Battlefield 3 - Xbox 360

Game Description: Battlefield 3 for Xbox 360, the latest installment in DICE's long-running Battlefield franchise, is expected to reflect the experience of war most realistically of other shooters.
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Battlefield 3 E3 2011 Multiplayer Hands-On Preview

Battlefield 3 E3 2011 Multiplayer Hands-On Preview

By Kevin Kelly - Posted Jun 14, 2011

Battlefield 3 had one of the most anticipated turnouts at E3, and by the second day of the show, their theater entrance was already festooned with multiple awards and nominations. People were lining up for five hours just to get a glimpse of the game. That's dedication. If John Lennon and George Harrison suddenly came back to life and reunited with Paul and Ringo for a reunion concert, I'm not sure I'd wait five hours for those tickets to ride. That's a slight exaggeration (of course I'd wait), but that really shows some serious dedication to a video game.

The reason people were waiting that long is because DICE is determined to bring you the "biggest and best Battlefield game ever," courtesy of the Frostbite 2.0 engine. It's bringing a much increased level of scale and destruction to the game, which takes the game into a previously unexplored environment: dense, urban areas. While the large-scale "Thunder Run" tank assault was shown off at the E3 press conference, behind closed doors, the developers were putting their "Operation Metro" under the scope and letting us get hands-on time with it.

This is an infantry-focused, 32-player map, and our mode of choice was Rush. It consists of four different areas that unlock as you progress through the level like normal Rush mode maps. But each of these four areas is so large in this map that they could be standalone multiplayer maps. That's the sort of scale they're working with here. This level's theater is Paris, and you'll immediately notice the difference in settings from Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Instead of dense jungles and sparse settlements, you're in the sprawling outskirts of Paris with enormous billowing clouds in the background and the city under siege.

With an initial assault taking you through a city park complete with merri-go-rounds and slides, you'll learn quickly that it's much smarter to approach slowly and flank, lest you run directly into the path of an enemy bullet. With my Call of Duty: Black Ops mindset firmly entrenched in my thumbs, that's what I kept doing. Even in BFBC2, I would frequently run at full speed up to where the battle was taking place and figure out a plan of attack later. This time around, you need to do that from the start or you'll suffer. It's much more of a stop and pop than a run and gun.


After you destroy the first two M-COM stations in that area, which isn't easy, you're faced with an impassable pile of rubble. Calling in air support, two fighters scream overhead and drop two JDAM bombs on the street, opening up the Paris Metro and providing you with a new path in. This is where the game completely changes, taking you from a brightly-lit park to the innards of a subway system in disarray. Instead of open spaces, you're confronted with dark, cramped spaces as you move into the stations below.

DICE wants to make Battlefield 3 a much more squad-based game, and they've tweaked the classes accordingly. The biggest change is to the Assault class, which is now combined with the Medic class. They figured that since the Assault soldier tends to run out to the frontlines and brave enemy fire, it only made sense to give them the ability to revive fallen allies and to toss out first aid kits. They're also boosting weapon mods in a big way by giving main weapons three attachment slots for items ranging from flashlights to extra ammo.

Two new features have been added to the Support class, which should prove extremely useful when moving up maps. His machine gun has a bipod mounted on it, and when you zoom in via the scope in front of cover, or while prone, the bipod extends, and you'll have much more accurate fire while zoomed. He can also use the "Suppressing Fire" feature, which sprays bullets at foes, and decreases their accuracy. It's a new, dynamic feature that real soldiers will most likely hail for its realism.

Another addition to the game are highly customizable dogtags that can pimp your kills and skills, and you now have to stealth kill enemies from behind in order to steal their dogtags. These are all about bragging rights. Additionally, while "Operation Metro" isn't vehicle heavy, there is a LAV-25 armored vehicle that proves useful when moving groups up the battlefield, and is equipped with a very handy night vision mode that is invaluable in spotting lurking enemies. As with most vehicles in the game, they are hotly contested since everyone wants to drive.

Battlefield 3

Playing through the level, the environment and verticality are immediately appreciated. Our squad was stuck in a chokepoint outside of the metro station, but entering some of the flanking buildings revealed multiple levels, allowing us to rain lead down on the entrenched defenders. Of course, those buildings didn't last long under sustained gunfire and explosives, but they got the job done. Each area is different enough from the last that you literally feel like you're moving into a different map with each push.

Everyone quickly learns that one of the best features to use in dark environments is the flashlight flash. You can literally blind someone if you hit F on the keyboard (we're not sure what the controller equivalent will be) to blind them, and then send a few rounds their way. I first encountered this as a stealthed up a non-operational escalator. At the top on the left was what I thought was a mounted utlity light, blasting out a white cone of light. I ignored it and kept creeping forward, and then it turned and drilled me full of bullets. Very annoying, and cool.

Some of the best moments in this multiplayer felt cinematic, like our first push up through the subway stations. Ticket windows became entrenched positions, and side entrances became ambush slots as we battled our way inside. Moving slowly forward and scoping in for kills was the way to go, and it felt miles beyond the BFBC2 mutliplayer, which, while I enjoyed it, felt very repetitive. This was just our first encounter with BF3 multiplayer, and if they can keep this up, it will be one of the must-have games for 2011.

Comments are Closed

  • jayham82

    I just love fps period. My favorite part is actually the guns. I actually bought a M4 from here http://www.airsplat.com/airsof t-video-games.htm its so cool and they have a bunch of different guns from the game.

    Posted: October 7, 2011 11:06 AM
  • zen of anger

    BF sucks...sucks,sucks,sucks,suck s,sucks,sucks,sucks,sucks,suck s,sucks,sucks,sucks,sucks!!!!! !!!

    Posted: August 15, 2011 7:33 PM
  • All-Nighter

    Hit the road COD. And don't cha come back no mo', no mo', no mo' , no mo'. Hit the road COD, because your games are repeats of themselves!!! What'd you say???!!!

    Posted: July 21, 2011 9:44 AM
  • CorneredLion

    freaken A!!

    Posted: July 10, 2011 1:00 PM
  • C73V37AND


    Posted: June 22, 2011 9:07 AM
  • gamejunkie44

    We finally get suppressive fire in a military FPS game THANK YOU DICE! This is going to be the sweetest shooter ever; in every way.

    Posted: June 21, 2011 5:31 AM
  • goodythegoods

    already better then call of duty

    Posted: June 20, 2011 3:00 PM
  • jdawghatesyou

    I wish we could get a Battlefield player to do these hands-on and reviews. He clearly is a CoD player rather then a BF player. Sure if you dont know how to move through the maps BF can be a "stop and pop" type of game, but for experienced players we will rush your face off and not give you the chance to pop off your shots.

    Posted: June 20, 2011 11:04 AM
  • N1ghtcrys

    It's time to lose the crown CoD! BF3 will win this time!

    Posted: June 20, 2011 10:30 AM
  • ralphsmarket

    i cant wait for battlefield 3 to come how it look like a very good war game it will be

    Posted: June 19, 2011 10:42 PM
  • Fusion13

    I'm willing to bet half the people here will buy both BF3 and MW3.

    I can't wait till 4 quarter this year, sooo many great stuff. There is Uncharted 3, Skyrim, and PS Vita. Not to mention lots of other great games. I can feel my pockets getting lighter.

    Posted: June 19, 2011 11:28 AM
  • WindyWillie

    That... looks clean as hell! I mean... damn. I'm going to pick it up... a lot of my friends over in CoD are jumping ship too... I hate the term "bandwagoner"... because being loyal would mean that a game would stick to one console and restrict itself so that people will have to buy said console to enjoy said experience. Loyalty aside, I am actually looking forward to both. It will be a bang-bang scenario as both get acquired. I want to get both because I don't know where my friends will be at... honestly, I may still be somewhere sucked into my RPGs... but I do want to get both games because I feel like it will be a great investment either way. Who's to say who will be better at the FPS market when both are offering different things? Apples and Oranges... FPS fans... will bleed for their franchise... I choose to just play whatever everyone else on my friend list is playing. That's all.

    Posted: June 19, 2011 8:08 AM
  • ChokeOnUrLunch

    In all honesty, both MW3 and BF3 are gonna be awesome. I love BF waaay more than andy COD, but the truth is, COD is more accepted with people who like shooters, and its a lot easier to get used to and have fun with. But BF, now thats a mans game, you have to actually know what your doing and be able to communicate with your squad, which is nice, since its only four people total.

    Both games have ups and downs though, COD of course has a lot more downs (A LOT), like mods, glitches, hacks, annoying perks, stupid people, little kids, and less realism, but its also a lot more fast paced and easier to learn and figure out, which makes it fast and fun.

    BF on the other hand, restricts you to talking to only your squad, you cant brag about cross map headshots on wannabe sniper punks (BFBC2 Sniper PRO) in mid game lobbies, and there are way too many tank/chopper whores out there. But BF has way more realism, more intense squad style frantic combat (which they are improving), better ways of balancing the game with classes to choose from with certain abilities, and just a better overall war-like feel.

    If I had to choose one, I would DEFINITELY get BF3, but the thing is, I'm gonna suck it up and get both, since they both suit my interests. Though BF Peaks my interest. I dont always like choosing an annoying middle ground, but honestly, they're just games people, get over it.

    Posted: June 19, 2011 4:38 AM
  • DevilishHornet

    I've seen so many people trying to bash the graphics because they are running on a PC on full specs. Well guess what, the gameplay footage shown at E3 was all on the 360 and PS3. SURPRISE! :)

    Posted: June 17, 2011 11:30 AM
  • mansonrulesit

    Looks like the the same wack ass Battlefield to me.

    Posted: June 17, 2011 9:34 AM
  • Myndsync

    sweet... i can finally call for suppressive fire while i move my team across the street... thank u DICE for giving me more realism.

    Posted: June 17, 2011 5:43 AM
  • xCDSx

    Shooter perfected.

    Posted: June 17, 2011 4:55 AM
  • Raidr211

    Yes the Bad Company series is worth getting. ESP if you want BF3. It plays similar to BF3 compared to CoD. CoD is more linear then the Bad Company and BF3 games.

    Posted: June 17, 2011 3:48 AM
  • bbad6394

    Question...I play alot of games the only FPS's ive played have been COD. I'm going to get BF3 for sure but is the Bad Company series good to try out before i get it? I want to try a tactical shooter like this but idk if i should spend the money or just wait.

    Posted: June 16, 2011 9:26 PM
  • Golgo26

    this game will kick cod's ass.MW3 is gonna go down in flames as a epic fail.BF3 forever!!!!!!!!!

    Posted: June 16, 2011 7:16 PM