On Thursday in San Francisco, Electronic Arts and DICE held a Battlefield 3 Final Hours Event to showcase their highly anticipated game in action before its October 25 launch date. With the recent beta and launch being less than three weeks away, we had the opportunity to sample quite a bit of content, and here is what we can bring to you.
On the multiplayer side of things, we played a number of different multiplayer maps, but the two we can mention today were Grand Bazaar and Operation Firestorm. For the former, you'll be in a crowded market area in what appears to be downtown Tehran, Iran. The multiplayer mode we played was Rush, and we had the opportunity to play as both attackers and defenders. Although the map contained a lot of narrow alleys and tight corridors, there were a few areas where tanks could be used. And when used correctly, they really altered the course of a match.
For Operation Firestorm, our multiplayer mode was Conquest. Here, it was all about capturing various points on the map and controlling them long enough to achieve victory. This is capture the flag but on a much larger scale because there are five target areas that must be controlled to achieve victory. This desert locale of the map was extremely large and offered many opportunities to utilize air units, such as fighter jets and helicopters. In our match, there was a lot of action, both above and below ground, with ground units having to deal with attacks from tanks and incoming air strikes from fighter jets.
When we stopped playing around with multiplayer, our focus shifted toward the game's upcoming co-op mode. There will be a number of missions available to play with a friend, but the one we got to try out was called Hit and Run. You and your partner begin the mission in an office room, having just recovered some very important intel. Of course, your foes know that you have it and want to stop you, so you're going to have to shoot your way through the complex and secure an automobile in the garage to escape. Unfortunately, our headsets weren't working properly during the match so we had some difficulty coordinating our efforts early on and were quickly killed off.
Thankfully, though, we did manage to communicate and began planning our escape. The initial part of the mission had us trying to clear a room that had foreign attackers rushing in at us. There are a number of different entry points that enemies can attack from, so knowing which areas to cover is extremely important. Because those points can change from one attempt to the next, moving fast makes all the difference. After clearing that room, a door opened and a hallway became available for us to progress through; of course, this also made way for more enemies. As we attempted to rush through this area, enemies from a building across the street began to snipe at us. Here, it's best to crouch and not bother firing at the snipers by focusing all of your attacks at the next hallway in front of you.
After making it through a firefight in one large area with enemies on two floors, we entered a section where we were pinned against the wall. Then, we had to separate from our partner. In this particular area, there will be two entrances on two different floors and you'll both have to attack the next area on your own. One will try to clear the room from above while the other does it from the ground. This was probably the most difficult portion for us because the upper section was essentially a dead end, and if one character fell during this fight, getting to him and reviving him could result in that character's death as well.
That's where our talk about this particular map ends, but it was far from over. Expect a few more corridors and office areas with enemies to confront. Then, there is the grand finale and a rush to the exit.
This wouldn't be called a content overload if we only talked about multiplayer and co-op. Of course, we got to play the first few missions of the game's single-player. The first real mission in the game has you and your squadmates in the middle of Tehran. Earlier this year, EA and DICE released a series of trailers showcasing a mission where a character shot an RPG at an enemy in a building across the way, defused a bomb, and then got stuck in the middle of an earthquake. Well, Operation Sword Breaker is that mission, and it plays out with the same intensity of the trailers.
The second mission is entitled Uprising and takes place immediately following the earthquake. You're alive but separated from your party so you need to avoid the enemy, try to secure a weapon, and hope to regroup with other members of your squad or anyone that doesn't want you dead. This mission wasn't very long, but the first few moments where we were trying to avoid enemy contact and crawl through the debris were quite gripping.
The third and final mission we played, called Going Hunting, took place around the same time as Uprising, but here, you play as fighter pilot Lt. Jennifer Colby Hawkins. You and your partner are flying high in the skies, and as the gunner, you're in charge of eliminating all incoming opposition. You don't fly the plane in this mission but are responsible early on to trigger countermeasures and shoot guns and missiles at the number of foes that are trying to take you out. Halfway through the mission, your role slightly changes and you become a marker, pointing out enemies scattered around the airport below and assisting in eliminating all threats.
We absorbed quite a bit of information, and there is still a lot more content coming your way. On top of the two multiplayer maps already touched upon, we got to try out many others and will be talking about them the following week. We'll touch upon what they are and how they looked, which should prepare you for what to expect once you begin playing in a couple of weeks. Again, Battlefield 3 hits the PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 on October 25.