How Battlefield 3 Won Me Back

Every game release comes with a bit of a honeymoon period. The game hits the shelves, you get you’re your copy and you go home and play it for close to a week straight – often completing the title. But what happens after that? We remove the disc from our Xboxes, Wiis and PS3s (you computer people are special), slap it back into its case, and the new forget about it. We lose interest so quickly that it would almost be better for us to just rent everything, though if we resorted to that, multiplayer titles would still be a pain because everyone would still have to buy a stupid passport (EA). My point in stating all this, if I failed to make it clear, is that games have an unshakable tendency to last us no more than two weeks.

Now this almost exclusively applies to story-based titles. But we all have to make room for series’ like Call of Duty and Madden – or any other sports game. These games are made to be played for extended periods of time, up until their successor’s release. But even with that being the case, they aren’t played extensively because they are the new freshness but because the action is addictive or the competitive nature (discussed in my previous articles).

Battlefield 3 released on October 25th last year and as soon as I bought it I played it for months. But after a honeymoon period that lasted until about February, I realized that I wasn’t having as much fun and so I did what everyone else does: I shelved it. As far as I was concerned I was tired of it and probably would be hard pressed to pick it up again.

Introducing Battlefield 3 Premium. Without giving you a page long checklist of what this subscription entails here’s the short run:

  • All DLC map packs to be released for the next year with two weeks early access
  • Lots of new guns
  • New game modes (including Gun Master, much like CoD’s Gun Game but with teams)

Now let me detail why I think this is a big deal.

Battlefield has been fighting an uphill battle to its competition. But Premium introduced an element that I don’t even think the Activision franchise can legitimately say they have equaled. Battlefield’s Assignment system adds persistence that easily thumps CoD’s Contract system. Unlocking guns and dog tags is a task that takes a concentrated effort in Battlefield, asking players to complete multiple tasks per Assignment.

Even more impressive than their addition of weapons is the quality of their new maps. Yes, Call of Duty adds maps as well, I won’t argue that. But have their maps ever seriously changed the way their game is played?

Battlefield’s Close Quarters not only introduced a new set of maps but a new way of playing the game. DICE is known, in their Battlefield series, for making large, vehicle laden, open air maps that call for a degree of strategy and patience that Call of Duty replaces with close quarters, haywire and frenzied arcade action. Plain and simple, Close Quarters looks the CoD franchise square in the mouth and says, “Look, you blundering giant, I can do exactly what you can. But I can do it better.” More importantly though, BF3 won me over from the start, and more content is always welcome.

Battlefield 3’s Premium won me back. A game that sat dormant on my shelves for months was suddenly revitalized for me. And there is more coming! More DLC is slotted to release in September, December, and March and I will receive all of them for a flat rate. Put your gloves on CoD, BF3 has thrown down some fight money.