Battlefield 3: End Game now available for PS3 Premium subscribers
The fourth and most exciting looking Battlefield 3 add-on to date is now available on PlayStation 3 for Battlefield Premium members, with Xbox 360 and PC Premium members receiving it next Tuesday and lowly non-Premium members having to wait until the 26th.
The four new maps highlight End Game's focus - speed - as do the new vehicles - dirtbikes, the high speed ASRAD Humvee and the slightly less speedy Vodnik AA. End Game also introduces the standard support Hercules, which, unlike its Armored Kill variant is designed to move soldiers and vehicles instead of rain hell from the skies.
End Game also brings the classic Capture the Flag mode into Battlefield 3, along with the incredibly addictive Air Superiority mode we all know and love from Battlefield 1943. Embedded below is the launch trailer for End Game, which you can naturally also check out in our videos library! Have you got End Game yet, or are you still waiting for its 360 and PC release? Let us know in the comments below!
A Battlefield 3 fiesta! (or thriesta if you will)
You have read my review, you've watched the launch trailer and now you are all pumped for Battlefield 3.
Battlefield 3 has broken street date in some stores, but if you'd rather buy digital or your local stores refuse, remember you can pick one up from the good folks at the BigPond Games Shop - although you can save yourself some dough by entering our Battlefield 3 Competition and winning one of the five copies up for grabs - although you'll have to be quick, as the competition ends tonight! And naturally, if you buy or win Battlefield 3 from the BigPond Games Shop it's unmetered most BigPond ISP customers.
We also have a special on Battlefield 3 servers at the moment, with 25% off when you use the code "BF3" (minus the quotes) - so if you have been thinking about setting a server up for your clan, or even just you and your friends - there has never been a better time to do it!
We've got new BF3 screens - plus good news for Aussies!
It's true - we don't normally do 'Here are new screenshots!' news stories, but there are two mitigating factors at play here. The first is that it's Battlefield 3 and these screens are sexy as hell. The second is that our friends at the Games Shop have let us know they'll be selling it when it comes out on October 25th!
First, the screens. You can see them all on our Battlefield 3 Games Page, but here are a few to whet your appetite.
|This dude is yawning while his squad mates die?|
|Look at this noob, not firing at the rear of the tank.|
|It was then that Barry realised the easiest way to remove graffiti is with tank shells.|
Back to the other news - the Games Shop will be selling Battlefield 3 the day it drops, meaning Aussies can get the DD version of the game from a local store - and most BigPond customers can download it quota free! How much will it cost? Will it be the LE edition or just the regular version? I have no idea yet.
For those playing at home and wondering about the BF3 beta - at Gamescom the word on the street was 'end of September'... leaving us with like a week to go, really. Those with a decent memory will recall that anyone who purchased Medal of Honor LE was promised access to the beta within 12 months of the game's release
nearly 12 months ago...
E3 2011 - Battlefield 3 Hands-On
Suppressive fire doesn't really work in video games. Wait, scratch that - it hasn't really worked in multiplayer video games. The excellent Full Spectrum Warrior demonstrated how effective suppression could be in allowing combat maneuvering against AI - but such a system couldn't work against humans for one reason.
Human players don't care about their lives. The punishment for dying or being maimed on the battlefield is the greatest punishment of all. The punishment for dying on the Battlefield is on average a 15 second wait and a chance at grabbing a chopper or a tank.
So what happens in real life is very different to in video games. In real life a person with a tripod mounted M249 machine gun firing down range at a person behind cover can pin that person down, because an M249 fires roughly 13 bullets a second in a very small (relatively speaking) area - and when you're gambling with your life those are odds you just don't take.
In a video game you're gambling with a short down time and a shot at a new vehicle, so hell yes you roll those dice. You figure out where the gunfire is coming from using very basic triangulation, have a quick look down range at where your attacker is and you fire a few bullets at his head.
Suppressive fire isn't about shooting targets - it's about pinning them down - so in a video game both players have to then acquire a target and then fire. These statistics aren't what you'd call 'scientific', but in a game where both players had the same level of skill, and the same chance to hit one another (based on the accuracy ratings of their guns) the odds would only slightly sit with the person already firing their weapon. In other words, sticking your head up in your average video game gives you about a fifty/fifty chance of killing the guy with the machine gun.
Which turns the concept into risk management - do you think the person on the other end of that machine gun is as good as you are? If they are, you flip a coin and stick your head up. If you're the average first person shooter player though... of course they aren't. The odds are totally in your favour. If you made a mistake, what does it matter - you've got a 12 second wait and a chance to change your loadout.
STICK. YOUR. HEAD. UP.
Well no more, sucker. Battlefield 3 is finally addressing the concept of suppressive fire to the series in an effort to keep things real. When suppressed your vision blurs and your combat efficiency gradually reduces to zero - essentially, you're forced to move.
Those doing the suppressing score points for helping their team out as well - so it's not so much a matter of wasting bullets as it is encouraging you to support your team. You are playing the support role, after all.
There are only four roles in Battlefield 3 - Assault, Support, Engineer and Recon - but each class is modular - so they can fulfill multiple needs. Assault, for example, rolls with a medic kit and defibrillator this time around, creating sort of a hybrid Assault/Medic class.
The Recon takes on some Spec Ops duties - rocking C4 which you can use to create a new path through the map (by blowing up walls). Their primary weapon is still a sniper rifle (semi-auto in our playable session) and they can still spot enemies - once again delivering a hybrid situation.
Engineers rock flashlights - our hands-on session was on a Parisian based map called Operation Metro, and when we entered the titular underground system I noticed some of my enemy Engy's taking advantage of the night-blindness sudden flashes of light can cause.
Support - well, I've told you what they're rocking. Machine guns and ammo packs - plus a bipod they can mount anywhere.
The map, Operation Metro, was a beautiful demonstration of the strength of what DICE has planned for BF3 - huge maps with massive variation along the way.
Our hands-on session was in the Rush game mode popularised by BFBC2 - and at first I felt the game was far too much like BFBC2 as a result. If you want to show me BF3, show me Conquest.
This feeling didn't last though - let me explain.
The maps starts in an inner city park - reminiscent of a snowless version of BFBC2's 'Cold War' - and the fighting certainly is very similar. You begin down one end of the map, push down to your objective and work together to nail your objective.
Upon blowing up the first two rush targets we then proceeded underground into the 'Metro' portion of the map - and the dynamic of the map changed drastically. Above ground it was easy to see how open everything was - the park was relatively flat, so there were many opportunities to spot horizon breaching silhouettes and stacks of firing lines.
Underground though, the firing angles were drastically reduced and we were channeled down actual tunnels. There were still a number of tunnels available as options, but it was a defensively superior position (and a massive seachange) so we had to alter our tactics.
I was constantly changing between the classes to maximise my time with each one, but during this section I found the most success with the Assault class (because some of my team mates played like cannon fodder).
The next area in the map was the station entrance - instead of long corridors and channeled firing we were back in a relatively open space. The roof imposed a sense of claustrophobia not present in the park, and the level was obviously not as green - but it was primarily a return to the first area.
Here I found myself rocking the Support kit solely to take advantage of the chokepoints on both sides. There were doorways and stairs leading into the large open area containing our objectives, so it was easy to find a nice place to pitch my tent, drop my bipod and start suppressing enemies.
As always, I wound up getting restless and I pushed on to complete the objectives myself. Yes, I was firing my light machine gun from the hip - because that's how I do.
With my Rambo efforts pushing us forward (and the guys on the other team, who I suspect were letting us win, not doing a lot to stop us) we finally made it to the last section of this Rush map. The station opened out onto a Stock Exchange in Paris - a massive, modern style building with epic amounts of glass on the walls - grand lines of sight and a huge level of verticality left me with just one option...
I went Recon. I started as most do when rocking a sniper rifle - by sitting in one place and firing at guys - but I quickly found myself spotting everyone instead. I'd place my crosshair on a guy, hit Q to spot them, take a shot and move on.
One thing I didn't like was that sniper rifles did sweet F.A. damage - two shots were needed in most cases - but I didn't mind too much as I was picking up assist points for both the hits and the spots more often than not.
I didn't actually see stacks of environmental damage across the map. In the park I was blown away at how trees reacted to nearby explosions, and at the stock exchange the glass shattered with frightening fidelity - but the overall feeling I got was that this was a muted version of what we'd see come October 24.
Battlefield 3 was easily the best game I got to play at E3. Up front a fair few of the elements were eye-opening - only four classes, Rush mode being demonstrated - but the execution of the presentation was awe-inspiring. I very nearly considered blowing off other appointments to play more - and really, that's what you want from a game, isn't it?