Oh dear, once you look past the gloss, something that is very hard to do in view of the blinding contrast that apparently passes for 'gritty atmospheric realism' these days, what do you have?

A poor, whack-a-mole console game that was supposedly developed with PC's as the lead platform, no hold on it wasn't, we lied about that because the 'pc crowd were complaining the most'.

Large maps, oh really. Looks to me like the same shoebox maps designed for consoles with a few acres of dead ground on the outskirts to pad them out. 'Lets cap A and then cross the street and cap B, then from there we can spit on anyone at C'. Epic combined arms my...... .

So EA/Dice you wanted a COD killer (face palms). Lets see how you did. Well you made a single player campaign, sort of. What did it remind me of, let me think, yes that's it Dragons Lair. Who doesn't love Quick Time Events and sudden death scripting events. Couple that with suitably brief length and a large dash of ham fisted cut scenes and we have a classic. Marks out of 10, 3 for the graphics. So you failed with a big F there then. Despite the shortcomings of the COD series they usually manage to pull of an entertaining single player, something EA/Dice appear utterly incapable of doing. Just shockingly bad.

The multiplayer. Ok. Now here's your chance. COD multiplayer is very small, riddled with odd design decisions and often derided for its Perks and killstreaks and generally self serving play style reinforcement.

The BF series however is has an adoring PC following and a fairly rich heritage, it is in many ways he Daddy of PC online FPS multiplayers. No other franchise in that market has the pedigree or staying power. Released when consoles were incapable of such games BF2 is a hard act to follow whilst conversely the greatest of stepping off points for next generation of EA/Dice online dominance. Faced with a PC market crying out for something with a little more scale and a greater focus on teamwork EA/Dice had a great foundation to build a new behemoth that would fill the yawing gap left by all the other cookie cutter shooters being churned out map pack after map pack.

They couldn't go wrong, could they. They were making all the right noises. 'Enhanced teamwork', 'a true successor to BF2' etc and other such hyperbole was bellowed at us over distorted images and pounding soundtracks. Jay-Z listed the many problems he had but went on to make it clear that BF3 would not be one of them. Videos of masonry being brutalised assaulted our senses at every turn. The eager PC market lapped up every drop, waiting, hoping, praying. We dutifully purchased Medal of Honour: Deluxe shortlived, dead before the 1st expansion pack special edition. We endured BC2 shoebox no voip Premium edition and we waited. The second coming was on the horizon and the faithful will be rewarded, if only we keep that faith.

Then the beta and alpha and the doubts began to smoulder like the first stirrings of a brush fire of discontent. No voip, face battle instead of a browser, 4 man squads, no CO. We were told this was all in the name of TEAMWORK. Not laziness or too much time spent on destructible masonry modelling. Not lacking the knowledge, the ability or the will to put in place fundamentals that were included in it's predecessor 6 years ago. No, this was progress. We doubted, we looked at each other and we looked back at the purveyor of these messages as he regaled us with tales of parties over Battle Twitter. We slapped ourselves and vowed to keep the faith, after all this was BF, they wouldn't get this wrong, they couldn't be so stupid as to take out stuff that made the previous title the stuff of legend, surely. Were it not for those features and the environment they created there wouldn't be a BF3.

Then it released. My how it sparkled. Quite possibly the finest graphics ever seen in an online FPS multiplayer, positively cinematic. The guns, so many guns, the gadgets, oh my the gadgets, then the maps, oh dear.....the maps. Where is the rest of the map. I am basically fighting over 3-4 flags in a....city block.

Wait, get that out of my eyes. What the hell? Is that some sort of solar beacon designed to guide off course space shuttles through the galactic blackness. That's it I am completely blind, my monitor has burnt out and the cat has caught fire. No, no, it's ok, my vision is coming back and a friendly is coming to help, my god what is that in my eyes again, some sort of light saber is being pushed into my retina, oh it's a LAZOR you say, well turn it off please. Ahh good a new map, wait what, I basically have a choice of two sets of stairs to climb. Erm, hold on, won't they simply be waiting to shoot me at the top of the stairs. Don't think I like the sound of that. Where else can I go? A tunnel, you are joking? A cylinder, with them waiting at the other end? Oh, there's two of them you say. Cool, they won't be able to cover that will they, maybe they will all go to the wrong bottleneck..I mean tunnel. Sounds l ike fun, very tactical. I will wait here I think till the next one.