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Preview

The exlitration scenario never looked so good. Genuinely

RELEASE 28 OCTOBER 2011

BATTLEFIELD 3
The CoD-killer cometh -killer
VITAL STATISTICS
Publisher EA Developer DICE Genre FPS Web www.battlefield3.com

WHATS THE STORY?


The latest scion in the Battleeld series returns promising better combined arms multiplayer combat than ever before and a much improved co-op campaign.

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f all the Battleeld 3 demos, I had to play the most boring one; admittedly, it still involved a stealthy mission by a column of Humvees and marines into the heart of Tehran, but a little deating compared to the public betas. I got a hotel invasion; they got rampant combined arms combat, with snipers, medics, engineers, jeeps, tanks, helicopters, jets However this time, itll all be in single player too. November 2011

The Recon class packs a mobile spawn beacon

Whats notable is the way that DICE has taken its highly polished large- scale multiplayer combat, and turned it to single-player, to take on Modern Warfare 3. Why has EA done this? To avenge the death of Medal of Honor, which its Honor attempted to revive so many times its atlined and been repatriated home. The single-player will feature a ve-man team of US troops, whove been dispatched to nd another team, whod been dispatched to study a possible chemical weapons site, inside hostile territory. This rescue team is caught in an earthquake, whose epicentre is Iran. Theres a tank assault on a burning city, a US army assault on Tehran and the bit I played involved a rescue of a defector from a Tehran hotel. Other maps are set in Paris, Sarajevo, New York, Oman, Wake Island and the capital of Kurdish nationalism, Sulaymaniyah. If you can stitch these arbitrary settings together, youre a better cartographer than me.

The co-op experience I played, the Tehran hotel assault, was passable if not terribly exciting. The two players are dropped off at a hotel side entrance and tasked with exltrating a traitor. Supposedly, if we fail to take out the guards and security cameras in a silent timely manner, well set off the alarms and be rushed by hundreds of guards. It never really happens; we only die because the close-combat is too tricky, and enemies incapacitate you immediately if you miss. We arent rushed by guards either. We nd our man and he follows us out, to be loaded into one of the Humvees. Its ne, but the level isnt distinctive enough to unseat Modern Warfare.

Staying frosty

More impressive is the massive multiplayer, supported ably by the polished delights of the Frostbite 2 engine, and how the single player

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Battleeld 3

DICE has taken its highly polished large- scale multiplayer combat, and turned it to single player to take on MW3

Thatll be that hotel falling down again. Still being demolished beautifully

BF3s single player has Modern Warfare in its sights

Superb texturing. This cant be in-game

Bravo Three
The DICE team brought ex-SAS man, Andy McNab in for the games development, providing the low-down on the region. The author of Bravo Two Zero advised them on the way soldiers speak in purely active, positive language - they follow Yodas philosophy of there is no try, there is only do, so say we will do this, rather than we will try to do this. He also advised on the way soldiers personalise their weaponry and vehicles, treating their tanks as their homes. For the tank levels, he also supplied photos hed taken himself in the eld on the Iran-Iraq border of border installations and buildings , which the DICE team recreated in the levels. He pointed out the way soldiers guns are never clean, especially not in the eld. Hes also penning a tie-in novel. intelligently uses elements of this as the plot is unfolded. Up to 64 players can play on PC and returning in multiplayer are just four of the classes from the previous game: Assault, Recon, Support and Engineer. Assault are both close-range ghters and medics, able to use debrillators and medikits. Meanwhile, the mid-ranged Support class can employ a lightmachine gun and deploy bipods on walls or when prone very similar to the mechanics from Red Orchestra, from which the game has drawn a surprising amount, including suppressive re, which blurs players vision when under re. Recon comprises snipers and more stealthy troops, able to spot and ag enemies at distance they can also deploy a radio beacon, allowing players to spawn in at that point, rather than just at the base. Engineers are great for repairing and destroying vehicles, and will have a ashlight that can be used to blind

The four classes return from the previous game

other players. Together these comprise the entire selection of troops available to players; sadly, the Commander class and mode is unlikely to return. Needless to say, the combat is exciting as ever the way infantry disappear into cover gives them enough of an advantage against the predatory tanks and aircraft, so that the latter dont dominate. The new levels I saw the Caspian Border are huge and naturalistic, packed with rolling countryside and ruined outposts.

Sound abounds

Amazingly, even the sound has had an overhaul, thanks to the implementation of something called HDR sound. Just like HDR imagery, this draws the players attention intelligently to the most important things in his environment, rather than letting them wash into the

The Support class gets his bipod out for the lads

usual chatter and noise of war games. For example, if youre being shot at, the things you should be focussing on are the sound of bullet impacts and the direction theyre being red from. Theyve even recorded different sound effects for each weapon to make sure theyre authentic in the environment its in a rie being red in a subway will sound very different to the same rie being red in a woodland. BF3 is looking extremely good DICE has changed little enough of the main multiplayer game to make us very happy indeed, and the addition of the single player campaign should challenge MW MW. If the level I played was the worst part of Battleeld 3, its going to be amazing. Dan Griliopoulos Worry free
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