The focus of this article is not strictly reviewing the gameplay of Battlefield 3 alone, but also it’s performance in a surround setup whether it be Nvidia Surround or Eyefinity.
Gameplay Score: A+
-Single Player: I enjoyed the campaign of Battlefield 3. It plays similarly to the Bad Company campaigns and features some of the best voice acting to ever grace a video game. There are those who make the argument that Battlefield campaigns borrow heavily from Call of Duty. But hey, if it’s a good game then it’s a good game. The games originality isn’t going to effect how much fun I have, so I take it for what it is.
The AI can be insanely difficult even on the lower difficulty settings though, in my opinion. The AI often feels calculated at times with very unforgiving combat and it will hit you the instant you come out of cover. Oh, and I suck at first person shooters. That doesn’t help much.
-Multiplayer: Battlefield 3 is the pinnacle of multiplayer mayhem. It remains one of the few games that can still cause the hair on the back of my neck to spring up when I hear an approaching enemy nearby as I hide while proned inside a bush. Okay I lied, Duke Nukem Forever can as well but it’s more of an uncomfortable awkwardness/embarassing emotion I have towards the games developers. I kid I kid. Anyways, you could imagine how much more exhilerating the game became once I got it running on three monitors. Talk about immersive.
-Coop: This was a great addition to the game. In coop you are able to have a singleplayer-like experience with a friend. There are differently difficulties you can conquer for each coop mission as well as many weapons/equipment to earn. A nice bonus that adds a little bit of extra replay value in Battlefield 3.
Graphics Score: B+
The score I gave it has more to do with my personal performance in surround rather than the actual visuals of the game in any setup. If you are making plans to get a multi-monitor setup for Battlefield 3 than you are going to need some beefy GPU’s. With three GTX 480’s I can still come nowhere near to maxing out the graphics. To keep the game close to 60FPS at all times I have to tweak settings at various qualities ranging from low to ultra with 0 antialiasing. The the main thing that is hurting me is the video ram on the cards at 1.5GB. You can have the highest level of texture processing in the world with Quad-SLI 590’s (very hypothetical) and if they video ram is under 2GB you will have problems running game at max. In other words, the number of cards does not add all video ram totals together. In my case my total ram with three GTX 480’s was still a stinkin’ 1.5GB. My advice: For a surround setup get video cards with no less than 2GB of video ram per card.
Furthermore, the terrain textures are still buggy at times as I will often have shadows tweakin’ out for no reason and certain textures will flicker at times as well. I can’t hate it for that. I try to comprehend the work that must have been involved to even make this game somwhat coherent. The formulas and perplexities that game development demands would probably melt my little brain. I’m grateful for what it is.
You really do get a complete package with Battlefield 3. A lengthy campaign with multiplayer that will last for years you are getting your money’s worth in Battlefield 3. Price drops are already becoming popular for the game as well as bundled discounts with the games first expansion Back to Karkand. The maps all feel unique from each other and the ranking system and collection of tags and medals becomes rather addicting. Expect lots and I do mean lots of work if you want to max out multiplayer statistics, which I actually am not sure is even possible. Probably though.
Replay Value: A+
Battlefield 3 is a game you will more than likely be coming back to mainly for the multiplayer. Not only do multiplayer matches differentiate from each other greatly, but the destructable environments also make the maps appear in new ways in each round. If there is one killer that I hate in a game it’s repetitiveness. Battlefield 3 is far from that.
The closest Battlefield 3 ever comes to being repetitive is in the coop missions. As I mentioned above they are a great addition that will keep you coming back for more. However, the points needed for earning certain weapons can quite high and may require a bit of grinding. There use to be exploits available to earn these weapons within hours. Then a patch came and it was one of those patches that fixed something you wanted to stay broken. That was a lowpoint in Battlefield 3.
Overall Score: A
For an overall score I ranked Battlefield quite high. How could I not when it’s everything that “other game” is but with added vehicles? Battlefield 3 has surely been played by every first person shooter fan out there. Lets hope it maintains it’s large player-base so it remains keep it competitive. That is, until Battlefield 4 releases. Hopefully we won’t have to wait as long between “flagship” Battlefield games as I feel you really do get a lot more versus what Bad Company 1 and 2 offered.
Battlefield 3 is one of my favorites to play in a Nvidia Surround setup. For 3 monitors you want to look for games with outdoor environments, which makes Battlefield perfect and well worth the investment. With that said, you may have to pay a pretty penny to really achieve the ultimate Battlefield 3 experience. If you can tolerate the occasional FPS drop with or without v-sync than I can assure that you will enjoy it in a triple display setup.
II hope you enjoyed my mini review of Battlefield 3. Battlefield 3 in surround has has it’s shortcomings and is a pricey upgrade, but in the end it is well worth it.