In the recent past, we’ve been spoiled by amazing war simulations from the Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, and Battlefield franchises, but the genre hasn’t taken a true leap forward since CoD 4: Modern Warfare launched in 2007. The minds behind Battlefield have patiently been developing a beastly game engine that could not only deliver an epic shooter, but raze the world of war sims like Frankenstein on speed. For all of you desensitized, trigger happy Rambos, prepare to be re-sensitized by Battlefield 3.
If you strip down shooters to their core, they’re really all the same. So, why get excited about Battlefield 3? Well, like all games, it’s the details that take it from a generic FPS to multi-million-selling blockbuster, and BF 3 dishes more details than a sowing circle thanks to DICE’s Frostbite 2 engine. Built specifically for BF 3, this engine delivers eerily real destructible environments, particle systems, large-scale maps (even for Battlefield games), crisp audio, and lifelike character models. DICE even borrowed some of EA Sports’ character animation tools for more realistic motion.
- Light streams in; particles float by; apprehension on a soldier's face -
Of course, we’ve heard this all before. It’s when you actually see the game when you realize that you’re on familiar ground, but taking part in something wholly different from anything you’ve ever seen. Battlefield 3 picks up as a direct sequel to Battlefield 2. As Sergeant Henry “Black” Blackburn, the main campaign carves its way through cities like New York, Paris, and Iran‘s capital Tehran. These environments give DICE infinite possibilities in these urban playgrounds. Buildings shake from explosions, spewing plumes of dust particles and glass. Bullets snap and pop as they fly around you and your squad, and the Earth trembles from an ominous quake. Michael Bay doesn’t have graphics like this.
Squeezing off shots and lobbing grenades amidst all the gorgeous, chaotic scenery would be enough, but DICE didn’t settle there. Battlefield 3 adds some nice flavor to make it far more than just a beauty pageant queen. For instance, you’ll have to carry or drag squad mates to safety when injured, and we’ve seen some nice close-combat slugfests as well.
Battlefield fans that go way back will be happy to hear that Battlefield 3 is built for PC rather than consoles. The online multiplayer will allow 64 players for PC, which will be on massive maps. Console warriors will be duking it out in 12 on 12 matches. The maps on console will be smaller than PCs, but if we know DICE, they will still be large enough for plenty of flanking, sniping, and ground vehicles. As a continuation of Battlefield’s main storyline, they’re bringing back fighter jets for online matches as well.
- The urban environments will emphasize squad-based tactics -
Putting it all together, it’s hard to deny that Battlefield 3 has potential to make serious waves. And with the fact that Activision has been scrambling to get mutiple developers working on the next Call of Duty game (which hasn't even been officially announced yet), it looks like we might be crowing a new champ in the war sim genre.
John loves gaming and loves writing about games. He wants to become a known voice in the gaming community and a game designer one day.
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