Product Reviews Hardware BF3: The Russian Novel
Hardware BF3: The Russian Novel

BF3: The Russian Novel Hot

BF3: The Russian Novel

Product Info



As bullets whiz by, walls crumble, and explosions throw you to the ground, the battlefield feels more alive and interactive than ever before. In Battlefield 3, players step into the role of the elite U.S. Marines where they will experience heart-pounding missions across diverse locations including Paris, Tehran and New York...

Since 2002, EA's series of Battlefield games have set the standard for realism and ambition. And in Autumn 2011, with the global release of the hotly anticipated Battlefield 3, they're raising the bar even higher. Battlefield 3 will be the most authentic, vivid, all-action first person shooter ever.

To be published alongside the game, Battlefield 3: The Russian is also best in class - the first time that a games publisher has worked so closely with an internationally bestselling author.

Never before has a tie-in book benefitted from this level of collaboration from the creative team behind the game itself. Nor has it been written by a thriller writer with such a strong track record and reputation.

Displaying all of McNab's trademark grit, authenticity and insight, Battlefield 3: The Russian is a scorching top-of-the-line military thriller and a heart-stopping race against time.

Prepare to be blown away...

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eihort Reviewed by eihort    October 28, 2011
Last updated: October 28, 2011
Top 10 Reviewer   -   View all my reviews

First Impressions

I went down to Barnes & Noble at lunch and picked up the new Battlefield 3 novel, The Russian. Here are my first impressions:

Physical Product:

I decided to get the physical media version of the novel, since the download only version isn't being released until 11/1 and with my B&N membership and a coupon the physical media version was actually cheaper. Since B&N and Amazon were not offering any pre-order bonuses of any kind, and Gamestop doesn't sell books, I didn't get anything with my purchase except a printed receipt. I was offered a B&N themed plastic bag, but I declined. The book itself is one of those "tall" mass market paperbacks. I've never read one of the "tall" ones before, since most of my reading is on my Nook. So far I like the feeling in my hand, but I would have preferred a little more horizontal space per line, and it is annoying how far you have to open the cover to read the text to the far right. This could also cause the spine to crease by the end of the book, but I guess I can live with that. The cover is the same as the video game, except for the title and the names of the authors. It would have been nice to have seen some different art, but I'm sure it would have just been a different soldier guy in a slightly different pose anyway.


In a surprising move for a EA product, there is no online activation and you do not have to install Origin to read the book. I suspect this is because the book was licensed by a book publishing company and not directly produced by EA.

First Page:

You open the front cover and see a big, ugly add for the video game. This doesn't make much sense... anybody who is reading this book should already know that there's a video game, right? If not, they would have read it on the back of the book. I prefer my ads at the back of my novels, please. I can only hope that this is the only example of in-book advertising.

Author's Note:

I usually like to see an author's note at the start of a novel, but this one was very disappointing. The author comes off sounding pompous. He makes it sound like he did everything... he wrote the plot of the game, he wrote the dialog of the game, he did the motion capture for the game. I suspect he just flew over the Sweden for a few days and the DICE guys just humored him a lot, gave him a t-shirt and flew him back home to London. I don't really care, as long as the book has lots of explosions and guns.


Now we're getting somewhere. A nice, short flashback prologue set in 1991, featuring the main character of the book and Solomon, the evil villain from the video game's campaign mode. Things go bad, people are shot.

Chapter 1:

Another nice chapter about a kidnapping gone bad. More people are shot, many of them in the head, and things blow up. The descriptions of the Moscow streets reminds me of the rubble and litter filled streets on that one river crossing map in the game.

Co-op and Multiplayer:

There is no co-op mode or multiplayer mode in the novel. I suppose a second reader could read the book over your shoulder, but this would not be practical for long reading sessions. You could, of course, take turns reading the book, similar to some "pass the controller" type multiplayer games.

That's as far as I've gotten. So far I'm enjoying the novel and I look forward to finishing it. See you online!


- Easy installation
- No online activation
- No mandatory Origin install
- Lots of bullets and explosions
- No pre-order bonus
- Pompous Author's note
- In-book advertising
- No multiplayer
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