In this day and age, certain series are synonymous with their genres. For MMOs there is World of Warcraft, for open-world action games there is the Grand Theft Auto series, and for RPGs there is Final Fantasy. Although a relative newcomer to achieve this status, Call of Duty is that series when it comes to military shooters. However, the Battlefield series has become the secondary choice and it is looking to change that this year.

Technical Stuff

Taking a look at the various videos that the developer, DICE, have put up, there is one thing that is quite obvious; this is a beautiful game. The guns and equipment are fully detailed. The backgrounds are almost photorealistic. To achieve this feat, this game uses the newly developed Frostbite 2 game engine. Another feature of this engine is its lighting system. It allows the team to set an enormous amount of lights and create a more realistic world. The game also uses a new animation engine called ANT. It allows for much smoother transitions between the character’s actions. From the first trailer, people have been astounded by how the game looks and hopefully it will continue that tradition.

Battlefield 3 Gameplay Trailer

By now you’ve probably already checked this out, but its so delicious we just had to take another look. Also if this just isn’t enough, check out the full length (12 mins) clip at the end of the post.

Battlefield 3 Single Player

The single-player campaign takes place on the Iran/Iraq border and players will take on the role of Staff Sergeant Black of the U.S. Marine Corps. An interesting feature of the single-player mode is the objective based gameplay. For example, in one scene, a teammate sends you down into the basement of a building to follow a wire that they believe is connected to a bomb.

Once he reaches the bomb, an enemy combatant attacks him. After dispatching the enemy, he hurriedly turns disarms the bomb and races back to the streets because his comrades are being attacked. In another scene, a sniper is attacking your team. The team ascends a building and then, after sneaking across the roof, the player fires a rocket launcher at the sniper taking him out of action. This is an excellent approach to the single player part of the game unlike the wave-based system in other shooters.

This game also includes the option to destroy the environment around you. For example, if you shoot at a enemies cover long enough, you can chip it away to reveal them. Or, you could forgo all of the wasted ammo and just send a rocket into the building above them and watch it fall on top of them. All of the guns in the game feature different firing modes (full auto, burst, single shot, etc…) and also different types of ammo. The team at DICE is using the lessons the Learned from the Bad Company series to craft a more engaging single-player experience.

Battlefield 3 Multiplayer

There have not been many details on the multiplayer, but what has been released shows that the Battlefield series is trying to distinguish itself from the many other first-person multiplayer experiences. One aspect they are adding back to the series that they took out for the Battlefield: Bad Company series is the aerial combat. The game will also have vehicular combat. Both of these things are admittedly absent from most military shooters. The PC version will also sport 64-player battles. Because of the smaller number of players on consoles, they will not have access to this feature.

It has also been revealed that Battlefield 3 will have a site that tracks their statistics as well as your friend list, a feed of what your friends are doing, a voice chat option and other social tools. Although there is a lack of info regarding the multiplayer, DICE’s expertise regarding multiplayer is sure to shine through.

This game will be released sometime in the fourth quarter of 2011 for PC, PlayStation 3 And Xbox 360. We’ll come back with more as its available – for now feast your eyes on this 12 minute preview of Battlefield 3 gameplay – dubbed “Fault line”.