This article contains some mild spoilers about the first three missions of Battlefield 3's single-player campaign.

Battlefield 3 screenshot

You'll have seen Operation Swordbreaker from coverage from April - including our preview - and it's the same as you remember, albeit with slightly less visual flair when running on the Xbox 360 compared to the PC.

For those who need a refresher course, the game starts with fictional paramilitary group the PLR causing trouble for the US on the Iraq/Iran border. Sgt. Henry 'Black' Blackburn - alongside Misfit squad sidekicks Montes, Chaffin, Matkovic, and Campo - trek around Sulaymaniyah to locate a missing unit. There's that bit with a sniper (remember the plant pot getting shot?) and a rooftop assault on invading forces, some impromptu bomb defusal, and then a massive Earthquake at the absolute worst possible time.

Battlefield 3 is told in a similar fashion to Treyarch's Call of Duty: Black Ops. Missions are essentially delivered as flashbacks, recounted by Blackburn as he's being interrogated by some ambiguous (yet clearly important) people in New York. This is more of a stern sit-down chat rather than crazy drug cocktail, however, with the two unnamed interrogators (one of whom is Glenn Morshower, who played Aaron Pierce in 24) trying a touch of the age-old aggressive cop/mean cop routine.

The next mission, Uprising, takes place with Blackburn regaining consciousness a few hours after the Earthquake. Sulaymaniyah has been devastated, US forces are scattered, and the PLR is staging a coup in Iran. I'm just going to put it out there and say that things are going to get worse before they get better.

Uprising has you moving back the way you came in Operation Swordbreaker, only with everything ruined and the entire area littered with PLR. Regaining consciousness, Blackburn sees a high-ranking PLR officer - known as Solomon - asking a badly wounded US soldier whether he wants to live or die. Unable to answer, the PLR drags the poor guy off as he screams in agony.

Not fancying a similar fate, Blackburn keeps to the shadows and crawls underneath torn up streets to avoid PLR squads. Whereas Captain Price is all awesome snowmobiles and running away from explosions, Blackburn's take on military looks particularly undesirable, especially when he's getting hassled by a rat. A rat. Even nature is against him, and you skewer the rodent with your knife after a quick QTE sequence.

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User Comments

Get2DaChoppa's Avatar


Great preview again Martin, still very excited for this game, not sure if I'll pick it up over MW3 though.
Posted 17:25 on 08 October 2011
squidman's Avatar

squidman@ dazzadavie

I'm sure you won't have to wait too long to hear those.
Posted 11:32 on 07 October 2011
dazzadavie's Avatar


Nice little preview but I would of loved to of heard your thoughts on what you played.
Posted 11:23 on 07 October 2011

Game Stats

Release Date: 28/10/2011
Developer: D.I.C.E
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: First Person Shooter
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 13,314 38
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