Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 are the latest versions of two of the most critically and commercially successful First Person Shooter franchises. Fans everywhere hotly debate which one is better, and it’s largely personal preference. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, but in the end both are similar and the little differences are what makes the most impact on picking the one you want to play. This is part one of a two part series, covering what Battlefield does the best and why it makes it a more fun overall experience.
1. Vehicles: Vehicles are perhaps the number one reason why Battlefield 3 is such a standout performance. Players are able to command vehicles such as Tanks, Jeeps, APCs, Helicopters, Jets, and Boats. The maps are built around the possibility of vehicular combat as well, leading to huge maps and fantastic map variety, with one map resembling the beaches of Normandy and another a plant in the middle of the desert, among others.
The vehicles are fun and powerful, but not unbalanced in any regard. Air combat generally stays in the air, as Jets rarely impact the ground and Helicopters fly over ground areas hoping they kill someone. Tanks always have to be wary of C4, Jeeps are easily disarmed with a well-placed rocket – if you can hit them. This system of checks and balances fits perfectly into the game. DICE created a system where players will still be better off in vehicles and thus want to get in them, but so that the vehicles aren’t so overpowered that people in them are invincible (like it feels in Halo sometimes). The three phases of combat – Land, Air and Sea – have been a staple of the Battlefield franchise for years, and they remain one of the series’ strong suits. While new players may find the vehicle learning curve difficult (I myself can still not pilot a Jet or Helicopter very well), this is a necessary trade-off of the system that Battlefield has created. This trade-off is worth the polished, balanced vehicular combat present in Battlefield 3.
2. Destructive Environments: Battlefield has this system in place: You see a wall blocking your path, you blow up the wall and continue. You can also can cause entire buildings to collapse. Once again, DICE designed the game’s maps around this destruction capability. Battlefield: Bad Company was the first to introduce this property, which is thanks to the Frostbite Engine. Bad Company 2 introduced the ability to level buildings (and Frostbite 1.5) and was even more destructive then Battlefield 3, which uses Frostbite 2.
The destruction has been scaled back due to the level design (not all buildings can come down now), but a large amount still do (the buildings in Seine Crossing and Operation Metro are the largest exception), and even here walls can be blown up. The general rule is if the building can be completely surrounded and still be withing the map boundaries, it can come down. Of course, this engine can lead to people dying via crushed building and the like, which is a fairly unique way to die in a video game. Despite the focus on explosions, explosives are by no means unbalanced. This is done in two ways: first, explosives have a fairly large radius that tend to not kill in one shot and two: offering the flak specialization to reduce the damage of explosives. Once again, DICE introduced a fun element without it unbalancing general gameplay.
3. Classes: In Battlefield, there are four classes: Assualt, Engineer, Support, and Recon. Each one has a defined role that they would fulfill in the ideal, 4 person squad. Assualt uses Assualt Rifles, such as the F2000 and is also the medic, with the ability to revive players (keeping the team from losing a spawn ticket in a game mode dependent on them) and heal them as well. Assualt can trade Heal packs for an undermounted grenade launcher, but in the ideal squad this would be unnecessary as others would handle the explosives. Engineer is the class focused on vehicle warfare, focused on repairing friendly vehicles and destroying enemy vehicles. The Engineer uses Carbines like the M4 as their primary weapon. The Engineer is typically one of the most popular class due to the presence of RPGs in the loadout. The Support kit is also very popular, as they get access to the miscellaneous explosives in Battlefield 3, such as C4, Claymores, and Mortars. They also support their teammates with ammo packs and covering fire from their LMGs, hence the name support. The last class in the Recon class. Recon is a class focused on getting on getting to the spot they want the most. As the class focused on sniping, they get the motion sensor, spawn beacon, and SOFLAM laser marker to assist their teammates. Due to the motion sensor and spawn beacon, Recon is perhaps the most useful class for Rush, as they have valuable gadgets for both defense and offense. This same usefulness makes Recon the most popular class to use the PDWs (which are mainly SMGs such as the UMP .45) and Shotguns that can be used by any class. This definition of roles helps Battlefield be immensely entertaining to everybody and allows even those bad at FPS’s to make a positive impact on their teams.
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Want to talk about Modern Warfare 3 instead? Go here: http://digitalsportslounge.com/forum/game-room/16980-call-duty-modern-warfare-3-a.html