EA’s latest blockbuster is two distinct games -- excellent, complex multiplayer and simple, short but fun single player
- Some of the best team-based multiplayer we've seen
- Excellent graphics, a solid game engine
- Hours of replay value
- Simple singleplayer storyline
- Some bugs, especially in Origin
- Some multi-player features missing from the last game
Battlefield 3 is two distinctly different games -- chaotic, complex, world-class multiplayer with enormous replay value versus a pulp fiction singleplayer story that sometimes plays like a pop-up shooting gallery. The game's tacked-on co-op missions sit uneasily between MP and SP in terms of enjoyment. If you're an online gamer you're well catered for -- Battlefield 3 is undoubtedly one of the best multiplayer games we've spent time with in a long time, and although some features are missing from previous Battlefield games we're still happy. If you're an offline gamer -- well, you're out of luck thanks to EA's somewhat Draconian backend software.
Price$ 109.95 (AUD)
Battlefield 3: Origin
As a necessary addendum to this review, we have to cover what is by far the least impressive aspect of Battlefield 3: the Web-based Origin software and Battlelog browser-based game launcher. Effectively a competitor to Valve’s Steam online store and game download service, EA’s Origin takes the reins of the company’s relatively unknown EA Download Manager in handling the downloading and install process for Battlefield 3. Subsequently, you’ll need to install Origin to play Battlefield 3... which is not as easy a process as it sounds.
On our reasonably capable test PC — a slightly tweaked Dell XPS 8300, with a fresh copy of Windows 7 and an upgraded Radeon HD 6970 graphics card — refused to run Origin (which is still a ‘beta’ release, shockingly) until we tracked down a pre-beta version online. After that, we had to download Battlefield 3 three times for it to install correctly — 35GB out of our meagre Australian download limits to install an 11.4GB game. Reports of problems with the service are very easy to find all across the Internet, not only just in EA’s overwhelmed customer support forums. Anyway — once that’s out of the way and the game is installed, we were then confronted with EA’s one-size-fits-all approach to launching Battlefield games: Battlelog.
Battlelog is, in a simple sense, just a Web page with some convenient links to launch single player mode, co-op and a reasonably capable server browser for multiplayer. The functionality is all good, apart from the mystifying lack of a few filter settings (password-protected servers can’t be hidden, for example, and there’s no filter for setting maximum latency). The problem? Reliability. Over the past seven days that we’ve been playing, there hasn’t been a single time when we’ve been able to get into every server that we’ve tried. One night, after two hours of downtime for EA server maintenance, no servers worked. Even on a good day, up to half the servers we tried — which were not full, with no restrictions or queues — simply didn’t work.
We don’t think that Battlelog is ready for widespread use. It works OK but we really think a game of this calibre should be polished in every sense, and having a sloppy server administration service is surely going to drive away gamers. It’s not like EA doesn’t have the money. A couple of months should see major grievances fixed, we admit, but this should have been completed before the game’s debut.
Battlefield 3: Conclusion
Battlefield 3 is very much a game of two halves: excellent, peerless, unparalleled multiplayer with hours and hours of replay value, versus a cookie-cutter single player experience we probably wouldn’t bother playing again. Co-op sits somewhere in between as a tacked-on extra. Don’t buy Battlefield 3 for the single player — buy it for the multiplayer; we guarantee you’ll enjoy it.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® Portable SSD
Acer Swift 7
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Surface Pro 4
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- You can download Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS and Android today
- Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes looks sharp, but will it survive the freemium transition?
- Nintendo's bringing Super Mario Run to Android in March, but Fire Emblem's coming first
- The Switch is a mix of Nintendo's past consoles
- Dead Rising 4 impressions: 'Tis the season to BBQ zombies with your flaming sword
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSecurity Engineer - Permanent - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- FTFull Stack Developer (Front and Back end)QLD
- FTOnline Solutions AnalystNSW
- CCBPM Technical AnalystVIC
- CCSenior Infrastructure EngineerNSW
- FTSenior Database AdministratorVIC
- TPBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTEnterprise Account ManagerNSW
- CCSystem EngineerSA
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperQLD
- FTDevOps/Senior Sys Admin - eCommerce - Permanent - Sydney Northern BeachesNSW
- TPSenior Business AnalystQLD
- FTFront End DeveloperQLD
- CCFront-End DeveloperQLD
- FTSenior Business AnalystSA
- TPAgile Project Manager. Sharepoint / PeoplesoftNSW
- FTSenior Full Stack .Net Developer with Strong SQL DevNSW
- CCDevops Consultant - 12 month contractVIC
- CCSAP/ Nakisa Implementation ConsultantQLD
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)Other
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- CCAzure Architect/ConsultantVIC
- FTMonitoring Tools Support l NimSoft , SMARTS, ehealth, TivoliNSW
- FTFront End DeveloperQLD
- CCSalesforce - Functional Analyst (BA)NSW