Spending most of my teenage years playing franchises like Call of Duty and Halo made me realize something about Battlefield: this game doesn’t fuck around. I’m used to being able to run and gun and carry around ridiculous weapons, Gandhi hopping and drop shotting my way to unimaginable kill streaks and final match scores. Going from that to 64-man death matches in Battlefield 3 didn’t end well for me. Needless to say, I’m definitely a little salty after going 5-30 my last 3 games. I always had fun with Battlefield on consoles; no matter which entry in the series I played with a controller, I always seemed to get a handle on things and make the game entertaining any way possible. Battlefield 3 on PC shot that theory to shit in a heartbeat.
Maybe it’s the fact that I’m not completely adjusted to the keyboard and mouse set up. Frustration is easily compounded when you try to throw a grenade but you knife the air instead while a sniper drills a hole in your teeth from 200 yards away. That sounds like a pretty logical excuse, right? Then add to the equation the fact that most people that play first person shooters on PC can use a keyboard perfectly with their eyes closed. I also went from playing my Xbox on a shitty 90’s Toshiba tube TV to a high definition PC monitor. The transition was jarring, to say the least. I feel like I’ve moved from the stone age to Star Trek in terms of technology, and while that adds to the wow factor, my fun-o-meter is still as flaccid as Hugh Hefner’s little playboy.
But the single thing that frustrates me most as a player is the same thing that so many people love about Battlefield 3 on PC: 64-player matches are a blessing, a curse, and Hepatitis C rolled into one. With up to 32 people on each team, it’s safe to say you will never play the same game twice. I’ve played at least 12 matches on Canal in a 64-man TDM game with 1000 tickets. I’ve had a different experience every time. That’s the wonderful thing about having so many players. It’s overwhelming, and the sheer number of people almost forces you to play the game in an unorthodox fashion. That’s also the most difficult part of playing Battlefield 3 the way it’s supposed to be played. Having to worry about 4 to 8 people on the enemy team is no problem, and Call of Duty shows how easy it is to keep track of everyone with a simple UAV. Having to keep track of 32 people on the enemy team? Good fucking luck.
From the moment the match starts right up until the final kill, you are a willing participant in the grandest clusterfuck of all time. There are explosions going off at all times from tanks, frag grenades, mortar strikes, and grenade launchers. You’ve got gunfire from every firearm known to man coming at you like a swarm of PMS bees. All you can do is try to survive, but even that’s not good enough: crawl into the deepest darkest hole in the most remote spot on the map, and your opponents will still find you. They will kill you without mercy or remorse because if they hesitate for even a second, they’ll have 31 other people shooting at them from every corner of the map. There’s no time to run, only time to fight. Having to die 40 times in a match is frustrating; it makes me want to rage quit and scream at the top of my lungs. But I can’t give up. I can’t stop fighting, because there are 31 other people on my team that I can’t bare to let down, and I’m just a sucker for punishment.