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Battlefield 3 will feature the maximalist combined arms battles that made the series popular across single-player, co-operative and multiplayer modes. It will reintroduce several elements absent from theBad Company games, including fighter jets, the prone position and 64-player battles on PC. To accommodate the lower player count on consoles, the ground area will be limited for Xbox 360 and PS3, though fly space will remain the same.
The game will feature maps set in Paris, Tehran, Sarajevo, Sulaymaniyah, New York, Wake Island and Oman. As a whole, combat will take place in urban streets, metropolitan downtown areas, and open landscapes suited to vehicle combat.
Battlefield 3 will introduce Battlelog, a free cross-platform social service with built-in text and voice communicator, game statistics and ability to join the game that friend is already playing (both players need to be on the same platform).
The campaign is set near the Iraq-Iran border, where the US Marine Corps is fighting the People's Liberation and Resistance (PLR).
Players will be able to use vehicles during the campaign, but their use will be limited.
A demo featuring the new co-op mode featured at Gamescom 2011. DICE GM Karl Magnus Troedsson has confirmed that a split screen option will not be available in co-op mode. Battlefield 3's new Battlelog social network, DICE noted, would be tied to all co-op matches, allowing players to try to beat friends' scores and to track their performance.
Battlefield 3's multiplayer matches see players take on one of four roles: Assault, Support, Engineer and Recon. The Assault class will be able to equip defibrillators and medkits, as was the case in Battlefield 2142. The mechanics of the light machine gun (LMG) have been changed to utilize the new engine: bipods can be deployed anywhere when in the prone position or near suitable scenery, and provide a significant boost to accuracy and recoil reduction. Suppressive fire from such weapons blurs the vision and reduces the accuracy of those under fire. The Engineer class will receive a flashlight that can be used to blind other players. The Recon class will be able to put a radio beacon anywhere on the map and all squad members will be able to spawn on the location of the beacon.
Several game modes have been announced, including Conquest, Rush, Squad Deathmatch, Squad Rush and for the first time in the Battlefield series Team/Squad Deathmatch.
The PC version of Battlefield 3 will not feature a main menu; instead the game will be launched via a web browser from the Battlelog web site. A server browser will be present in console versions of the game, however.
- Staff Sergeant Henry 'Black' Blackburn
- A member of the United States Marine Corps, Black's fate is unknown following an earthquake.
- Corporal Jonathan "Jono" Miller
- Miller is a tank operator, taking part in operations against the PLR, before preparing to advance on what appears to be a burning city.
Set in 2014, SSgt Blackburn leads a five-man squad on a mission to locate, find and safely return a US squad investigating a possible chemical weapons site, whose last known position was a market controlled by a hostile militia. After engaging in several gun battles, Blackburn and his squad are caught in a massive earthquake whose epicenter is in Iran. Later, Miller takes part in a tank assault upon an enemy rocket battery, before preparing to advance on what appears to be a burning city.
Battlefield 3 will debut the new Frostbite 2 engine. It will deliver more advanced destruction, sound, and graphics than previous versions. The updated Frostbite 2 engine can realistically portray the destruction of buildings and scenery to a greater extent than previous versions. Unlike previous iterations, the new version will able to support dense urban areas.
Battlefield 3 uses a new type of character animation technology called ANT. ANT technology is used in EA Sports games such as FIFA, but will now be adapted to create a more realistic soldier, with the ability to transition into cover and turn their head before their body, as well as "drag fallen comrades into safety and mount weapons on almost any part of the terrain".
Wii U version
The open beta is scheduled to start on September 29, 2011 for all platforms. 48 hour early access will be granted to those players who bought Medal of Honor: Tier 1 edition first-hand or pre-ordered the digital version of Battlefield 3: Limited Edition on Origin.
EA CEO John Riccitiello stated that Battlefield 3 is aimed at competing with the Call of Duty series. "This November, we're launching Battlefield 3. It's going up against the next Call of Duty, which is presently the #1 game in the game industry," he said. "A game that last year did $400 million in revenue on day one. Battlefield 3 is designed to take that game down." EA is planning on spending over $100 million on a marketing campaign for Battlefield 3. Battlefield 3 was revealed on February 3, 2011 by GameInformer magazine. A month of GameInformer coverage included information on building the game and interviews with DICE, as well as three trailers: a teaser and the first two parts in a series of gameplay from the level "Fault Line".
Electronic Arts' EA Games label, stated that Battlefield 3 is a "flat out superior" product to blockbuster FPS Call of Duty. EA has also said it’s going on the "offense" in regards to its marketing on Battlefield 3, saying that it started its campaign early to establish a "beachhead."
Several trailers have been released, showing different aspects of the game, including both single and multiplayer, as well as emphasising the new engine. On August 16, 2011 co-op gameplay and a "Caspian Border Multiplayer Gameplay Trailer" were shown at Gamescom 2011 showing the co-op mode and the first footage of air combat, respectively.
All pre-orders of the Limited Edition will grant access to the "Back to Karkand" DLC pack, a reference to the "Strike at Karkand" map (a popular BF2 map), to include four maps and several weapons and vehicles brought over from Battlefield 2. The maps from the expansion pack will be: Strike at Karkand, Gulf of Oman, Wake Island and Sharqi Peninsula. Pre-order at select retailers and Origin will include the "Physical Warfare Pack", granting access to time-based exclusive weapons and items, including a light machine gun, sniper rifle accessory, and armor-piercing ammunition. Also included is launch day access to the DAO-12 semi-automatic shotgun, which other players can unlock through game play. Pre-ordering at select retailers will also provide the "SPECACT Kit Upgrade", the "Dog Tag Pack" and Battlefield 3 gear for the player's console avatar. Pre-ordering at Origin will give players a shotgun and beret for Battlefield Play4Free, and 48 hour early access to the Battlefield 3 beta.
Originally the "Physical Warfare Pack" was to be exclusive to pre-orders, but fan reaction to this was negative, causing EA to clarify that it would be made available to all players for free later in the year. All the content except the "Back to Karkand" pack will be available from day one. The release date for the pack has not yet been announced. On September 2, 2011, a trailer for the Physical Warfare Pack was released on YouTube showing all the content included within the pack in action in-game.