We have been playing Battlefield 3 for almost a full year and still adore it. That says a lot about this immersive, realistic combat simulation.
The game was clearly put together by a team who had experience in crafting a solid experience. The intro missions draw you into the action and at the same time help guide a newbie player into how to handle all the controls. The easy missions give enough of a sense of fun without taxing a new player's ability to keep up. The hard missions are substantial challenge for those who are well versed in fighting, flying, and watching twelve enemies at once.
There is a great attention to detail here. The facial detail, the water textures, the flickering flames all draw you into the world. The scratches on the plane canopy, the textures of the clouds, the flaming trees, all gives you the sense that you really are in the thick of things.
The voice acting is also fairly good. There's a sense of drama and urgency without characters shouting the exact same two words at you over and over and over again. I definitely recommend having a high quality speaker setup for this, to have the guns blazing around you and the mortar shells booming.
We don't happen to be huge multiplayer fans, but I've heard from MANY people that the multiplayer here is absolutely amazing. There's enough other people raving about that to give details there. I can say from our side that the single player is engaging enough that it's fun to replay.
Of course the game isn't perfect. When your character is walking around in the sun there are lens spots on the screen as if he's walking with a sheet of glass held in front of him. Clearly the game makers added the lens spots for visual effect - why artificially add in something that doesn't make sense? I suppose that makes it more movie-like, but that just puts a "layer" between the gamer and the character.
Also, sometimes the game is a little too "go to THIS ONE EXACT SPOT". I can absolutely see that on easy mode. You want the game to be helpful and directive on easy mode, for those brand new to the genre. But once you move past easy, you should rely on the gamer to do what needs to be done.
Still, highly recommended.
I purchased this game with my own funds in order to do this review.
Buy Battlefield 3 from Amazon.com