Battlefield 3's Multiplayer Blows 128 Socks Clean Off

Battlefield 3's booth at Gamescom was not f**king around. Inside its cavernous hall, at the end of an hours-long wait, were 64 personal computers and an 18-minute round of the game's multiplayer.

It's quite the experience.

Taking place on the game's Caspian Border map, an enormous expanse of creeks, hills, plains and buildings, the demo throws 32 American soldiers against 32 Russians in a classic game of Battlefield's multiplayer, each side scrambling to control points on the map.

This is a map that's been shown off before in trailers and screenshots (like the one above). It looked great there, and in person (admittedly, on a monster machine), it looked... just as great. It's not often you get shot in a multiplayer game because you got caught staring at the effect a tree's shadow had on the running water in a small stream.

More importantly than its looks, though, this played like the same old Battlefield. Playing as infantry, aiming is sharp and responsive. Vehicles were easy to learn but hard to master (though I did shoot a helicopter down with an Abrams at first attempt). There's great and constant visual feedback on where everybody on your team is and, more importantly, where all the spotted bad guys are as well.

Prior to the match kicking off, I had access to the customisation system, which had many items and weapons already unlocked. There was a great deal of scope for individuality here, players able to create their own ideal loadout of weapons, gear and powerups but since I only had one game to try it out on, there's not much more to report on it.

Amazingly, considering I only had 18 minutes of play time, I managed to man a buggy's machine gun, drive a tank and even stroll uncontested into the cockpit of an F-18 (then fly uncontested into the side of a building). Just like the infantry, control of a vehicle and the aiming of their weapons was smooth as butter, especially the tank.

Like the PS3 version, this was supposedly "alpha" code. I have my doubts in this case though, since this looked absolutely ready to go, but whatever! Oh, and since some of you will have some very particular questions about the nuances of the mode, ask them in the comments below and I'll do my best to answer them.


    Always with the Russians.
    Surely China has grown to a point now that America can use them as a worthy fantasy opponent that they can crush in the name of justice, liberty and ridiculous defense budgets.

      BF2's bad guys where there Chinese and Middle eastern Coalition. I'd assume this takes after the bad company 2 story line?

      Or maybe Russia has cooler looking equiptment. Its easier if you don't judge a man on his race or creed, but judge him purely on how easy he was to kill.

        Maybe they wanted to reuse the voice assets from Bad Company 2. Mattata salada, prion!

      Chinese aren't used as antagonists in games because the Chinese gaming market is huge and publishers don't want to lose it. Which is why the Homefront villains were changed from China to the (much more implausible) Koreans.

      Plus, it's not like they missed any North Korean sales of that game.

    What are the PC specs for the game? I've been waiting almost a year to upgrade my computer AND will it have the multiple screen ability like BF:Bad Company 2 where you can extend the playing screen over three screens???

    How did you find the teams direction, given that there is no commander? How did AA missiles respond to flares? And the big one...Hit Registration...does it put BF2's to shame? That's something that left BF2 broken even to this day. I am still massively addicted to BF2 but sometimes throwing the gun makes more damage.

    Is that all? Where is the rest of the write up? I keep refreshing but nothing happens...

    Man, fond memories of BF2 taking out helicopters from long range with a tank shell. Something about it just screams awesome action movie sequence.

    "Oh, and since some of you will have some very particular questions about the nuances of the mode, ask them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them".

    ...Soooo that's a big NO on answering us???

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