What Battlefield 3 Needs

For the past few weeks I have found myself returning to my favourite multiplayer game of last year, Battlefield: Bad Company 2. It's a punchy rascal of a game, but it also hints at plenty of things that could be better in the future, and reminds us of lots of things that have been better in the past. Things that might be better in Battlefield 3. Or 4. Anyway, what follows is a consideration of what Battlefield games have done right and wrong, and what Battlefield 3 needs to think about.

UNTO DESTRUCTION

OK, let's hit the obvious one to start with: destructible scenery. The capacity to blow holes in walls is probably the most thrilling and interesting element of BFBC2. You can use it to gain access to a building, to remove cover from the enemy, or just to feel like you actually destroyed something. It's a brilliant feature that will almost certainly be done even better in Battlefield 3. My hope is, however, that it will also be used to shape the experience of play. What I mean is this: imagine a multiplayer map where the attacking team didn't just incidentally flatten a few houses as they attacked the objective, but had to punch holes through walls and defensive lines to get their troops inside to secure particular points.

There are glimmers of this in BFBC2′s Rush mode, but it could be amped up to some considerable degree. I want to have to tunnel my way through the side of a building, or drive a Humvee through a shanty town like that bit at the end of Bad Boys 2. Imagine having a map that includes underground levels, where you are blowing holes in the asphalt to give tanks access to underground city routes, where they are safe from aircraft.

Jets are back, and so, I hope, will be big-ass mobile anti-aircraft units. What I really want, though, are huge 64-player maps with great big spaces for infantry-supported tank battles. Toning down the capacity for infantry to take out armour unassisted would be good, too. Some of the best fun I've had in BFBC2 of late have been great use of armour, but it has required at least one engineer repairing non-stop for the tanks to stay alive. I'd really like to see BF3 pushing in a more Arma-ward direction, where calling in air support or other armour is the best way to deal with be-tracked angry houses.

BF BFF

In-game social tools stuff. DICE have actually said that they are doing something dedicated and significant with this, and will be improving friends lists in the game and so forth, but this is really something that games like BFBC2 should have been doing really slickly by now. It's not like there's isn't stacks of middleware these days, allowing people to tailor it to the task.

We need a big friends list, notifications in game of when people join servers, and so on. This stuff has been around for years, and should really appear by default.

Likewise we need slick admin, player voting, and all the other stuff in online FPS games that should really now come as standard.

MANTLING OVER LOW WALLS

Let's have this. Are they having this? If so, I missed it. Let's assume they are. That is a good thing.

A WORKING SERVER BROWSER ON LAUNCH

This would also be acceptable. It's probably the biggest lesson of BFBC2′s glitchy launch: it's not OK for this to be an afterthought.

IT'S ALL ON CAMERA

Finally, the battle recorder needs to return. The reason for this happened a couple of days ago. This was a continuous stream of events: I jumped into a game, ran to the enemy base. All the friendlies were engaged on the other side of the Rush objective (the first part of Valparaiso), and so I stormed right into an undisturbed group of enemies. I gunned down the closest with my assault rifle, and took out his more distant buddy with my grenade launcher. A third guy, who had been behind cover, jumped over to get me, and died to my pistol. He had another guy right behind him (freshly spawned), who was just coming around a corner. I knifed him and the reloaded my pistol. As reloaded I saw the guy get rezzed by a medic. I killed him again – pistol this time – and then knifed the medic. By this point I was inadvertantly making that operative "ooaaaaah" noise that signifies great victory and thinking that I might be on a killing spree that would last forever. Then I died to a grenade I hadn't noticed.

The battle recorder was a brilliant feature of Battlefield 2. If it had been available to me here then I could prove that all this happened, and that I am the greatest. Sure, I could have Fraps'd it, but fuck that. I want my battle recorder.

DICE, make it so.

Jim Rossignol is a writer for Rock Paper Shotgun, one of the world's best sites for PC gaming news. Jim has been a gaming journalist for a long time. Follow him on Twitter.

Republished with permission.


Comments

    I hope it doesn't have the amount of connection errors while playing online that bfbc2 had

    I hope the console versions have Australian servers from the get go that actually work most of the time.

    The BFBC2 xbox 360 servers are usually either down or full more often than they are available. A Friday night when the Australian hardcore servers are up, mostly lag free and the hit detection is working well is a rare and beautifull thing.

    Steam Pre-orders

      Yeah it needs Steam for sure. Was planning on a pre-order from steam, I haven't bought a PC game elsewhere in years and i'll be damned if EA is going to force me to.

    whats the point of posting this article 8-9 weeks before the game goes gold, aside from being a fanboy fantasy list? if I wanted to read fantasy lists I'd go to the BF3 forums.

    this article would've been better posted after the original announcement, when your ideas might've been picked up.

      I think it was posted a while ago on rock,paper,shotgun

    Needs Lan support. Back when I was playing BF2 a bunch of mates after coming home from a party slightly drunk. +P Would get on our computers and turn the bots up to 128 and just have a laugh and a good time. It also helps for when people go Laning.=P

    If BF3 doesn't have that I'll be sad. I was sad when BC2 didn't have it but then again it's not a real Battlefield game.

    Just a quick note on ARMA. That is one of the worst games for Infantry vs Armour. Almost no point in driving a tank in that game because every man and his dog has super missiles that destory them in 1 hit.

    -LAN support
    -Removal of the BC spotting feature and replacing it with the BF2 spotting feature.
    -If it does indeed only have 4 kits then set them up like 2142. BC kits are terribly designed.
    -Better balance in map design.

    So basically just remake BF2 with BC's destructible environment and the better graphics and physics, everything else from the BC games can be scrapped.

    Going by BC2, it needs hard ware bans. Get on that EA. I love the battlefield series, but so do aimbotting bitches.

    Just make the moving a little smoother regarding tripping over crap on the ground. Jumping a wall is one thing but I don't want to keep dying cause I got stuck on a goddamn step!!!

    surely Kotaku has a contact at one of EA's local studios to ask about all this? the beta is being tested right now...

      october 25 doesnt = right now

    As far as I've experienced, your suggestions of the ubering of tanks and compulsory destruction is just TOO much teamwork to ask for in this day and age even on the PC. Half the time I've played BFBC2 I have been put in squads where everyone is a sniper.
    The last time where I've experienced a majority of games where there was good teamwork (and WASN'T the main reason why the team lost) is pre-f2p TF2 - almost every game was enjoyable even if you were getting pwned.

    Sorry Mark, but I'm pretty sure I read on IGN that the destrucability is actually toned down since BC2.

    While there's more you can 'do' to buildings in terms of damage, the amount of non-cosmetic damage you can do (knock down buildings) is actually quite limited.

    "didn’t just incidentally flatten a few houses as they attacked the objective, but had to punch holes through walls"

    This is the exact kind of gameplay focusing that Bad Company MP steers away from. The Destructible environments are there to provide for real dynamic gameplay, focusing elements on the destruction would ruin this as the destruction 2.0 elements simply compliment the open ended nature of the objectives (attack/defend A/B: Capture point A/B/C/D). I think Destruction 2.0 already does an amazing job of creating endlessly dynamic and surprising gameplay situations, it is however not as visually or 'physically' interactive as it could be.

    "Toning down the capacity for infantry to take out armour unassisted would be good, too."

    Definitely interested to see where they take this in BF3 with the class shuffle ups. I think they wanted a more focused stye of gameplay in BC2 though, the threat of the engineers demolition stops people from tank spamming.

    "Likewise we need slick admin, player voting, and all the other stuff in online FPS games that should really now come as standard."

    Kudos. I really would like a comment system as long as it doesn't get abused/trolled. Some people really need some pointers on team play.

    INTRO TUTORIAL VIDEO:
    This is really needed IMHO. So many people migrate from call of duty and dont seem to understand the meaning of the words 'team' and or 'recon'... or maybe they just read 'recon' as 'sniper'

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