Battlefield 3 is Also A Multiplayer Game

This is Mr B. Field. 'Brian' to his friends

Easy to forget, isn’t it? With BF3 increasingly pitched as the military shooter to beat this year (though only an apocalypse event could prevent MW3 from outselling it, I fear), some of us have perhaps lost sight of BF3’s true purpose: epic-scale online manshooting. Here’s the first official taste of it, lending a sense of just how the FrostBite 2 engine scales itself to massed, non-scripted battles. Also, as a free bonus to you, my favourite reader, there’s another video showing off the various capabilities of said engine.

This is a taste of the stuff Jim frothed about from the E3 live feed yesterday, but neatly compacted into trailer form for you:

That’s from a level named Operation Metro, which fortunately isn’t all about small, underground, confined spaces as the name might suggest. It’s set in Paris, and it looks frantic and intense. Could it really look like that in practice? If so, the escalation we’ve wanted from multiplayer manshoots for so long might finally be upon us.

And here’s the bombastic, chest-thumping Frostbite 2 shower-offer:

PC in-game footage, is says at the bottom. Yeah, no shit. What else could do that? /Me salutes.


  1. McDan says:

    It probably won’t outsell MW3, but you know it’s going to be better than it anyway.

    • Kollega says:

      We’ll see about that. If they waste the comparable amount of money on marketing, who knows.

    • Steven Hutton says:

      Why is it so important to people that this game outsell MW3?

    • B0GiE-uk- says:

      The interesting value will be the number of online gamers between MW3 and BF3 post release.

      That is where the better game will be won.

    • suibhne says:

      Yes, well, I wonder if the shareholders will agree with you.

    • 8-bit says:

      considering people will still be playing this in five years time while COD will probably have gone the way of guitar hero by then does it really matter which sells more by christmas?

    • lurkalisk says:

      @Steven Hutton
      The more copies a quality shooter sells, the better the industry (you know, people encouraged to make an effort because trends suggest effort = revenue). The more copies a mediocre rehash sells, the worse the industry, for the same reason.

    • Arca says:

      I agree with 8-bit. People are still playing battlefield 2 today because it is an amazing game, this is likely going to be the same. Who cares how many they sell by Christmas because the good games end up having a long lasting community.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      The truth is that we are so, so overdue a big high-spec multiplayer shooter. Thanks to Halo and then CoD, the attention on this stuff has shifted to consoles. Which is a shame, because the shooter experience on a console is almost always inferior. If this sells serious numbers on the PC, then the format regains some of its rightful claim to being the shooter champion.

  2. Forceflow says:

    The fact that you can see your legs adds to the realism immensely.
    Finally, game developers figured out that we don’t want to be floating camcorders, but actual people.

    • Heliocentric says:

      These people made mirror’s edge, if they apply that learning it could be a great thing.

    • Nallen says:

      I want to be a camcorder.

    • cHeal says:

      I actually don’t care. I don’t see how being able see in game legs suddenly halts the inevitable truth that this is a video game. Especially in Multiplayer where you get a score screen after being killed, and have to wait a few seconds before “respawning”. In singleplayer, where the immersion factor is a thing then maybe being able see your legs adds to that, but in multiplayer I don’t really care. As long as it does not interfere with the gameplay I don’t care. But if having “physical” legs ends up complicating the experience then I’d prefer not to have them. At the end of the day, I’m hitting buttons to do predefined movements. I don’t have control of a muscle system.

      So for instance, I don’t want to be “climbing” clumsily over walls where previously I could just jump.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      Indeed. When I played Mirror’s Edge I thought “this is how all first person games will be from now on”.

    • Heliocentric says:

      If I can see my legs, I want to see them get blown off when a tank shoots me.

    • BooleanBob says:


      And in the game?

    • gwathdring says:

      Hmm. I think the immersion in this sort of game doesn’t come from the realism of it but the tension. If fluid animations, great sound design, and pretty explosions make the overall experience more intense, then it’s great. If all it does is add to the visual fidelity of the game, then it’s irrelevant and I’ll be just as immersed in BF2. It’s a TENSE game. Especially when you’re one of the last few men on the ground, and you can see the ticket-counter going down as your three or so allies die off trying to get a grip on the lost spawn point that doomed us.

      Personally, I like having legs. It’s nice. There’s a sort of comfort to it that has very little to do with realism and everything to do with familiarity. It’s not that I want the game to be like real combat. It’s that when I’m nervous and jittery and looking for that damned sniper, and I glance down … there’s something reassuring about seeing my feet. I know that’s how it affected me in Mirror’s Edge. I’d be running from men with guns, scrambling for a way out that doesn’t involve lots of bullets, and I’d glance down and see my legs moving like I’d expect them too. Maybe this doesn’t quite make sense, but it’s not about realism for me–it’s about a combination of comfort and atmosphere. I guess a way to explain that, is that I wouldn’t mind if those legs were cybernetic messes of steel and wire. Or if I looked down and saw an hover engine below waist. As long as it made sense with what the game told me I looked and moves like, I’m happy. I quite like magical and science-fiction type fantasies, but I want them to make sense.

      Crucially, having footstep noises when I walk, but not having any feet is kind of unsettling.

    • P4p3Rc1iP says:

      Tribes 2 had legs, and that was over 10 years ago.

    • Pathetic Phallacy says:


      Too bad the franchise didn’t! (rimshot)

    • YourMessageHere says:

      @ Gwathdring, and any other “I have legs” fans: Quake IV also had player POV legs. Now, don’t get me wrong, Quake IV was not a great game. It did, however, have one of the best shock moments I recall ever having in a game, when my nice legs were SAWN THE FUCK OFF right before my eyes. That was properly damn traumatic.

    • Stochastic says:

      On the topic of legs in FPSs: I believe this is important not so much because it adds immersion (which is not really a top priority of multiplayer) but because it enhances the player’s sense of solidness and kineticism. I’m getting at that same idea of “feel” provided in links from the last two Sunday Papers: link to Camera movement is also critical in making the player feel like a real entity and not a floating phantasm (in real life, people don’t smoothly glide but bob about).

      This is something which can make or break a shooter and I’m glad it’s finally receiving more attention from developers.

  3. Drakon says:

    *gasp* I’m Alec’s favourite reader??

  4. Scioptic says:

    But will the maps be small and linear with the same old limited choke points, or will they be massive flank-tastic maps that I loved in BF2?

    • Clavus says:

      Both? I love variety. Bad Company 2 had both large vehicle maps (Heavy Metal / Atacama Desert) and dense infantry oriented maps. The scale of the vehicle maps will probably be even bigger in BF3.

    • Sb3 says:

      Well, considering Strike at Karkand and Sharqi Peninsula are returning, I don’t see why they’d suddenly make the rest of the maps tiny and cramped. There’ll most likely be a couple of gigantic, open, tank heavy maps in there.

      on another note, only 3 months to save up for a new graphics card, as I doubt my 6850 can manage this on max settings at a decent consistent framerate, because a game this stunning really deserves being played at max settings. But who knows, maybe they’ll do some miraculous optimizing this time around, I just hope the server browser won’t be broken beyond hope at launch this time around.

    • Gravy says:

      Lets not forget the Jets are back, so some maps will have to be fairly huge so your not doing a constant loop. Can’t wait for it myself, gunna be epic 64 player madness

    • vodkarn says:

      “as I doubt my 6850 can manage this on max settings at a decent consistent framerate, ”

      If I remember correctly that is the card mentioned in ‘recommended’. That or a 6870, I can’t recall. Either way you should be damn close.

  5. Steven Hutton says:

    Is this game PC exclusive? I can only assume it will be given it’s pedigree and frankly astonishing graphics.

    EDIT: Also, I hope it is a PC exclusive. The battlefield games just don’t feel right on console.

    • Clavus says:

      It’s not an exclusive, but PC is the primary development platform. Which shows.

    • ThinKyX says:

      Oh jolly, I’m looking forward to this!
      Glad I upgraded my hardware recently.

    • Cuttooth says:

      I played Bad Company 2 on the Xbox and was thoroughly impressed. I’ll be getting BF3 on PC though, because the main series should always be PC focussed like they’re doing here.

  6. gwathdring says:

    Well, from the footage at least … it looks like fricken’ Battlefield. Which … is enough for me as soon as I upgrade my PC in 2013.

  7. LuNatic says:

    I’ll be quite happy if the teabaggers (no, not those teabaggers, the OTHER teabaggers) and sn1perl0rd123s buy MW3 and stay out of my objective based squad shooter.

  8. evilsooty says:

    My credit card isn’t going to like whatever month this is released in. I don’t think my 5770 is up to this one.

    • Forceflow says:

      Was thinking the same thing. Since all the primary platforms are now consoles, there wasn’t really much around to update your rig for … (not even Crysis 2, as it turned out).

      This could change that. We’re back in the nineties, people, where the delivery time of a new video card was enough to render it horribly outdated.

    • kael13 says:

      I think I’ll have to grab an nVidia 600 series when it comes.

  9. Dreamhacker says:

    I believe MP games of BF can realistically be just that frantic. Haven’t you ever played BF2 on 16 player maps modded to take 64 players? It’s almost stroke-inducingly frantic and intense.

    • pepper says:

      They dont have to be modded. You just update the maplist on the server to switch to 16 players and leave the maximum amount of clients connected to 64.

      So, any of you guys played Project Reality of Forgotten Hope 2 with 128 players? Now THAT is madness.

  10. Flappybat says:

    Poor man seems to have forgotten the magazine for his P90. No multiplayer for him.

    • YourMessageHere says:

      I wouldn’t worry, it’s clearly a promotional model of a P90, given that it’s about half again as big as it ought to be. Or maybe he’s a child soldier. Edgy design choice, Dice.

  11. Post-Internet Syndrome says:

    I just realized that the sound/music-thingy that plays at the end with the logo has the same(ish) rhythm as the main theme from the original BF. Nice callback if it is intentional.

    • clumsyandshy says:

      Not to sound like a douche, but you are probably one of the few who didn’t “discover” that by the time of the very first teaser. And yes it is most likely 110% intentional.

    • pepper says:

      They actually have done this in every single battlefield I played, although none of them beat the original and I would be happily listening to the original again with a new video each time I start the game. its my favorite game music.

    • Springy says:

      1942’s music was definitely the best rendition. I liked the loading screen music even better, though.

    • Alexnader says:

      Just realised that now.

    • mogofogo says:

      I have to admit that I loved the Bad Company 2 Vietnam music best.
      Of course, the theme is unbeatable.

      Here’s a link for all those who want a listen.
      There’s 49 tracks in the game, and im surprised at how many I missed by not being in vehicles often enough.
      link to

  12. tomeoftom says:

    Setting a level both in and above the Metro is a fantastic idea – just inside or out would have been quite boring.

  13. JohnnyK says:

    Make me a WW2 version. I’m getting really tired of the same modern warfare shenanigans. The frantic pace just guarantees I will get annihilated.

    Seriously, a BF42-remake with that engine would be a dream come true.

    • Pathetic Phallacy says:

      You know why FPS games are currently in the modern genre, right? We had to deal with years and years of World War 2 games.

      I’ll never understand why we have to do this shit in phases. Give me all time periods simultaneously!

    • JohnnyK says:

      Oh I know *why* – I just don’t want to accept it. :-)

      To be fair, I think it would be much harder to market this in a WW2 setting against MW3.

    • rammjaeger says:

      You do know about Red Orchestra 2 right? WW2 on a modern game engine with small infantry battles, massive tank battles, and everything in between. This does look really good, but I can’t help but think do we really need ANOTHER modern shooter?

    • Ovno says:


      I suppose that was the never came to pc BF1943 though :(

    • YourMessageHere says:

      Please stop. There have been far more WWII games than modern-day war games, I’m sure of it. The damn war only lasted 6 years, yet it’s been a staple game setting for nearer 15. WWII weapons are uninteresting, with the exception of unscoped single-shot rifles, WWII equipment is uninteresting, WWII vehicles are uninteresting, and being based on history requires things to at least resemble events that happened (all of which have probably been done several times), rather than being new, un-rehashed ideas or settings. I can’t say I’m convinced this will be good, but there’s at least a chance of me getting it, as opposed to no chance if it’s a WWII game.

    • JohnnyK says:

      YMH – you are speaking about past games though (RO2 aside); and another game with Blackhawks is innovative exactly… how? It’s not new at all.
      Don’t get me wrong, I will very likely play & and enjoy BF3. But I enjoy variety, and after MW, MW2, BFBC2 and whatever else we got over the last few years I feel a proper remake of BF42 with this engine would be a lot more enjoyable.

    • The Hammer says:

      While I’m not exactly loathe about this one (it’s the game in 2011 I most want to play, really), I’d love another WW2 Battlefield. There’s a charm, iconography and personality to that period that modern day-set shooters fail to convey.

      Having said that, I’m pretty certain that Battlefield Next (whatever in the main series comes out after this ‘un!) will be of a better setting.

  14. cairbre says:

    Sometimes when I watch the clips I wonder is it real world footage of some poor war ravaged land or is it a game its that bloody good.

    This game looks legend TBH I am interested to see how the legs and arms thing works out you.

    The 25th October release date means it wont be going head to head with MW3 which from a business point of view I think is the right decision why makes things harder for yourself. I have no doubt that this will go straight in at number one not that that really means anything as far as the games quality goes but Dice do know what they are doing based on their past efforts.

    I am thinking about skipping the open beta because I want to just see the finished product then again that could be just wishful June thinking on my part.

  15. Nallen says:

    That second trailer is just insane. Completely insane.

  16. lunarplasma says:

    I love the PC-centricness of it. OTOH… my PC won’t run this. EPIC T_T

  17. Scatterbrainpaul says:

    Guess i’ll be upgrading my computer for the first time in 3 years then.

    I have to play this game on top settings

  18. Dana says:

    Looks like CoD. Ill stick to RO2 thank you very much.

    • Stupoider says:

      Aye, for Battlefield multiplayer there was an awful lot of running around in the open. I’m not saying it doesn’t look pretty, but I don’t really buy games to look at them. Then again, maybe it was just a trailer to translate to the CoD audience. It didn’t manage to capture the scope of battle that Battlefield is renowned for.

      Looking forward to RO2 though!

  19. RaveTurned says:

    Will it run on my two year old laptop? <_<

  20. FieldOfTheBattle says:

    I’m still pissed that EA will be selling weapons as DLC.

  21. Engonge says:

    Having legs are overrated.On the other hand,I like seeing my own characters bloody(depending on the health) or sometimes smiley(when picking up a new weapon) face in the HUD like Doom 1 & 2.

  22. InsidiousBoot says:

    Yeah but that would look silly in games like these. Another game that featured in game legs/body was F.E.A.R. you could do lots of combat moves with them as well.
    Now that was fun!

  23. Nalano says:


    Is so much better than MW3.

  24. Scioptic says:

    Dammit! I can’t watch/play this kind of stuff now without thinking “Bloody screen! So REAL!”

  25. Rii says:

    Ars was (surprisingly) right on the money about this Battlefield vs. CoD thing: it’s a PC vs. console-gamer thing. There’s nothing more to it than that. It’s just tribal.

    Be that as it may, this does indeed appear to be shaping up as a watershed event in the multiplayer PC FPS sphere. Probably the first since TF2. And yeah, I’ll be there.

  26. MrMud says:

    “PC in-game footage, is says at the bottom. Yeah, no shit. What else could do that? /Me salutes.”
    You mean where it says “PS3 in-game footage” in the youtube video splash screen?

  27. Unaco says:

    Modern Warfare 3 will be better.

  28. DainIronfoot says:

    But according to the scrolling newsthing of gametrailers, MW3 will have grenade launchers and returning predator missiles.

    Do BF3 missiles come back after you fire them? I THINK NOT.

  29. YourMessageHere says:

    I wonder if anyone plans to actually release gameplay footage – that is, the same continuous gameplay without cutting to other gameplay after literally two seconds. Then you could, you know, see if you liked what the game appeared to play like, rather than just going “wow! And a…wait is that…what’s he…cor!…who…what just…oh, one of them…what is this i don’t even…and now where…what’s…um, cool!”

    Another thing: why do all Battlefield poster-people have orange glowing armpits/flanks now?

    • godwin says:

      They did a live demo of BF3 on a PC during the EA show, and it was a drawn out tank battle, with lots of nothing much happening in the first quarter or so. Not sure if that’s uploaded anywhere, but yes, they have shown proper gameplay.

  30. bookwormat says:

    I know it’s super uncool to say this, but I’m going to miss the bots.

    • mogofogo says:

      No Worries man, i’m with you.
      If this game has bots and co-op campaign, (which is a lot to ask nowadays)
      It’ll have my wallet.
      And my soul.

  31. Mayjori says:

    yay prone is back!!

  32. Agnocrat says:

    Paradox, Mojang, Dice.

    Why is Sweden so great?

  33. aircool says:

    MMMmmm, lovely gfx… which I will immediately turn off so I can ramp up the draw distance and framerate.

  34. Farsearcher says:

    Now make Battlefield 2143 in this engine

    Or Battlefield 40K in this engine.


    • timmyvos says:

      40K can’t be made since A. it’s an EA engine and B. THQ recently purchased the rights to 40K for several years, unfortunately. Though I’d like to see 2143 since the original was one of my favourites.

    • Defiant Badger says:

      “Now make Battlefield 2143 in this engine”

      Why did you have to say that? Now nothing will compare. D:

  35. StoneMason says:

    Anyone rip the live multiplayer from Tuesday?

  36. Arachnyd says:

    Anyone else notice the part in the first video where the player gets crushed by a massive chunk of concrete that falls when a tank shoots the building?

    I’m going to have a lot of fun dropping overhangs on people’s heads with C4.

  37. edit says:

    My interest in generic manshoots has just about evaporated, but I can’t deny having some fun in BC2. If they address some of the irritations of that game (insta-suicide if out of the “combat zone” for 10 seconds? F OFF) I’ll consider giving it a look. BC2 feels like it wants to be this huge, sprawling combat game, then has maps small enough that your chopper ride from one side to the other takes two seconds, on some maps you can even get sniped at spawn, and you are arbitrarily confined to a certain area even when it would make much more sense for cover to be just a couple of metres over from that hill just there.. oh.. sorry, you committed suicide. It also makes me wonder just how much devs are learning if a game from 2010 features spawn-camping. If they can give the design as much of an overhaul as everything else, I’ll have a look.

  38. rocketman71 says:

    No it isn’t. It doesn’t have proper multiplayer support.