Battlefield 3 multiplayer, co-op and campaign preview

While the more linear nature of the campaign and co-op modes might ruffle the feathers of Battlefield die-hards, the multiplayer still has the kind of open maps that everyone expects. We only got our mitts on the console versions at this event, but from what we played, each multiplayer map is at least as big as what we remember from Bad Company 2. We were also glad to see some radical departures in the multiplayer map design.

If we had to single out our favorite map from what we played, Damavand Peak would be it. Damavand is a Rush map, and what makes it interesting is how it handles the spawn points. At one point the attacker’s spawn becomes a cliffside bunker with a sheer drop off. The next defending base is a couple of hundred feet down. While you could take one of the helicopters and gently set yourself down like a pretty princess, real men base jump off the bunker and pull their chute before they splatter all over the objective.

If that wasn’t fun enough, the final base in the map has you pressing into a tight tunnel that usually pitches two tanks against one another in tight quarters as the attacking infantry try to slip past unnoticed. While it may lack a bit of the signature Battlefield map openness, it’s a lot of fun. Just be prepared for confused players to idle around the bunker for 5-10 minutes before they realize they have to jump.

Above: Battlefield 3's lighting is gorgeous, especially at night

With just over two weeks to go, Battlefield 3 is looking ready to go toe to toe with one of the biggest franchises in gaming history. While the single player component is trying to beat Modern Warfare at its own game, the multiplayer remains very Battlefield, minimizing the focus on twitch skills in favor of tactics and teamwork. And that’s a point in their favor, even if it’s skewing more in the direction of Bad Company 2 rather than Battlefield 2.

Oct 7, 2011