Battlefield 3 breaks GDC: play impressions, shots, video

Wednesday, 2nd March 2011 08:00 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

EA DICE finally lifted the lid on Battlefield 3 gameplay at GDC today, showing a military shooter causing earthquakes in more ways than one.

Battlefield 3

Developed by EA-owned, Sweden based DICE.

IP first launched in 2002 with Battlefield 1942.

Battlefield 3 will release in late 2011 for PC, 360 and PS3.

Battlefield 3′s Patrick Bach took to the GDC stage today to announce PC as the game’s its lead platform, using it to demo part of the single-player campaign. PC gamers will no doubt be very happy right now.

Focus on PC aside, though, DICE’s flagship franchise has come a long way since it first burst onto the scene in 2002 with Battlefield 1942, transforming from an IP put on a pedestal by PC shooter fanatics into the modern multiplatform title that is Battlefield 3.

Watching the demo in San Francisco this evening, running on the fresh Frostbite 2 engine, it’s obvious what DICE is planning behind the scenes with BF3 – to knock Call of Duty off its perch.

“DICE stands for three core values,” said DICE GM Karl-Magnus Troedsson. “Quailty, innovation, and fun or joy, whatever you want to call it. Whatever we do when it comes to games, or movies or anything having to do with our products – we want quality. We always want to try to surpass what we did last time.

“Innovation comes in many different forms, it can be specifically new features or new genres, but it is always something we feel strongly about. We want to continue to innovate in whatever we do. We can’t just release another title year after year after year. We want to challenge ourselves to go further, and then beyond that.

The rendering in the game is phenomenal.

“And of course – fun. We are making entertainment, and hopefully everyone agrees, we need to have fun at work because if we don’t – you won’t have fun playing the game.

“We also pride ourselves by being at the forefront when it comes to new technology. So today we are going to show you guys the Frostbite 2 engine, which is a big evolution and a step forward in the advancement of Battlefield games. We also pride ourselves at being at the forefront of emerging technology as well as new distribution methods and ways to consume games.”


The game’s demo took place near the Iraq and Iran border, with the player and the rest of a team of marines being shaken shaken by earthquake tremors.

The rendering in the game is phenomenal. The way the light plays off the debris in the streets and alleyways, the destroyed market, even the way the sunlight trickles through smoke billowing off a burning truck looks a step beyond anything we’ve seen in the genre before.

The soldier animation seemed fluid. The uncanny valley in the facial graphics was not as uncanny as some, and the detail on the weapons is, well, highly detailed. You could see the nicks in the metal, even.

When the demo’s shooting started, the player was met with waves of different enemies, and was forced a machine gun and try to take out snipers across the street in a hotel. The team decided, as the player was crawling around the top of a building, that trying to snipe the sniper was pointless – a nearby rocket launcher was preferred to take on the job.

When shooting at enemies, minor destruction is caused. When you shoot a concrete wall in front of an enemy, it crumbles away enough for you to get a clear shot. Major destruction is caused when the player used said rocket launcher on a hotel to rid himself of a sniper, and a hole the size of Tehran appeared. The large hotel sign crashed down, and glass shards from the building went everywhere.

EA how now released an incredible gameplay
video of the demo described here. This is
apparently taken from a pre-alpha build.

When finished with shooting soldiers behind cars on the streets, or taking out snipers in a hotel with rocket launchers, the player was then tasked with following a red wire which led into a nearby building. Of course, the red wire is attached to something ready to go boom and ruin your day, so he had to follow it and disarm the bomb.

To get to the room with the explosive, he had to go through the building’s air duct system, and in it saw rats and felt more earthquake tremors, which caused dust to fly.

A local tried to stop the bomb disposer as he entered the room. This is when a QTE started. The screen provided the player with prompts to help take out the attacker in hand-to-hand combat,. Left mouse click does this, right mouse click does that.

“It’s taken us a bit of a while to actually do a sequel to Battlefield 2,” said Troedsson. “It was released in 2005, and when it actually came out we thought we’d try to take online a couple of big steps forward. We plan to do that with Battlefield 3 as well. Not only with the online, but the core and the single-player. It is all about creating that full, blockbuster value that is so important when releasing a big title like this.

“We also want to create fuller, more immersive and physical experiences, and in order to do that we felt it was again necessary to upgrade the engine. We did this with Bad Company with Frostbite 1, and now again with BF3 and Frostbite 2.”

Patrick Bach, executive producer, BF3 said that the reason DICE created a newer version of the Frostbite engine was so the team could build the BF game that they had always dreamed of.

“DICE stands for three core values,” said DICE GM Karl-Magnus Troedsson. “Quailty, innovation, and fun.”

The engine allowed them to use a new animation system seen in the FIFA games called ANT, which stands for Animation Toolkit. It is also present in Crysis 2, and it allows the engine to produce raw animations, like dragging your wounded marine buddy into cover in a realistic manner.

Also, with the new Frostbite 2 engine, the team was able to take destruction to a whole new level – it plays a huge part in BF3, on both the smaller and larger ends of the scale.

Destruction was going on all around the marines in the demo shown, but it really came into play in the demo during another scripted task. A marine was ordered to shoot a turret at enemies, but just as he got settled into the back of an armed vehicle, the earthquake hit full force and buildings came crashing down. The ground opened wide and got pushed upward, and just all sorts of general hell broke loose as the city started to crumble around marines and insurgents alike.

EA has been wanting to steal the FPS genre away from Activision for quite some time. BF3 looks like the publisher may finally have a fighting chance.

Battlefield 3 releases for PC, PS3 and 360 in late 2011.



  1. Tiago Leite

    Just nitpicking Stephany… but can you change the engine’s name from Frostbyte to Frostbite? That’s the accurate name of the engine. :)

    BTW: This game ROCKS!!

    #1 4 years ago
  2. mathare92

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

    Bobby Kotick just shat his pants.


    #2 4 years ago
  3. sickgamer

    i will have sex with the disk before playing this game ! its fucking awesome !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Naaame

    @3 I hope your not that small O.o

    But your right this does look like a possible Call of Duty killer

    #4 4 years ago
  5. sickgamer

    @4 bohahaha xD i was just kiddin :P

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Erthazus


    PC VERSION is the Priority.

    Thank god, fuck these old 2 2006 machines. Game looks GORGEOUS.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Blerk

    Butches? :-D

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Patrick Garratt

    I’m pretty fucking butch for this game, I have to say. Nearly made my eyes fall out of my head.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Erthazus


    stupid Edit button.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. Schindet Nemo


    I don’t think Call of Duty can be killed unless Activision is oversaturating the market with annual sequels of decreasing quality.. oh wait

    #10 4 years ago
  11. Erthazus

    Yeah, game rocked my socks off, but i wish they will say something about system requirements, because i think i will upgrade my hardware… Or i hope not, so i can buy NGP this year.

    and they should also show console version. I think it will look decent.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Yoshi

    Firstly I gotta say I love the voice acting. It’s not the typical ‘AMERICA FUCK YA’ voice acting if you know what I mean. Plus at the end there where they are getting a status from everyone is awesome
    Secondly, watch out for how they hide the swears ;)
    Thirdly, it’s nice to see they don’t just rush in and they’re actually searching around in several buildings

    Also see that accurancy? That proves it’s the PC version :)

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Yoshi

    @12 + Another thing. It’s nice to see the player character not leading for once and is with his squad :)

    #13 4 years ago
  14. Erthazus

    “Also see that accurancy? That proves it’s the PC version”

    It’s not more of an accuracy, there is a QTE moment where you press WASD on the keyboard.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. Yoshi

    @14 Yeh, I just mean if that QTE moment wasn’t there you could still tell :)

    #15 4 years ago
  16. Crysis

    @3, Use a condom!

    #16 4 years ago
  17. NeoSquall

    Oh God Oh God Oh God.

    Wait a sec, I’m gonna change my pants…

    #17 4 years ago
  18. Nissanthen

    @10 LOL!

    #18 4 years ago
  19. KillerDD

    ‘Based on pre-alpha software’

    They’ve got pretty amazing alpha versions then!

    #19 4 years ago
  20. Fin

    @19 Alpha (or pre-alphas) versions are more complete than you think. Generally they’ve got a few showstopper bugs, and maybe a few features to be added, but are otherwise finished.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. Shonak

    I’m so sold for this game.

    #21 4 years ago
  22. tontsa91

    This is the Call of Duty killer we have been waiting for. And I think this will make some people move from consoles to PC.

    #22 4 years ago
  23. Moonwalker1982

    Looks incredible, and this is great for the pc gamers but i’m mostly a console gamer, i just hope the console version will look and play good too.

    #23 4 years ago
  24. Michael O’Connor

    @22 Don’t hold your breath.

    One should never underestimate the stupidity of the average consumers. They’re always going to just buy the easier, more advertised game.

    #24 4 years ago
  25. DSB

    I think graphics will help you sell a lot the first few weeks, but in the end succes is always going to come down to gameplay. Hopefully that isn’t being left in the dirt.

    I feel for the guys who believe that the console versions won’t affect the game in any way. Didn’t Crytek also say they were a PC company once?

    @24 Ah, right. The Battlefield series was never advertised. This explains everything!

    #25 4 years ago
  26. theevilaires

    That really looked great I fully expect the next gen consoles to come out with their launch titles looking that good. Just thinking of a KZ4 on PS4 looking like this game gets me super excited. I will be buying Battlefield 3 day 1 and I hope I can some how configure my dualshock 3 to play it.

    #26 4 years ago
  27. Hybridpsycho

    @26 Why would you play this with DualShock3 ? XD

    Mouse ‘n keyboard ftw.

    Anyways, this looks awesome! :)

    #27 4 years ago
  28. roni1175

    I remember watching MOH demos a year ago and back than I was really impressed and waiting for the game to come out. when the game came it was beneath me and my friends expectations (beside the sound design and voice acting).

    Remember this game is ported from PC to consoles and we dont really know how it will turn out.

    COD has a great formula that it is hard to beat and a pretty good one as well.

    I loved BFBC2 on my PS3 and I hope this game will rock but its still early to eulogize or underestimates COD future releases

    #28 4 years ago
  29. blackdreamhunk

    pc gaming destroys consoles

    #29 4 years ago
  30. Crysis

    “blah, blah PC gaming is awesome look @ blah, blah”

    #30 4 years ago
  31. Gekidami

    ^Just ignore the little platform Nazi.

    #31 4 years ago
  32. Syrok

    “Platform Nazi”

    Hah! That’s much better than fanboy. :D

    #32 4 years ago
  33. xxJPRACERxx

    Like #1 said the engine name is “Frostbite” not “Frostbyte”. Also, PC version for me, but I’m wondering how this could perform on NGP.

    #33 4 years ago
  34. Yoshi

    @29 You really make us PC gamers look like shit, do you know that?
    Seriously doing a link to some faggots youtube video ohh bravo! *slowly claps*

    #34 4 years ago
  35. albo88

    give me a cigarette? im up ,im up , im fuck up but im up

    sick fucking shit man cant wait

    #35 4 years ago

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