Published on September 1st, 2011 | by Deejay Knight, Editor/Founder
Battlefield 3: Community Event & Hands-On Impressions
Recently, I was flown out with a good-sized group of other gamers to PAX Prime 2011 and given hands-on time with one of the most anticipated shooters of this year: Battlefield 3.
Anybody that’s ever put hands on a Battlefield title knows that when you pick up the controller, you’re in for an experience to say the least. From what I’ve played so far of the latest chapter in the Battlefield series, this release is going to be just that much more of an experience than it’s predecessors.
Not only was I lucky enough to be flown out to the Battlefield 3 community day among other gaming sites & community members to play this game first-hand, but this particular community day was held in the best of places: PAX Prime 2011. We entered the room to find 32 stations with both PS3s and PCs at each seat, as well as a pair of Astro headphones. We hung out eating & drinking for an hour before we got to put hands on to what we’d all come for…
There were two play modes we were given the chance to play while there: Co-Op Campaign, and Versus.
Armed with a PS3 controller and headset, when we booted up the Campaign, we started next to a four-hummer convoy in an alleyway with a mission of recovering a hostage and escorting him to our convoy. We entered & cleared the first room, then came to a pair of sleeping enemies. Silenced pistols settled them in for the long haul, while alerting two enemies from the next room to their impending doom as well. We cleared a basement, multiple rooms, hit a couple flights of stairs, and got to our hostage.
Most hostage missions in games revolve around a helpless character following you until you get to your destination, so we’d been prepped to do all the work. Imagine our surprise when this hostage picked up a machine gun and was ready to roll! We cleared the remainder of the building and headed back to our convoy. Once there, we popped him into the back seat and pushed forward with the mission.
And this is where the fun got a bit more intense. Once on the road, we made a couple turns and all hell broke loose. It was pandemonium, but the best kind of it. Guess who found a sniper rifle & wrecked shop? This dude. I could give you a blow-by-blow of the entire mission, but that could be both spoileriffic and take away from the fun we had playing co-op.
The least fun part was dying in what seemed like the last objective and having to restart the mission. I have no doubt that the checkpoints will be there in the final build though, just because replaying 15+ minutes of gameplay could suck if it’s on a higher difficulty level.
Once we’d had a heaping helping of awesome with Co-Op, it was time to get into some 16v16 multiplayer on the PC. The rigs we were playing on were not joking at all, and were all decked out with Razer gear. We played for hours in Paris, the only announced multiplayer map so far, and it’s a very multifaceted map.
Our team started off in the depths of the subway, where it’s easy to get caught up on both sides of the tracks, especially with the inoperative train in the center of the tracks. Even in the underground, there are multiple levels, hallways, and rooms to get caught up in a firefight, which is just as it should be in this type of game.
Once you get above ground, there are just as many vantage points as there are choke points. A good percentage of buildings have 2nd floors that are great firing positions. Outside the city areas, there are parks, a mobile command center, and a lake that all provide a good amount of positions for both sides of the coin.
My favorite part of it all? Going prone. There have been a lot of shooters that bypass this simple rule of combat for some reason or another, but it was amazing to see it first hand. And see it, I did. Who likes sniper rifles & human opponents? This guy.
The Battlefield 3 Community Event was epic. The time I got to play the game was a total of about three and a half hours, and that wasn’t anywhere near enough. @Seeson and the team over at EA put together both a fantastic trip and event that I’ll remember for years to come. Props to Razer, Astro, OffDutyGamers and Gunnar Optiks for the awesome parting gifts. Thank you for everything.
I’ll see you online on the Xbox 360 (and possibly PC) when this one drops on October 25th, and that’s a guarantee! I’ll bring the sniper rifle.
Putting it out there: EA sponsored all transportation and lodging for this trip. Props to Co-Optimus for the idea of this disclaimer down here.