Joined: 16 Oct 2009
Location: Southern Cali (UCLA)
|Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:45 pm Post subject: Battlefield 3 (PlayStation 3 Multiplayer)
|Wage war with EA and DICE's Battlefield 3!
Battlefield 3 is a first person shooter game in which you can take to the skies, pummel through buildings with a tank, or fight as an infantryman. It is available for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 (with PC being the lead).
This review will cover only the multiplayer aspect of the game (as I have not yet played the campaign, my apologies) on the PS3 port. It is a large game, with large maps and large battles. On the PC, up to 64 players can play on one server, whereas on the PS3 and Xbox 360 the player cap is at 24 due to hardware limitations. The graphics and video effects of the PC version are much better than their console counterparts (such as vision blur when sprinting, more realistic lighting, etc). However, the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions look awesome, although it may lack some of the finer details that the PC "elitists" can enjoy.
The maps in Battlefield 3 may be few (although there is a "Back to Karkand" DLC coming soon that will introduce new maps, game modes, weapons, etc) but they are definitely large. One of the more famous examples, Damavand Peak, has players fighting on top of a mountain only for them to reach the end of the cliff, jump off the cliff and parachute down to a city below, continue fighting down there, and move into an extensive cave base within another mountain. Although the maps are huge, most of the time only sections of the maps are used at a time (in gamemodes such as Conquest and Team Deathmatch) although in gamemodes like Rush the entire map is used, although the new areas are unlocked as the attacking team progresses.
The gamemodes are superb as well. One of my favorites, Rush, has attacking players destroy a pair of M-COM stations while the defending team tries to prevent the attackers from doing so. Upon successful demolition, a new portion of the map is revealed with another pair of M-COM stations (going on until either all 8 M-COM stations are destroyed or the attackers run out of reinforcement tickets). Reinforcement tickets are essentially spawn limits; in Rush, the attacking team has only 75 tickets - with each death subtracting one ticket - while the defending team has unlimited. Taking out a pair of M-COM stations resets the tickets back to 75 (or 100, in the case of Operation Metro).
Conquest, another favorite of mine, pits the Russians and the US in a certain portion of the map and has them try and take control of 3-5 flags. Each team starts with 250 tickets; a death subtracts a ticket, and a faction will start slowly losing tickets if the opposing faction controls all or most of the flags on the field. This gamemode is quite reminiscent of Starwars Battlefront (I LOVED this game, and its sequel as well).
Team Deathmatch is what it is: team deathmatch. It is played as any normal team deathmatch game - try to get the most kills as possible. The maps are more limited and players are limited to 24, even on the PC. The combat is entirely infantry-based, devoid of vehicles.
There are also smaller versions of Rush and Team Deathmatch called Squad Rush and Squad Deathmatch, respectively. Squad Rush has 4 players facing 4 players. Other than that the game is essentially the same; however, there are only 2 M-COM stations in total and the attacker tickets are far less than 75. Squad Deathmatch is the same except with 16 players.
There is almost no lag in the multiplayer due to publicly hosted servers! Unlike those unfortunate Modern Warfare 3-ers, DICE and EA host public dedicated servers - no need for "host migration" or anything of the sort! The server search is also easy to use; players can choose to look for an all out infantry server with 16 players, or maybe a Conquest gamemode on Kharg Island. The only downside, however, is the lack of private servers (this is where Modern Warfare 3 wins). But DICE has planned to allow private servers soon, so that shouldn't be a problem .
The spawning system in this game is not like that of Modern Warfare 3: you can spawn on any one of your squadmates (SQUADMATES, not teammates. There is a difference), the default spawn positions, vehicles, or even at flags, in the case of Conquest.
Battlefield also includes a class system with 4 classes: assault, engineer, support, and recon. Assault focuses on assault rifles and medic equipment, engineer focuses on carbines and repair/anti-armor, support focuses on LMGs and ammunition, and recon focuses on snipers and enemy detection techniques. By gaining experience points for each class players are able to unlock new equipment, such as defibrillators for the assault class, a guided rocket launcher for the engineer class, mortar for the support class, UAV drones for recon, and much more. By using certain weapons, players are able to unlock add-ons for their weapons such as the tactical flashlight, laser sight, etc and even newer weapons. The player as a whole can level up (like Call of Duty) by gaining experience points.
The vehicles of Battlefield 3 are extensive, ranging from the Tunguska anti-air vehicle to the UH-Bell helicopter. Although ground based vehicles are easy to maneuver, air vehicles require much more skill. Always have the professionals fly the helicopters and the jets. Some vehicles such as the APC and transport helicopters can act as mobile spawn points.
Multiplayer relies heavily on teamwork, an element that gives the game its feel and vibe. Players are placed in 4 man squads (if they choose to) and must work together to complete objectives. There is one squad leader per squad who gives orders, and squadmates who cooperate to execute the orders. Players are rewarded for teamwork; reviving an ally will grant 100 points while reviving a squadmate will grant 110 points, spotting an enemy and having him appear on the minimap will grant you 20 points once he is killed, following the squad leader’s orders (such as attacking an objective) adds 20 points to each of your kills, respawning on a squadmate gives that player 10 points, etc. Simply being in a vehicle with a squadmate will allow you to enjoy 20 points for every kill he gets.
Unknown to many players is the function of the “select” button (or the back button on the Xbox 360). Sure, holding on to it shows the leaderboard, but players are able to “spot” enemies by looking at their direction and pressing the select button. The enemy that is “spotted” will have a red marker above his head and his position will be revealed in the minimap AS LONG AS he is in the spotter’s view. Vehicles and planes may be spotted as well, and their markers stay longer. As a squad leader, looking at an objective and pressing select will order players to either attack or defend the objective (depends on whether the objective is hostile or friendly). Looking at players such as assault, engineer, or support classes and pressing the select button will allow you to request healing, repairs, or ammo.
Another key element in Battlefield 3 is its realism. Almost everything can be destroyed; some dude camping in that building? Fire at it with an RPG and watch the entire wall collapse. Destruction 3.0 allows for a realistic battlefield, with destructible environments that force players to constantly adapt. Sound is also realistic: there are over 300 different variants of the “Man Down!” event alone. Gunfire from afar will echo across the battlefield instead of sounding the same from far away. Flashlights can blind enemies (and allies) if shined right on their faces. Firing near an enemy will cause dust to kick up and mess their vision – suppression fire. Heck, bullets are even affected by gravity.
DICE has done a great job on this game. The only problem for me right now seems to be the horrid VOIP chat and the input lag that can occur on higher resolutions. They’ve announced updates to fix these problems, so we’ll see about that later. If you suffer from input lag, try lowering your resolution to 720p.
+ Stunning realism
+ A player cap of 24 works
+ Persistent character (leveling up, earning new weapons, etc)
+ Dedicated servers
- VOIP chat is terrible right now; you can’t hear what people are saying
- Input lag on higher resolutions (1080p)
- Lack of private servers
- Missing some traditional elements of the Battlefield series (such as the Commo-rose and Commander mode, although Commo-rose is available for the PC)
I rate this port's multiplayer a 9.8/10
It's the essence of combat; kill, or be killed.