Whether it is an onslaught of tanks collapsing buildings around you or the unmistakable sound of an enemy helicopter raining down destruction upon unweary troops, Battlefield 3 adds an un-presented experience to the first person shooter genre. To the unweary eye Battlefield 3 comes across as an uncontrolled and chaotic mess of explosions, vehicles and gun fire (in some cases in truly is), but as a whole this game is simply the truest extreme of war presented in gaming form.

In the beginning of the single player campaign you are thrown straight into the fray as you battle unnamed enemy troops aboard a hijacked train. As you fight for survival through the speeding locomotive a sense of urgency occurs as you jump from carriage to carriage avoiding potentially fatal explosions. As the fight climaxes you are finally confronted and apprehended by an armed assailant simply asking you “Are you alone”.

As you enter the game you find out that you play as Staff Sergeant Henry “Black” Blackburn, a soldier who has been committed of crimes not only against his country but affecting the entire world. As you play through the events leading up to the situation at hand (which are played through a series of flashbacks) you slowly start to unravel an intricate story of not only global terrorism but of the bonding between and relationships between squad mates.

The co-op aspect is another strong edition included into the game which allows players to accomplish set tasks ranging from standard fire fights and escort missions threw to vehicle based and recon missions. Players will engage in the tasks with either a friend or another online player in order to unlock a number of weapons only obtainable threw this mode.

Although the single player experience and co-op are both very strong parts of the game, the bulk of your time spent will go the mayhem that is multiplayer. Multiplayer comes with 6 different game types including: Team Death Match, Squad death match, Rush, Squad rush and Conquest each having its own objectives and different play types.

Team Death Match (TDM): Standard team vs. team gameplay which focuses on more fast played gameplay in which the winning team is decided by which team reaches the need amount of kills in the round.

Rush: There are two sets of objectives know as M-COM stations, players on the attacking team must arm and defend these objectives until they are destroyed or until they run out of spawn tickets whilst fighting the defending team who must prevent these objectives from being destroyed. Once both M-COMs have been destroyed another two will spawn and continue to do so until all have been destroyed.

Conquest: A set of neutral flags varying numbers (by map and platform) will be allocated in set positions around the map. Both teams must fight to capture and hold as many of these flags as they can. Victory is decided when one team runs out of their spawn tickets, incidentally the team who holds all flags will be at a major advantage as the opposite team will slowly bleed tickets even if they are not being killed.

Squad rush and Squad death match: both are the same as their above on the exception that squad rush is an 8 man game (4 man per squad) and Squad TDM is a 16 man game consisting of 4 4 man squads.

As with Battle Field Bad Company 2 you start with four set class’s to use in multiplayer including:

Assault: Able to use all assault rifles and underslung shotguns and grenade/smoke launchers. Unlike previous battlefield games the medic class has now been swapped with the assault, allowing for the assault to take on a more field medic style of play. The assault class also has use of the med-kits which refill team mate’s health although it is limited and can also use defibrillators to revive downed team mates.

Recon: Has access to all sniper rifles and semi-automatic rifles. The recon class has many helpful gadgets such as T-UGS (Tactical Unattended Ground Sensor) which can be placed on the ground to detect non-crouched or prone players. Recon players will also be able to unlock 2 separate gadgets used for spotting infantry and targeting vehicles which are the SOPHLAM and MAV (Micro Air Vehicle). The last of their gear is the Radio Beacon Spawn point which allows players to choose where they will spawn after dyeing by placing it on the ground or flat surface.

Engineer: Able to use all carbines and all rocket launchers including the RPG and SMAW bot use for anti-infantry, removal of cover and anti-tank if needed. SA-18 IGLA and FIM 92 Stinger both used for anti-air in order to take down attack/ scout helicopters and jets. The final launcher is the Javelin used for anti-tank but can also lock onto enemy aircraft if it is locked onto by a team mates SOPHLAM.

Support: Access to all LMG’s and also has access to C4 allowing the support the ability to take out enemy vehicles. The support class also has the ammo box which similar to the med-kit will replenish a certain amount of rounds for the player and team mates. The last of the gadgets the support can use is the mortar which can be used for long range artillery fire.

Battlefield 3 has a high emphasis on team based combat and an overall need for team work. Many of the teams gadgets work better when used together, whether it be a recon class using a SOPHLAM to target enemy aircraft so an engineer can use a Javelin to take it down or simply things as handing out rounds and health when team mates are in need. Another example would be a recon class using a Spawn beacon to allow his squad to have a spawn point behind the enemy or even right on the objective at hand.  

I highly recommend Battlefield 3 to any avid FPS fan or to anyone simply wish to move into the genre (although the learning curve can be slightly steep). The simplicity in this game is the chaos it creates and its ability to make every game you participate in to feel different, whether you run around spraying, face off in vicious tank v tank battles or simply feel like using a MAV and spotting targets for team mates Battlefield 3 has something to offer for everyone.

Soman Smith