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

  • mcc0rmick14

    Just today when I was playing Rush, attacking on Port Valdez, I had another BF moment. 15 repawns left, are whole team of 12 attacked Bravo, the last obejective, at the last base together as a giant wave. In the building the whole enemy team converged with ours and there was a massive firefight with a bunch of explosions and cover being dismantled. My team ended up blowing the objective, but with only 2 tickets left. Another BF moment and I'm sure BF3 will provide even better ones.

    Posted: June 16, 2011 6:04 PM
  • inspectorjacks

    This game looks AMAZING. I was so excited while reading the preview, I fell into a coma for several minutes.

    Posted: June 16, 2011 5:00 PM
  • RAMBO509

    black ops sucked im already tired of playing it! Mw2 was the bomb i played it for hours and hours! and i still play it. as long as the same people that made Mw2 make Mw3 it will take out anygame out there hands down! even battle field 3 just keep treyarch away from making games cuz all there games suck!!!!!

    Posted: June 16, 2011 1:45 PM
  • yazman666

    Its funny how till today everybody talks about how good BF 3 looks when they are just watching PC versions running on max specs ..lest just wait to see the disappointment when the console version launches .....

    Posted: June 16, 2011 1:10 PM
  • VonDoom35

    This game has been looking fantastic.Seen several trailers and by far this looks way better then MW3.I will be getting this as soon as it comes out.Top 3 FPS of this year will most likely be Battlefield 3,Rage and Ghost Recon.I'm sure all the sheep will get MW3.They can keep their crappy franchise that has not changed and done nothing new since the first MW.Unlike the sheep I can think for myself and realize that there are other shooters out there that are way better.I think it will come down to BF3 and Rage when all is said and done for the best shooter of the year.Can't wait to play them both.

    Posted: June 15, 2011 11:30 AM

    Are we so jaded that we cannot accept both MW3 and BF3? Put this generation of console and either one of these games just 5 years ago and the collective minds of every gamer, whether whiny 13 year old or "Hardcore" gamer, would have been blown to pieces. Call of Duty revolutionized the shooter way long ago with the release of CoD 2. Yet if you look at all the CoD's, its obvious that Infinity Ward has paved the way for Treyarch's copying, WaW was an astoundingly mediocre game especially compared to the game that came the year before. Black Ops was a severe disappointment, and i still question why X-Play gave it a 5 out of 5. However the MW series has always been either revolutionary in graphical power or game engine design. MW brought CoD onto the next gen for real (because CoD 2 and 3 were distinctly last gen), demonstrating some of the best graphics to be seen on the new gen consoles, looking as good as Halo 3. WaW saw a reincarnation of the same old Treyarch game that was set in WW2, copying movies like Enemy at the Gate (the Russian fountain scene). MW2 came around and instantly the updated graphics, spectacular continuing of the MW story, and the refreshing multiplayer produced a winning combination and the formula that CoD Black Ops hoped to copy. Which is where we come to now. We see that MW3 is coming out and seeing the last one it seems like a bleak same old same old. But you dont change anything drastically in the third part of a series (so says adam sessler) and i agree with that statement. MW3 will be cinematic because the last two MW's pioneered that cinematic shooter experience. Get over it. That's how it is. No opinions can be made until we actually get our hands on it. And the whiny kids? shut up about it and mute them, its built into the waiting room to mute them, are you that lazy?

    And onto BF3. It looks amazing. There's no refuting that. It was cool to see Bad Company blow up the outside of buildings. Then BC2 let you blow up the whole building, and innovated a type of game play that was distinctly different than the monolithic CoD series, a more tactical and squad based game. Yes it looks extremely good graphically. Yet all of you flocking to BF all of the sudden and claiming that CoD sucks is absurd. Maybe you are bad at CoD. Or maybe you just prefer blowing up buildings rather than using commando pro to knife someone across the map. Its like comparing need for speed with its more arcade style game play to gran turismo which prides itself on being realistic. Two separate games that take two different approaches. One game puts out something very often the other spends more time trying to be realistic. Both deserve attention, because both are amazingly good at their style of game play.

    Now the finale. I own all of the CoD games, from the first one on the PS2 to Black Ops (with exception of WaW). I own Bad Company and Bad Company 2. I can say without a doubt that Battlefield is getting better and better, while Call of Duty is indeed getting a little too formulaic. But I will buy both games. MW3 for the single player and Survival Mode. Battlefield 3 for the multiplayer. With either game you cannot lose. Now stop bitching about either game.

    Posted: June 15, 2011 8:18 AM
  • murder-king

    i can not wait any longer i need this game now!! i hate the little kids who cry about everything on cod why the hell are their parents buying them games for them spoiled brats

    Posted: June 15, 2011 7:50 AM
  • EarstotheGround

    Classic Battlefield Moments:

    - Strafing the oncoming enemy reinforcement convoy with your Hind/Apache, decimating them into a pile of twisted metal

    - Laughing out loud as enemy convoy drives over all those anti-tank mines you laid out along the enterance to your base

    - The look of disbelief on an enemy players face, as you revive your teamate he just killed - who then gets up and knifes him in the face

    Good times, and looking forward to all the new ways to take people out.

    Posted: June 15, 2011 6:29 AM
  • Not_Matlock

    I like how PC is the central platform for BF3, but G4 puts all BF3 news under the Xbox section. I sure hope they review the PC version AND the Xbox version rather than JUST the Xbox version.

    Posted: June 14, 2011 11:50 PM
  • Ryzen7

    I feel that CoD is were I started my online FPS action, but within a few days the constant screaming and whining of 14 year old kids made me become a stressful person. I used to like the game but I think its time to find a more subtle game in which I am at peace... thank you BF3

    Posted: June 14, 2011 10:34 PM
  • stroy

    hey cod fans ........you mad bro ?

    Posted: June 14, 2011 8:41 PM
  • Hitman_Mr.47

    Easily by this article this game sounds much more intrecite and tactical than MW3. All I ever here from MW3 "We have big explosions, big battles, KILL KILL BOOM BOOM".

    What I hear from BF3 "We are taking our time to make a good in depth game that will change fps games".

    What you all hear from me "I am still getting Skyrim instead of these".


    Posted: June 14, 2011 8:07 PM
  • nightsnipe

    I hope BF3 doesn't become the next CoD with all the Bandwagoners

    Posted: June 14, 2011 7:39 PM
  • zen of anger

    game looks like crap. Hate BF and will always hate it.......HATE!!!!!!

    Posted: June 14, 2011 6:15 PM
  • zen of anger

    game looks like crap. Hate BF and will always hate it.....HATE!!!!!

    Posted: June 14, 2011 6:14 PM
  • superman711

    this and uncharted 3 will have my time after i get the poon tang

    Posted: June 14, 2011 6:07 PM
  • MasterOfWeed

    Everyone will be sold once they reveal the Jets.

    Posted: June 14, 2011 5:46 PM
  • DrWaffle

    This is a comment about Black ops or MW3 (Your choice) To see how many thumbs down it gets.

    Posted: June 14, 2011 5:29 PM
  • loser123

    BF3 is basicly the cure to the COD desease

    Posted: June 14, 2011 4:38 PM

    good battlefield moments are ALWAYS cinematic, like the time i prepped a makeshift carbomb type ambush and used it to ambush an enemy heavy armor squad in conquest

    Posted: June 14, 2011 3:08 PM