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November 27th, 2011, 00:49
Battlefield 3 Single Player Campaign (PC)

Yeah, I dared buy and play an EA game. Sue me .

Anyway, I just finished the single player campaign of BF3 the other night and here's "wot I think" as they say some other places on the net.

You know it's really not all that easy to write something on a game with as little substance as BF3. Where do you begin to describe this mess of a game? This awesome mess. This terrible mess. This mess that's leaving so much to be desired and yet fulfills so many desires.

Well, before this starts sounding like an emo piece let's look at what this game really has to offer.

What it has to offer on the "hard" difficulty level where all aim assist is turned off (kinda insulting that they left it in for the PC version at all but thanks to implementing "hard" without it they are forgiven - almost) is a ~10 hour rollercoaster ride with missions that range from abysmal abortions to complete awesomeness.

In BF3 you can tell that DICE has tried very hard to shift the gameplay into the Call of Duty (CoD) direction. This is not overly surprising since the CoD series has been seriously pwning any other FPS franchise on the market so everyone wants a piece of that action, of course.
There are quite a number of elements that DICE have copied over almost 1:1 from CoD which goes as far as mimicking the basic premise of the game, i.e. the main character being subject to an interrogation by "the powers that be" and recounting past events that make up the levels of the game, which is a blatant rip-off of Call of Duty Black Ops. It's so blatant in fact that it makes me wonder how they've avoided litigation but maybe Activision is too busy counting the money from CoD MW3 sales to really give a hoot.

Historically I don't think we have seen too many examples of where ripping off a successful concept has worked out overly well and BF3 is no exception.
It is the mix of trying to stay true to the more "realistic" and serious BF experience and the over-the-top CoD popcorn action that is turning this game into a mess.
A graphically stunning and beautiful mess and a mess that has its moments, even in the story department but it remains still a mess since the game just can not decide whether it wants to be taken serious or not. It is a collage of CoD and BF. You're playing BF the one minute and CoD the other and it alternates all of the time, making it all a very strange experience. Not necessarily a bad experience but still a messy one. One that leaves you with plenty "WTF?!" moments.

Even after a couple of days after finishing the game now I still can't quite make up my mind or come to any sort of conclusion. This game was just too confusing and too much of a mixed bag. Overall I'd say that it was definitely enjoyable and -hey- I finished it so it can't have been all that shitty, right? Sure. There were some frustrations due to the checkpoint save system and the hard difficulty where some of my enemies seemed to "suffer" from impeccable aim. As usual it was really nice to get shot dead in the face while lying prone in the pitch black of the night by a dude shooting his AK47 from the hip while strafing and sprinting sidewards. Riiight. I also could have done without the lame QTEs which were not even half posing a challenge, not even on hard.
Other than that it is hard to argue with the mechanics of the game. With the exception of one Blue Screen that I had two minutes into the game it was rock solid and the shooter mechanics worked as expected and advertised. It was a flawless experience in that regard.
What they really need to do, however, is make a decision about who they want to be and what they want to do with the BF franchise. Do they really want to relegate themselves to making CoD clones? Well, congrats. This wasn't the worst attempt yet. Or do they want people to recognize BF as something unique? Well then get to work and add substance to your game. Give it shapes and contours. Or don't. Drop the single player and focus on your strength which is undoubtedly the multiplayer component. Be aware, however, that right now as far as the single player is concerned, you're only CoD's bitch.

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