There’s no denying that Battlefield 3’s multiplayer is the more sought after experience than its single player. Sure, there are some really fantastic moments contained within the single player, but it ultimately pales in comparison to getting with a few friends and driving a tank.
But, according to Electronic Arts, the single player is still an important part of Battlefield 3. Without it, EA feels that many gamers who might be unfamiliar with Battlefield, perhaps Call of Duty fans, wouldn’t have any way of getting in to the game.
To elaborate more on that point, EA looks to single player as a “ramp,” a ramp that acclimates the gamer to the conventions and control schemes of the Battlefield 3 experience. In essence, the single player is a small training camp for potential multiplayer participants. EA’s Frank Gibeau shares more:
"The single player experience is important. It's a great way to get fans into the experience, have them train up and get ready for multiplayer. And a lot of fans just enjoy having that single player experience. So I think you have to have both.”
Gibeau still acknowledges that multiplayer in Battlefield will always be developer DICE’s bread and butter, but single player isn’t going anywhere. Which is unfortunate since the single player, the appetizer to the multiplayer main course, actually puts gamers into the wrong frame of mind. In our review, we found the single player to be extremely linear and filled with a ton of quick time events, much like was found in Medal of Honor.
So, instead of finding a perfect way to transition into multiplayer, there are gamers who might be left with a bad taste in their mouth and ignore the multiplayer altogether — at least if they followed EA’s thinking. In fact, EA CEO John Riccitiello echoed Gibeau’s sentiments and further stressed what single player helps achieve.
“Single player is often how new players ramp into the game. It's a way for new players to get exposed to a franchise."
Yes, single player might be an important part of any game -- because there exist those gamers who are simply uninterested in the competitive nature of the online experience -- but saying that single player prepares one for multiplayer seems a bit of a stretch. In fact, I think there are a decent group of gamers who could have gone without the single player in Battlefield 3, especially if it would have alleviated some of the problems with the multiplayer.
Do you agree that single player in Battlefield is a “ramp” to the multiplayer? Would you have preferred DICE forgo a single player experience altogether?
Battlefield 3 is out now for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.