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Battlefield 3 platform comparison

We’ve spent some time with the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC versions of BATTLEFIELD 3, and taken some notes of our experiences. Here’s our platform comparison of the currently playable build…

Today, at the Eurogamer Expo, I’ve been spending some time with all three versions of Battlefield 3. It’s not looking too shabby on any of the formats, but I thought I’d chime in with some thoughts about what the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC versions look like. A bit of subjective analysis, if you will. Here goes…


The PC version is, without a shadow of a doubt, the prettiest of the three formats. That is, of course, to be expected. It’s the lead platform, and the processing power of high-end PCs is quite remarkable these days. (Bear in mind that the game was running on top-spec machines with the latest nVidia video tech.) Textures are astonishingly crisp, even up-close, and while I noticed a tiny bit of pop-in, it’s a rare occurrence and by no means a real problem. The lighting and shadows are gorgeous, and the game world has a real sheen to it. The reflections are subtle, realistic, and wonderful.

It’s also extremely smooth, as you might expect, and the draw distance is great, with none of the foliage pop-in that the other two versions suffer from. The only real issue I noticed was that there was a teensy bit of tearing at times.


While nowhere near as gorgeous as the PC version, the PlayStation 3 version of Battlefield 3 is the prettier of the console iterations. It’s very crisp, very smooth, and textures only appear slightly blurred when close up. Trees sway nicely in the breeze, although they do suffer from some pop-in when viewing them from a distance, which can be a little bit offputting.

There’s also some quite noticeable texture pop-in, which is a little unfortunate. But the water effects are beautiful, the lighting and shadow effects are extremely strong, and overall it’s a lovely-looking offering.

Xbox 360

Alas, it’s the weakest of the bunch. That isn’t to say it doesn’t look nice. Even on Xbox 360, the Frostbite 2.0 tech is strong. Unfortunately, there was some noticeable framerate stuttering in larger outdoor areas during my time with the game. That’s the biggest hurdle Battlefield 3 Xbox 360 will have to overcome before release, lest it be a little annoying.

Lighting and shadows, as well as reflections, are decent but not quite as strong as the PlayStation 3′s, and nowhere near the level of the PC. There’s some foliage pop-in as well, along the lines of that in the PS3 version. Interestingly, texture pop-in seemed to be almost entirely absent, although said textures are markedly lower-res – disappointingly blurry when up close, in fact.

So there we go! This is, of course, an unfinished build of the game, so these things may change before release. Watch out for our full hands-on Battlefield 3 preview in the coming days.


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