Based on the headline alone, I’m pretty sure that most people will imagine this is an article intended on bashing Battlefield 3 a bit, but before writing anything further, I do want to say right off the bat that Battlefield 3 is an amazing game. In my personal opinion, there is not a single first person shooter on the market right now that can compare to the intensity and all-encompassing gameplay that BF3 provides.
However, given all the hype surrounding it’s release and having also previously been a Battlefield 2 player, I can’t help but point out that Battlefield 3′s main advantage over Battlefield 2 is simple….. it’s all in the graphics. Fact of the matter is, I don’t have as much fun playing Battlefield 3 as I did when I played Battlefield 2, and as a realist, it’s the game play that matters the most to me, not just some pretty trees and destructible environments (which are admittedly much more bad ass than non-destructible ones).
So, I started thinking about why Battlefield 2 is still so much better than Battlefield 3 and so far it’s come down to two game play affecting areas….
1) Graphics – The graphics in Battlefield 3 are beautiful, with destructible environments, the lighting, views from inside cockpits and tanks, etc… they easily put COD in it’s place and I don’t think twice about it. But one of the downsides to the new graphics appears to be in the resolution of the game (on console at least).
I’ve noticed that flying planes and helicopters in Battlefield 3 is wildly different than what it was in Battlefield 2, and being a pilot has always been my main role followed by special ops tasks such as dropping in behind enemy lines and taking out artillery or satellite dishes…. the special operations role is now non-existent in BF3 and flying is very different, not necessarily in any good way.
Has anyone else noticed that when you’re flying, the further away you get from the map, the slower everything around you seems to be moving? It’s almost as if the outside of the maps are made of rubber band and once you hit the edge of the map, you start slowing down (even if you’re still flying away from the main part of the map) and never seem to get that far away. If you turn around and head back towards the map it takes you half the time you took flying away from it.
(Side note: hitting a “ceiling” when flying straight up in the air and having your plane get all out of whack is annoying as hell since the sky has no fucking ceiling in real life.)
Also, because of what I’m assuming is a lower resolution than what the PC had, the flying in BF3 pretty much sucks and the visibility is barely there. If you’re not up someone’s ass then there’s a good chance they’re going to disappear on you and you’re going to have one hell of a time finding them again. This wasn’t the way it was in Battlefield 2. In BF2, you had multiple camera angles to choose from, including ones that were as if you were just looking out of your windshield, not some ridiculously cluttered view of the inside of a cockpit like BF3 has making it practically impossible to stay in a good dog fight.
Furthermore, I’m all for leveling up your character to unlock cooler weapons and abilities, but having to play inside vehicles in order to upgrade them or unlock weapons that would normally be standard on a fucking tank or jet fighter is pretty damn lame and puts the newbies at a disadvantage against experienced players. I mean, am I crazy here or is that not completely backwards?
Weapon unlocks would make much more sense if the unlocked weapons were harder to use but did a little more damage, that way, it would take experience to know how to use them properly and actually get any use out of them, but if a newbie had an easier to use weapon that did less damage, they would still be able to have a chance to enjoy the game.
On to the next major issue (and probably the biggest reason why Battlefield 3 sucks compared to Battlefield 2….)
2) Commander mode – Battlefield 2 had a “Commander mode” where one player on each team would assume the role of the commander. They would basically sit back and be able to watch the entire battle take place while telling squads what objectives they should be attacking, defending, etc… Now, before any of you tell me that the squad leaders can do the same thing… let me explain why it’s so different.
When you were a commander in BF2, you could find a quiet spot on the map, lay down to hide, and then hit a key on your keyboard which would pull up a map of the entire battlefield. While on that map, you could also see all the squads that had formed on your team and they would be listed in order. You could click on a squad and then right-click on a location and choose from a list of available commands such as attack, defend, repair, etc… once you clicked on one of those options, the command was instantly issued to everyone in that squad…. that was just the beginning…
Once your squad was on it’s way to that objective, you would be able to see them all on the map and you could deploy a UAV to assist them. How did it assist them you ask? Well, when you deployed a UAV in BF2, you chose where to deploy it, once deployed, it would show up on the squads mini-map in the corner of their screen and the UAV would scan the area where it’s deployed and cause enemies to show up as red dots for as long as the UAV was active. Like most games, the UAV was able to be deployed for a set amount of time and then it would disappear and need to be recharged before being able to use it again.
Next up, artillery!
Another absolutely kick ass part of being a commander in BF2 was the fact that you were able to launch artillery any place on the map. That means that if you were sending your squads to A, B, and C, but you saw enemies creeping towards D, you could wait until the enemies were just about to reach D and at that point you would launch artillery on D. If you did it right, the artillery would be falling on D just as the enemies were reaching it, completely destroying their attack. Your squads could also request artillery attacks on locations that they may want to capture or you could simply launch artillery attacks on locations that you were sending your guys to, that way they would be cleared out when they got there.
Now, to mention about that Special Operations stuff I was talking about before, it ties directly into the artillery and UAV thing, because in BF2, you could choose to be special forces with C4 and sneak behind enemy lines to where their UAV station or Artillery was and then promptly blow them the fuck up. This would then require that the enemy commander drop a supply crate (I know, I haven’t gotten to supply crates yet) on the artillery or UAV station in order to repair them. Supply crates were basically just ammo boxes where you could refill your ammo and supplies that you already used up.
As with the UAV, the artillery and supply crates also had “recharging” times, so it became very much a strategic thing to know when you should repair your artillery or use that supply crate to drop in to a squad that might be running low on ammo or other supplies. That was the point of Battlefield though, strategy, team work, advanced fighting capabilities such as UAV deployments, Artillery, centralized leadership with the commander mode to bring it all together…..
None of anything I just described exists in Battlefield 3 and this is probably the first time I’ve ever seen a sequel to a game come out with less than I was expecting based on the game before it (that came out 7 years ago).
I know that because Battlefield 3 is on consoles, they had to remove some things to make it work, but at the end of the day, this stuff really makes a huge difference. I don’t see myself not playing Battlefield 3 because of it, but it certainly did not hit the mark I was hoping for based on my BF2 experience.
Regardless of all of this, I still am thrilled that this game has finally come out on the console but I can only hope EA and Dice have it in their hearts to bring the entire experience to all gamers with whatever the next release of Battlefield will be…. and hopefully it won’t take them 7 more years to do it.
I’ll leave you guys with this video made by renesweb74 on YouTube showing off the Commander mode and giving a tutorial on how it works.
Enjoy watching what you’re missing and we’ll see ya next time!
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