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On June 21st, 2011 in News

BF3 dog tag
We’ve been here before, we’ve seen a few pre-order bonuses, from Back to Karkand, to the infamous Physical Warfare pack, to a SpecAct pre-order bonus in Sweden. Now another one has been revealed, this time UK online retailer is offering a Battlefield 3 pre-order bonus in form of a code to download “5 exclusive dog tag designs to customize your soldier with”.

This seems like another minor pre-order bonus, something cosmetic like the SpectAct kit. We already know that Battlefield 3 will have a custom dog dag feature. So far the pre-order is limited to and the UK, but if the last few European bonuses are an indication of things to come, we can expect a variety of pre-order bonuses in the US, with major retailers such as GameStop, Best Buy, Target, Amazon, among others, each having something unique to offer.

On June 19th, 2011 in News, Videos

DICE is present at this year’s Dreamhack LAN party — the biggest LAN event in the world, held annually in Sweden. DICE’s Patrick Bach did a similar presentation of the Thunder Run singleplayer mission he did at E3, this time in front of an eager Swedish audience.

Battlefield 3 will be playable by fans at Dreamhack, with the same multiplayer that was playable at E3, with Operation Metro as the map of choice. We dunno if DICE will be showcasing new footage of Battlefield 3 at Dreamhack, but if they do, rest assured that we’ll be reporting it. German Battlefield site has some photos from Dreamhack, if you’re interested.

On June 18th, 2011 in News

A few days ago, Battlefield 3 was showcased on the PlayStation 3 during the Late Night show with Jimmy Fallon, and it sparked a lot of discussion among console owners who thought that the PlayStation 3 version looked inferior to the PC counterpart. While DICE has always said that the PC version would feature extra graphical capabilities in form of higher resolution textures, more anti-aliasing, among other thing, they’ve now revealed a few more details on what to expect on consoles.

DICE developers confirmed via Twitter that the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions would run at 720p, as opposed to 1080p, which both consoles support. Furthermore, console versions would run at 30 frames per second, which is considered the bare minimum frame rate for first person shooters. The news comes after DICE developer Johan Anderson confirmed via Twitter that the game will run at 30 fps on consoles, and later confirmed that it will be in 720p as well.

It’s not a big surprise that Battlefield 3 won’t support 1080p — very few games are run in 1080p, especially graphics intensive shooters and action games (for instance, Crysis 2 ran at 720p and 30fps as well). Regarding the frame rate, it’s interesting to note that BF3′s main competitor, Modern Warfare 3 and its predecessors have always run at 60fps, which resulted in the familiar smooth gameplay that Call of Duty is known to deliver on consoles. On the other hand, Battlefield 3 and the new Frostbite engine offer full destruction, larger maps and more features than any Call of Duty game.

On June 18th, 2011 in Gallery

Battlefield 3 screenshots
DICE has released a pack of new HD screenshots from Battlefield 3, depicting the Operation Metro multiplayer maps we saw at E3, plus the Thunder Run singleplayer mission which was featured at E3 as well. Be sure to check out the full images, as they showcase some insanely high resolution textures DICE uses for player models. Thanks to our user REV07VER for the tip!

On June 17th, 2011 in Editorial

Battlefield 3 HUD

We’ve finally seen some Battlefield 3 multiplayer footage and we’ve played the game at E3, which gave us a good look at a number of aspects of the game. One of the important aspects of multiplayer gaming is the HUD — head up display — which is always tricky to design, since it has to be detailed enough to provide information to the player, but it also has to be simple and unobtrusive. Our new staff writer Connor examines and analyzes the new HUD found in Battlefield 3.

1: Kill ticker

This is our typical kill ticker, situated in the top left corner like most games these days. What makes it stand out, besides the color coordination, is the fact that it now specifically states whether an Attacker or a Defender has been killed. This is new to the franchise, but since teams are also identified by red and blue (or green/orange) letters, the “team” tag might be something temporary. Another explanation for the tags could be that attacker and defender are placeholders for optional clan names.

2: Objectives

In this area we see the designation for Objectives and teammates. Objectives will be marked with the red and blue diamonds typical of the past few Battlefield games. It also appears that as you get closer to the objective the marker will increase in size, as seen by the way that objective B is slightly larger in the image. Also teammates will have their names displayed above them as long as they are within a certain distance and your view.

3: Mini map

The mini map seems to have some revisions when compared to Bad Company 2. The map itself seems to have been streamlined to show bare essentials and the strong white lines seem to denote streets, buildings, walls, etc. This makes the map much simpler and the high contrast symbols make it easy to locate teammates, squadmates, or enemies from the environment. I would assume that when an objective is attacked the Diamonds will flash or shift like in Bad Company 2. The mini-map also displays your current role as an Attack er or Defender, in this case denoted by ATT (Attacker). The number next to that (70) indicates the current amount of tickets (lives) left on the attacking team.

4: Squad indicator

The squad indicator is very similar to the one found in Bad Company 2, and indicates the members of your squad, whether or not they are alive or dead, their current class, and it also denotes the Squad Leader with a star next to their name.

5: Personal kill ticker

The personal kill ticker resembles the one found in Bad Company 2, is positioned bottom center, and states the team you are currently on, your username, the weapon you used to get the kill, and the name of your victim. The points you get for kills, assists etc. will be displayed just above the kill ticker.

6: Ammo counter/health bar

While Battlefield 3 will feature regenerating health like Bad Company 2, this time however, it will also feature an actual health bar/health counter. The ammo counter denotes the ammo left in your current clip out of the total ammo left in your gun. The counter also seems to denote your grenade and explosive count as similar to Bad Company 2.

7: Squad member identifier

Squad members will now be identified and shown on the screen as long as you are looking in their direction. Their class, role in squad, and username will all be displayed in green when within your view.

So far the Battlefield 3 HUD resembles the one in Bad Company 2 quite a lot, and doesn’t introduce any drastic changes. Do you have any ideas/suggestions on what you’d like to see on the Battlefield 3 HUD?

On June 17th, 2011 in Videos

Last night, a couple of EA representatives took stage at the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Show to show off Battlefield 3 to the audience, and for the first time, they showed a working PlayStation 3 version of the game. It’s the same Fault Line level we’ve seen many times, although it wasn’t as fun with Fallon around (especially when he took control of the game and tried it out). And for those who doubted the console version of Battlefield 3, it’s looking pretty solid judging from the footage.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

On June 16th, 2011 in News, Videos

The guys from Scandinavian game magazine GameReactor didn’t just speak to Patrick Bach at DICE a few weeks ago, they also got to talk to Lars Gustavsson, lead designer on Battlefield 3 and one of the creators of the Battlefield series.

In the interview, Gustavsson mentioned how important it is to release a polished game that’ll stand the test of time. He said they’re in it for the long run, and that “We won’t rest until it’s utterly polished. You really need to get it solid so that, like Battlefield 2, it’s being played [sic] 7 years after release”, and “This summer we will play, play, play, be polishing and iterating — it’s what makes it rock solid”.

Those are exactly the kind of words players love to hear from developers. In the interview, Gustavsson also mentions that the reason they’ve now included Team Deathmatch is because “it’s better cater to all the types of players out there”, and added that they’re really happy to provide Team Deathmatch with the new engine and destruction. He also mentioned that DICE could easily provide a ton of game modes, but they would rather focus on a few core modes that players enjoy.

On June 16th, 2011 in News

BF3 physical warfare pack
DICE has just announced that the much debated “Physical Warfare” package which is available to those who pre-order it, and the subject of a boycott, will be available to all players for later this year, free of charge.

DICE said in a blog post that the Physical Warfare package, as you know, is part of a pre-order bonus at select retailers in the UK, and will also be available in the US and rest of the world.

Furthermore, the Back to Karkand DLC is still available for free to those who pre-order the game, but won’t be released at launch on October 25, rather, Back to Karkand will be released later this year. If you pre-order the game, you’ll get it for free, otherwise, you’ll have to pony up. The Back to Karkand package is developed by a separate team — the same team that worked on the Bad Company 2 Vietnam expansion.

On June 15th, 2011 in News

BF3 SpectAct kit

EA’s Battlefield 3 pre-order features have not only sparked intense debate and confusion, but a boycott as well. To add more to the bon fire, the Swedish part of European retailer GAME has unveiled yet another pre-order bonus: the “SpecAct Kit”, which contains “eight unique multiplayer skins” — pretty much like the unique uniforms found in the SpecAct Kit in Bad Company 2 (pictured above).

While this is another pre-order bonus which for now seems to be limited to Sweden, it doesn’t appear to offer any advantage to players, unless of course, it includes new types of camouflage that hide players better than the regular multiplayer skins.

So far the offer seems to be limited only to Sweden, but retailer GAME is available throughout Scandinavia and Europe, and it’s safe to assume other territories will see a similar pre-order bonus.

Thanks to Johan for the tip!

On June 14th, 2011 in Videos

Scandinavian game magazine GameReactor has a nice video interview with Battlefield 3 producer Patrick Bach, taped at DICE offices in Sweden just before E3. The interview goes in depth on the singleplayer portion of Battlefield 3, and touches up on console performance and the history of Battlefield as well. Finally, it’s revealed that co-op will support 2 players and will feature exclusive maps and missions specifically tailored to the co-op experience.

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