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Video Game / Battlefield 3

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"You can only die once. Make sure it is worth it."
Dmitri 'Dima' Mayakovsky

Be advised: You are now entering the Battlefield 3 page.

Battlefield 3 is the sequel to the 2005 game Battlefield 2. Despite being the third numbered game in the series, and not fitting into the same timeline as any other game in the series, it is the 11th installment in the overall Battlefield franchise. It was released on October 25, 2011.

It is a First-Person Shooter with a heavy emphasis on multiplayer action and the use of all types of combat vehicles including tanks, jets and helicopters, as well as improving on the infantry experience of its predecessors. It has deep persistence using the Battlelog internet server browser and game manager. Despite the emphasis being on the multiplayer, it also includes a 3 to 5 hours long single-player storyline campaign, set in 2014. It involves a new faction taking power in Iran and weaves an international story through a series of flashbacks based on the recollections of Staff Sergeant Henry "Black" Blackburn, a US Marine. He is trying to stop an attack on New York City, but locations involve Iraq, Iran and Paris, among others. It also includes a Co-Op game mode.


It was released on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, although as the console hardware had become long in the tooth, with PC being the lead platform. Its multiplayer has the ability to have 64 players in a server, while the console versions only supports 24.

Another sequel, Battlefield 4, was released on all major consoles and PC in October 2013.

Be advised: Spotted a number of tropes in your AO.

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     General Tropes 
  • Acoustic License: Zig-zagged in the mission "Going Hunting". On the one hand, your character and her pilot walk out on the flight deck without their helmets on, despite that the jets' engines are already active - no real pilot who wanted to keep their hearing would do that, since even when idling jet engines are very loud. On the other hand, when the Iranian bandits engage you, you don't hear the reports of their cannons until noticeably after the bullets have already hit you.
  • Anti-Air: Campaign mode has one mission where the player is tasked with engaging an attacking Su-25 attack jet with a Stinger missile and another where you must destroy enemy anti-air batteries in preparation for an allied airstrike. In multiplayer mode you can use side specific MANPAD systems such as the Stinger or the Igla, man mobile anti-aircraft vehicles such as the Tunguska or the LAV-AD or static ones such as the Centurion C-RAM or the Pantsir-S1.
  • Color Wash: A fairly noticeable blue wash. It's more obvious on maps such as Operation Metro.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Civilian cars explode violently after shooting them with an entire magazine from an assault rifle or a few shots from a heavy machine gun or autocannon, making them a major hazard on the battlefield (noted in the parking lot fight in the second level, where once the enemy brings in RPGs a squadmate shouts at everyone else to stay away from the cars). Drivable military vehicles are more durable, but still explode after enough damage.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: DICE certainly thinks so. Not only do you have the figurine in the campaign, you can have a dinosaur dog tag for the multiplayer, and Wake Island even has an Easter Egg with more dinosaur figurines. The fascination is explained in a developer's tweet.
  • First-Person Ghost: Averted. You can see your legs when jumping down, mantling rails, or looking down while walking. You can also see your soldier's hands when crawling on the ground.
  • Gun Porn: With plenty of Gun Accessories too.
  • Lens Flare: The singleplayer has some lights in the night missions. Multiplayer has some really bad ones though. Trying to assault the TV Tower on the Sharqi Peninsula map can be an exercise in frustration as you get cut down by people you simply can't see properly because of the massive lens flare that comes directly from behind the building.
  • Obvious Beta:
    • Battlefield 3 on release was a very obvious late beta. It's simply not stable enough, especially in the online modes, to really be called a polished product. The integration between Origin, Battlelog, the game and the online servers is flaky and constantly being brought down for "maintenance." The reason was EA pushing the game for an early release out to beat the latest Modern Warfare game.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: Parodied in a late 2012 patch update:
    Game breaking SP bug in mission 10 (picking up the Stinger)
    Additionally fixes bug where world would end on Dec 21
  • One Bullet Clips: Barring the Bad Company spinoffs, it's notable that this is the first main entry in the series to implement this instead of the traditional magazine count, changed only to follow a Call of Duty-style need to load a round into the chamber if you're reloading from empty (prior games either always had a Dramatic Gun Cock on reloading or, in Bad Company 2's case, ignored the question entirely). Unlike most games however, Battlefield 3 actually keeps track of whether or not there's a round in the chamber, meaning reloading from empty will net you only, say, 30 rounds instead of 31 and take longer due to the character chambering a round.
  • Orange/Blue Contrast: Posters, menu interfaces, team icons, all of it.
  • Perpetual Beta: DICE never truly locked down a solid bug free version of the game with exploits and glitches removed. For every problem their patches fixed, a new problem sprung up in its place, such as the much-hated M26 Dart exploit in one patch, followed by the Smoke bug. Even elements of the game that didn't need fixing were broken with the patches; Alan Kertz, the Senior Gameplay Designer at DICE, admits that he wanted to tweak the Suppression mechanic until it's ideal, which is why suppression went from a minor annoyance to outrageously bad after the March 2012 patch. The game is no longer being patched, and there still exists glitches and exploits like the ability to get into what should be inaccessible parts of the buildings at the Cafe flag of Operation Metro.
  • Post-Processing Video Effects: And gratuitous applications of it. Really evident during night levels. The PC version even has two anti-aliasing settings which control the sampling and a post-processing filter on top to soften out the overall image.
  • Quick Melee: There is the standard version of it, the "press the button and stab with one motion", though with the caveat that if you hold the button down you can equip the knife as a separate weapon. It's done in a different manner than usual, however: it only deals 50% damage normally, requiring at least two swipes to kill someone. However, if the player does it from behind their victim, they will perform a takedown move instead, in which they stab the victim for an instant kill and steal their dogtags.
  • Qurac: Averted. All locations are real and named, with the multiplayer having distinct locations within Iran.
  • Real Is Desaturated Blue: The game has heavy post-processing to give everything a blue tint.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: Just about every US soldier in the game sports a fine shemagh, but a special example goes to the US multiplayer sniper for wearing his wrapped around his head in the traditional manner.
    • Don't forget the Russian recon's bandana.
  • Shout-Out: Played with some of the Dog Tags, Weapons and Assignment names:
    • In the dog tags: Ace Of Spades comes with a song quote, Cause of Death is called a "fishy abbreviation" (and comes with fish bones on it), "Are these subtitles" refers to a popular comedic fanmade Battlefield 2 video called Mine, the True Handgun Master tag quotes and depicts Dirty Harry, and then there's HAGS WAS HERE, of course. Plus extra logos of EA games you might already own. Back to Karland added a Dog Tag named Diving Dolphin, featuring a prone dolphin with a helmet and an M4, in a callback to Battlefield 2's Game-Breaker tactic.
    • Some of the Assignments released with Back To Karkand and Close Quarters are shout outs. "Professional Russian" to unlock the L85A2 is a shoutout to YouTube gun and weapon video maker FPS Russia. The PP-19 and Jackhammer assignments were called "Familiar Territory" and "Scarred Veteran", as those assignments require playing for two hours on each of the maps from the expansion (also particularly highlighting the fact that all of the guns added in Back to Karkand are from Battlefield 2). The SCAR-L assignment in Close Quarters is called "Set us up the bomb".
    • In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment during the intro to "Gone Hunting," you can see that Hawkins' callsign is Wedge.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Well, whoever worked on this piece of artwork for Battlefield 3 apparently did, considering what off-duty soldiers found in it.
    • For a ridiculously rare and futuristically complex gun, the game got the reload for the Pancor Jackhammer ("MK3A1") correct. A full description of the reload can be found on IMFDB.
  • Tech Demo Game: Battlefield 3 doesn't support Direct X 9, hence it can't run on Windows XP. It was one of the first applications to have a real impact in driving people to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7. The console versions have 4 rows of pixels on the top and bottom of the screen blacked out to speed up performance while maintaining graphical fidelity, since you mostly won't notice the blacked-out rows anyway.
  • Tie-In Novel: Battlefield 3: The Russian, a continuation of said game's single-player campaign written by military writer/former SAS operator Andy McNab.
  • Unnaturally Blue Lighting: Everything is tinted blue, even the night maps are just a slightly different shade of blue instead of black.
  • Unorthodox Reload: Averted. Every weapon is reloaded correctly. From the .44 Magnum, with which the player will properly eject the casings with the ejector rod and insert new cartridges with a speed loader, and close the chambers with his thumb to prevent misalignment; to every shotgun, where when loaded from empty the first shell is put directly into the chamber via the breech. The only thing that could be considered unorthodox would be reloading of the AN-94 or AEK-971, where the player pushes the magazine release with a new magazine and flicks the old magazine out of the way.

     Campaign Tropes 
  • Air-Vent Passageway: In Operation Swordbreaker you have to go through one in order to defuse a bomb.
  • Aluminium Christmas Trees: Yes, laser-guided bombs exist (they're called Joint Direct Attack Munitions, or JDAMs), and yes, the Hornet's backseater can cue all the weapons.
  • America Saves the Day: Averted. The US military is not the only group involved in battling against the PLR. Russian GRU Spetsnaz commandos are also involved in trying to stop Solomon from bombing Paris with a nuke. The French get the Gendarmerie Nationale involved after the PLR attacks the Euronext's Paris branch.
    • Although you could argue that thanks to Cole's infinite wisdom, that the American forces only make the situation worse.
  • Artistic License – Military: Iran is shown having a large number of Su-35BM Flanker-E's in the mission "Going Hunting". In real life however, the Iranian army famously wields a large range of older American fighters like the F-14. They have little to no Su-35BM Flanker-E's in their inventory, instead having different russian jets IRL.
  • Apathetic Citizens: While Blackburn is having final confrontation with Solomon in Times Square, a crowd of civilians gathers to watch while you struggle to kill the bastard. None of them step in to do something, and if you fail the QTE, Solomon will set off a Nuclear Device and kill them all.
    • It probably doesn't help that Blackburn doesn't call for assistance at any point during the fight.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Captain Cole's leadership style is like this. Exemplified by the American side in the "Rock and a Hard Place" mission.
  • Back to Front: Dima's playable levels are in reverse chronological order; the penultimate level "Kaffarov" is played mostly as Dima (the last portion has the player as Blackburn being confronted by Dima) and is set after, while the first level where you play as Dima is set between "Kaffarov" and the interrogation / "The Great Destroyer."
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Battlefield 4 reveals that even if Blackburn saved New York, Solomon's plan to "set the world on fire" ultimately succeeded and now Russia and the U.S. are locked in a bitter global war for which neither side was actually responsible for, all because of the will of a single man.
  • Camera Lock-On: Using the HARM, JDAM and heat-seeking missiles in "Going Hunting".
  • Cassandra Truth: The CIA doesn't believe Blackburn's story, since he allegedly killed his commanding officer and that Solomon is a CIA informant.
    • Conveniently, they seem to ignore that, A) said commanding officer's stupidity got his entire company wiped out and probably caused a major international incident, B) that Blackburn has a witness who can back up his claims, who they only bring in at the last minute and ask ONE incredibly biased question, and C) Solomon is so Obviously Evil that it's amazing they haven't walked in on him biting the head off of a puppy and still take everything he says at face-value. Despite having seen video evidence of him murdering an American soldier in cold blood, they never so much as bring him in for a psych evaluation and act as if he can do no wrong. Plus given how absolutely serious the CIA takes mole and leak accusations in real life, there is no excuse for this kind of stupidity.
      • For B, it is all but stated in the final mission's opening scene that the CIA has written Sgt. Miller off as one of the "sacrifices" that must be made, presumably believing that Solomon partook in Miller's execution in a ploy to make himself look good in Al-Bashir's eye.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: The checkpoints are few and far between, and some of them are set before a scripted event, so you have to redo the entire scripted event and/or slaughter entire armies again to gain back progress because of one stray RPG or a lucky bullet.
  • Combat Breakdown: Through most of the game, you fight with assault rifles, machine-guns, tanks and jets against enemies armed with assault rifles, machine-guns, tanks and jets. By the final battle, you are fistfighting the Big Bad and beating his head in with a brick.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Some guns come equipped with tac lights and laser sights. However, the AI is completely unaffected by them and will shoot at you with pinpoint accuracy, while your inferior human eyes are blinded by their artificial sun on a gun/impromptu laser eye surgery.
  • Coup de Grâce Cutscene: The final fight with Solomon is a QTE in the middle of Times Square, with a crowd watching, while you beat him to a pulp with a brick.
  • Cruelty Is the Only Option: When Blackburn meets Dima, you have to kill the friendly soldier that discovers the two of you in order to continue. Granted, the said "friendly soldier" is The Neidermeyer who has just got the majority of your comrades killed and all-but-certainly kickstarted World War III in a desperate bid for a promotion, and if you don't shoot him he shoots you, but still...
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to Bad Company 2, which itself was Darker and Edgier than Bad Company 1.
  • Dies Wide Open: Al-Bashir. Matkovic.
  • Don't Ask, Just Run: A variant in "The Great Destroyer", where you climb out of the sewers after a long firefight aboard a train when suddenly Montes, who was last seen shouting at you to jump on the train, shows up in a hijacked police car and says "Don't ask. Get in."
  • Elites Are More Glamorous:
    • Dima is ex-Spetsnaz, and a member of the Vympel unit (the Spetsnaz's best) at that, before becoming a GRU agent.
    • Blackburn also qualifies, being a member of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion of Force Recon.
    • The GIGN gets involved when the PLR begins to stage multiple attacks in Paris.
  • Enemy Chatter:
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: During the 2 tank missions, every car explodes spectacularly when shot. A few of them have explicitly been repurposed into kamikaze vehicles by the PLR, but most are just regular civilian vehicles that have been abandoned and are lying around the streets.
  • Fatal Family Photo: A dinosaur figurine, actually. Miller stares at it for a few seconds while one of his crewmates assures him he'll be home in time for his son's birthday. He doesn't make it.
  • Fighter-Launching Sequence: The start of "Going Hunting" which even runs through the pre-flight checks.
  • Fission Mailed: The end of "Fear No Evil" where Miller is captured by the PLR.
  • Foregone Conclusion: We all know that the US and Russia are at war in multiplayer.
  • Foreshadowing: Al-Bashir reveals that Solomon had betrayed him, and also states that Solomon "uses everybody", like how he used Al-Bashir and the PLR for his own ends. It's later revealed that Solomon is a CIA informant.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: The two CIA agents interrogating Blackburn definitely play the part. The grey-haired interrogator is very confrontational to Blackburn, while the bald one is calmer. Neither are willing to give Blackburn the time of day and constantly accuse him of lying, just in different tones.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: When playing as Miller, after finishing the final objective, the enemy will send endless wave of mooks, and later waves are invulnerable.
  • How We Got Here: The starting mission, "Semper Fidelis," starts near the end of the game, and the interrogation itself is set before the final level, "The Great Destroyer," slightly before the start. The rest of the campaign is told in the form of flashbacks during the interrogation (just like Call of Duty: Black Ops) of Staff Sergeant Blackburn's events in chronological order.
  • Hypocrite: Before his throat is cut, the tank driver Miller is the hostage in a video of a terrorist who calls shame on the Americans for invading their country and killing their people and having the gall to call them terrorists, yet these same terrorists later set off a nuke in Paris and used the opportunity of an earthquake to launch a terrorist-sponsored coup.
  • Ink-Suit Actor:
    • One of the government agents that investigates Blackburn is a spitting image of voice actor Glenn Morshower.
    • The same thing is true of Blackburn, who looks like Gideon Emery with shorter hair.
    • All major characters are based on their voice actors. The exception is Dima; his character model is based on Oleg Taktarov of Predators fame, but he's actually voiced by André Sogliuzzo.
  • Insane Troll Logic: So, Cole's unit is sent in to capture an arms dealer with ties to the PLR when the Russians begin parachuting in as well. Since they just so happen to be there, and the arms dealer in question is Russian, he instantly assumes the entire Russian Army is in cahoots with them and orders his squad to attack them on sight. It goes as well as you would expect.
  • Involuntary Group Split: The entire "Uprising" level.
  • It's Personal: Solomon killing Montes at the end apparently was the last straw for Blackburn, and he henceforth proceeds to lay down the smack which becomes the game's final battle.
  • I Want Him Alive: Referenced by Cole many times in Night Shift when looking for Al-Bashir.
    Cole: I do not want a bin Laden-style resolution here.
  • Just a Stupid Accent: Averted, Kiril and Vladimir speak completely in Russian.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: So, that interrogator who was being a total and complete ass to Blackburn the entire game, who was all but accusing him of treason repeatedly, insulting him at every turn, and generally just being a total prick? In the final mission, you get to break his kneecap and then repeatedly slam his head into the table, in full, glorious up-close first person view. And lo, it was satisfying.
  • Kill 'Em All: The bodycount gets very high by the end the game. Your squadmates aren't immune either.
  • Leit Motif: The Battlefield theme plays during a few of the game's most epic moments, such as Dima's HALO jump.
  • Locked Door: Most doors are scripted to have an NPC open it for you.
  • Missile Lock-On: Played almost constantly during "Going Hunting". Expect to encounter this a lot when piloting a jet or chopper in multiplayer mode too. In both cases, both you and the enemy can launch flares to break the lock.
    Pilot: You got tone, shoot!
  • The Neidermeyer: Captain Cole has shades of this, with his willingness to stubbornly sacrifice his men to complete the mission, even when it's clear the situation is out of hand.
    Cole: I'm saying we need to get there first, you think the Russians are here just because? They're covering their asses. We know they're working with the PLR. Now let's move it out.
    Montes: Yeah okay. We're just gonna finish one war by starting another, that is out-fucking-standing!
    • The reason Montes is pissed? Because Cole is leading his company of Marines (about 100-150) across an open field with only APC support and no air cover, against Russian paratroopers, who are airdropping a small battalion (~300 soldiers) supported by light vehicles and close air support. It's crazy and, unsurprisingly, leads to the entire company being wiped out, save the player and three others. Not to mention that open unprovoked assault on the Russians will, as Montes points out, inevitably and predictably result in war between the US and Russia. All because one captain can't exercise discretion.
  • The New '10s/Next Sunday A.D.: The game is set in 2014, and was released during the time in real life. However, there's barely enough time for any new faction to gain any sort of control, especially in Iran of all places.
  • Middle Eastern Terrorists: The PLR are a rare secular variant of this, being irreligious in ideology. They eventually get better hardware with real uniforms and end up going from an insurgency to a semi-conventional army.
  • Mildly Military: Slightly subverted and averted with the PLR, during Operation Swordbreaker they're shown wearing standard insurgent garb with Iranian equipment, implying their non-arab origin. However, by the time of the Earthquake, they're shown fully dressed in uniform as a regular army when engaging the US marines.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Dima did this to Kaffarov, and later Blackburn to Solomon.
  • No Points for Neutrality: In the "Kaffarov" level Blackburn catches up and finds Dima, who tells Solomon's plans for the nukes and urges you to find the last one. You are forced to shoot your commanding officer as you cannot be seen working with the Russians on charges of treason.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: The CIA agents interrogating Blackburn.
  • Oh, Crap!: The Marines' reaction when they realize they're not fighting PLR soldiers, but Russian paratroopers.
    • Perhaps a better example is when Dima and Kiril find what they thought was the suitcase nuke primed to initiate a large urban redevelopment of Paris, only to discover it was a decoy. Then the real one goes off...
  • One-Man Army: Generally averted, although certain parts of the story this trope does come into play.
    • Though in fairness, they are former Spetsnaz Vympel operatives.
  • Plot Lock: For all the destruction abilities showcased by the developers, you still need an NPC to open wooden doors despite having rocket and grenade launchers in hand.
  • Poor Communication Kills: If the Russians had actually told the Americans why the hell they wanted Kaffarov so bad, many of the events of the game could have been avoided.
    • In their defense, Cole is a freakin' idiot. Of course, why they didn't just warn the French authorities beforehand and save themselves a load of trouble and ammo is another issue altogether.
    • It's also stated that the suitcase nukes are Russian designed, and implied that the Russians don't have the best international reputation at that point. It's possible that they did try to warn the French, and were completely rebuffed.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner:
    Better get your fangs out, Hawkins. We're hunting big game today.
  • Press X to Not Die: Loads of it. If you miss, the enemy will stab you or shoot you dead. There's even a QTE sequence against a rat! If you fail that QTE, you get bitten, and make enough noise to attract a PLR trooper who blows you away. While dying you also flip off the rat.
    • Smashing Survival: Only 3 times in the campaign thankfully (the two are actually the same place where you have to climb the maintenance ladder on a moving train), but the last one is a subversion where you beat the hell out of the Big Bad's head with a brick.
  • Regenerating Health: Of the "red jam all over your screen" variety. The health percentages you get in multiplayer don't show up in singleplayer.
  • Ramming Always Works: In the beginning of "Comrades", your companions debate about the best way to infiltrate a target building and accounting for the fact that you are just 3 guys against an entire army. They end up just ramming down the main gate with the car you're riding in and you shoot your way through.
  • Ret Irony: Miller is the only character known to have family (a son) back home, and he is the first character to die.
  • Rogue Agent: Dima and the team after failing to secure the nuke from Kaffarov, being accused by the Russian government of being the ones responsible for stealing the nuke from Russia in BF3: The Russian. Also Omorova in the same novel.
  • Sequel Hook: An implied one.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Dima and his team sacrifice so much to try and stop the Paris bomb plot, and they fail anyways.
    • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Battlefield4 reveals that, not only were our heroes unable to stop Solomon's plan to ignite World War III, but every playable character except Blackburn gets killed in the sequel.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Some shout outs are made in the campaign to Generation Kill, given that Blackburn serves in the same battalion as the real-life Force Recon Marines from the book. In one section during the assault on Tehran, one of Blackburn's superiors says that he's "not hearing the aggressiveness [he] would like" from his subordinates, directly quoting Lt. Fick from the book and show. Borders on Real Person Shout Out with Chaffin, Blackburn's teammate who gets wounded in the first mission, who shares his name with Cpl. James Chaffin from the book.
    • Speaking of name sharing, Blackburn is also the name of the soldier who falls out of the black hawk in Black Hawk Down.
    • The achievement/trophy for completing the co-op campaign on Hard difficulty is named "Army of Two".
  • Smug Snake: Solomon.
  • Sniping Mission: In the middle part of "Night Shift", you are tasked with covering Cole's squad as they clear a building where Al-Bashir is supposed to be located.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In the novelization Battlefield 3: The Russian all the members of Blackburn's squad survive (except for Cole), Vladimir also survives (although Kiril/Kroll dies instead), and Dima succeeds in stopping the Paris nuke.
  • The Squad: Misfit 1-3.
  • The Starscream: Al-Bashir states that Solomon betrayed him, and is the one responsible for giving the Americans the intel they needed to locate and kill him. He also states that he only wanted the nukes as leverage, whereas Solomon has stolen them from Al-Bashir and plans to actually detonate them. It's heavily implied that Solomon is only using the PLR to deliver his nukes, rather than having any affinity for their cause.
  • Story-Driven Invulnerability: Most of the time, your teammates are invulnerable (though the various unnamed Red Shirt characters are not).
  • Tank Goodness: The American M1A2 Abrams and the Russian T90A.
  • Teased with Awesome: Blackburn and Dima can beat the crap out of anyone in the scripted melee sequences, but trying to knife regular enemies in front is asking for trouble (or a checkpoint reload).
  • Theme Music Power-Up: The iconic Battlefield theme kicks in at a few key moments in the game, specifically when Misfit team evacuates from Iraq, during the fighter jet level after Hawkins defeats all the enemy MiGs, and during Dima's HALO jump in the second-to-last level.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: How do you deal with a sniper shooting at you from another building? Blow up that entire building![[note]This is actually the standard method of dealing with snipers in real life too.[[/note]]
  • Throwaway City: Poor Paris...
  • Translation Convention: Averted with missions starring Dima. Dima, Kiril, and Vladimir speak to each other in Russian, and the only way to understand them (unless you speak Russian) is to use the game's subtitles.
  • Trap Is the Only Option: At one point Misfit 1-3 is detached to Haymaker company, and come to a stop in front of a fuel truck that's blocking the road, that's obviously a trap. Haymaker's CO decides to spring it, much to Misfit 1-3's dismay.
  • Unfriendly Fire: Blackburn is forced to do this to Cole while talking to Dima. Not that the player is likely to beat themselves up over it.
  • Video Game Setpiece: Collapsing buildings in "Operation Swordbreaker" and "Uprising"
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Jack Chaffin, a Mauve Shirt from the first level, is injured by a sniper; after he's evacuated, we never see him again.
    • Despite having multiplayer maps which are centered around their singleplayer counterparts, the PLR is never shown as a playable faction, with only the russians being shown (Though this is probably due to time constraints).
  • With My Hands Tied: Blackburn handcuffs Solomon to himself yet he was able to fight and win in the final battle.
  • Would Not Shoot a Good Guy: No, Dima and team will shoot French cops trying to do their jobs. Kiril is obviously reluctant, though Vladimir bleakly points out that if it means sacrificing a few French cops to prevent a nuclear explosion and a war where millions of people will die, so be it.

     Multiplayer Tropes 
  • Ascended Glitch: Every mention of sound going out? That's actually a glitch that occurs when too much stuff around you is making noise. The game can't keep up and causes other sounds to go out, such as the ambiance, engine sounds, footsteps, and such. But, it has come to be accepted as Shell-Shock Silence.
    • This glitch is probably mistaken for a feature of Frostbite, called HDR Audio. Basically, if you have a lot of loud sounds going on, it will drown out quieter sounds. The sounds mentioned in the above? If explosions and gun shots are going off next to you, you can't actually hear them anyway (gun shots are really freaking loud) and this may be a case of Reality Is Unrealistic.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: While most of the time you get your rewards in items or new abilities when leveling up, at certain levels you are instead given more custom uniforms. The uniforms are useful, sometimes, if you can match the camouflage to the map type.
    • The Spec Ops Black uniform is a dual purpose camouflage. It will help hide the player in dark, shadowed areas and hides the player from thermal vision used by vehicles and the IRNV sight.
  • Anti-Air: Several kinds. The Igla and the Stinger missiles can be carried by Engineers; on maps with air vehicles, anti air cannons are mounted near the spawns (the C-RAM and the Tunguska for the US and Russian teams, respectively) air vehicles also have heatseeking missiles, and finally, Anti-Air Tanks function as moving versions of the base cannons.
  • The Artifact: Squad Leaders were important in previous Battlefield games because they were the only members of your squad you could spawn on, and they had a unique commo-rose to ask the Commander for orders or requests. Given the absence of Commander and the fact that you can spawn on anyone in your squad in Battlefield 3, a Squad Leader is no different than a regular squad member, aside from a star next to their name and the ability to tell their squad to attack or defend one objective.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Similar to the One-Man Army example below, attempting it will likely get you killed. A lot.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The EOD Bot is capable of remotely repairing/destroying vehicles, removing explosives, arming M-COM stations and with team-work can be catapulted with C4 clear across the map without being killed, but is hampered by touchy controls, a conspicuous spotting icon, loud operating noise and the operator being totally vulnerable to anyone who comes near him while using it.
    • The M60 machine gun. It's arguably one of the most intimidating weapons due to the suppression and heavy damage shared by most of the light machine guns. However, it's hampered by horrible accuracy unless proned, makes an easily identifiable noise when firing, and blocks around 25% of the lower portion of the user's view. Not to mention the painfully slow reload time.
  • Badass Bandolier: The US support class wears one like a scarf.
  • Blinded by the Light: Flashlights and Laser Sights will completely blind a player, whether ally or enemy, or even in complete daylight.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Oddly comes into play when getting a kill with the knife. Averted for other weapons though, which will create blood pools or splatters, but no Gorn.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory:
    • The Physical Warfare pre-order bonuses were a minor example of this at release, with a handful of items being released for early use by players. It took a concerted campaign against the game for it to be 'clarified' by EA that those items were not going to be locked out for people who didn't pre-order or use a pre-order location with the Physical Warfare pack. Many players were not amused, until the entire pack was made available to everyone for free, except for the Type 88 LMG, which would not be made available for other players until Back to Karkand was released. It was somewhat mitigated for a time (before the entire pack's release) by the December 6th patch changes, after which it wasn't much better if at all than other LMGs unlocked through normal gameplay.
    • As of March 2012, one can pay money to instantly unlock all class specific weapons and upgrades for vehicles. Having access to all equipment from the start doesn't make new players Instant Experts though, and since most guns within a class have the same damage values (with a few exceptions such as the G3A3 and the SCAR-H), they do not offer any significant advantage over the starter firearms. It's more of an option for players that want to avoid grinding. The interesting part is that the all unlock purchase is more expensive than the cost of a single DLC, since it instantly unlocks at least 119 new guns for use. Also somewhat counts as Anti-Frustration Features, since the Co-op Weapon Pack is advertised as allowing people who don't have anyone to play co-op with to use the weapons unlocked through co-op play.
    • The Premium edition comes with a multiplayer head start pack, instantly unlocking the first three weapons and gadgets for every kit and the ability to launch heat-seeking missiles from air vehicles for new players who purchase it.
  • Car Fu: You get bonus points from scoring a roadkill more than shooting the enemy.
  • Cherry Tapping:
    • Two extremely humiliating ways to die in BF3 are from the Engineer class. The first is their kit supplied blowtorch, since the Engineer would have to get into melee range of his target and keep the flame focused on him for several seconds. The other is the Engineer's gadget the EOD robot, which again has a built in blow-torch.
    • The Assault class can use the defibrillator to kill an enemy. Despite it being in the previous Battlefield games, it's not as well known in this one because you actually have to hold down the fire key now. If you just press it like in the old versions you don't get any kill or damage. So many players try it, get no joy and never bother to try it again.
    • Even worse is a vehicle being destroyed by the repair tool. When targeting a friendly (or unoccupied) vehicle, the torch repairs. When targeting a hostile vehicle, you slowly remove health at around 5% a second. Bonus points if, in an attempt to stop you, the crew bails out... only for you to get in and drive off. Corridor Digital demonstrates. In order to unlock the Back to Karkand and Close Quarters Engineer carbines (the G53, the QBZ-95 and the MTAR-21) you are explicitly required to do these.
  • Combat Medic: Battlefield 3 combines the old Assault and Medic classes into an Assault class armed with the usual assault rifle, and a medical kit consisting of health packs plus a defibrillator. Players who take this class make a choice over how much of a medic or assault class they wish to be: you can take a medical kit or a special weapon (M320grenade launcher or M26 shotgun), but not both.
  • Critical Existence Failure:
    • As infantry, it is possible to survive with 0% health displayed and no worse for wear due to how the game calculates damage.
    • Averted for vehicles. Vehicles with low HP will burn and cannot be moved unless it is repaired to working condition.
  • Desperation Attack: On Conquest on Caspian Border, when one team is brought down to ten respawn tickets, they'll enact an air strike on the huge radio tower, bringing it down and killing anyone unfortunate enough to be near it.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: The only way to get the MVP 2 and 3 Medals, Ribbons and Dog Tags is to place in the respective overall positions.
  • Easter Egg: Loads.
    • Operation Metro has two usable photo booths. They only give off a bright flash every time you press the button though, no photos.
    • Operation Metro also has a sandcastle with the Swedish and Norwegian flags on it, the same castle found in Bad Company 2 and 1943.
    • A top-secret document found in the Airfield point on Wake Island mentions there are five or six dinosaur figurines scattered throughout the island, and there are indeed six of them to be found. The document also mentions, "The General promised cake!"
    • On some locations on Strike at Karkand and Sharqi Peninsula, you might hear the MEC Theme (the Battlefield 2 loading screen music for Middle Eastern maps) playing from a room or a radio.
    • Operation 925 has a coffee maker with a pressure gauge reading of "OVER 9000!"
    • Donya Fortress has a scaled model of SSV Normandy from another EA title Mass Effect.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: You play as elite force from both factions, partially justifying how they get access to Rare Guns.
  • Enemy Chatter: You can hear some random chatter from your teammates and enemies, though for some reason, you cannot hear your own chatter, save for when you call out enemy sightings.
  • Faceless Goons: All the RU soldiers wear face concealing headgears. The assault and support wear balaclava and helmet, which completely cover their faces, the assault wears goggles as well, and only the support's eyes and mouth are visible. The engineers are Gas Mask Mooks while the recon wears a balaclava and scarf which almost completely cover his face. The US recon as well.
    • This gets mostly subverted in Aftermath. All the classes have alternate appearances, and most of the classes with previously covered faces are now exposed. Both Recons still have covered faces, though. Humorously, the US Recon dons a pair of Cool Shades, which actually further covers his face.
  • Five-Man Band: The multiplayer is set up like this. The assault is The Hero (being the main infantry unit of the game), the Engineer is The Lancer (choosing to focus on maintaing, controlling, and destroying vehicles), the Recon's The Smart Guy (having the ability to spot, place beacons, and set up sensors to gather information), the Support is The Big Guy (having ammo packs and some of the heavier ordinance), and the announcer acts as The Chick (co-ordinating the team from afar without actually doing anything). How it actually plays out is entirely up to the players, as many choose instead to disregard their roles.
  • Five-Token Band:
    • On the US Team: The Assault is African American, the Engineer Caucasian, the Support is Hispanic American, and the Recon could either be Asian/Native American (can't really tell with the mask on).
    • On the RF Team: Some sound files have soldiers speak with heavy Georgian and Ukranian accents.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: The Russian engineer wears a large gas mask.
  • Good Guns, Bad Guns: Played straight with the default loadout as well as the rocket launchers and MANPADS. Averted when you start to unlock things, and the final unlock for all classes is that you can spawn with the starting gun of the other team.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: US Recon. He always wears what appears to be a pair of ESS Advancers on top of his shemagh no matter what the weather condition is. Although these goggles are standard issue within the UK Forces, this model have been discontinued by ESS.
  • Glass Cannon: The tank destroyer and rocket artillery in Armored Kill.
    • Scout and Attack helicopters play this straight as well, being very capable of dominating the battlefield with a decent crew and setup, but they're easily taken down by the Igla/Stinger carried by the Engineers, or even to the machine gun mounted on tanks and jeeps.
  • Improvised Weapon:
    • The Engineer's blow torch, as well as the Assault's defibrillator.
    • The Aftermath DLC's "XBOW" is a crossbow made out of a broken HK417.
  • Interface Screw:
    • The aforementioned Laser Sight and Flashlight when shined in your eyes.
    • The suppressive fire mechanic reduces accuracy and blurs the game to represent the distraction that incoming fire causes. Killing someone who is suffering from suppression effects gives bonus points to the suppressor.
    • When you're hit with a stealth kill from a knife, your viewpoint will be violently turned around, and you'll see the face of the guy stabbing you and taking your dogtags, before letting you fall to the ground. It can be incredibly jarring.
    • Sometimes, after a large amount of nonlethal explosions near your soldier, he may become briefly shell shocked, tuning out most sounds (except for any sounds that actually come from him). Shell-Shock Silence may also happen because of a glitch in the sound.
  • Joke Vehicle: The Skid Loader added in Back to Karkand. It's incredibly slow, weak, and difficult to turn. You need to get a roadkill with it for the "Like a Boss!" achievement, however.
  • Just a Stupid Accent: The Russian Team. You will sometimes hear spoken Russian though. You can change the voice over language to several different languages though; changing it from English to Russian will have the Americans speaking Russian with an American accent. This is a minor downgrade from Bad Company 2, where it was possible to have all militaries speak the appropriate language.
  • Just for Pun: One of the new maps in the Close Quarters expansion is called "Operation 925". It takes place in an office building. Think about it. "Operation nine-to-five."
  • Laser Sight: One of the many Gun Porn accessories. It's beneficial in that it reduces hip-fire spread, but pretty much says "I'm right here". Woe to the Recon who forgets to turn his laser off before starting a sniping session.
  • Magical Defibrillator: A zap on the foot will revive a teammate from their slit throat or multiple bullets to the brain.
  • Mook Maker: The Radio Beacon, the AAV7A1 AMTRAC and Transport Helicopters, and you can also spawn near your squadmates, or in vehicles they are in as long as there's space.
  • Nitro Boost: Most vehicles have it, even tanks. Using it adversely affects handling.
  • Non-Uniform Uniform: Both sides, especially with the amount of customizations available. Averted with the Russian Federation Medic and Engineer that wear "Gorka" suits that in reality come in a huge variety of different camos. Post-Soviet troops also seemed to have problems with issuing matching uniforms until recent years.
  • Nostalgia Level: Back to Karkand is a Nostalgia Expansion, with every map and weapon taken from an earlier Battlefield game. Wake Island especially, since it was a map in Battlefield 1942, the very first Battlefield game, and has appeared in nearly every Battlefield game since.
  • Old Save Bonus: As with Battlefield: Bad Company 2, becoming a Battlefield Veteran unlocks three versions of the M1911 for use in multiplayer.
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • Zig-zagged with the knife. Using the knife behind an enemy will kill him instantly (as well as give you his dog tags), but using it in front of an enemy requires two slashes to finish him off. May lead to Damn You, Muscle Memory! moments when you've been playing other shooters where the knife is an instant kill from any angle.
    • Bolt-action sniper rifle headshots are these at any range, while semiauto sniper rifle headshots are only one-hit kills within their "max damage" range before damage dropoff begins.
    • Shotguns are one-hit kills at close range and can get headshot one hit kills at longer ranges.
    • Getting hit by any fast-moving vehicle, whether it's light AT Vs, helicopters, tanks, or even MAVs or EOD bots, results in this.
  • One-Man Army: Averted. You can't survive more than a couple shots from your average weapon. Overall, you're very, very squishy.
    • A very good play can be like this for a team no matter what class or vehicle they are in, a player good enough to lift the rest of his team up by the bootstraps and make them competitive or even victorious is said to be 'carrying' his team.
  • Patriotic Fervor: The Russians are notably more patriotic than the Americans, occasionally shouting phrases such as "For Mother Russia!" and (when losing) "You're Russians, for fuck's sake! Turn it around!"
  • PVP Balanced:
    • The game continues the tradition of rockets doing very little splash damage to infantry.
    • Helmets, goggles, and armor have no effect, and everyone has 100 heath points with a 0.9x multiplier to the legs and a 2x multiplier to the head, except in hardcore, where everyone has 60 health with the same multipliers.
    • With the exception of the G3A3 (unlocked through co-op), every assault rifle deals the same damage (25 maximum to 17 minimum) per shot and has the same ammo capacity of 30+1 rounds, so reload times, recoil/spread and rate of fire tend to be the big differentiators. Likewise, semi auto sniper rifles all deal the same damage (50 max to 34 minimum), bolt-action rifles except the M98B deal the same damage (75 max to 55 minimum), and all except the M98B have the same ammo capacities.
    • The G3 Battle Rifle and the Scar-H carbine are balanced by their natural statistics compared to the other assault rifles. They get better damage than the other assault rifles because they both use the 7.62 cartridge as opposed to the 5.56 that all the other rifles uses, but like reality, they only have 20 rounds available. By sticking a foregrip, scope (anything from a 3.4x, 4x ACOG up to a 8x ballistic sight) heavy barrel you can turn either into a semi-automatic marksman rifle at the cost of suffering several drawbacks in close combat.
    • A newcomer from the Close Quarters DLC, the ACW-R (Better known as Masada or ACR) for the Engineer fires 6.5x38mm cartridge dealing 20 max and 17 min damage as opposed to 25 and 14 respectively dealt by other carbines. It's balanced out with a 26-round magazine instead of the regular 30.
    • The MP7 doesn't have a foregrip attachment as it would make the already amazing close combat ability even better. That and the base gun already has a hinged foregrip.
  • Rare Guns:
    • The MP 412 REX, which didn't go to full production because of lack of market, as Russia for the most part does not permit handguns to civilians, and lack of interest from Western countries (between the top-break mechanism possibly being too weak for a Magnum cartridge, and an agreement between Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin banning importation of Russian firearms into America). This time however, they properly show the automatic ejection mechanism.
    • Both the AEK-971 and AN-94 were participating in the same "Abakan" trial contest which was aimed to find a replacement for the current AK-74M service rifle. Their advantages were considered insufficient for their increased production cost and complexity and both ended up in the arsenals of elite Russian forces and the Ministry of Home Affairs. This could be considered a justified example, as the Russian team in multiplayer is Russian special forces.
    • Back to Karkand brings back the PP-19 Bizon-2 from Battlefield 2 as a PDW, as well as the MK3A1 shotgun (AKA the Pancor Jackhammer), a gun that never went into production.
    • Close Quarters brings in the LSAT LMG, which is only in the prototyping stages in the real world.
    • The Magpul PDR (called the PDW-R) never went into production. It is purely a prototype, and its development was halted in 2011.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Many players complained about the tactical flashlights being too bright. In reality, the flashlights used on guns can be blindingly bright and used to disorient a target.
  • Regenerating Health:
    • Much to the chagrin of older Battlefield fans. It heals at a slow rate of 5HP/second and it takes a long time to kick in (at least twelve seconds). However, suppressive fire will reset the timer and stop any healing in progress, and it is completely removed in hardcore, alongside a server option to disable it in non-hardcore modes. Medkits heal at a speedy 10HP/second and force regenerating health to kick in for players within their effective range immediately, regardless of suppression.
    • Vehicles have regenerating health as well. However, vehicles below 50% health (35% for transport helicopters, CAS jets and AMTRAC) will become disabled, catch on fire and receive a penalty to movement and control (MBTs and IFVs can barely move, jeeps and armored cars stop dead in their tracks, helicopters lose much of their yaw, pitch and climb capabilities and jets go into a barely controllable spin). At this point vehicle health will keep bleeding out unless repaired back up to 100%.
  • Revenue-Enhancing Devices: In the March 2012 patch, DICE rolled out the Rent-a-Server plan, allowing Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 players to customize their own personal server like PC players. The "revenue enhancing" part comes in when players, tired of custom settings and abusive server admins, try finding vanilla DICE servers, only to find out that EA phased nearly all of them out.
  • Reverse Grip: How the knife is held.
  • Rule of Cool: Killing someone with the knife from behind will also have your character take off their target's dog tag with the knife in the same motion of pulling the knife out as well. Because... it looks cool.
  • Shell-Shock Silence: May happen after a large amount of explosions near your soldier that don't actually kill him. It'll tune out most sounds, except for the ones that actually come from him.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Generally averted, at least in comparison to most FPS games, especially if you have flechette rounds, and outright inverted with shotguns equipped with slug rounds if you compensate for bullet drop. Pellets do still dissipate after a set distance, but rather than the ten feet of most other contemporary games it's closer to 300 meters. Slugs extend that to 1500. Equipping a gun like the 870MCS with slugs and a 6x rifle scope can be used as a makeshift sniper rifle for any class.
  • Sniper Scope Glint: The first game to introduce this mechanic, in fact. High-powered scopes, or those with 4x magnification and above, especially sniper scopes, will produce a glint that can be seen from long distances, helping to alert other player's of a sniper's presence.
  • Shout-Out: A newspaper in the Strike at Karkand remake says "/v/-The Vidya, Why haven't you got a girlfriend yet?" note 
  • Stone Wall: The AAV7A1 AMTRAC, found only on Rush maps with US attackers. The movement speed is the slowest in the game but it has absolutely insane durability and the grenade launchers could be considered overpowered. Due to it's insane survivability it will destroy any other vehicle, including main battle tanks in a toe to toe fight as long as it can keep putting grenade shots into the opponent. It is the only vehicle in the game capable of surviving five packs of C4 detonated at once. It also makes no sense whatsoever when compared to reality. The real life AMTRAC has only 45mm of armour. The M1 Abrams has over 600mm armour.
  • Shoot the Medic First:
    • While not all Assault players have medkits, all of them have defibrillators. A single Assault player can easily revive all the enemies you took out once you've been put down.
    • Tanks or IFVs with an Engineer buddy are an absolute nightmare to take down with RPGs. Take out the Engineer as soon as he pops out when the vehicle is disabled, else you'll soon find yourself out of rockets and still having to deal with an angry enemy vehicle.
  • Slap-on-the-Wrist Nuke: The FGM-148 Javelin, capable of doing significant damage against any tank in reality, requires two or three hits against MBTs in the game (unless the target is laser designated).
    • The Jet guided missile unlock is based on the Maverick missile, which is capable of destroying any tank it hits, but in game it has the same stats as a Javelin, is stupidly inaccurate unless you maintain the lock, and leaves you as a sitting duck to any other jets out there. But it makes a REALLY big explosion.
  • Suicide Attack: Often the only way noobs can score kills with jets, provided they can fly it in the first place. The less suicidal Jihad Jeep technique can still be done as well.
    • A popular tactic concerning the AAMTRAC on Rush game modes is to drive it directly into the objective, relying on the turret and the soldiers spawning out of it to stop the enemy engineers that will direct their attention (and rockets launchers) to destroying it.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • A hasty engineer feels like this the first time he goes to repair a tank in the heat of battle and accidentally selects the RPG instead of the repair tool.
    • Alternatively, a medic sees a tank, and, thinking that he is an engineer, presses the button that would equip the RPG. Instead, he throws a first aid kit at the tank.
    • Learning how to fly is a hard process, which usually involves accidentally ramming your jet into the enemy, ignoring actually experienced enemy jet pilots, flying too close to the enemy base and getting shot with AA cannons, accidentally using missile-repelling Flares while trying to shoot, ignoring the incessant beeping that warns of being locked on, crashing into other jets on the runway - there's a lot of things to learn before being a decent pilot.
  • Universal Driver's License: Back again in 3. Buggies, cars, IFVs, tanks, helicopters, and jets are free to be driven by anyone. The "Back to Karkand" expansion even allows you to drive a skid loader.
  • Urban Warfare: Operation Metro, Seine Crossing, Tehran Highway, and Grand Bazaar maps from the vanilla BF3. And of course, Karkand again. The Close Quarters DLC focuses entirely on this type of maps.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: After sinking hours into the online Multiplayer, you finally receive the Grenade specialization. It increases your measly amount of one grenade... to a measly two grenades.
  • Zerg Rush: Usually what playing Rush with a poor team turns into, although a massive push forward with the entire team tends to win, as long as the team in question is thorough enough to stop flankers from sneaking around and decimating the team.

Alternative Title(s): Battlefield Three