up-close in the killcam, but this is very minor. Visual effects like rain and dust on the player’s screen really add to the immersion, though few might find it obstructive. A note for Xbox 360 users: if you don’t have a HDD and aren’t able to install the HD texture pack, you can also use a USB flash storage device. (Highly recommended!)

Lighting: This is where the Frostbite 2 engine really “shines.” (Had to say it.) Fighting in dark areas like the tunnels in Operation Métro really show off its capabilities. Most light sources can be blown out, changing the look of certain areas. You’ll also notice the stark contrast when leaving a dark area and walking into the day light. You can almost feel the sun’s rays beaming down on your face. The only oddity I can seem to find is with the flashlight attachment. It sometimes seems much more pixelated than it did in the Beta, making it look almost cartoony. However, many times, I had to stop to really take in the forested areas in Caspian Border or just to enjoy the reflections in rain puddles.

Sound: While it is the graphics of Battlefield 3 that drop my jaw, it’s the sounds that turn me into the double rainbow guy. Thankfully, I had the pleasure of experiencing Battlefield 3 with a pair of Tritton AXPro headsets. If I had to sum up the audio in one word, I would say “clarity.” Sounds are very spaced out and extremely crisp. Each sound is very distinguishable from one another, especially with a 5.1 headset setup, the way I think everyone should experience Battlefield 3 at one point or another. Little things like being able to hear soldiers doing their exercises during a loading screen, or hearing soldiers cheer in the background after taking that first base in Operation Métro are a nice touch that really adds authenticity. Deafening explosions, thunderous destruction, sharp bullets whizzing by, and an insane number of VO lines all make Battlefield 3 one of the most immersive first person shooter experiences ever.

Animation: Using EA’s ANT engine, DICE is able to create some very realistic character movements. Enemy deaths are believable (despite some glitchy occurrences like enemies freezing in place when killed), and vaulting over obstacles and diving to prone have never felt so good. Responsiveness has been improved since Bad Company 2, but your solder still feels like a real soldier as he runs and wobbles his weapon.

The Verdict

Battlefield 3 will see an influx of gamers hailing from many different types of first-person shooters and should provide a bit of something for everyone. If you want tight, infantry-based combat or large-scale, vehicle warfare, you will find it here.

Even though “scale” would be the most fitting word to describe Battlefield 3, hopefully fans will notice the attention to detail DICE has put into it. Although there are a some issues with server connectivity and squad management, along with some odd bugs and glitches here and there, these are things that could easily be looked into by DICE who could provide fixes via future updates. Thanks to the power of their newly created Frostbite 2 engine and the amount of dedication they have shown to their fans, I believe DICE has accomplished what they set out to do in the first place: push the FPS genre into new territories and raise the bar to new heights.

Operation Firestorm: One of Battlefield 3’s largest maps

Remember, this review is just the beginning. As the game itself will be updated and patched, so will our take on Battlefield 3. Some elements in the multiplayer are ever-changing and ever-evolving and could be significantly different in a couple months’ time. We want these changes to reflect in the review, so make sure to stay tuned to MP1st.

Make sure to also check out our Battlefield Co-op Review.

And of course, we want to hear from you. What’s your take on Battlefield 3? Let us know in the comment section below!

  • Anonymous

    hate to say, but as for right now i like BC2 hardcore.. I don’t like how they have the minimap in BF3.. I mean if they going keep the minimap in BF3.. at lease remove where people are shooting you from.

    • plenty of hc servers have minimap turned off

      • Anonymous

        I play on PS3 and my friend and I look at each map to see if they have minimap turned off.. not one map have that.. I believe the PC gamers have that.. As for console’s I haven’t yet seen it 

  • Erik Olsen

    Oh Yeah?  How about the verdict is a 0.0, across the board.  If I can’t play the dam game who gives a crap how it plays for someone else?  I’m getting a refund and buying Activision!  MW3 may have some issues at launch as well, but at least I’ll be able to play the dame game instead of stuck with a crappy SP campaign….

    EA fail, EA loses more customers!

    • well, i have been tracking bf since 1942, its the same case, game comes out has bugs, in a few months its fixed. But in this case mw3 come out in 10 days and taht game is based on mw2 which was very stable despite its unbalanced gameplay that is now fixed.

      This is really gonna bring activision fourth while people have issues with bf3.

      and yeah i d rather stick with mw3, they have no hit delay, lan, mods, ingame server browser, cod elite which is better than battlelog at its free mode and you dont even need it to play on pc and its on steam.

      Just thought i pointed that out mw3 gets alot hate

      Oh and bf3 campaign is terrible, seriously might as well do the whole thing in machinima.

      “can i go there” NO you cant, you getting off the level, “but in cod i can take a diffirent path..” THIS AINT COD SOLDIER THIS IS REAL WAR AND IN REAL WAR YOU GO WHERE I TELL YOU TO GO.

      “yeah tank lets blow that wall, oh wait i cant, why?” BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED, you have to go where i tell you to go.

      NOW KNIFE THAT GUY “Yes sir, ok lets sneak behind that guy…. wtf you mean am dead? who shot me? there is no one else here” YOU DIDNT KNIFE HIM PROPERLY “WTF you mean i didnt knife him…ohh fuck it”

      “YAY a jet lets fly that bitch just like black ops and homefront, yeah dice is ahead, while in moh you only shot from the heli, they put a freaking jet for you…. to… fly???   OMG what is this i get to ride shotgun again?”

      5 minutes later:

      “YAWNNNN can i shoot already?”


      “allright, lets shoot, oh wait thats just flares”

      5 minutes later:

      LET ME SHOOT!!!!!

      and dont even get me started on  buttons appearing on the screen.

      SERIOUSLY wtf dice? in bc you got it, in bc2 and bf3 you mesed up bad.

      • If you are going to do nothing but deliver flak for Battlefield 3 based on nothing but opinions and hilarious misinformation, why even bother reading an article about it?

        • FACPALM

          First of all i thikn i said its a great game, second the singleplayer IS like that, and its a fact not missinformation. Now stop talking trash.

  • Well its pretty good but it has some issues, eg its mostly graphics and balanaced gamepaly there is not much new in it, even the weapons and the characters feel rather overused, even the colors are the usual, is it wrong to ask for something more considering how dice has made vietnam, 2142 and bc? Suprisingly even bf2 maps feel more colorfull.

    The game plays very well, its more balanced, no overpowered tanks and shotgun snipers, no magnum ammo. The problem is the hit delay that all bf games are famous for, it has less than bc2 and moh but its there. It really brings down the experiance.

    Sound is amazing, animations are pretty good although weapon sights and scopes are not as good as cod.

    Great game, pretty must standard US armry modern war shooter vs russians, nothing that we havent seen before in a bf game and a pretty bad campaign.

    Seriously after medal of honor, i did expect another cheap ripoff of cod but dice did it with bf3 campaign.

    Seriously WTF?

    On top of that, i could care less about “pc support” when the damn thing uses battelog and origin, seriously wtf? Its jut not as functional as steam and an ingame server browser.

  • It’s a good game, but it’s not perfect. Server side lag is a major problem still, hit delay and seemingly getting killed very fast get annoying. Jets are fantastically balanced, as long as you get the unlocks. Otherwise you have a weak chance of succeeding. Gunplay can be a bit sketchy at times, it can take an awkward time to kill someone at times unless you’re at close range.

    • Hit delay, main reason why i am not going crazy for bf as everyone ense, its there since 1942 and dice still cant fix it, one can blame the player limit but moh had it too and had pretty few players.

      Sometimes i shoot and take cover bullets register when i take cover, there is nothing worse than shooting someone and not killing him so you shoot again and again in multiple quick burst, you take cover, the other guy dies with 1 second delay and then you take the damage because he shot you since the bullets you fired at him did not kill him before he had the chance to react.

      No actual skill, just luck.

      • That’s the server side lag I’m talking about, that kind of situation only arises when I’m lagging/rubberbanding. It’s not the game, it’s the servers. That’s what’s keeping this game from being the best it possibly could

        • Considering how i dont care about graphics, vehicles and generic modern war universe, its no wonder i dont see why its so “great” cod deliver much more solid fps gunplay and proper hit detection till bf does that, it will be second place in my book and a game for people who value vehicles over gunplay.

          • You can’t honestly take CoD and BF and compare them as the same game. They have radically different game design philosophies. It’s fine that you prefer a game that focuses on the individual and doesn’t have vehicles, but you can’t make a legitimate side by side comparison to see which one is better, without at least addressing that, whilst they are both FPS they have totally different styles of play.

          • Oh, and the only reason Call of Duty doesn’t have day 0 lag issues is because they use P2P hosting system, not dedicated servers. 

          • Sanmer

            “a game for people who value vehicles over gunplay” not true. BF3 is a game for people that want a real shooting experience. I have played COD games since MW1 and i like em, but the truth is that it doesnt give you the real thing feel. If you have shoot real guns you should know what im talking about. Weapons in BF are designed in a way that you feel the difference between them in terms of velocity, power, impact,  range and sound. In MW all guns feel the same, it is just an arcade shooter. Not trolling, just my opinion.

      • Ben

        This is because you are at a certain distance from your target. And it is not a bug or form of lag. It’s a feature L2P 🙂

  • BF3 really won me back into BF’s world. In 4 days, I’ve unlocked my Jet service star… that should tell you something about how awesome it is 😉

  • OHMANe

    you cant use a USB to install the HD pack believe me ive tried and cried lol but its still a good looking game just wish theyd release a patch to allow us without alot of money and a hard drive to see what the game can really be visually. I know im in college and each dollar pretty much has an owner these days so if theyd allow USBs to be used then itd help alot

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  • BattleField

    I have fast speed internet and although I play this alot this lag never happened to me he’s right its not the game its the servers.

  • After 9 months… BATTLEFIELD 3 is still the best game ever created until BF4.