5 Overall Score
Looks Great | Sounds Great |
Terrible Story | Unintuitive Quick Time Events | Useless AI
Disappointment. That is the word I now associate with BF3′s singleplayer campaign. With all it’s showmanship and build up to the release, after playing the campaign I was left with utterly underwhelmed. It was such an poor performance on DICE part, but it’s my own fault for falling for the hype.
Lets take a look at why Battlefield 3′s Singleplayer didn’t quite reach the the pedestal that I had set for it. Right off the bat, storyline, what the hell? I haven’t seen such an inconsistent story since the Bluray editions of Star Wars. Not only do the interrogation flashback missions reek of Black Ops, everything you do ultimately ends up with you failing, all in an attempt to build up the excitement of finally doing some successful in the end, at which point though the only reason your still doing the campaign is for the trophies/achievements.
What about the gameplay? Shooter games aren’t all about the story anyway. The actual missions were great at showing off the scenery; they are large, beautiful and made me want to just run around and explore them. But I couldn’t, ever. If I even tried to deviate from the path, a blaring “Return to the battlefield” message would spring up with a timer. Needless to say, not heeding the message resulted in death. Talk about a tease, put up this great expansive world and mercilessly murder you if you try to explore it. It’s pretty much an on rails shooter, with you progressing after having a team huddle every so often. The amount of time I spent just fidgeting around the team to activate the next dialogue was ridiculous. DICE if you actually make BF4, please for the love of games, make the trigger zone bigger. I shouldn’t need to teabag my team mates to progress through the levels.
Speaking of the team, they were pretty much useless. Not only do their bullets do nothing against the enemies, they don’t even work as shields against the enemy units. Several times the bad guys would just ignore everyone on the team and unload their arsenals of grenades, rockets and bullets directly at me. On a few occasions, following my team has directly resulted in me dying. Since they are immune to bullets, everywhere they go seems to be safe. But as soon as I leave cover to follow them a flurry of bullets riddles my character’s body with holes. The campaign has these rather insane bits where it tries to make you look like a hero, and forces you to move out of cover to do something suicidal and its at those moments that it seems everyone on my team has forgotten what the words suppressive fire mean. We’ve got heavily armoured tanks with machine guns, but none of them seem to want to help out when I’m risking my ass.
It’s not just the team mates that are mentally deficient though. The enemy forces are just as bad. They are like an army of infinitely spawning lemmings, that constantly replace their fallen brothers at the exact some locations. The only way to stop them is by moving far enough ahead so that they stop, even though the marker just tells you to stay with your team. It took me a good 10 minutes of shooting the same Russians over and over again to realise they wouldn’t stop. This lemming effect is clearly due to some lazy scripting.
The actual fire fights are good though, especially on the Hard difficulty. Easy and Normal are too easy for anyone with FPS experience, and the Hard setting is just you getting reduced to 1 hit kills, so it really does become a matter of luck rather than skill if you get to finish the mission or not. They feel and sound good to shoot and do their job well. I especially like the sniper level since it really shows off the bullet drop they’ve added to the game.
It’s the hand to hand that really annoyed me. You have these Quick Time Events where you need to key in a command so that you aren’t killed instantly. But on Hard the messages are really quick and you just end up dying a lot while you try and memorise the sequence. I don’t understand why I just can’t throw a grenade ahead of me and kill the bastard before hand. They seem to be immune to everything until I button bash them to death with a scripted fight scene. We have guns in the game for a reason, to shoot people with, I don’t like to be forced to kill people a certain way. There was also one mission where you HAVE to stab someone in the back. I shot him, I died. What DICE? WHAT? I kill someone in a way that conflicts with your story and you kill me for it? It’s not that dying is so bad, but I have to wait while the mission reloads and listen to the other guy jabber on about stuff I’ve already heard enough times already. Another hint for BF4: better checkpoints. I had to do practically the whole mission before getting a checkpoint, and when one bullet can kill me, everyone knows where I am and are constantly shooting only at me. I want some more bloody checkpoints.
I was already about to call it quits when O.M.G., I get to be a jet fighter pilot. Yeah. This is what it’s all about, going to go fly around and shoot some guys. Nope. I get the back seat. I get to check the flaps and brakes. I get to lock on to other planes and shoot flares. Great. At least with the tanks I got free reign over what I did. But I still couldn’t deviate from the path, damn it. Complete disappointment.
I think I’ll just stick to the multiplayer for this one. I don’t think I shall ever be replaying that campaign. If the singleplayer campaign was made by gamers for gamers, they were 13 year old virgin action movie fans…with acme. It really seems like there is no point to playing FPS SP anymore. Is having a decent story really just for RPGs nowadays? It’s just such a shame that a game that looks and sounds so great and has had so much effort put into it, just let itself down on a poorly done SP.
With all that said and done the multiplayer is a whole different story, so you can read our review on that over here.