How Will Battlefield 3 Be Remembered?

How Will Battlefield 3 Be Remembered?

In a perfect storm of hype, timing and technology, the momentum behind Battlefield 3 has been staggering. As it accelerates towards its release October 27, we caught up with the game’s Creative Director Lars Gustavsson to discuss the game’s development, his influences, and what history will make of Battlefield 3.

While there are, of course, hordes of gamers lining up to pre-order Modern Warfare 3, it appears as though there is a sea change in our midst – almost as if the culmination of smart brand protection, combined with a series of dazzling trailers has set fans of core shooters alight with hype. Amongst core shooter fans, Battlefield 3 is arguably the most anticipated game of the year.

Gustavsson thinks the quality of the game itself may have something to do with it!

“We’re bringing something fresh to a market which, to be honest, has gone a bit stale recently,” says Gustavsson. “There are so many shooters out there and they all come from the same recipe.

“I play all shooters out there to stay up to date, but I really like Battlefield, because I can of the sheer variety. I often get this religious feeling when I look at some of the larger scale levels, just feeling amazed that we somehow managed to accomplish this!

Years of development experience, with the same core team, has enabled DICE to focus their efforts on creating the best Battlefield product possible. In that respect, Gustavsson believes that the force sweeping gamers towards the Battlefield 3 juggernaut is more than hype – it’s a gut response to what he believes is a quality product across the board.

“Where does our optimism come from?” He asks. “I would say it’s simply our experience in making the Battlefield games. We have an amazing engine. To look at the package of Battlefield, there’s so much to it.

“You have everything to small team deathmatch, to the full journey through a single player, to squad deathmatch – there’s a full, wide palette of possibilities. This time it feels like we’ve really stretched ourselves, and listened to feedback from the community.

“Our optimism is similar to how we felt about Battlefield 1942 when that was in development,” he continues. “When we’re playing in the office, we know it’s a really rock solid game. This time round we’ve done so much and improved so much. We’ve put so much into it.”

The FPS genre is, in a sense, a continual exchange of ideas – where innovations are constantly being shared, implemented and improved upon with subsequent releases. Battlefield has innovated within this space before, but it has also borrowed from the best – we wondered in Lars could think of any specific influences that affected the development of Battlefield 3.

“I’m not sure if I should pin point one,” he begins, reluctantly. “Well, Conquest was a game I was definitely inspired by – Day of Defeat, with its flag system is another. And the medic in Battlefield 2 was definitely inspired by Enemy Territory: Quake Wars’ medic system.

“That’s the beauty of the games industry. You might hear rumours of developers going after each other but for the most part it’s a friendly environment. And you borrow freely – it’s the team that executes the feature best that will be remembered.”

That word: ‘remembered’. In the world of PC gaming in particular, it’s one thing to shift millions of units, it’s another create and maintain the kind of community that Counter Strike: Source, Team Fortress 2 and Call of Duty 4 currently have. You get the impression that’s precisely what DICE are shooting for with Battlefield 3.

“Really I want our game to be remembered for giving gamers a fresh take on the shooter,” claims Gustavsson. “Hopefully Battlefield 3 feels like it took the first person shooter to the next level and made the competition look a bit old and stale.”


    • If only the BF 3 fanboy abuse of fans of other games, Ritticello being a douche and trashing a game (Mw3) that hasn’t even been released yet. a horrible beta and Pc focused bonuses to gameplay have all driven back towards Halo and AC.

      • No offence to players of consoles, but games should be completely optomised for PCs as well- we pay a lot of money for our hardware to ensure it’s far more powerful and capable of processing games over consoles, why shouldn’t we get rewarded for our loyalty? After all games started off on PCs long before consoles game about… Yes, I realise consoles are where the majority of the ‘gaming community’ money is nowadays but still it’s not like you guys are getting screwed over because EA/Dice have spent all their time optomising for PC then porting a crappy product over to the consoles (like PC players have to suffer with most of time, especially with Call of Duty now that you mention it…)! So really, try looking at it from the other perspective, why should consoles get prioritised all the time just because there are more people that happen to buy them?! Again yes money makes the world go round and please don’t flame me for speaking out against console fanboys or for being a “pc fanboy” but consoles aren’t everything, we’re all equal!

    • Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience (viewers, readers or listeners) to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services.

      Assuming this is correct it would mean that game reviews are also advertising. It’s all in the eye of the beholder. You can’t talk about a product without advertising it.

      • Still get people complaining even when Kotaku delivers orginal content that is relevant to gaming today. Can’t catch a break eh? 😉

      • I’m not tring to be rude, but why do you never ask the hard questions? Its always some fluff about how awesome they are.

        Server browser, local servers, reason for choosing the map they did for the beta, still only 24 players on console, features seem to be going backwards from previous titles.
        These are the things I am interested in.

        • I guess I’ll take that one on the chin. I went to this interview last minute – not a fan of the series or the game. I probably should have done better with the questions.

          You can’t accuse me of not asking the hard questions – if you check my past work you’ll see that this is the exception rather than the rule. 🙂

        • there never was gonna be any more the 24 players on console. This was explained from day 1. something about consoles being a steaming POS….

        • grow some balls – save some money – get a good gaming pc – and get over your console fetish… they are outdated with their abilities, compared to a gaming PC nowadays.

  • “We’re bringing something fresh to a market which, to be honest, has gone a bit stale recently,” says Gustavsson. “There are so many shooters out there and they all come from the same recipe”.

    Seriously? As much as I am looking forward to this game, it could easily have been just an expansion pack or DLC for bad company 2.

        • its funny that, mine didnt crash once. Aside froma couple of glitches that got fixed pretty quick, I had an awesome time playing the beta. Although admittedly it got a little old playing metro over and over.

      • Yes I did play the beta and I was amazed at how similar it looked to bad company 2, even with all the work gone into the engine. Obviously it looks ‘better’ but its not so far removed as most people are saying.

        What I’m pointing out is how DICE are trying to claim this is a ‘fresh’ gaming experience but it really isn’t. It’s the same gameplay experience since the first BF game.

        It’s still a day one purchase for me, better than all the competition.

  • All of EA and Activision’s dick swinging has drained my enthusiasm for MW3 AND BF3. I’ll buy both sure, but they better be freaking fantastic.

    It sounds as though scale is the only thing DICE are adding to this “stale recipe.”

  • I went hands on with both Battlefield 3 and MW3 over the weekend. While MW3 was a lot of fun, it felt identical to MW2… and MW1 for that matter. It definitely got the heart rate going and succeeded in providing the COD experience so many enjoy, but I honestly felt like I’d played it before. Also, it wasn’t the final build, but the graphics weren’t as impressive as Black Ops – the whole game seemed to have a washed out, grey-brown hue. I played way too much Black Ops in the last year, I don’t think I’ll do the same with this one.

    Battlefield 3, on the other hand, was very impressive, particularly the animations and sound – Enemies reacted realistically and fluidly when hit in specific body parts and the sound effects were incredible. The fluidity of the frame-rate and movement were much improved over Bad Company 2. I found the console versions of BC2 kinda jerky but this was a serious step up. Even though it is technically still capped at 30fps, it feels much smoother than BC2. It really did feel ‘fresh’.

  • “And the medic in Battlefield 2 was definitely inspired by Enemy Territory: Quake Wars’ medic system”

    Should that be Battlefield 3?

  • I played the BF3 Beta. Personally, I thought it was rubbish. Yet another campers heaven…big maps without enough players..basically quite similar to Homefront I thought, which was yet another COD clone. I play MAG – Massive Action Game on PS3 – its an online only shooter with up to 256 players. I’ve put in over 2000 hours into that game and its the best FPS I have ever played. tough learning curve and its not for little kids, it requires some tactics and brains…but its far superior to BF3…you can pick it up for less than 20 bucks pre-owned these days…top buy…give it a go yall

    • Why would anyone trust a person who judges a game based on its beta? Also, big maps with few players is the exact opposite of a camper’s heaven. I’ve never actually played MAG but from what I hear it’s just Battlefield with more players and less impressive graphics.

    • I’ve played MAG to be honest i hated it you get shot nearly 5 seconds after you spawn 128 noobs trying to get through 1 tiny gap in the fence

      and no one can say big maps until they play fuel

  • @Mark Serrels You should like it because it’s definitely one of (if not) best FPS out there, Showing a bit of biased attitude, just like in your past PS magazines

  • I had several seconds to play the demo at the EB Games Expo. Very disappointed in their presentation, and felt like they didn’t want you to buy the game at all.

    I had to wait 3hours in a queue to play a few seconds of game. When I finally managed to get to a PS3 terminal to play, I had to wait through a massively long loading screen, which was just a black screen (I thought it may have crashed because it was so long), and then it went into an unskippable cutscene (who makes games with unskippable cutscenes these days other than Metal Gear?) which I had wait again to finish. When it was finally time to actually start running down the hill with the mortar (no shooting yet), my time was over and I had to get off the terminal. What the?
    Why would they set up a demo where the user has to sit through an extended loading screen, AND THEN an unskippable cutscene. On a limited time terminal? What were they thinking? Purposely trying to annoy potential purchasers? I already had my pre-order weeks ago, but they certainly were trying extremely hard to stop people from buying the game.

  • I’ll be getting it but not sure if I like the changes from Bad Company 2, the engineer seems nerfed and there’s a lot of one-hit kills (also I found it very hard to resus people as the Assault compared to BC2 like you had to be way more accurate)

    • the one hit kills is/was a pretty big bug brought up with the guys @dice. Afaik this has been addressed. The engineer aint nerfed, you can now carry mines as well as a rpg/stinger, thats double the tankbusting ability

  • Games try to hard nowadays! Battlefield 3 will be remembered as “The third Battlefield game” and not much else. It might be the game that “Brought back jets” or “Seemed a bit like Medal of Honour at times” but it being revolutionary is a big doubt.

    Call of Duty is made to be simplistic, unrealistic and easy for anyone to play without much stress. It has easily made its way through loads in advertising to become the “game for the non-gamers”. Battlefield may become the pinnacle for gamers but it won’t be able to overthrow this offhand buy.

    Either DICE manages to convert more non-gamers to gamers or they make a really simple game that is not very impressive but a non-gamer could pick it up easily and start playing with no experience. Something that would make loyal fans angry.

  • The FPS genre has become STALE – very good words. I cannot wait for BF3 – I’ll be playing on PC and PS3 (because of my chump mates who dont own pimpin gaming machines like i do). MW3 is going to continue with the stale FPS set up – as it has since modern warfare 1. BF3 is the future for the next 2 yrs

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