Squad 51 vs. the Flying Saucers

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Battlefield Report: February 17, 2014
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Battlefield Report: February 17, 2014

There are a lot of speculations and unconfirmed reports loose in the wild. Eventually DICE or EA will set out with a snare and round up the relevant truths of Battlefield 3, but until they decide to open those floodgates we’re left with what little they decide to offer.

Fans of custom outfitting should find a little bit more to like this time around, as DICE is promising some level of visual soldier customization. It won’t be on par with, say - the Rainbow Six: Vegas games...but a mediocre selection of aesthetic choices is expected.

“We now know more than we’ve ever known about how to personalize a uniform team. Your friends will get very happy when they see what they can do with their soldiers.”

Weapon attachments and improvements are also expected to return from their debut in Bad Company 2.

Hardcore mode hasn’t been the huge success that many - myself included - wanted it to be. For one, the loss of HUD elements is a detriment to what has amounted to be very team-oriented gameplay in the normal modes. Second, mounted weapons that have no iron sights lose their crosshairs (a staple of Hardcore), and are virtually unusable. Yet DICE claims to have a specific vision for the future of Hardcore modes, and seems intent to build upon what is already in place.

All signs are also pointing to larger squad sizes. Given that the Xbox Live Party function allows eight people in a Party, and given that both console versions and the PC version feature player counts in multiples of eight...it’s not too much of a stretch to expect to see eight-player squads for Battlefield 3.

While remaining tight-lipped for now, DICE confirms that a “theater mode” exists for internal purposes, and that they have been exploring ways to implement it into the retail game.

Frostbite 2.0 will make use of a plug-in system that has been used most recently in EA Sports games. Called ANT, the plug-in is being tweaked to provide what is purported to be the most realistic soldier animations yet. Visual aids show soldiers moving into cover with every footfall accounted for - no “sliding” in multiplayer.

Two of the most anticipated “additions” are actually features that are returning after taking a hiatus during the Bad Company mini-series. These are fighter jets, and the ability to make your soldier go prone. DICE is paying special attention to both, as they realize the need to maintain a strict balance. Jet speeds will be nerfed, and going prone will be countered by visible muzzle flashes and vapor trace lines on bullet trajectories.

All of this has been gleaned from the current issue of Game Informer, and from several recent previews. The Battlefield games have a special place in the hearts of gamers who enjoy playing as a cooperative team against other player conglomerates, and Battlefield 3 looks to continue the fine tradition of delivering a classic experience filled with new possibilities.

Check back later today, when we’ll lasso some new Battlefield 3 co-op details for you.