I close my eyes and see Paris alleyways and cafes on fire with APV’s shattered in the middle of cobblestone streets with swarms of desert cammo’ed guys running around shooting AK-74M’s and throwing grenades, or goggled men in on their belly in a long snake crawling behind a low wall as mortar fire rains down and people complain and complain. Needless to say, a lot of battlefield 3 has been played by yours truly– about 12 hours of multiplayer so far, which is far less than many of the players, but quite a bit for me in less than a week.
The first days were just chaos, all the new maps and new players running into each other, having firefights with their own team mates, following people into dead ends or off the maps, crashing every type of vehicle off cliffs, into mountains either deliberately or accidentally but now, especially since the game came out in Europe, play is in earnest and has gotten much more focused and tactical without all the running around all over the place alone.
It’s a great game, and while I loved Battlefield Bad Company 2, BF3 is better, especially multiplayer. Even playing alone and not listening to your squad at all, it’s a thinking man’s FPS, as the rushing in doesn’t work very well in most situations (some, yes), especially if you get spotted, and in the open, you will get spotted. There are people that play that all they do is sit somewhere and spot people coming in for their teammates to clean up. The difference when going into an engagement spotted compared to not is absolutely huge and, of course, most n00bs have no idea even how to do this.
I’m finally got 350 shotgun kills today. After this I have no idea which weapon I’ll use– there are really too many guns and really all I want is my Baur from BF2142 (which I have heard is the G3A3 that can only be unlocked after (gulp) about ten hours of co-op match work). For any new players, the gun stuff is very confusing– especially since when you use a gun you unlock the optics for it ONLY and have to start over with the next gun unlock. For the Assault class, where every unlock is some random assault rifle, this can be pretty lame. I guess because I didn’t play BF2 much, and the gun list was a lot smaller in BFBC2, I’m a bit lost (hence the shotgun only). So as tired as the military shooter genre is, I have to give this game the highest possible rating. My only complaint is the client side prediction–especially since I rarely get off more than two shots with the shotgun when near someone else– it can be frustrating to get the rubberband effect when you know you had a bead on someone.
Of the maps that are out– I like Caspian Border the best. This was in the beta for a short time at the end, has a lot of open space and lots of wooded areas and is just a fluid, fun map with a lot of nervousness about the vehicles rolling around, though they are horribly vulnerable out in the open to the choppers. The central three objectives (Woods, Hilltop and Gas Station) are just terrific to fight over as they are quite a bit like a Devil’s Den area of nastiness. My least favorite is the Bazaar as it’s just too much about shooting down hallways with RPG’s for the entire map. Meatgrinder maps can be fun, but the chokepoints on that map just get tiresome.
My shotgun build out, if anyone cares, is the 870MCS with the HOLO sight and Slugs. This works at short range, but only does 91% damage without a head shot so you have to get two shots off for the kill, against someone with a submachine gun close up you are probably dead meat running and gunning. However, compared to buckshot, which is better close up, I chose slugs because you can tag people at medium range and it still does a lot of damage– a head shot will kill outright. So you can snipe with it (which is ridiculous but works) and you can shoot at people you are facing that are lying down and get a kill with one shot most of the time because there is the head right there. One of the later unlocks, which you’d think would be better, is the flak shell and this has not worked for me at all. It seems to throw a lot of crap around but doesn’t get a lot of kills. Flechette rounds– buckshot is better unless you are shooting through trees and stuff– not all that common. Most of the sight unlocks are total trash for the shotgun– you don’t want a big ass scope getting in your way when you are shooting off the hip– and it’s too difficult to judge where your shots are going from a scope anyway (you don’t have any tracer shells to track).
Anyway, 6 more days until Elder Scrolls: Skyrim is out, which will likely put my BF3 playing on hold until early next year so I’m going to go get in on some good shooting.
Here are some insane videos just showing the breadth and depth of the chaotic madness that is BF3: