What game is all the rage this year? Make no mistake; besides strong anticipation for the Call of Duty series, our next contender is Electronic Art’s “Battlefield 3″. The name itself needs no introduction. Evan Shamoon of Stars and Stripes reported that “expectations are sky high” for the third series and that “early footage of the game revealed a spectacular degree of realism and fidelity.”
So how do they keep up with the hype, anticipation and deliver the best expectation as well as gameplay for gamers out there?
Lead story designer David Goldfarb said, “Starting a completely new franchise is difficult, no matter how much time you have. If there’s one thing I’m proud of above all else, it would have to be the tone of the game. Frankly, it’s really hard to walk the tightrope of the fantasy that players want and the uncompromising realities of war—and ultimately we are still making entertainment, not a simulation. It’s exceptionally hard to do something different and even harder to do it well.”
“Battlefield 3″ is set near the Iraq/Iran border where the story reflects how the U.S. Marine Corps are at war with the People’s Liberation and Resistance, through four main characters. This is the main difference in Battlefield 3. The story is very much non-linear and players do not control a single character. Almost similar to Call of Duty, the gamer will play multiple characters within a “frame narrative”.
Goldfarb explained, “Combat for us is serious business. The entire audiovisual experience, the way the guns sound and handle, the way the world sounds and looks, the physicality of your body hitting the dirt, of seeing enemy fire rip away at the jersey barrier in front of you—this was at the core of our ambition for ‘Battlefield 3,’ to get people to feel the chaos of a firefight.”
“In Battlefield: Bad Company 2, you could more or less destroy everything with a 40mm grenade launcher, which was fun but doesn’t really fit the game we’re making now,” Goldfarb added. “What we’ve done this time out was ensure that when you have a destructive weapon, you can expect it to be destructive in a more realistic manner.”
EA brought in former SAS operative and soldier Andy McNabb to add realism into the game’s story and environments.
McNabb said, “I was first asked by DICE to help weave together the different storyline strands which make up the levels of the game. I worked with the team by providing ideas on how the action might play out and, just as importantly, giving possible reasons as to why the action might go in a particular way. I gave advice on how soldiers talk, act and think.”
Gameplay designer Alan Kertz also added, “In multiplayer, we really wanted to capture the feeling of rounds in the air that we’ve been missing in so many shooters. Getting shot at is a frightening experience in real life, but in videogames, unless you take a hit, you’re not afraid…Battlefield’s stand-out feature has always been large maps with all-out vehicle warfare. That means we don’t just focus on infantry, but we work with the entire Combined Arms, including boots on the ground, jets, choppers, and a full range of land combat vehicles.”