After the trailers, the trash talking and the rather controversial multiplayer beta, DICE’s highly awaited first-person shooter, Battlefield 3 has finally arrived. It carries with it the expectations of millions or at least thousands of gamers, who’ve been looking for their next online fix. And thankfully, it does not disappoint.

Now, the Battlefield series (not to be confused with DICE’s Bad Company games) has always provided players with a deep multiplayer experience, but this time around, DICE strapped on a single player campaign as well. The story puts players in the boots of a US Marine named Sgt Black, who via flash backs during an interrogation sequence, divulges the plot of the game. It seems a fanatical terrorist has stolen some nukes and is hell bent on detonating them in Paris and New York. Black obviously is not a huge fan of his plan and does everything in his power to stop it.

Crash boom bang!

Crash boom bang!

Battlefield’s campaign borrows heavily from other shooters on the block, and to be fair, it does deliver some pretty cinematic set pieces with much aplomb. You’ll co-pilot a jet raining hell fire on ground targets, survive multiple ambushes with your troops, manoeuvre a tank through enemy lines, take control of a turret mounted atop a jeep through a war-torn fictitious Middle Eastern country, survive a catastrophic earthquake, and lots more.

The action, while clichéd is frantic enough most of the time, especially during the indoor levels where you’ll be shredding through walls, glass, desks and pretty much anything that comes between you and your target. Unfortunately, the campaign is bogged down heavily by a ‘been there done that’ vibe that never really allows the game to create an identity for itself. Not helping matters is the fact that the AI is completely stupid, some of the missions felt a bit contrived, and the campaign went a tad overboard with its quick time events (QTEs).

Umm that doesn't look too good

Umm that doesn't look too good

Multiplayer is, of course, the main reason most of you will pick up Battlefield 3, and it is without a doubt a freaking ball. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 veterans will feel right at home with the game’s multiplayer modes like Conquest, Rush, Squad  and Team Deathmatch. Each of these modes can be played across the game’s nine vast maps. You can start your Battlefield 3 career off by dabbling with some of the more straightforward versus modes like Squad Deathmatch before you jump into the more complex, large scale ones. During Squad/Team Deathmatch, every map is cut down drastically in size, where a sizeable chunk of the map is cordoned off to provide some up close and personal combat.

Top Gun

Top Gun

If you aren’t too good at pulling the trigger, don’t sweat it; you can take up a support role since Battlefield 3 encourages and rewards players for playing as a team. You could chose to be a medic and heal your teammates or go in for a support class and make sure they never run of ammunition. As you level up your respective classes, you’ll unlock better abilities for them. For example, when you start the assault class, you’ll be limited to med packs, but once you level up, you’ll unlock the defib kit that allows you to bring your team/squad mates back from the dead.

Once you feel you’re comfortable with the game’s mechanics, you can venture into Conquest or Rush, the crux of Battlefield 3’s multiplayer. In Conquest, each team has to capture a bunch of points spread out all over the map, while the opposition has to do the same. While holding a point, your team must try and eliminate the opposition. Doing so will reduce their tickets and at the end of the round, the team who loses all tickets loses the round. Rush is more intense as you’ll have to destroy the opposition’s MCOM stations while they try and stop you. In both modes, team work is absolutely crucial to succeed, which is why I strongly suggest investing in a mic before you pick this game up.

He's about to get a rude surprise

He's about to get a rude surprise

Speaking of investing in stuff, I would also recommend a hardware upgrade if you plan on picking this bad boy up for the PC. On a high end rig, this game looks positively phenomenal with everything maxed out in all its DirectX 11 glory. Everything from character models to textures to weapon detail is pure eye candy as long as your system can handle the load. And thanks to some of the best sound effects I’ve ever heard in a game till date, every gunfight in Battlefield 3, be it in multiplayer or single player, is a thoroughly satisfying and nerve racking experience. Character animation is top notch as well as DICE have gone all out to make sure the act of running or leaping over objects feels as fluid and life-like as possible. Destruction, something that’s been associated with the Bad Company series, has been toned down a bit in this game. You can still blast off a healthy chunk of the environment, and in some cases, even tear a building in half, but it’s still a bit mellow compared to Bad Company 2.

I was pleasantly surprised at the game’s rather smooth launch, since most of DICE’s older games have always had teething issues. This time, however, everything worked out perfectly. I found servers to play on easily, could manage my squad the way I wanted to, and Battlelog, something I was always sceptical about, doesn’t seem to bother me at all. Still, I can’t understand why DICE couldn’t just implement Battlelog into the game itself instead of forcing players to launch it via their web browsers. If you’re only just joining us, head on over to our beta impressions to find out what Battlelog is all about.

In the face.... in the FAAAACE

In the face…. in the FAAAACE

It’s obvious that Battlefield 3 is targetted at the multiplayer crowd as DICE have crafted a well-tuned, deep multiplayer experience you’ll be playing for months on end. The single player may not be the best thing since sliced bread, but it does have its moments and can help players grasp gunplay as well as gameplay mechanics before they head into multiplayer. The game looks phenomenal and thanks to some seriously talented sound engineers, it is the best sounding game on the block right now. If you’re a fan of modern-day shooters, military shooters or online games, Battlefield 3 is already in your crosshairs. Even if you’re new to the genre, I suggest giving it a shot. It may convert you.

Test Rig:

Motherboard: Intel DP67BG Extreme Desktop series
Processor: Intel Core i7 – 2600K @3.40 GHZ
Graphic Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590
Ram: Corsair Vengeance 4GB DD3 @ 1600 MHZ X2
Power Supply: Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 1200W

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