Battlefield 3 3DS: Probably Another Average Portable First Person Shooter
Barring some incredible surprise, EA will most likely release a watered down version of the highly anticipated console game.
For the past couple of weeks, we've waited for Electronic Arts to prove the existence of Battlefield 3 for Nintendo's 3DS. A screen, a video, a soldier giving a big thumbs up...anything to put our minds at ease.
The result? Just a mysterious 3DS listing on EA's Portugal website that for all we know is a typo. Then again, with so many news outlets reporting the story, one would think a company this big would have the common sense to correct such a mistake. The fact that is hasn't means only one thing: Battlefield 3 is on its way to Nintendo's system.
The big question is whether you should care.
First person shooters on Nintendo handhelds have been, to put it nicely, average. Some bright spots exist (DOOM on Game Boy Advance springs to mind, and Metroid Prime Hunters was OK), but for the most part, you'll probably never put down an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 controller to enjoy some Call of Duty: Black Ops for DS, online play or no.
On the positive side, 3DS represents a much better opportunity to deliver a more console like FPS in the palm of your hand. That said, the superior tech (superior to DS, anyway) is largely unproven when it comes to this genre. We don't know what a skilled developer can do with the machine.
With this in mind, it remains to be seen whether Battlefield 3 is a great fit. Here's a game with outstanding special effects, large sprawling maps and a wealth of customization. EA and DICE have done masterful work (thus far) realizing this vision on PC and consoles. How it'll translate to 3DS, though, is anyone's guess.
If we had to bet, Battlefield 3 3DS won't be a reliable handheld companion to its big brother. If anything, it'll be the black sheep, if EA's boring Battlefield 2 for iPhone/iPad is any indication.
The graphics will look pixilated, the explosions toned down. You won't have as many weapons, nor will you play with as many people online.
The game could still be good, no question. Activision and n-space managed to shoehorn some impressive Call of Duty titles onto the DS, but did we play them more than a week? No, of course not. If anything, we tore through a couple of levels, went "oh, that's neat" and walked away; reviews aside. To that end, Battlefield 3 will likely meet a similar fate.
If anything, PlayStation Vita is the ideal candidate to host EA's big bad shooter, since it not only has dual analog sticks, but also a bigger screen and more processing power.
Then again, EA could flip the script. With no first person shooters on 3DS to speak of, we have no point of reference. For all we know, the portable version of Battlefield 3 is a turn based strategy game, or a third person shooter. Just something totally unexpected.
In other words, we'd love to be proven wrong.