Wednesday, Dec. 07, 2011

Battlefield 3

There was a lot of hullabaloo about the two big first-person military-combat games that came out this fall: Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3. As it turns out, they're both very, very good: dark, satisfying, sometimes disturbingly authentic, with remarkable state-of-the-art destructible environments and physics models. (Practically every object you see is fully modeled.) Modern Warfare 3 was a big-budget thrill ride: disposable enemies swarming at you, begging to be mowed down by large-caliber automatic weapons. Battlefield 3 was a subtler high, and it felt newer and edgier, which is why it gets the nod here. It's a grittier, slower-paced, more naturalistic experience, darker and more novelistic. You're more inclined to take it slow in Battlefield 3 and make as few mistakes as you can, because you actually care when you and your virtual buddies die. But both games are excellent entries in the genre. If they were Spielberg movies, Modern Warfare 3 would be Indiana Jones and Battlefield 3 would be Saving Private Ryan.