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Back to the Roots of Battlefield
We've seen a recent surge in a gaming trend as of late: a return to the roots of previous games. With Battlefield: Bad Company 2, DICE focused on a much more console-based game, reducing the maximum size of games, and basing much of the game's feel on the console gamer's experience. This was a sharp contrast to the standard practices that DICE employed: designing their large map shooter around their core audience, the PC gamer. And although the game did well, it didn't catch on with PC gamers as well as the previous Battlefield games did, and lost out to the year's Call of Duty game.
With Battlefield 3, DICE has gone back to what made them king of the PC FPS, and pulled out the best features that came from their console imaginings. What we have so far looks like a glorious comeback of the PC FPS that has been smoothly integrated into a console game as well, and a direct competitor for this year's Call of Duty title.
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Gameplay Changes and Features
While Bad Company 2 wasn't nearly the run and gun game that Black Ops is, it still rewarded a certain amount of running and gunning. First hand previews of BF3 gameplay were surprised at the fact that planning came before rushing as they were so used to playing a CoD game. Planning and strategy is heavily rewarded in Battlefield 3, and teamwork is essential due to the class based way the game works.
Objective-based maps have to been changed to offer a much more solid progression. Open levels will close down into tight subway halls, completely changing the game from long-range combat to tight urban warfare. This should offer a much more intense and varied game, allowing certain weapons and classes to excel in these different situations.
Prone makes a return in Battlefield 3, with more prominent vapor trails than in previous games to prevent completely invisible snipers from ruining the gameplay experience.
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Super Assault & Other Class Changes
Class features have been greatly switched around with BF3. Whereas Assaults could only deploy ammo boxes in previous games, they now have the Support class' ability to revive nearby fallen friendlies. The logic behind this is simple: The men on the front lines should be able to recover his fallen comrades.
The Support class has gained a couple of new features to make up for this loss in his uniqueness. All of the LMGs for Support now come with bipods that will deploy on any surface that is at the correct height, improving accuracy and allowing increased zoom. They also gain an ability aptly named "Suppressive Fire". When the Support lets loose rounds in the area of enemies, the accuracy of their enemies will decrease.
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Dogtags are still here to stay in Battlefield 3, but come with a couple of new features. They are now customizable, similar to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's title system, and can still be obtained through knife kills. Only backstabs will give you your victim's dogtags though, a feauture that was implemented to make dogtags even more of a bragging right.
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The Maps Get Even Crazier
Maps have been designed to completely transform as you move through the objectives presented in each map. Sunlight covered streets will creep into dark tunnels and buildings where enemies could be hiding anywhere. Each soldier is equipped with a flashlight this time around, and in dark areas, this will actually be able to be used to blind your opponents. A quick flash of a flashlight can sufficiently blind an unprepared enemy, allowing you to get in a couple of shots on a disoriented opponent. Everything about the maps is designed to mimic a cinematic experience and offer a different way of playing each time through. This is in essence an attempt to push past the repetitiveness that was present in the BF:BC2 multiplayer maps.
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Bye Bye CryEngine, Here Comes Frostbite 2.0
Frostbite 2.0 creates an experience that is parallel to no other. Zooming past Crysis, the engine creates an incredibly detailed game world that puts the visuals of a game like Modern Warfare 3 to shame. With beautiful lighting, high-res textures, and high-poly models, the result is a breathtaking cinematic experience that has no competitor at this point. Paired with the improved destruction engine, this is the game that your custom built rig has been waiting for.
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Dynamic Destruction: Watch Me Put a Smiley Face in This Wall!
Renamed "Dynamic Destruction" the new destruction engine present in BF3 is essentially a much more detailed version of BF:BC2's destruction engine. Whereas it would take a powerful explosion to blow up the piece of cover you were hiding behind, mere bullets will start to strip away your cover dynamically. The result: a highly realistic destruction engine that allows most everything to be destroyed. Buildings will crumble as they begin to fall, and unlike Bad Company 2, there are some very large buildings that can be destroyed now, causing massive amounts of destruction.
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A Battle Between Two Giants
At this point, there is a full on battle going on between BF3 and MW3. Only time will tell which will succeed and triumph over the other. With all of the stops released, DICE has created a game that could put the Battlefield franchise back into the spotlight.Battlefield 3 releases on October 25th, 2011, with an open beta expected sometime in September. All I've got to say is: get your PC ready.
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Images from : BF3Blog.com