by Ryan Cope
previewed on X360
Beautiful battles (cntd)
The recent gameplay videos have shown two scenarios involving Staff Sergeant Blackburn and Sergeant Miller. One saw Miller in charge of a squad of tanks plowing across the desert near Tehran. The environment is mind blowing, with a huge backdrop and sand puffing up in all directions. It’s easy to think that the tanks themselves are captured from real footage, as they look so life like. Once the cannons start firing though, and explosions erupt around Miller’s squad, player’s jaws will drop. The shrapnel and dust clouds from the blast look stunning, swiftly blocking the view of the battlefield as the tanks continue to fire back at the enemy through the haze. The audio is gripping too as the booming sound of tank fire echoes around, the shouts of men in the distance breach the dust clouds and the metallic clank of someone reloading the turret is repetitively heard after every shot.
Blackburn’s mission takes him and his five-man squad into a city in search for another team of US marines who were investigating a chemical weapon site. Like Miller’s scenario the visuals are captivating, but with a high attention to detail as the streets are littered with rubbish, cars and soldiers with towering buildings surrounding them on all sides. The facial rendering, movements and characteristics of the human soldiers is extraordinary. Like the tanks, they are wonderfully realistic in looks, movements and voices. The weapons used, bullets fired and the shouts from soldiers as they are ambushed really draws players in and puts them into the situation. Enemy A.I. acts realistically, believably and deadly.
Battlefield 3 is a first-person shooter that uses both foot and vehicle combat over a single player campaign, co-op play and multiplayer. Not only can players fight on foot, they can also use a wide variety of vehicles that make use of ground, air and sea. A huge part of the Battlefield series has always been the multiplayer and Battlefield 3 will continue the trend of its predecessors. Players will take part in large-scale battles (up to 64 players on the PC) across an assortment of modes: Conquest, Rush and Team Death match. These battles will take place on one of many different maps that include Tehran, Sarajevo, Sulaymaniyah, Paris, Oman, Wake Island and the big apple itself – New York (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 anyone?). The maps will differ from open landscapes such as deserts and fields to urban street and metropolitan downtown areas, so there will plenty of diversity in multiplayer.
The gameplay will work similar to that of Battlefield 2142 where a class system will be available to players, offering four types: Assault, Support, Engineer and Recon. Each class will have its own abilities and weapon layout; Assault for example will be able to equip defibrillators and medkits while the Engineer can use a torch to blind enemies. A new “blind fire” ability will be given to all classes, allowing them to blur the enemy’s vision and slow them down. Overall, Battlefield 3 looks like it will be the most visually, environmentally and aurally impressive game of the military FPS genre. How well it will play and the depth of the story it will tell will be revealed in time. So until then soldier, gear up, get your rifle and head to the practice range to polish your skills come this October.