INTRODUCTION: I've been playing Battlefield 3(BF3) since the day it came out and must admit that it is quite possibly the best multiplayer FPS game I've played so far. But I'll go over what makes the game great and what makes the game not-so-great in this review, to ensure this isn't a biased report. Please note that if you aren't a fan of FPS games, war games, or the battlefield franchise, you may not be interested in this game; regardless, I recommend you try the game out anyway!
Sounds: A very action-packed warzone type of FPS. You'll feel like you're in a movie or actually on the field of battle. The mixture of superb sound effects and breathtaking visuals really set the mood almost instantly. What I really love is the sounds of explosions and gunfire in the distance, as well as helicopters or jets flying by overhead. The sound department of this game truly pushed the envelope in this game, for sure.
Visuals: It feels like the lighting, motion-blur, and... well, just about everything is just right! The game's visual style is seems to push not necessarily for realism, but for a more cinematic war theme. And they pull it off pretty damn well in this game. If you've got a gaming rig capable of handling this game on maximum settings, you're in for a treat, because this game looks great and its top-of-the-line sound effects just make you appreciate it all even more!
Story: I played through the entire campaign and will just say that it was great, but the way it ended was very slow, boring, and wasn't really interesting. It didn't leave you on a cliffhanger, even though they definitely attempted to create one. Anyway, the campaign is great. It just felt too similar to the Modern Warfare 2 storyline (US goes to war with Russia, there's a fight in Paris, NYC is a target, etc.) but it's simple enough to know who's the good guys (US) and who's the bad guys (RU). As far as multiplayer is concerned, I'm just assuming that the US and RU are fighting over various nodes overseas in places like Paris and middle eastern regions. Not sure why, but I'm sure there's story behind it all. But who really cares?
Lasting Appeal: Very good, if you ask me. Not only can you level 4 classes (Assault (medical support), Engineer (vehicle support), Support (ammo/heavy gunner support), and Recon (sniper/reconnaissance support)) but you can also unlock at least 10 attachments for each primary weapon in the game. You can up to 3 attachments per weapon and can change them whenever you're in the spawn menu screen in-game. Like I said, I've been playing this game since it released and I have like 20 more guns to unlock still, not to mention all the attachments for each gun I'll have to work on unlocking as well! To unlock attachments for a weapon, you simply just need to level that gun's experience by killing people with that weapon. You can also unlock equipment for each vehicle in the game, except jeeps and speed boats.
Weapon Attachments & Class Perks: Snipers can unlock a bipod, suppressor, ballistics scopex12, x8 scope, x4 scope, x3.5 scope, x1 infrared scope, laser sight attachment, tactical flashlight attachment, holographic sight, red dot sight, and I forgot the others. You can also choose to not use any attachments at all and use the sniper rifle just a rifle and aim down the ironsights with it. Other classes get to attach things like a grenade launcher belt, a shotgun attachment, or even a smoke grenade attachment. I usually play as a sniper, so I can't exactly remember what attachments there are for the other classes off the top of my head.
As for class perks, each class has their own way of being essential to your team and squad. Assault's job is to toss health kits around for teammates to stand by as they heal up or he can revive friendly players. Engineers are primarily meant for repairing vehicles or destroying hostile vehicles. Support can toss ammo supply packages around for teammates to get ammo from and he can also place claymores or use a mortar to bombard the enemy with. And of course, Recon is meant to snipe enemies and to spot enemies; he gets a MAV drone that you can manually control to detect enemy units within the MAV's motion sensor's range. Once you start hitting higher levels (25+ I believe) you start to unlock squad perks, which allow you and your teammates to benefit from.
THE BAD: If you've got a slow computer, this game probably won't be nearly as enjoyable due to all the stunning visuals and whatnot that you'll be missing out on. Additionally, the game can be slow-paced compared to shooters like Call of Duty. Also, the registration of bullet impacts are somewhat slow. I believe this issue is related to the fact that there's bullet-gravity (bullets go lower and lower as they go further and futher into the distance) and may even also be related to the game's physics... which is probably the same thing, come to think of it. There's also still quite a bit of balancing with some weapons and vehicles that need to be done. For instance, the Javalin can 1-shot any vehicle that is laser-designated by a friendly Recon player's SOFLAM device, and the USAS-12 auto-shotgun does huge amounts of damage per burst and shoots pretty damn fast. There seems to be less active servers in the Americas than there used to be, so I am not sure if all the players are migrating to the arcade game Call of Duty or if they're playing the console version of BF3 instead.
If you do decide to purchase and play this game, it may be a rough road to leveling up. There's a lot of elitist gamers on the server who range from levels 30 and up. This makes the progression for lower-level players more difficult because higher-level players have way more perks, weapons, and attachments to kill you with. So be warned! However, it's not impossibly hard to play with high level players. It's the getting used to how bullets fall and playing as a team with your team that you'll have to get used to, if you're a Call of Duty gamer trying to play BF3.
THE UGLY: The developers of the game (or at least the guys moderating the forums) are very biased and do not take constructive criticism or bug reports lightly. Unfortunately, I had learned this from personal experience; I reported about 10 bugs and suggested a couple ways to help balance the game for newer players, BUT, my thread title was in caps. Despite the entire post itself being to the point, constructive, and reporting significant issues and possible solutions, a forum moderator completely ignored the content of the post and said "Your thread violates rule #whatever for having all caps in the title. This thread is now locked and will be deleted. PS: STOP CRYING"
Not only was this by far the most unprofessional official employee moderating a distinguished game I've ever seen, but the lack of interest to help the developers improve the game was stunning to me. Not only that, but I've also noticed that even when I reposted the thread without the 'all caps' issue, the thread was then ignored by moderators and was trolled in every post by random users who had more posts than the moderators on the site. At this point, I've come to realize that the game's online community is controlled by immature elitists. Even in-game, if you try to address an issue, players will just troll you. There is hardly even a community to discuss anything with for this game.
That being said, the I totally recommend this game! It's amazing and does a great job at immersing you into this epic modern warzone battlefield, but do not expect moderators to take your posts seriously, including other players. Every bug I've reported so far has been ignored or shunned by the community. So, when DICE says they take player feedback very seriously, please show that you know better and tell them to go fuck themselves.
PS: I could've posted way more about the game... but this post is long enough as it is lol. Just make a post if there's something else in mind you want to know about and I'll follow up with a post answering the question(s) you have about the game that I may have left out or not answered thoroughly enough.