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Update - The multiplayer Beta is officially out! Don't miss out, try it out.
By now we've all seen the little tidbits that have been leaking out about Battlefield 3, which is releasing this fall. It wasn't until last month, however, they we got to see some real gameplay - and boy was it amazing. In the "Fault Line" trailer we get see far more than just the cut scenes we had previously been treated to. Here we get to see the single player experience in the form of you the player tagging along with your squad through the streets of an Iraqi city that is literally falling apart.
Battlefield 3 is set in the near future, at a time in which relations between Iraq and Iran have reached a fever pitch (once again) and it seems like the American military is caught in the middle. On top of all this, massive earthquakes are striking the region and making things even harder for our boys. Are the two things related or is it one big coincidence? Who knows, but I think we'll find out.
The Engine + Realism and Destructibility
The developers of Battlefield 3, DICE, are really focusing in once again on hyper-realism in the combat system. Another returning aspect is the destructible environments that we saw in their Battlefield: Bad Company games. I for one always thought that destructible environments are awesome and go a long way towards building the sense that you are existing in a world similar to our own and brings a lot more gravity with it. The HUD or UI (user interface) has also been minimized to increase the feel of realism.
The engine that runs the whole shebang is called Frostbite 2, an engine developed entirely in-house at DICE and based (of course) on the Frostbite engine that ran the Bad Company games. It's been 5 years since we last saw a Battlefield game that didn't have the "Bad Company" tag attached to it, and it's good to see DICE going all-out by presenting Battlefield 3 to us with a brand new engine.
And oh does it look beautiful. Battlefield 3 is also using EA's formidable ANT technology to create smooth hyper-realistic animations. When watching the trailer you get more of that "oh, this must be a movie" feeling than ever before. By the time we get the end product, I expect it to be even more polished and amazing.
The developers are also taking the time to improve the audio experience of the game as well. It's always a struggle to get better-sounding gunfire in these military shooters, and it seems like DICE has a good handle on it. Above that, however, they are also taking steps to make the audio all make more sense as your brain receives the signals from your ears. Instead of a muddy mish-mash of sounds, DICE has taken steps to ensure that the sounds you hear equate to what is going on on-screen. You may hear enemies yelling stuff, but what they are saying bears on what they are doing (reloading, etc.), not just random phrases. Your gun's fire will also drown out other sounds as you fire, making it easier for enemies to sneak up on you.
Yeah, Yeah, but What About Multiplayer?
When you start talking about any Battlefield game (heck, any shooter or just about any game these days), everyone wants to know about the multiplayer. Just about every successful game nowadays has a multiplayer component, and of course Battlefield 3 will have it in spades just like previous iterations.
Not a lot has been released about Battlefield 3 multiplayer, but what has been released sounds very promising. The maps are going to be bigger to accommodate vehicles, including jets (!), there will be more weapons, up to 24 players on the field, and increased customization commiserate with ranking.
In recent days, DICE has also alluded to a co-op campaign mode, which I for one feel will be indispensable in days to come. It's one thing to play competitively with your friends online, but being able to share a campaign experience is something else altogether and has been steadily increasing in popularity, as poll after poll has shown. It's all good news for me.
What Do You Think?
What are your feeling on the upcoming Battlefield 3 based on what you've seen? Every new shooter that comes out these days is labeled as a possible "COD killer," but Battlefield 3 may be the only one that has a solid name and developer behind it. Could it succeed where the others have failed? Does it even matter?
What are your thoughts?
Article by - Brett Huffman