Only Christmas has managed to beat 2011’s most anticipated event. It’s not an election, it’s not the second coming and (thank goodness) it’s not the next Richard Curtis film. Yes, Battlefield 3 has been making more men quiver with anticipation without the aid of Jessica Alba. “What’s to be that excited about” you may say in a mature and cynical tone (possibly whilst flicking through a copy of the Evening standard). It is a typical shooter and is not really breaking any major gameplay boundaries it sure does look nice. But looks aren’t everything, right?The most obvious thing to get excited about this new release are the mind-blowingly real visuals. Again, you cynics out there might say that they can’t be that much of a dramatic leap, but you’d be surprised. The animation and movement flows smoother than the evening’s first pint of Guinness and is just as refreshing. There are moments where you think you’re watching the action unfold from the viewpoint of a particularly brave cameraman. It’s the most convincing virtual experience you can get this year and there’s not much more that needs to be said.
The gameplay has hardly changed, but then again it aint broke. A gun catalogue the size of the Pentagon is included in the game with all the various attachments thrown in. Because just using your gun to shoot people get’s a bit vanilla after a while, of course. So it has a lot of guns; a standard expectation of any shooter. But Battlefield doesn’t draw the line at the boomstick bargain basement. They’ve been shopping at Napalm Neddy’s Military Vehicle Dealership too.From jeeps to tanks, from choppers to jets, just about anything with a steering wheel can be used. Coming up against a tank when the only thing protecting you is the destroyable wall right next to you is an experience like no other. At times, the amount of vehicles on a multiplayer map can disrupt the flow of gun fighting, but if you had the sense to get a tank in the first place, you wouldn’t be moaning. In fact, why not take control of a fighter jet and provide countless airstrikes whilst pretending you’re Tom Cruise. As expected, the multiplayer mode on this new game is expansive, incredible and very in-depth. But what about the single player? I have to say, I was quite surprised to find at how interesting the campaign was. Granted, it borrowed (stole, if you will) a lot of set pieces from the past couple of Call of Duty games, but it’s still good in it’s own right. But just like Call of Duty, you’ll have this licked in a particularly anti-social evening. There’ also a co-op mode included within. Just think Spec Ops from Modern Warfare 2.
For some promises that seemed too good to be true, Battlefield 3 has managed to keep up its end of the bargain without sparing anything. Modern Warfare 3 is going to have hard target to aim for as it seems that this years shooter is a hard one to frag. This is the only shooter you will need until Battlefield 4 get’s released with its patented Better-Than-Reality engine.