Well well well, the big one. The potential MW3 killer of the year. A 7 hour long queue. This is Battlefield 3.
This multiplayer was on an early build of the PC version of the game. I should mention how smoothly it ran. All the animations were extremely impressive and crisp. Not any remote lag, nor any difficulty in aiming. The level you were placed in was Operation Metro, a massive sprawl of Parisian back streets and some underground metro close-quarters firefighting. The level opens up with everyone spawning in a park and piling in to armored tanks, unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to pilot one of these though.
The gameplay was limited to 4 classes with pre-set skill tree upgrades in the demo, but Dice promises this will be much grander and more customisable in the final release of the game. Assault makes you a bad-ass medic. Like any other medic but with a decent gun. Support gives you a fantastic assault rifle with a bi-pod attachment so if you go prone of crouch behind a wall you can deploy the bi-pod for more accurate aiming. On top of this, when you have the bi-pod out you are providing suppressing fire for your team mates. Any enemy that you suppressingly fire at will find their screen going a bit blurry and that their character is going deaf. This provides great help for your team and can allow flanking to annihilate the enemy. The third class is Engineer; they have the ability to fix any broken vehicles and are packing a horrible punch with their RPG launcher. A decent aim with that thing and you can literally take down whole buildings, with great aim you can use a collapsing building to crush people. The final class was Recon, the classic sniping class.
The game mode here was ‘rush’ where the level is split in to multiple areas. Each area needs to be pushed forward to plant bombs across two points similar to the ‘search and destroy’ game mode in Call of Duty games. When this happens you can push forward to the next area as opposed to the round ending. If you could make it all the way through all four areas then you win, if the enemy can hold out then they take the victory. The match was split in to teams of 16 vs 16 where everyone was assigned to a squad. You had the ability to either spawn at dedicated spawn points or spawn on your squad leader to jump back in to the action.
The map had a range of open areas and enclosed tunnels although due to the nature of the map (pushing forwards as opposed to free-roaming) there was a distinct lack of vehicles. The tight tunnels were really well built, allowing for careful pushing through shut down subway trains, or sneaking behind them. Hiding behind pillars on the platform became a must because running out in the open really does you no favours.
I must mention how incredible the graphics and sound are in this title. The new Frostbite 2 engine allows for perfectly destructible environments and I’m not talking about shooting a plant to knock off its leaves. When in the subway one of the tunnels was blocked off by a massive sheet of wood. No worries, shoot it down. Snipers on rooftops pinning you down? Grab your RPG launcher and say bye-bye to the building. It is extreme. All the while the game keeps jaw-dropping visuals to a peak high and is really comparable to the aging graphics of the Call of Duty series. The soundtrack and ambient noise is fantastic in BF3, really immersing yourself in to the experience to the sound of every last bullet being fired.
I really enjoyed my brief stint with this game and can see it being the next big thing when it releases later this year. Do not miss your chance to pick it up.