Monday, June 2, 2014

Battlefield 3 --- Freebie PC Ryview

In my Freebie series of Ryviews, I will be reviewing games that have gone free somewhere. And as I mentioned in my latest Deal Roundup, Battlefield 3 is free on Origin, but only until June 3rd, 2014, so act now!

Here's my ryview:

Battlefield 3, by DICE.

Recommendation: The price is right, but I'd say you should only pick it up if you're a serious FPS fan.

Battlefield 3 is a first person shooter that has a robust campaign and an intense multiplayer experience. This is my first introduction to the Battlefield franchise (and despite the name, this is in fact the Eleventh game in the series, much to my surprise). I also have never been a huge fan of super realistic shooters like this. I'm a bigger fan of the sci-fi style such as Halo or Mass Effect.

Before I get to the gameplay, I must say I really hated Origin's battlelog portal. It was frustrating that instead of just launching a game, I had to go to a webpage to launch the game again. What's the point of having a desktop icon that just links you to the actual page where you can load up the game? And if the page was working (and that was not a given, at least in my case), then I could click on the campaign button and the game would run. But it wouldn't just pop up. It would start up and you had to go down and open it yourself. Having no instructions or directions on screen, this took me far too long to realize. Am I unobservant? Maybe. But I really think there should have been more instruction.

There are definitely things I like about the game. There is a large library of weapons, cover in the game is destructible, and the controls on the PC have a high level of customization capabilities. That means the game is able to keep itself fresh for most of the campaign, and varying the gameplay with vehicles helps as well. All in all, I thought they did a good job of delivering an exciting campaign that never felt stale or slow.

The vehicles also improved my "Blow Shit Up" score

And if I could focus on the destructible cover aspect for a moment, I really enjoyed that feature. It adds a tremendous amount of realism to the game, and while I did just profess that I don't usually like super realist shooters, this is definitely something that caught my eye. Being able to hide behind a wall that's slowly being eroded away by bullets definitely heightened my sense of urgency, and it helped make the game feel authentic. It was a nice touch that gave the game much more depth.

My main criticisms stem from the difficulty of the game. I like shooters in general, and I would consider myself an average Halo player. So, naturally, I selected the medium difficulty setting, which was supposed to be for people who have played FPS titles before. Apparently, I should have selected 'casual'. Throughout the campaign, I died more times than I could count, and quickly, I might add. It was extremely frustrating. I'm not saying the game is impossible, but it was difficult enough that I found myself cursing wildly at least once every 15 minutes because I couldn't get through a single level without dying a few times. And there were some where I died at least half a dozen times at the same checkpoint.

Now, this wouldn't be much of a problem because I could just go to casual and have an easier time. That's fine. But it should be labeled properly, and in my opinion, it was not. Really, the difficulty settings were "normal, difficult, and OMG WTF DYING!!!!1!". Maybe I'm just much worse at shooters than I thought. Who knows?

Image from
This was a far too regular occurrence...

The multiplayer, which I've heard good things about, did nothing to boost my confidence. First time around, I couldn't get Origin to load the multiplayer properly. That was a souring experience. I tried several times before giving up and launching it the next day, when it was finally running properly. But as far as I could tell, I had no say about what kind of game I wanted. It just threw me into a deathmatch. I probably wanted that mode anyway, but was there a way to select the mode? Not that I saw.

I got into the game, and I promptly went 0-11. That's right, no kills. I drew some blood, and I got a handful of assists, but in general, I sucked. Now, once again, maybe I'm terrible at the game and I should hang up my rifle. But seeing as I'm trying to review this game for people who are contemplating downloading and playing for free, I have to assume at least some of your are like me.

So, do I recommend this game? I was very frustrated by the whole experience. The campaign is fun, but you'd better be ready for a hardcore experience if you select anything but casual. And you might need to try a few times before you get the game to actually run. If you want to play multiplayer, I'd say you have to be a hardened FPS fan to be able to compete in any sort of realistic fashion. So I really only recommend this to people who are huge FPS gamers. You can't beat the price, but I'd say you'd be better off getting some other classic FPS titles that have a less steep learning curve. The Halo series is pretty damn easy on it's casual setting, and normal isn't too bad either. Or if you want a solid multiplayer experience, try out some of the other free to play shooters online, like Planetside 2.


Time Value
Money Value
Final Score

Let me know what you think of Battlefield 3!

Until next time,


Images courtesy of Wikipedia except where noted

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