When people think of First person shooter (FPS) games, Call of duty is almost always the name that is synonymous with FPS gaming. For better or worse, COD has been a juggernaut when it comes to FPS console gaming. However, in February 2011, DICE (EA Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment) revealed f95zone they were working on Battlefield 3, and this sent shockwaves through the gaming community. For the first since 2005, they were releasing a direct sequel to Battlefield 2, one of the greatest FPS games of all time. Not only was Battlefield 3 highly hyped, but it was also coming out a week before Modern Warfare 3. It quickly became a Battlefield.vs. Call of Duty competition for FPS supremacy. This became an indirect message to infinity ward that after 4 years,their reign as the kings of FPS games was being challenged and possibly coming to an end. Now after almost a year of both games being released and all the hype is gone, did Battlefield 3 dethrone Call of Duty as the king of console FPS games?
Graphics, Sound, and Setting:
Battlefield 3 is set in the near future. The game is mainly a multiplayer game, but it does have a single player campaign mode. In the single campaign, you take control of various military operations such as a force recon marine, a Russian spec ops officer, an F-18 fighter pilot, and a M1A2 tank operator. The story of Battlefield 3 is surprisingly interesting and engaging. As you progress through the story there are many twists and turns. The main themes of the story are an upcoming war in 2014 which spans from Iran to France. Battlefield 3 does a good job of blending the action and the story together. Overall, Battlefield 3 has a solid single player story.
While the story is solid, a huge question that many people wonder about are the graphics. When DICE showcased Battlefield 3 at gaming conventions, the graphics looked phenomenal. The footage of the tank and the sands of Karkland were absolutely incredible. The level of detail was unseen in any other game before this.
However, all that footage was pre-rendered and expected to look good. When put into a real-time setting with thousands of changing variables, did BF3 deliver the same amount of intensity and rich realism in it’s graphics? It absolutely did. Battlefield 3 is simply put a beautiful game, DICE put $100 million dollars into marketing and it’s apparent they wanted to show off a product they are proud of. Battlefield 3′s graphics are made on a new Frostbite 2 engine and new character animation technology called ANT. The frostbite engine allows the game to create immense details, dynamic shadows, and smooth textures all throughout a large environment while it’s all destructible. The ANT character animation is incredible, every soldier looks incredibly realistic with facial expressions that change when the action heats up.
The single player campaign in Battlefield 3 spans many locations including Iran, New York, and Paris. Most of the areas are urban with many buildings and DICE did a wonderful job adding clear detail to each area. There are a lot of vibrant colors and Battlefield 3 has great distance terrain.
The graphics in the multiplayer maps are also very impressive. There are 9 main maps, not including the downloadable content. These maps are Caspian Boarder, Damavand Peak, Grand bazaar, Kharg Island, Noshahr Canals, Operation Firestorm, Operation Metro, Seine Crossing, and Tehran Highway. Each of these maps has it’s unique elements and style. DICE did a great job of making the multiplayer experience different in each map. Caspian Boarder is a forested map, which is really large. It contains buildings and forests and is excellent for sniping and using vehicles. Damavand peak is set in a dark and rainy market place. Kharg Island is set in a rocky island and has an ocean surrounding it. Noshahr Canals is set in an industrial area with various canals you do battle in.
Seine Crossing is a bright colored map focused in Paris. Tehran Highway is the last main map and it’s focused in an urban area in Iran during the night. Overall, the graphics in Battlefield 3 are exceptional, from the single player campaign to the diverse multiplayer maps, there is plenty of variety in each map graphically.
The sound in Battlefield 3 is some of the best sound quality I’ve ever heard of any game. Each bullet whizzing by sounds sharp and realistic and when you get good enough you can pinpoint where it came from. The tanks, jets, and other vehicle sound effects are all amazingly realistic. The voice acting is superb, and it really feels like your a part of the action. The game also features a 19 track official soundtrack composed by Johan Skugge and Jukka Rintamki. The sound in Battlefield 3 is very impressive. Overall, the graphics in Battlefield 3 are exceptional, from the single player campaign to the diverse multiplayer map, there is plenty of variety in each map graphically.