I pre-ordered Battlefield 3. I had to. Being a fan of the series since its inception, I felt the need to own the latest edition in all of its glory. Oddly, I didn’t feel that need for 2142.
When my copy arrived, I was in the middle of a gaming explosion – October and November of 2011 were chock full of great releases – so I set Battlefield aside. Fast forward to today and I find myself kind of bored. I’ve been playing Age of Empires III with Tom for a week straight (more on that later) and winning well less than 10% of our matches. That’s not a problem for me since I’m stubborn and will overtake Mr. Chick eventually. If nothing else, I’m younger than him, so I’ll go challenge his grave when I’m in my 80s. Hell, he’ll probably still win.
After the jump, I discover that war is intense
I’m the type of person who can’t just have one game of their choice to play. I have to have games from multiple genres. Sometimes I’m in the mood to order my British colony around in Age III and sometimes I’m in the mood to shoot a man in the face. Battlefield 3 fits the latter role quite nicely, but I wasn’t prepared.
I was in the BF3 Alpha test but didn’t get much chance to play thanks to international business travel, and as I stated earlier, I only played a handful of matches at launch. I always go big, so I set my filter to weed out everything but 64 player servers. I find a server with one open slot running the map Operation Metro. I jump in.
At first, I’m lost. I’m wandering around an empty street, newspaper blowing by, when I hear shots in the distance. I see a subway entrance and put two and two together. It’s Operation Metro, after all.
One thing always strikes me about Battlefield – it has quite a sense of scale. I could actually wander around in the game world without seeing anyone. As I entered the tunnels, my perception changed. The weapon fire bounces off the walls and creates a creepy background for my exploration.
As I delve further, the evidence of the early match is written in the structure. Pieces of ceramic and tile lay everywhere. A few fires have broken out. Blood stains the floor in various places. Up ahead, always, there’s gun fire.
I descend a flight of stairs and the conflict comes into full view. Without much time to analyze my surroundings, I run to the closest wall and hunker down. Bullets fly overhead while shrapnel from the walls and ceilings pelt my head and fill the air with dust, obscuring all but five feet in each direction.
“I need to find my squad,” I think as I pick myself up and get ready to sprint. I barrel through the dust and debris. I see an enemy and open fire blindly. Miracles never cease – I got a headshot. He falls to the ground and I keep running. Suddenly, a wall looms in front of me, and in it is a doorway. Through the doorway I find several members of my team, exchanging fire through another opening with the enemy.
I drop a med kit and hunker down, staring down the sights or my weapon through a smoke filled doorway. An enemy lurches out and I shoot him down. Several more enter and I decide to exit. Dropping another med kit on the way out of the room, I turn a corner and leap into a metro car. Several shots whiz past my head and I leap out the other side. There’s a wall with a pillar near me that will offer decent cover.
Several members of my team are over here, fighting a small contingent of the enemy and doing well. I run from group to group, healing as I can and trying not to get shot. Suddenly there’s an explosion.
A grenade goes off, knocking me senseless and killing my nearby compatriots. I go prone and wedge myself in a corner, next to a guy I had just been healing that caught the majority of the blast. My vision clears and all I see are smoke and movement. Out of the cloud the enemy streams. There has to be a dozen of them at least. What’s funny is that they don’t notice me.
I sit completely still while the enemy marches past. When I think the last one has gone by, I rise up and shoot him in the back. He falls and I open fire on his friends – revenge for the soldier I’m partially wearing. I take another one out but the force quickly turns and mows me down.
That was my first life in Battlefield 3 since October 2011. After that, I must admit, I’m pretty hooked.