iPhone App Video Review: Battlefield 3: Aftershock

by Andrew Koziara

I'm sure I don't need to tell most of you that Battlefield 3 was released late last year, and it was pretty awesome. It garnered tons of critical acclaim for its highly realistic graphics and fun gunplay. Battlefield 3: Aftershock is a new iOS spin-off title, and it's pretty much the exact opposite. Weak graphics and buggy, un-fun multiplayer gameplay. I mean, the app is completely free, but that doesn't make it any more fun.

So after forcing you to sign-in to your Origin account, you have a few options. You can change the controls and a few other settings, you can enter the armory and choose your main weapon, or you can start the multiplayer. There is one single map called "The Factory." If you are able to connect to a lobby, you'll just play on that map over and over again. The gameplay itself is not very smooth or enjoyable really. You can aim down the iron sights, crouch, and throw grenades, but none of these function very well. Should you get close enough to someone, the instant kill melee button will also pop up.

The alternate control options aren't really any better when the multiplayer is so extremely laggy and choppy. There isn't really an kind of reward or upgrading system to speak of. You start out with three weapons, and you can get a forth by watching an advertisement for that upcoming Navy Seals movie Act of Valor. In fact, this whole app pretty much exists to promote that movie and nothing else. The single map that you'll be playing on was supposedly inspired by the movie. There's nothing inherently wrong with that, but the game is barely worth playing at all.

The graphics are muddy and only average looking. The virtual buttons aren't laid out very well and your gun takes up too much of the screen, making it even harder to see around your thumbs. You can't change the placement of any buttons. The music and sound effects are fine I guess, but this map is way too huge and following the sounds of gunfire to an enemy's location is a futile effort. This game plays more like an open beta for a future release, but nowhere does it specifically say that this is a beta of any kind. It is free, so there's no harm in trying it out for yourself, but just avoid this one until they finish it or something.

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