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Battlefield | 3 | review | game | Lollipop

Battlefield 3

(EA for Xbox 360)
By Mike Delano

Given all the pre-release hype, you'd be forgiven for focusing on whether or not Battlefield 3 fulfills its sacred mission (dethroning, or at least disrupting, Call of Duty as the dominant military FPS) rather than simply enjoying it for what it is: A great online multiplayer shooter. It has big, beautiful maps, tight controls, and a satisfying progression system. Developer DICE also infuses the experience with some of its trademark details, like outstanding audio (the sound of sniper bullets piercing the air next to your earlobe is as startling as anything in Dead Space) and a focus on vehicles, setting the stage for many one-of-a-kind moments (I tried to provide some heavy artillery to a firefight in Paris by rushing a tank to the scene, only to veer off-course and sink it in the Seine river before swimming meekly to the street. Not my finest hour). Run 'n' gun players can get their kicks in the Team Deathmatch modes, but the grander objective-based modes are where the game really shines, rewarding thoughtful teamwork and giving the illusion of a far-reaching conflict rather than just a bombastic skirmish. The single-player campaign is visually sleek and occasionally satisfying (running around the starkly modern interior of a big city bank brought back misty-eyed memories of Mirror's Edge), but it will feel far too familiar to anyone who has played a military shooter in the past five years. Once online, though, you create your own stories, and Battlefield 3 gives you more than enough tools to make them memorable ones.


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