When it comes to virtual battlefields, nobody does it quite like the Battlefield series. It has a long history of creating sprawling conflict zones where players have an exhilarating range of ways to make powerful contributions to the war effort. The competitive multiplayer mode in Battlefield 3 stays true to tradition, delivering an online combat experience that is amazingly addictive, immersive, and exciting, with refinements and new elements that make the familiar action feel fresh. Unfortunately, the stale single-player campaign fails to capitalize on the strengths of the series and feels like an off-brand imitation. The six cooperative missions fare better and offer a tougher challenge, but only the competitive multiplayer provides a compelling reason to buy Battlefield 3. With online battles this excellent, though, that reason is all you need.
There are many factors that combine to make these battlefields as good as they are, most of which will be familiar to series veterans. Nine great maps set the stage for up to 64 players to fight it out in a variety of urban, industrial, and military locations. These places all look beautiful, though the grassy hills and blue skies of the Caspian Border are naturally more appealing than the drab urban corridors of the Grand Bazaar. The maps vary widely in size and offer diverse environmental elements, including claustrophobic tunnels, coastal roads, desert plains, and a variety of multistory buildings. Many man-made structures can be damaged or destroyed by the explosive tools at your disposal, creating new infiltration routes or removing cover positions. The maps are designed to create opportunities for combat at all ranges, and the element of destruction lets you manipulate the environment to create even more.
Combat is not just about where you are, but also about how you get there, and the variety of vehicles is one of the things that makes Battlefield so uniquely engaging. Small maps might only have a Humvee or a light armored vehicle, while larger ones boast buggies, tanks, amphibious transports, helicopters, and jets