Battlefield 3 is almost upon us and last week saw the open beta go live. It was downloaded so much it even crashed the Origin servers so you can imagine just how popular and anticipated this CoD rival is. The beta lets you play on the Operation Metro map in Rush mode which sees you trying to attack or defend two M-COM stations at various places in the map and then progress towards the next set. It’s just a taster of what the whole game has to offer but already it’s looking very tasty as well.
The 32 player stage begins in a leafy area of Paris as a plane crashes overhead. You’re then thrown straight into the firefight around two stations by a park. Once these are gone, it’s into the tight interior of the metro station itself with carriages and corridors to fight through. You then make your way onto the concourse for more bullet exchanges and finally through to the other side around some tower blocks which offer some elevated sniping positions. It’s a nice mix of gameplay and you’ll really have to use tactics if you want to win. Because Battlefield 3 plays more on realism you can’t just run and gun. Points are awarded for resupplying your teammates, spotting enemies or laying down suppressing fire, you actually mantle over objects so can’t fire whilst jumping over walls and even have to put an arm down whilst going prone. It really makes you think about where you are in the combat zone. Weapons feel fantastic and of course the environments are destructible which means tiles and mortar flying all over the place if bullets don’t hit their intended targets.
Of course it’s not all perfect at the moment though. That’s why it’s a beta. There are artefacts all over the place and some balancing issues when it comes to spawning on your teammates in the heart of the battle. At the moment when you spawn it’s possible to be instantly shot as you appear or teleport behind an enemy and shoot them in the back – something that’s definitely NOT realistic.
It’s also incredibly addictive earning ribbons for all your efforts and levelling up, earning laser sights, suppressors and gadgets as you go. This is only a small taster of the Battlefield 3’s multiplayer offering and even on the Xbox 360 it’s looking good. There’ll be a full review as soon as I get my hands on it.
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