Finally we come to Battlefield 3’s co-op gameplay which consists of six missions where you’ll take on enemy forces with one other friend online. At first, I was incredibly disappointed - not only was the mission I played overly difficult, it was also boring. The first mission is a simple survival style holdout based on a small section of the single player game. But after completing it (on Easy), and learning the ropes, it was easier to replay and then things started to open up.
There are some gems here for co-op play. A helicopter mission where Player One is the pilot and the other is the gunner. A sniper mission where players need to time their shots and support a swat team set to rescue an HVA from an embassy. An escape mission where both players try to get out of a building after acquiring some data while being assaulted by SWAT teams. Each had their own intense co-op moments.
The missions themselves do a good job of promoting co-op play, whether it’s simply providing cover for a friend while advancing through the city streets or having one player mark enemies while the other takes them out. Players can also revive each other when they go down, though the process usually takes a bit longer than you’d like. Luckily a downed player can crawl backwards towards their friend or into cover for revival. If a player bleeds out though, it’s mission over for both.
With only six missions to play and each one taking around 10-15 minutes, you’ll be done with the co-op mode in no time. The game does put the carrot on the stick for you though, offering three difficulty levels and a scoring system to encourage replays. What’s more? Nine unique weapon unlocks for the game’s versus mode which will take significant replays through co-op to earn. Progress is also blocked for players that haven’t completed the earlier required missions, so both players basically need to progress through together.
Battlefield 3 has given itself a bit of a conundrum. I can easily see the campaign being popular for most gamers, it uses a formula that sells and people have been eating that up. That said, a lot of us have moved past that and have gotten bored with it. Luckily, Battlefield 3’s competitive multiplayer is still the meat and potatoes here, and I think DICE knows it (it is Disc One on the 360). The maps are well laid out, the game modes are replayble, and there’s plenty of content to unlock. While co-op is a bit of a mixed bag, it’s a nice addition and distraction to play with a friend despite it’s short nature. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more cooperative modes coming as DLC in the future - hopefully we won’t be too busy on Battelog to notice.
The bottom line is this - if you buy Battlefield for multiplayer, it’s completely worth it. If you buy it for either of the other included modes, the game falls short. As a complete $60 package though Battlefield 3 any FPS fan will enjoy.
This review is based on the PC and Xbox 360 version of the game.
The Co-Op Experience: Play through a co-op specific campaign with friends online. Battlefield 3 will feature six co-operative maps, which will be distinct from the game’s single player campaign.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.