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With its exhilirating multiplayer experience, Electronic Arts’ Battlefield franchise has always been known to impress, captivate and compel its players to hold on to their game controllers, keyboards and mouses like no other game can. Battlefield 3 is no exception. And with gaming technology making great leaps each year, seasoned Battlefield fanatics would know that this latest installment to the series can only get better. And it did. With better graphics design and better game engines capable of handling them, Battlefield 3’s maps got a major boost in appeal and credibility. A maximum of 24 players can choose among the game’s 9 different maps with varying size and elements that provide a wide range of strategic possiblities. Online battles get even more interesting as walls, trees and other obstructions can be blown away with explosives to make new paths towards (or away from) the enemy. Perhaps one of the coolest things that ever happened to war games is the ability to drive or fly vehicles. Battlefield 3 makes sure everyone gets his share of the wheels and the wings with combat vehicles such as armored humvees, helicopters and fighter jets waiting to be deployed. Too bad there’re no flight lessons before you enter the multiplayer arena. Which is just as well. The excitement a player will get from shooting down an enemy jet is just as much, or perhaps even more, as when he’s crashing his own. The thrill of defeating the enemy is one thing, but doing so with a well-executed plan with the help of teammates is another. In Battlefield 3 multiplayer mode, everyone can feel as important as the guy with the most kills. Natural advantages offered by vehicles and the peculiarities of different maps encourage teammates to complement each other by choosing the right class and the right set of abilities. Battlefield 3 has even tweaked its reward system so that players who had a hand in killing an enemy can also earn points even if they didn’t make the kill themselves. Battlefield 3’s cooperative mission mode would’ve been as spectacular as its online battle counterpart with its tougher enemies and operations that require flawless teamwork. Completing each quest also unlocks additional, and ofttimes, more powerful weapons. However, having only 6 assignments to complete, the coop mode will be done before anyone gets even remotely addicted to it. Where the multiplayer battle mode soars and the cooperative mode falters, the solo campaign mode falls flat on the ground. Veteran players of this series may miss the hallmark of the Battlefield franchise experience: flexibility of missions. Coherent as the storyline may be, this “missing piece” makes the single-player mode rather linear. Other elements of the campaign may also resemble those of other popular first-person shooter games such as Call of Duty. Thankfully, the mind-blowing online experience that Battlefield 3 delivers is enough reason for anyone to spend 50-60 USD for it. With first-person shooter war games as immersive and engaging as this, who would want to make love at all?