måndag 31 oktober 2011

Battlefield 3 - Single Player commentary

I am currently "hooked" - I use the word loosely - on the Battlefield 3 Single Player Campaign. Instead of reviewing it - many others have done so - I will endeavour to give my points on what could have been improved, what was simply wrong and what was done well. Hopefully, this will be remembered during the development of further titles. This may contain Spoilers. Proceed at your peril.

1: Somewhat overuse of the new Battlefield 3 theme.
Seriously guys. You have a full soundtrack, and only one epic score, that is almost on the verge of overuse - especially since it ends some of the multiplayer tracks as well. Variants would be good, but the same 20 second music strip over and over gets on ones nerves.

Suggestion:
At least one more epic style track would not do the game any harm.

2: I have done this one before.
Most people are going to do this comparison, so I might as well. Everybody may compare Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty. This does not mean you should as well. And looking at the campaign so far, I see alot of things that made Call of Dutys Single Player campaign good. However, you also imported the bad parts...

What I do is to shoot my way past hordes of enemies to be rewarded with the next section of plot. This is not a game, it is a chore. I am seriously tempted to check up the ending on Wikipedia, because I seriously cannot be bothered to do this all over again.

This is a scripted, run-and-gun Campaign that almost every game today seems to want to emulate. There is little room for any kind of initiative, you are set down a single path and the campaign itself offers no replay value.

Suggestion:
The games name is Battlefield. I know we save this for the Multiplayer, but it should also reflect in the Campaign. Put us on a proper battlefield, not a small backstreet in Iran. And rely less on the scripts. Maybe even a choice of country could be good. I know you do not wish to alienate any country by having their soldiers killed, but this will happen anyhow.

A decent idea could actually be to just give us a objective and a small team - and then let us choose how to get there. Not really multiplayer with bots, but close to it - perhaps even in a manner that teaches the roles of the classes in Multiplayer.

3: The Son-of-a-Guns
The enemies in this game are _pathetic_. Using little to no tactics, their main role is to advance in numbers and be ignored/shot down depending on what the current events dictate. There is no choosing, and the manner of doing so is very similar.

The fact that the enemy are keen to put a knife into you is however a stroke of genius. It made me wary first time it happened, and kept me on my toes.

Suggestion:
I rather face one, difficult opponent who I need skill and practice to take down then the zombie-like Hordes of the game. Make the enemies alot fewer, harder and intelligent in their ways. Have them use cover, not revealing their position until they get a decent shot of, turning off and on flash lights to suit the tactical situation...

4: Quick Time Events aren´t
Just get rid of them. At least you made them punishing - mistakes hardly allowed, but if I have another game with Quick Time events, I am going to puke.

5: Hot Shots returns...
The flying mission was awesome until I proceeded to launch an entire carriers supply worth of bombs and missiles.

Suggestion:
While I understand that you do not want players who are unable to fly by themselfs fly a plane, point 3 applies. A Dogfight is difficult enough. Limit the opponents and make them a little big tougher.

6: Make the emotional investement bigger
Yes, I know this is a very hard one to understand, but the closest I got to any kind of emotion during the Campaign when you enter the room where Miller was executed. That was well done, and while I understand this is a point that cannot be overused, I never felt like there was any point for the character to progress all too much. In the end, Millers fate became the reason for my characters actions.

These are the points I can come up with at the moment. I may be adding more in the future, but to be fair, I expected more of a Battlefield single player campaign. I know you guys actually skipped it all in the beginning (1942 Bots still quiver at the sound of my gamertag), but that is no reason for you to slack of and follow the market. I am too big a fan to allow such an insult to your reputation to go uncommented.

In the end, I do not care much if you follow my points or come up with something completely different. But if this is what you are going to give us for Single Player, I rather not have it in the game at all.

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