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Battlefield 3: A multiplayer triumph

By Stuart Andrews


Our Score


Review Price £37.47

To be fair, there are some exceptional sequences. A running battle through offices and trading floors and onto the streets of Paris has some fantastic moments, as bullets chew their way through cubicles, glass walls and monitors, and while the inevitable tank mission is particularly dull, it’s hard not to find a little love for a game that lets you drive a tank through buildings. Overall, though, the single-player campaign is a bit depressing. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 left us hoping that Battlefield 3 would be a new benchmark for the military FPS genre. Instead, it’s just another stone in a well trodden road.

Battlefield 3

At this point, then, you might be wondering where the generous score comes from. Well, this is where the other big ‘but’ comes in. For all its problems as a single-player game, the multiplayer Battlefield 3 experience is just magnificent. The goodness starts with the co-op missions, which while limited in number, are more entertaining than the single-player just because you have another player involved. However, the real heart of Battlefield 3 is its large-scale team-based multiplayer. This is classic Battlefield, with big maps, well-balanced troop types and a lot of vehicular mayhem, and – on console – it’s the first time we can really say that. PC owners, of course, get an even bigger game, with 64 players instead of 24. And while there are some teething troubles with matchmaking, particularly on the Xbox 360, we’ve found it remarkably easy to find a stable game on PS3.

Battlefield 3

Perhaps the best thing is that there’s real variety. If you want to play on huge, sprawling maps, battling over control points and steadily whittling away at the enemy forces, then you can. If you want to drive a tank, dive out of an exploding helicopter or play gunner on someone else’s ride, then you can. If you want to play seriously, with squad tactics and voice communications, then you can. And if you prefer smaller-scale, urban arenas that feel a little closer to Modern Warfare, then maps based in the Paris Metro or on the banks of the Seine give you just what you’re looking for. In particular, playing in Rush mode, where the two teams attack or defend specific positions, tends to concentrate the action very nicely. We also love the new mechanics for running and jumping over walls and barricades – it gives the action an even more dynamic edge.

Battlefield 3

This is hideously addictive stuff, with a scale and grandeur that’s curiously absent from the single-player campaign. A persistent experience system with perks and upgrades to unlock helps keep you hooked, but the action is so compelling that it’s almost unnecessary: you just want to do better next time, and work your way up from the guy who dies to the ultimate armchair warrior. There’s also a real sense of experimentation. Why just run towards a control-point when you can drive a vehicle into it, running over the opposition before leaping out to claim it for the team? While every game has its share of cowardly-custard, yellow-bellied snipers and selfish, tank-squandering halfwits, it’s a game where the team mentality inspires you to new flights of heroism. Sure, it’s a different multiplayer experience to the more clean-cut, kill or be killed battles of Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops, but we’d argue that it’s a richer, deeper and more varied one. In fact, it’s so good that it doesn’t just redeem the disappointing single-player campaign, it practically renders it irrelevant.


Despite the mostly duff single-player campaign, Battlefield 3 is an essential buy for its fantastic, epic-scale multiplayer action. While PC gamers get the best of it, with a higher player cap and better graphics, console games still get the authentic Battlefield feel, and the most drama-packed, spectacular online warfare in town.

Our Score

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November 1, 2011, 9:31 pm

Battlefield is the same as Call Of Duty. Only difference is the better and more realistic graphics. The target group of these 2 games is exactly the same.
Even though i don't like any of these games, i prefer COD, i think it's more fun and more honest. BF is way more boring and pretends to be many things that it's not.
I think Nietzsche is not suitable for this. BF never tried to advance the shooter genre, only wanted to steal many COD fans. And looks like it succeeds that way.


November 2, 2011, 2:30 am

I don't agree, having played every Call of Duty game and the last BF game, battlefield requires more skill, team work and more fun especially when playing with friends.
. BF is actually older than COD, Codename Eagle (from which most of the original code, etc comes from) came out in 1999.
There aren't any 360 quick scopes, campers, grenade spammers or tactical knifers.
Summed up:
Call of duty: Quick call in the airstrike. Battlefield: be the airstrike


November 2, 2011, 2:51 am

Your review is spot on: Excellent multiplayer, fun co-op and a COD-u-like single player campaign. I am a hopeless 'twitch' shooter which is why I really love the BF series. I can play support, doling out the ammo to my squad or backing them up with a bit of mortar fire and still have fun despite my gun skills only being so so. I see that MW3 will be trying to get more team based action but feel this is one area where BF3 will have it well and truly beaten.


November 2, 2011, 4:02 am

"Battlefield is the same as Call Of Duty"

I'm going to be charitable and assume you're only talking about the single player campaign.

I've been playing BF3 on PC since launch and have to say this review is spot on. I really enjoyed BC2's single player but i haven't even been able to bring myself to finish the second level of BF3's.

The multiplayer is awesome though. Some of the new destruction effects are amazing, esp on the seine crossing level. Pull out the under-slung grenade launcher and fire it at a first or second story window and the whole façade comes sliding down. Wonderful stuff.


November 2, 2011, 6:22 am

There both good games, I tend to think COD is best for single player, BF for multi-player.

Saying this EA need to sort out there servers for BF3, trying to squad up with friends is a royal pain in the butt.

John Archer

November 2, 2011, 1:47 pm

For what it's worth, I think the online components of COD and BF are so different and both so brilliant in their different ways that drawing comparisons is pointless.

Call of Duty's Free For All online mode remains the most adrenaline-fuelled, frenetic and, yes, skillful 'single player' online mode I've ever played. Yet most of COD's online team games leave me pretty cold.

It's with team-based online play that the BF series excels, delivering a depth and, more importantly, genuine NEED for team play you just don't usually get with COD, where team games mostly feel like a bunch of individuals doing their own thing.

So instead of getting embroiled in fanboy arguments about which one is best, I'd rather say that both work sublimely well in their separate ways, and just get on with enjoying their respective 'lone wolf' and 'team hero' thrills according to my mood!


November 2, 2011, 6:49 pm

Voted you down lad complete joke.

Battlefield is War in a Can.

You can start in a Jet Fighter Bail out into a tank then capture the flag on foot

try doing that on No bullet drop Cod


November 3, 2011, 2:34 pm

You don't start in a jet, you don't bail out into a tank and you don't capture the flag on foot, you act the hopping bunny role all the time in BF. Same for COD, but it's more honest and fun there.
Nobody cares about negative votes mate. My sincere congratulations and admiration for installing officially tested spyware in your computer.

Tom New

November 16, 2011, 12:20 am


I don't know what you're talking about. Clearly you have never played BF3, or you're just a bit of an idiot. You can indeed start in a jet, you can indeed bail out into a tank (with parachuting in between obviously), and furthermore, almost all the damn capping of flags is done on foot. In fact, I just did this exact order consecutively to see if it was indeed possible. It is.

I don't know what you mean by hopping bunny, but you have classes, each of which has a specific role.

I have nothing against CoD in itself, what irks me is the people, like you, who /do/ play CoD, then try a BF game and slate it off because it doesn't fit their tastes. I expect you tried to play it like a CoD game rather than a BF game where you have to play as a team (even in TDM is this still applicable).

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