Battlefield 3: Aftershock Review
Gamers who remember multiplayer first-person shooter matches in the days before broadband will feel right at home with Battlefield 3: Aftershock, as everything from a relative dearth of ways to play to lag-filled matches are present here.
Seemingly choosing to sidestep a head-to-head matchup with the Call of Duty-like Modern Combat series on iOS -- which features a full single-player campaign -- EA's mobile take on the popular Battlefield 3 console and PC release is a free-to-play, multiplayer-only shooter. Perhaps it's expected, since online play tends to dominate shooter fans' interest on most platforms; but unlike the bigger versions of Battlefield 3, what's here doesn't work.
Despite EA’s typically slick production values and the app’s lack of a price tag, Aftershock doesn’t really feel like much of a game. Your loadout can be customized from a whopping three weapons, and while loading screens prominently displays a number of match variables like current map, play mode, and whether aim assist is activated, you can't actually change any of it.
The gameplay itself is decent, but Aftershock's single current level -- a bland warehouse -- is far too big for the number of players each match accommodates. Animation are smooth and the gunplay feels fine, but good luck trying to aim or track an enemy without the hiccupping servers destroying your bead. Until it gets a major overhaul, Aftershock isn't worth the handful of seconds it’ll take to download.
The bottom line. Aftershock feels like a shoehorn to either get you to sign up for EA's Origin service or buy the actual Battlefield 3 on other platforms. Sadly, its current state doesn’t make a compelling argument for either option.
Battlefield 3: Aftershock 1.0.0
iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 4.0 or later
High production values. Smooth frame rate.
Simplistic feel and zero gameplay options or customization. Laggy servers kills flow of play. Severe lack of map and armory options. Quite boring due to all of the above.