Battlefield 3

February 1, 2012

A while ago I purchased Red Dead Redemption by RockStar, mostly because of a YouTube video by TheCheese00. It wasn’t a particularly cheap buy, as I also had to get an Xbox 360 to put the disc somewhere and a TV so I could see what I was doing. There are many things I don’t like about RDR, but all in all I had (and still have) a lot of fun playing it. I can wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone. Among the things I’d like to see improved most in any upcoming sequel is a more detailed environment and better destructibility of objects. I was therefore impressed by the quality of the visuals in many BattleField 3 videos, which seems to deliver on these aspects. BattleField was developed by Dice, the people who brought us Mirror’s Edge.

If I had to pick three words to describe my experience with BattleField 3, it would have to be; annoyance, disappointment & frustration. Some might argue that annoyance and frustration have a large overlap, but I thought it important to properly cover the extent of my bile.

Not only is the game extremely short –I finished it within a little more than 6 hours– it is also extremely boring. The story is ludicrously unsophisticated and focuses on stolen nuclear bombs to be detonated by terrorists in Paris and New York. Really Dice? Stolen fucking nuclear fucking bombs? How very 1980 of you. The story is presented as a sequence of flash-back missions of the main character, Sergeant Blackburn, who is being drilled by civilians (?) about having shot his CO and his potential involvement with terrorist attacks. Every mission is basically the same; lots of people firing back and forth, follow the blue diamond and follow the instructions on the screen. Press A when you’re told to. Press B when you’re told to. Press RT when you’re told to. Thrilling.

There’s almost no lead-in, no time to get comfortable with the controls or the weaponry. There’s also very little freedom. Wander but a little from the preset mission path and the mission fails, at which point you’ll be awarded with the loading screen and you get to try again. And again. And again. And again, until you figured out the correct sequence of buttons to press to get you through the mission.

The graphics and physics of BattleField 3 are fantastic. Too bad there’s no time whatsoever to enjoy them as the game-play and the story are amongst the worst I’ve ever seen in any game.