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Battlefield 3 multiplayer impresses, graphics fall short

A screen from Battlefield 3, in stores October

A screen from Battlefield 3, in stores October 25th. Photo Credit: EA

EA games held its annual Hot for the Holidays show July 19 at the Edison Ballroom in Manhattan. The company's major holiday games were on display, and the news media had the opportunity to get their hands on some of the year's hottest titles.

The highly anticipated Battlefield 3 was one of the most popular titles at the show, and for good reason. EA has worked hard to improve upon the blockbuster popularity of previous titles, like Battlefield: Bad Company 2, with detailed level design, destructible environments and finely tuned soldier classes for multiplayer mode.

I had a chance to play Rush mode, which consists of a team of soldiers trying to plant bombs on a series of enemy targets. Once the bombs were placed and detonated, players had to move up through the map to hit another series of objectives. The gameplay was fast and furious, with enemy A.I. reacting cleverly to human players by taking cover in strategic locations around each target. EA has made the player character more easily visible than in most first-person-shooter games, which allows for a more immersive experience as players can see hands and feet when jumping over parts of the terrain.

Another interesting aspect of the game are the customizable dog tags. Similar to the scorecard system in Call of Duty, players have the option to create their own dog tags, which are then worn by their characters. When another player takes you down from behind with a knife kill, that player can steal your dog tags for bragging rights.

Despite how much fun the gameplay was, I was slightly disappointed by the graphics in Battlefield 3. Although earlier trailers have shown beautiful lighting and almost photo-realistic characters and environments, these graphics weren't as impressive. The environments were highly detailed, but some of the textures looked flat upon closer inspection.

I'm hoping this was because the build I was playing on was an incomplete version of the finished product. EA still has plenty of time to refine the game’s looks before it hits shelves Oct. 25.


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