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Battlefield 3 Preview

Kuulei_N By:
M Contains Blood, Intense Violence, Strong Language

What do these ratings mean?

I want it to say noob Badass on my dog tag.

Big scale destruction, full armored assault, fluid animations, and vast landscapes - that's what you expect in Battlefield 3. And failure to cater to these expectations isn't an option for DICE. So what have they been doing in their spare time?

click to enlargeDICE can’t emphasize their new engine enough. It's given them a chance to refine Battlefield’s lighting dynamics and scenery. In a map called Operation Metro, the U.S. Marines fight their way through a colorful detailed park in the center of Paris on a sunny day, but the setting quickly changes to a claustrophobic and dark subway. As the Marines move forward through the station, lights flicker and corridors become smaller. The battle switches from medum- to long-range shoot-outs to close-quarter combat within minutes.

Developers hope that players are challenged by the environment and never become bored with the same scenery. Not to mention, nearly everything can be destroyed, so players are welcome to create new pathways to get from one area of the map to the other or expose an opponent’s cover by blasting a hole through the structure they are hiding behind.

To provide more varied gameplay, there are four different classes fitted for combat: Assault, Engineer, Support, and Recon. Each of these classes give players what they need if they choose to go solo or work as a team.

The Assault soldier carries medic abilities, like reviving fallen soldiers and giving med kits to the wounded. The Engineer soldier is similar except vehicles are his targets. He repairs friendly vehicles with the blow torch while eliminating hostile ones with an anti-tank weapon. The Engineer class also gives players a choice to equip a flashlight as a weapon attachment, which not only lights up dark areas, but also blinds an opponent when it's aimed at them.

click to enlargeThe Support soldier replenishes a teammate’s supply and allows players to mount their LMG with a bipod on any surface, such as a car or concrete ledge. Once in position, Support soldiers can lay down suppressive fire, which can blur the vision of enemies, and earn points for it just like earning points for kill assists and healing teammates.

Finally, the class that is either extremely loved or extremely hated is the Recon class, aka the Sniper class. Recon soldiers are suited to provide the team with intel and they usually hang back to pick off enemies or, to put it plainly, to camp. However, snipers in Battlefield 3 can be spotted as their scopes cast a quick flash of light, revealing their location. They also have the capability to hold their breath for a limited amount of time for a chance at a more accurate shot. If missed, the rifle will sway causing a decrease in accuracy, so snipers must choose their shot wisely.

There are upgrades and customization options available once they are unlocked, such as optics and barrels for weapons; and thermal vision for tanks to seek out those who like to camp behind bushes. Tanks also have regenerating armor, but if they take a significant amount of damage, they become immobilized, although players can still use the gun to defend.

click to enlargeDog tags are back and are customizable by changing texts, graphics, and real-time stats. There is nothing more satisfying than taking someone’s dog tag, but also nothing more frustrating than being stabbed in the back.

It's more than evident that Battlefield 3 is aiming to be a top contender in the FPS genre through improvements, variety, balancing, while offering a game that appeals to both console and PC players and every playstyle in between, for the lone wolf or the team player. Come this fall, we’ll finally be able to see if DICE has succeeded in delivering what they've been promising. So far, it looks like they are well on their way.
More GR previews for this game:
Battlefield 3 preview posted on 06/11/11.

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