TGS 2011: Battlefield 3 Single-Player Hands-On Preview

We storm into Tehran with our hands-on of a new level from EA's upcoming Battlefield 3.

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Japanese games may logically dominate the Tokyo Games Show, but Western publishers still take the opportunity to showcase their biggest titles for Asia's largest games event. EA has certainly taken this opportunity, showing off a new level from Battlefield 3's upcoming single-player campaign at TGS.

While EA reps didn't disclose at what stage of the game the special level shown at TGS takes place, we do know it's set in the Iranian city of Tehran. The level--which takes place at night--begins with your character Sergeant Blackburn hunkering down with the rest of Misfit Squad on top of a hill on the edge of the city. As you crouch, you hear your orders come through: Meet up with Haymaker Squad in the city and take out a nest of enemies in an apartment block along the way.

The action begins with a desperate run down the hill, with you and Misfit Squad hightailing it down the slope as explosives land around you, throwing chunks of ground into the air and taking out the occasional soldier. As we reached the bottom of the hill, we set up a mortar and then set off an illumination round into the sky to let our brothers in Haymaker Squad know that we were on our way.

A quick boost over a nearby wall saw us enter our first firefight for the level, so we equipped a SCAR-L rifle equipped with an ACOG scope as our weapon of choice. This area looked like a hilly park, with several machine-gun nests dotting the surrounds. We carefully made our way up the hill, picking off enemies from behind cover and trying to flank MG nests wherever possible. At the top of the hill, we reached a choke point where some stairs led up into the apartment building we needed to storm. This section was a little tougher, with enemies streaming down the stories providing cover by shooters perched up on the higher level.

After we managed to make our way through, we found ourselves in a small courtyard. One of our buddies threw a grenade into the ground floor window of the apartment block, taking out the encamped soldiers inside. That was our queue to make our way inside to clear it of enemies, and we switched to an 870 MCS shotgun for close-quarters killing. After clearing the ground floor, we headed toward a waiting transport, which is where the gameplay session ended.

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Even though it was only a brief taste of Battlefield 3's single-player campaign, it was certainly an adrenalin-pumping one, particularly the mad dash down the hill at the start of the level. The shooting was tight and fluid, and we're keen to play more to find out just how this level fits into the game's overall narrative.

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