The single player campaign for Battlefield 3
was first demonstrated to the press at the Game Developer’s Conference, and then again at E3 2011. The multiplayer gameplay has now been demonstrated at the San Diego Comic-Con, with a run-through of the Operation Metro map, set in the city of Paris.
The map has a much tighter feel than Battlefield
maps of old, and is dominated by infantry battles. Players press forward through a park area before descending onto the underground Metro railway. After ascending back through the gates of the station, players enter the war-torn city. Watch the trailer to see the map for yourselves:
After the demonstration, GameTrailers managed to get an exclusive interview with Kevin O’Leary, Battlefield 3 Brand Manager, who revealed more details on the tweaks and improvements to the multiplayer modes. I’ve included the interview below for those of you wanting to watch it, but here’s a summary, with additional details from a recent Battlefield Blog
, for those of you who can’t / don’t want to watch it.
There will be the usual four multiplayer classes, but these will be recon, engineer, assault and support. All of the classes will have elements familiar to veterans of the Battlefield
series, but there has been a variety of tweaks so that each class can hold their own in the field of combat if players decide to go with the lone wolf option.
Recon is the class that people either love, or love to hate, with little else in between. Previously seen as more of a solitary class, the long-range snipers have been tweaked so that they excel at gathering intelligence while sat back from the battlefield. Players have already been able to use the class to spot enemies for their team mates, but DICE has now built “several completely new teamplay oriented gadgets specifically for the Recon class” to try and turn the sniper into more of a team player. Details on these gadgets are yet to be revealed.
O’Leary did confirm that Prone has been added to the game with the Recon class in mind. I, for one, will welcome this addition, as Prone was a feature that I found sorely missing from Battlefield: Bad Company 2
. Gamers who are worried about potential imbalance will be pleased to know that DICE has added glints to the sniper weapons, Glints of light from the scope of a sniper’s weapon will give hints to their position once they have gained a lock on a target. The weapons will also have slightly more sway once fired, although this can be reduced with the breath-holding mechanic, which will give players precious few seconds to improve their shot.
Engineers are still tasked with the repair of vehicles one the battlefield. However, they are just as adept at destroying enemy vehicles too. Rocket-Propelled Grenades can be used to take down armoured vehicles that are impervious to ordinary bullets, although enemy cover can also fall victim to this class of weapons. The Engineer’s arsenal also includes carbine weapons, which are weapons used by soldiers who don’t necessarily have front line duties, but may still have to fight.
Players of Battlefield: Bad Company 2
will already have noticed the absence of the Medic class. The med-kits and defibrillators have now been given to the Assault class, who are still primarily the run-and-gun class. DICE thought that it made more sense that the class on the frontline, who needed reviving and healing most frequently, should be the one with the ability to heal them. However, players will have the option to customise their soldier towards medic abilities, or towards “serious gunplay”.
Finally, Battlefield 3
sees the return of the Support class, who use light machine guns (LMGs) to lay down heavy suppressive fire. This class will also carry extra bullets
Talking of suppressive fire, this is one of two new features that have been introduced into the game. The new in-game mechanic lets players lay down heavy fire in close vicinity to an enemy. This will show up as a graphical blur effect on the enemy’s screen so that he knows that it isn’t safe to move out of cover. The enemy’s in-game firing accuracy will also be temporarily reduced to reflect the stress of the situation, so that he is less of a threat. The Support players will gain team play experience points for doing this.
The second new feature is the use of bipods. Bipods can be attached to LMGs to provide a substantial increase in stability whilst providing heavy fire, which in turn gives players a significant boost in accuracy and recoil reduction. The bipods can be deployed anywhere, either by zooming in with the gun whilst lying prone, or when standing or kneeling in front of a suitable support, such as a window sill or wall.
Alan Kertz, Senior Multiplayer Designer at DICE, had this to say about the returning multiplayer class:
Support has always been about heavy infantry firepower from his LMG. It’s a role that we’ve wanted to feel different than Assault’s running and gunning. Supported shooting with Bipods and Suppressive Fire finally allows us to achieve an obvious difference between Assault and Support, since the heavy LMGs are not terribly mobile. When deployed with a Bipod, they become an incredibly powerful force. Suppressive Fire forces the enemy to keep their head down and lets the Support gunner pin his enemies in place so teammates can flank.
Dog tags have been a regular Battlefield
feature since Battlefield 2142
. Players who creep behind their enemy to stab them will now be rewarded with a “visceral animation experience” (read: short animation) when stealing the dog tags. We already knew about the new ability to customise your dog tags due to the pre-order bonus
available from select retailers, but O’Leary mentions that players can customise their dog tags to reflect “who you are [and] great things you’ve done” before the game starts. This will certainly make the viewing of dog tags a much more interesting process than in previous games.
Finally, you couldn’t have a multiplayer preview without mention of the vehicles. The interview showed footage of the LAV-25, which is an eight-wheeled amphibious reconnaissance vehicle used by the US Marines. Most of the vehicles can transport lots of people. O’Leary listed jets, tanks, planes, light vehicles and water craft, as well as stating that there will be a lot of variety in the vehicles.Battlefield 3
will be released October 25th in North America, October 27th in Australia, and October 28th in Europe. Check out all of the pre-order bonuses and details of the Limited Edition here