BATTLEFIELD 3 Single-Player Is Everything Modern Warfare 3 Shouldn't Be!

For a game with so much hype and so much media attention and so many "E3" awards and even a live action commercial, I expected quite a bit from Battlefield 3, and rightfully so but the single player just doesn't deliver.

Imagine one day a well known car dealer came up to you and gave you a set of keys and told you he wanted you to have a brand new Ferrari. So you go home pumped out of your mind doing air guitar solos Bill and Ted style or whatever it is you do when you're really excited, and look up pictures of new Ferrari's, engine specs, play Gran Turismo, just general Ferrari geek out. Then imagine you finally get your new Ferrari, and it looks absolutely flawless on the outside. Ecstatic, you jump inside to go for a drive, only to find that theres no power steering, the radio somehow plays different stations than the one chosen, the GPS thinks you're in Italy somewhere, and none of the buttons in general do what you'd think they do. For myself at least, my first trip into the Battlefield 3 universe was kind of like that. For a game with so much hype and so much media attention and so many "E3" awards and even a live action commercial, I expected quite a bit, and rightfully so. When you alter your whole franchise to give new life to a series not worked on since the original XBOX days, and then claim that series will be a "Call of Duty" killer, you've got some serious walking to do to back all that up. Just like Killzone claimed to be the Halo killer and failed (though it wasn't a total fail), BF3 appears to have taken a half court shot and hit a solid brick. For starters, I will say I was really pleased with the way Battlefield 3 looks. There are certain moments throughout the game that make you shake your head and do a double take, they're that impressive. Same goes for the auditory efforts put into the game. Quite a few times I remember hearing, almost actually feeling, a bullet or an RPG fly right past the corner I was hiding behind. The combination of sound effects and the moments of too-real graphics combine to create some pretty stunning digital Da Vinci status artwork. With that said, here's the bad news (in my opinion). I'll just start with a list of things I'm willing to bet you will definitely not see/ have to deal with in the upcoming Modern Warfare 3. Don't hold your breath, this might take some time. 1. Weapon/game controls that are not adjustable/ customizable in any way. 2. The game thrusting you straight into a firefight without explaining what anything does or what youre supposed to be doing. 3. Not having the option to change the difficulty of the gameplay mid-game (for when you just wanna be Rambo and get to the next level) 4. Enemy AI that will run right past you to shoot at your buddies hiding 100 yards away. 5. General game design/tactics that want you to run into a valley to engage a dug-in enemy position in an uphill firefight when theres a downhill approach literally 5 steps to your left at level start. 6. Your buddies all sittin around in the Effin Osprey havin a smoke while you run for your life across 200 yards of open courtyard to get to said Osprey in front of 15 bad guys. 7. A bad guy on his belly who, when you shoot him in the face, flips forward feet over head like a ragdoll. 8. Bad guys who magically teleport onto the top of the car they were hiding behind and back down again, like a light bulb with a short. 9. Level design that traps you in a crack in a street and gives you no way out except to exit the battle area and run in a giant circle, hoping you make it back before the ticker thing reaches zero and you have to re-shoot all 20 terrorists again. 10. Friendly AI that actually kind of helps you understand whats going on and doesnt just run away from you expecting you to telepathically know that you were supposed to follow and then "Mission Fails" you for sucking at reading minds. 11. And this goes for most games that have come out in the last few years- that being the decision by someone to make the on-screen text as small as freakin possible in the menus and loading screens etc. I played on a 50 inch tv and STILL had trouble reading all the "hints" and captions. 12. On that note, having a menu list that doesnt flicker on and off like Christmas lights. It was cool the first few times, then it became a navigational obstacle. 13. Not being able to cook a grenade and basically not really knowing for sure where it went after you threw it. 14. A storyline basically ripped straight out of a previous game, in this case "BLACK" from 2006. Interrogation, flashbacks of relevant missions discussed in interrogation, and a giant manhunt for one bad guy (though this is a minor point). 15. Finally, and most importantly in my opinion, having a control system thats sluggish and does its best to prevent precision. When I move a reticle around the screen, I have an expectation that whatever weapon Im holding, be it a knife or an anti-tank rocket, will be exactly where that reticle is, WHEN the reticle is, if that makes sense. Not so in BF3. The reticle always gets to wherever you move it about a half second before the barrel follows suit. Its kind of like trying to do surgery with a butter knife. Just feels sloppy and kinda cumbersome. Granted I dont use ridiculous Spider-man status high sensitivity, so maybe I should, but for where I played, which was where the game started me at, it felt sluggish. On the flip side there were some things I enjoyed and was very impressed by. Getting to do basically a full mission in a Super Hornet and take off from a carrier definitely tops the list. In the realm of first person shooters there's a list of possible awesome experiences that should be translated into the gaming world. The AC-130 mission from the first "Modern Warfare" is one example, storming Omaha Beach in "Medal of Honor: Frontline," is another. The "Operation Firestorm" level belongs on this list. Admittedly I have only experienced the single-player side of Battlefield 3, but I came away from it a little disappointed. I guess I figured that in 2011 a game of this caliber should be absurdly polished and would have figured out how to avoid getting me stuck in a ditch or a prone bad guy doing rag doll flips. Just my two cents anyway. Here's hoping MW3 is a Ferrari fully loaded, no pun intended.
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