In classic Battlefield style, the player is given the option of four classes: Assault, Mechanic, Support, and Recon. The Assault and Support classes saw quite a bit of tweaking for BF3, fusing the old Medic class into Assault and transferring Assault’s Ammo Box ability into the Support class, which now fields bipod-enabled light machine guns. The Support class can be used to devastating effect if the player knows what he/she’s doing, taking a position and employing the bipod (which eliminates much of the muzzle-climb and recoil, greatly improving the accuracy of the weapon).
The Recon class benefits from the return of the sniper’s best friend: the prone position. Their lower visibility is offset by “glint” from the scope that can be seen under indoor/outdoor conditions whenever a sniper is looking at you. DICE paid a lot of attention to balancing in BF3, and it shows.
What DICE didn’t try and balance at all was the combat between players and buildings: it’s decidedly one-sided, as the buildings can’t shoot back and player’s explosive weapons are devastating, like take-out-one-whole-side-of-a-building devastating. The destructible environments look better than ever, and I loved making them go away.
The control system is also much improved, with what I refer to as the “shanking mechanic” being much faster than it was in the beta or in Bad Company 2 for that matter, making the knife a tool you actually want to use as opposed to something you dread having to pull when your weapon goes “click.”
The unlockable progression system continually rewards you for playing, with each unlock spaced out just enough to make you want to work harder to get it: “just one more game,” and then another, and another, rewarding the player with fun, meaningful little gadgets and new weapons as you go on.