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 Updated Multiplayer Impressions - Limitless Situations Abound

Battlefield 3 Updated Multiplayer Impressions - Limitless Situations Abound

By Miguel Concepcion - Posted Oct 14, 2011

For as impressive as it has been for Battlefield 3 to feature both a single-player and a co-op mode, the series’ bread and butter undoubtedly is its multiplayer, a feature that developer EA DICE doesn’t appear to hold back on with the latest installment of its flagship shooter. At a recent day-long media preview session in San Francisco, we happened to get a good helping of all three modes. From the maps we played, it was easy to tell that EA DICE was sure to give multiplayer shooter fans a solid variety of level sizes, some with vehicles, some without.


The first map I tried out was Seine, a very Parisian setting. Aesthetically, it feels like a very well researched map, loaded with whitewashed buildings and neon green cross-shaped pharmacy signs. Strategically, a small part of the level has a series of very short tunnels that lead to enclaves. This area can then be used to surprise incoming players who might not have wanted to stumble upon the tunnel’s linear path.

I’ve had my share of Paris in past Battlefield 3 previews, but this area was especially refreshing for being the first one I played in an outside setting. It was also the smallest map that I played that day as it was also one of the few levels without vehicles. As an urban setting, it was very surprising how well I managed to use the environment as camouflage. I learned this the hard way by being the target of a number of well-hidden opponents. The subtle shadow placements and the prevalence of bushes certainly helped my kill/death ratio.

Seine was also one of the maps short of multi-level buildings, but I definitely got my indoor building fix in Grand Bazaar. Within seconds I could tell it was a much larger map overall. It is also a very familiar style map, the kind you see in every decent shooter that has a Middle East setting. It has that kind of right angle-heavy design that should make team deathmatch veterans feel right at home. Generic visuals aside, it was easy to picture how a number of factors will make this one of the most used maps at launch. The presence of corridors and alleys do a lot to encourage tense getaways and chases. Those tight spots make for a suitable temporary refuge if a tank spots you. These tanks in Grand Bazaar can be game-changers as much as any well-designed Battlefield map featuring vehicles.

Of all the maps I played, it was Noshahr Canals I enjoyed the most. It was the kind of map that I was eager to play again the moment a match ended, which is rare for me. I could imagine playing this area two dozen times before having a full understanding of the best strategies for all its distinct spots. You also have to consider the overhead solar glare, which can be both beautiful and intentionally distracting at the same time. Although there are some spots where you can take a dip in the canal, the map is more of a shipping port with a railroad. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the largest map in Battlefield 3 that didn’t feature flying vehicles.

Battlefield 3

At one point, I was sniping from a second floor window with a good view of one large set of shipping containers. Before I knew it, I had spotted a three-man squad heading toward those large metal boxes. I managed to get a headshot on one of them though the other two managed to escape in the small maze of containers. Feeling brave and assertive (especially since they might’ve gotten an idea of where I was), I decided to confront them up close, despite the possibility they might spot me as I tried to shorten the 70+ yard gap between us. I was successful in reaching the boxes, where it only took a handful of turns before finding one of my targets. A few rapid pistol rounds took care of him, but not before he injured me severely.

I didn’t want to stay still and heal, thinking that my last target might be right  behind me. I remained cautious, assuming that the gunfire attracted the third guy. For a brief 10-second span the tension made me recall the final showdown from the Pacino/DeNiro film Heat as we weaved through and around these shipping containers. I wasn’t even 100 percent the other guy was still in the area. Well, he certainly was there, as evidenced by the skillful melee kill he dealt me on the back of my head. Despite dying, this 60+ second moment was a definite highlight of this preview event.

Staying with Iran, the next map was a nighttime skirmish at Tehran Highway. This battle was not based on the highway itself, but rather under it and the surrounding buildings. As with many multiplayer maps designed on a stretch of road, this level is one of the more lengthwise maps, although it’s certainly not symmetrical; the majority of the buildings are based on one side of the map. Much like our previous dive into Operation Guillotine, Tehran Highway’s nighttime setting made for a fine display of the Frostbite 2’s lighting effects. It was one of those stages where I wish I had multiple playthroughs in order to decide whether I liked it or not.

Breaking away from Team Deathmatch and Squad Deathmatch, the next fight shifted to Rush mode. It builds upon the Combat Mission game type from the multiplayer mode that EA DICE was in charge from last year’s Medal of Honor reboot. It’s a traditional goal/defend format that can have as many as five mission goals.

I tried out Rush on Damavand Peak, where I was part of the attacking team. Structurally, the predominantly downhill typography of this map gave a lot of good opportunities to be a sniper. The drawback is that any good player on the defensive side will realize this, and you’ll have to work hard to find suitable hiding places. Moreover, the length and multi-stage design of the map rewards players who aren’t attached to their initial loadout weapons and learn to adapt with the situation. The halfway point of Damavand Peak found me and my buddies at a dam-like structure where the next segment of the map seemed assessable only by helicopter. There were plenty of copters to go around; the question was, how many game journalists actually remember how to pilot them? Hilarious crashes aside, at least the game respawned most of us at the bottom of the next segment to continue our mission.

There’s a tragic beauty about the map titled Operation Firestorm, which has a giant field of burning oil in the background. In fact, depending on where you initially start on this map, you might not actually see all the black smoke at first, which makes its eventual reveal all the more dramatic. Its mix of open fields and buildings lend well to the classic Conquest gameplay mode. It’s amusing to successfully stuff a tank into a tight warehouse as you take and camp at a capture point. Just be sure you know how to navigate your way out of the building in that Abrams or else a few grenades and a rocket launcher will make short work of you.  As a large level with both tanks and planes, this was definitely an area I’m looking forward to studying and mastering on launch day, which, if you don’t know by now, is October 25.

Comments are Closed

  • temp_user

    correction, cod 1 had multiplayer capability but it distinguished itself by having a an excellent single player/story mode.

    Posted: December 11, 2011 4:35 PM
  • temp_user

    I'm sorry but COD fans talk about that game like it was the only fps game there ever was. Back when battlefield 1942 came out in 2002 you had the ability to use planes, boats and tanks along with the fps side of it. Not so with the COD 1 which had no multiplayer capability. The sad reality is that most of the current COD fans like it only because they played the game on consoles and barely even remember the PC versions that spawned the whole franchise which were better than all the modern warfare black ops nonsense. So naturaly they look down on the battlefied series because they are totally ignorant of it. I'm sure i'll get battlefield 3 eventually but I think bad company 2 still has a lot of playability left. I'm not going to be like all those lemmings ready to devour a substandard(annual) Cod release.

    Posted: December 11, 2011 4:21 PM
  • cApricornZ602

    not a big fan of fps but by just seeing how great this game is i am defenetly buying it!!!!! had fun on BETA so im sure the game will be much much better.

    Posted: October 17, 2011 8:13 PM
  • Zero_12975

    i am a hardcore COD fan. but even i must acknowledge that COD has remained Stagnate. it has done nothing different for some time. in this day and age, there is no real excuse for not having at LEAST the ability to use vehicles.

    then there is the multiplayer. i have to say that BF has the potential to blow COD out the water. the maps are massive, even with the buggy beta i really got the feeling that i was in a battle-zone. COD keeps us on these fairly small maps. if that wasn't enuf, you have all manner of vehicles. jets, tanks, and jeeps. you even get to play tactically. holding key positions makes life alot easier, just like in real life. i got more satisfaction from that beta than i did from playing COD online. that is just sad. i'm a huge fan of COD, but i'm not going blindly follow it like a lost puppy. let's face it, change is something that is VERY important. but think about it COD has done nothing to better itself in terms of gameplay.

    Posted: October 16, 2011 6:56 AM
  • VonDoom35

    BF3 is going to be epic in October and into the next year.Shooter of the year and possible game of the year....Get your popcorn ready..See you on the Battlefield

    Posted: October 14, 2011 10:38 PM
  • CreepoDesigns

    sweet previews, diggin the small infantry maps and huge vehicle friendly maps . i love that this game will have variety, COD:money wasted 3 better look out, cuz they've been spotted :)

    Posted: October 14, 2011 4:39 PM
  • MasterOfWeed

    Did anyone else notice his lack of knowledge in the 2nd video where he kept calling Bad Company 2 "Battlefield 2" and then he went on to say Atacama Desert is the biggest level in Bad Company 2 which he again called Battlefield 2 even though Heavy Metal, Oasis and Harvest Day are all bigger than Atacama Desert. This guy did not play a lot of Battlefield obviously which is odd that G4 would pick someone so inexperienced with the series to do these hands on previews when I'm sure there's some perfectly capable Battlefield veterans that are with G4

    Regardless is was a good preview.

    Posted: October 14, 2011 3:44 PM
  • Baldguy

    So glad I took 2 days off from work for this !!!! Oct 25th cant get here fast enough !!!!

    Posted: October 14, 2011 1:46 PM
  • BokChoiTV

    For people questioning BF3 based on the Beta, just remember. The Beta was under 2Gigs.
    THAT'S A HEAVILY STRIPPED DOWN GAME! Of course there wouldn't be Destruction 2.0 and all the great things in the Beta, it was a very small sized Beta. The final product would be a kajillion times better than the Beta, let alone any CoD game.
    Only a week and a half left, I'm stoked.

    Posted: October 14, 2011 1:26 PM
  • southeast

    Bf fans are suckers for looks

    Posted: October 14, 2011 1:21 PM
  • Seven03

    is there going to be more destruction on the final version compared to the beta (i thought buildings are supposed to come down)?

    Posted: October 14, 2011 12:49 PM
  • stewie9001

    When is there going to be a FPS with a lefty shooting option (Not southpaw, im talking about actualy holding the gun left handed)

    Posted: October 14, 2011 12:17 PM
  • flipfreak

    thx for aaaaa the update aaaaaaa ben telling friends it wasint aaaaaa finished so aaaaaaa thx lol

    Posted: October 14, 2011 11:51 AM
  • Jag23

    Battlefield 3 for the win!!! DICE you've done it this year!

    Posted: October 14, 2011 11:43 AM
  • OneEyedJohnny

    Oct. 25th can't come soon enough. I may even build a new gaming PC to get in on the 64 player conquest.

    Posted: October 14, 2011 11:39 AM
  • godzillaisyourdaddy

    After watching the recent previews of BF3, I will take back everything I said about the game going to be a piece of crap just from playing that beta on the xbox and learning that this beta was a build that was months old and not the game right now. This game looks very good on consoles, the lighting and textures all resonate nicely and are up to par of what they should be, which I am glad. Also, I have not seen any glitches that are obvious in the near final build of the game, so that is also great. All in all, after seeing it now, this game will definitely give MW3 good competition.

    Posted: October 14, 2011 11:14 AM

    this is the most realistic fps shooter ever and i love it im gonna get 3 versions PC,XBOX360,PS3 an MW3 2.

    Posted: October 14, 2011 10:59 AM
  • Ziek

    what about capsian border? is that not on ps3? or is this map just larger?

    Posted: October 14, 2011 10:49 AM
  • BadxBrains

    ANy news on the BATTLECORDER?????

    Posted: October 14, 2011 10:00 AM