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Battlefield 3 review roundup

Battlefield 3 review scores are in. Take cover!

By Matthew Shaer / October 26, 2011

Battlefield 3 hits consoles and PC screens this week.



Battlefield 3, the long-awaited, mature-rated third installment in the popular EA series, hit shelves this week. On Xbox 360, the game ships with two discs, one containing a single-player campaign and the other containing a series of multiplayer maps. With the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is right around the corner, can Battlefield 3 stack up? Let's go to the scorecards.

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The graphics

"[T]he graphics in Battlefield 3 set a new standard, even on consoles," writes Tom Price of GamePro. "The lighting is amazing, and the level of details and textures you see on characters is very impressive. But I didn't really need the constant water spots that were supposed to be on my goggles (I guess, I'm pretty sure I wasn't always wearing them) – they actually block a lot of the action."

The storyline

Battlefield 3, writes Ryan Fleming of Digital Trends, "boils down to the most generic of possible stories. It also borrows heavily from Call of Duty’s campaigns over and over again. Despite the primary focus on the soldier, Sgt. Blackburne, who is being interrogated, the game shifts focus to a handful of other characters, just like CoD. It even has you chasing a Russian named Kaffarov, a name that even sounds like Makarov, one of the antagonists of the Modern Warfare series. An incident about half way through feels so extremely similar to one of the big moments in CoD 4: Modern Warfare that the big shock it’s supposed to carry turns out not to be a shock at all."

The campaign, part 1

"From a battle set in the midst of a skyscraper-toppling geological event in Tehran to a mad dash through a stunningly recreated Paris en route to thwarting a nuclear explosion, there is no shortage of visual or psychological thrills," writes Chad Sapieha of the Globe and Mail, in Canada. "The globe-trotting narrative, which, similar to last year’s Call of Duty: Black Ops, is presented as a series of flashbacks from the perspective of an American soldier under interrogation, takes us on terrifyingly realistic tank runs, taut sniper missions, and even a ride as a gunner in a jet in a truly marvelous sequence in which the player must frantically spin his or her avatar's head left and right to track tailing MiGs through the cockpit window while the pilot performs dizzying barrel rolls, dives, and steep climbs."

The campaign, part 2

It's a shame," writes Martin Gaston of, "that DICE's concentrated attempt at storytelling – a 12-level single-player campaign – falls completely flat, demanding a poignancy and emotional engagement it simply does nothing to earn. It's a bolt-on campaign so obsessed with military maneuvers that you spend more time watching your marines preen and posture than actually fight in an engaging setup, with your comrades masking loading screens by barking their orders before kicking down doors. The attention to detail is nothing short of magnificent, but it's a real shame to see the player's role marginalized because of it."


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