Back in the Day
When I was a kid the only war game I had played up to a point was Medal of Honor. It was not an entertaining game, it was your regular run of the mill shooter, frustrating at parts and boring at others. But still I played it because I had no other option. I was dreaming of a war game that does not portray war from the point of view of a squadron of soldiers who plough through endless waves of Germans and Japanese. I wanted to play a game where you were part of an actual army, a mere soldier relying on his allies, and more importantly the amount of allies he has fighting at his side. Then just as if a game developer read my mind, Battlefield 1942 came out. This game portrayed war from the point of view of a grunt that had another 60 grunts on his side, fighting against 60 grunts for control over certain points. Death meant that you were respawned as another soldier who had just arrived on the field of battle.
I loved that game. I loved Battlefield Vietnam and so did everybody at the local PC Cafe and LAN parties. I even loved Battlefront I and II, which were from a different developer, but they are basically Battlefield games. These games were made by Digital Illusions CE, also known as DICE. But somewhere along the way, DICE seems to have lost it. And as I was wondering what had happened, a certain scenario popped up into my mind. Here is how I see it:
]The Story of DICE
One day the phone at the Digital Illusions CE rang. The girl at the desk (who loved D&D, comic books, and sexual cosplay) answered. “It’s someone from EA, boss”. Andreas Axelsson answered, talked for a bit, and then he put the phone on the hook (this was 2004, the phones still had hooks) with a certain startled look on his face. “What did he say?” asked Thilde. “EA wants to buy our company. We’re rich.” There were cheers and rejoicing, and everybody got drunk and played video games for the rest of the week.
The founders of DICE were sitting in the big, white, sterile boardroom where creativity comes to die, with their coffee stained teeth, wearing their horn rimmed glasses (this is 2004, there were no hipsters back then, they were genuine nerds), sweating and nervously waiting for the people at EA to show up. Four people in black suits came through the door. They were all dressed the same and they wore wacky ties in order to inspire the illusion of friendliness, with perfectly combed hair, and smelling of sulfur. The negotiations were short, and the people of EA handed the geeks a contract. The contract stated that they would buy the company for 61SEK per share. They immediately signed the contract, not reading the fine print which mentioned that EA would also own their souls for the rest of eternity.
It was a sad day. Ulf immediately broke out in tears, as soon as he left the board room. Olof was never the same again, Fredrik rarely made eye contact and Andreas never laughed again. When they returned to the office they fired Thilde, and everyone had to take their posters off the walls. In two weeks cubicles were brought in by a company called “The Three Sixes Moving Co.” The walls were painted white, and a HR guy was hired.
Since then DICE released Battlefield 2, Battlefield: Bad Company 1 and 2, Mirror’s Edge (because the contract stated that they had to mimic creativity in order to maintain the appearance of having a soul) and Battlefield 3.
The Actual Game
So what is Battlefield 3? Battlefield 3 is a cash-in, just like Modern Warfare 3. It’s just sadder because you just know that the only reason it was released is because the Bad Company games were awful and they were smashed by Modern Warfare. Battlefield 2 did not sell like Call of Duty games, so EA decided to copy them and the Bad Company games were made (with the gimmick of destructible objects). But when BC flopped they decided to revisit the original style, but this time with eye melting graphics.
There you have it. A soulless developer cannot make a game with soul. Videogames are not designed in boardrooms, during conferences and using PowerPoint presentations and laser pointers. This is another sad example of a good developer going bad, due to either the publisher, greediness or laziness.
This does not mean it is not an enjoyable game. Being a shooter is fun by its nature. But it’s the bare minimum of fun. It’s the least amount of fun the developers could get away with. Don’t be fooled these games are not made for you. They were made for your wallet. And if you didn’t know that try Battlefield Vietnam, and see that Battlefield 3 is basically the same game with better graphics. But hey, the shooter genre needs its FIFA series right? Too bad, we have two though.
So is it the Game of the Year? No.
There is absolutely nothing original about this game. The 64v64 multiplayer games, vehicle battles, and control points where taken from the previous games, the campaign was copied off of Modern Warfare and that’s all there is to the game.
The multiplayer is fun and it might get you hooked for a couple of weeks.
It is a fairly popular game from a fairly popular franchise.
64v64 control based multiplayer with vehicles sprinkled in and eye melting graphics.
GOTY awards won: 4