About GamePeople

Battlefield 3 360 Preview

14/05/2011 Specialist Tech Gamer Preview
Guest author: Tom Dann
Game Reviews
Home | Specialist | The Tech Gamer Column

Subscribe to the Tech Gamer column:
RSS or Newsletter.


Why not try our Blog, Radio or TV shows. Click for samples...


Battlefield 3 360

Battlefield 3

Format:
360

Genre:
Shooting

Style:
Firstperson
Singleplayer
Competitive

Further reading:
Tom Dann

Buy/Support:
Support Simon, click to buy via us...


Other GamePeople columnists have reviewed this from their perspective - huh?:
Reporting Gamer (PC)


Battlefield 3 won't revolutionise the shooter genre, but with subtlety and confidence in its strategic take on warfare I'm as excited about this game as I have ever been.

There's a war going on. Ironically, it's a war between war games. Activision currently holds the First-Person Shooter fortress with its Call of Duty series. EA Games have already begun the siege with limited success: Battlefield: Bad Company 2 still attracts a large player-base, though last year's Medal of Honour reboot was far less successful. Their next effort will be Battlefield 3, and it looks promising.

The Battlefield series has long been a favourite of online gamers, adding vehicular chaos and more defined team roles to the shooter formula. There are many offshoots bearing the Battlefield name: the sci-fi themed Battlefield 2142 and World War II themed Battlefield 1942, for example. These games add distinct flavour to the Battlefield formula. Battlefield 3, like its predecessor, 2005's Battlefield 2, will be of the modern warfare variety.

What distinguishes Battlefield 3 from the pack is that DICE, the game's developer, have claimed that their primary focus is on the PC gamer. This fact alone has me hugely excited about the release. When it comes to big releases, us PC gamers are lucky to get a half-decent port. Not since Crysis in 2007 has a developer genuinely tried to test the limits of available hardware, preferring instead to focus on the technologically-limiting but more popular consoles.

As such, early footage of the game is stunning. It's not head and shoulders above current visuals -- the advances are more subtle than that. Animations are coming courtesy of EA Sports' FIFA team, who are gradually mastering the art of making digital people move realistically. In the footage, team mates look around nervously, they each walk differently, and each different animation links smoothly to the next.

The advances are more subtle than that.

While perhaps we should be demanding more gameplay innovations in our games, graphical improvements have their place. These animations, for example, bring the entire digital world to life, which increases immersion and, therefore, tension. Immersion, for me, is perhaps the most important aspect of videogames: I like to be taken to a different world when I play, and thus little advances like this are steps in the right direction.

Shiny new graphics aren't Battlefield 3's only distinction. DICE's Frostbite engine, now in version 2.0, is one of the most powerful around, allowing for almost complete real-time destruction of architecture. What this means in game terms is that as players shoot at each other, the cover that would normally provide infallible protection will wear away.

Even houses will disappear under enough fire, collapsing as their framework disintegrates. DICE used this to create some memorable moments in Bad Company 2, and changed the way I think about the environment in shooters at the same time.

As a keen observer of new technologies, Battlefield 3 is shaping up to be a winner.

These advances will have a sizeable impact on the multiplayer game. With high-powered vehicles at each teams disposal, including tanks, helicopters and jets, no building is safe, and no map will look the same by the end of a game. We can say goodbye to people just learning the maps and finding the best spots, and welcome having to adapt to an ever changing battlefield.

As a fan of shooters and a keen observer of new technologies, Battlefield 3 is shaping up to be a winner. While it'll still be a basic shooter at heart, with the gorgeously immersive new graphics and exciting technological advances, Battlefield 3 is easily one of my most anticipated games this year.

Guest review by Tom Dann


You can support Simon by buying Battlefield 3



Subscribe to this column:
RSS | Newsletter

Share this review:

Tom Dann wrote this Tech Gamer article under the watchful eye of Simon Arquette.

"Gaming technology and techniques fascinate me, always have and always will do. They've driven me to a gaming degree, and aspirations to a whole lot more. Here though, I'll be reviewing games for how they put their technology to work to deliver a compelling experience."


© GamePeople 2006-13 | Contact | Huh?

Grown up gaming?

Home | About | Radio shows | Columnists | Competitions | Contact

RSS | Email | Twitter | Facebook

With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.

But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.

What sort of gamer are you?

Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: