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Game of the Year 2011: #19 – Battlefield 3

Read our original Battlefield 3 review
Keep track of our Game of the Year 2011 Countdown

Let’s make one thing clear from the off. The fact that Battlefield 3 is taking a spot on this list is solely down to its competitive multiplayer elements. Seriously, forget the single player campaign and the co-op missions because they are garbage. By garbage, I mean shit. Really, shit.
Just thinking about that damn single player makes me angry…
Hey! Let’s stop all that, we’re here to talk about positive things. Things like why this game is on our list. Let’s do that. Multiplayer, it’s awesome.
It’s awesome because of the varied maps, the varied vehicles, the varied classes, the varied weapons, the varied perks and the varied (and meaningful) tactics. In short, what makes Battlefield 3’s multiplayer so compelling is that you’re not forced down a specific play style in order to make an impact. So long as you’re doing a good job, at whatever job you’ve chosen, then you can consider yourself an asset to the team.
‘Team’, you play as a ‘team’ in Battlefield 3. Remember that. Forget it and you will lose. Yes, a wide variety of play styles are effective but everyone playing in the same way is not. If you’re all snipers, how are you going to efficiently capture bases? I’m not about to go face-to-face with someone packing an SMG while I’ve got a bolt-action. If you’re all playing as close-quarters classes, who is going to provide distance cover for those snatch and grab raids on objectives? That’s where you need snipers.

More than most modern first-person shooters, Battlefield 3 requires teamwork. The team that understand that will win. Simply as that. You might think you’re safe to go it alone in a tank, but you’re not. A tank is a big target and easy to hit with an RPG (or another tank), that’s where you need an engineer to help you out.
Everything has a counter action, that’s why you need a lot of support around you at all times to add as many dimensions to your attack as possible. That prevents your opponent devising (and relying on) a simple, one-dimensional, counter strategy.  
I apologise. This has become more like a ‘Battlefield 3 For Dummies’ than a celebration of the game. But hey, it’s the tactical elements that make multiplayer so great.
After the tactical elements, it’s the ‘moments’ that provide the entertainment. In how many other games have you ever seen anyone jump from a helicopter, fire off a rocket in mid-air, land in another helicopter circling below, destroy a buggy with the attached mini-gun and then die because the pilot has crashed into a very obvious (and very avoidable) oil silo?
I’d bet you’ve seen that before. Except, perhaps, in another Battlefield game.

Read our original Battlefield 3 review
Keep track of our Game of the Year 2011 Countdown
The sandbox nature of the multiplayer means that this kind of event is only the tip of the iceberg. Unlike the competition (I’ll not name the competition here – seems uncouth) a set of rules have been created for players to bend and stretch and work within, rather than to be railroaded along on.
Of course, the result is not only an experience that is malleable and ever-changing as players find new ways to operate, but it’s also more difficult. It’s vitally important that you stay up to date with the abilities of the various unlocks and which potential weapons enemies can use against you. Knowledge is power, and all that jazz.
The reason Battlefield 3 is not higher on this list is because, as I said earlier, its other two primary elements are appallingly bad. Taken as a whole, the product doesn’t meet the standards of the competition.
Still, that doesn’t take away from the fact that the multiplayer is a joy and well worth celebrating in its own right. If you don’t have your system connected to the internet, now might be the time to sort that out.


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