As you may have seen, GamePron is getting a little bit excited about Battlefield 3. We've checked out the multiplayer, a little single-player, and over the weekend had the chance to catch up with Creative Director at DICE, the Lead Designer of Battlefield 3, Lars Gustavsson.
The (very tall) Gustavsson had just stepped off stage where he'd given a keynote presentation about the game, complete with a big-screen trailer, spotlights scanning the crowd, pyrotechnics and stunt-men rapelling from the ceiling. He's spent the last decade working on some of the most iconic shooters on the market, and told us about how those experiences have helped shape the future of Battlefield 3, which is set to take the world by storm later this month.
He also touched on the Back to Karkand expansion pack, due out in a month or so (including a revamped Wake Island map!), shed a little more light on how Battlelog will work and outlined the steps DICE is taking to ensure the smoothest possible launch for BF3.
(Hint: A big step is the recent open beta, which divided the community while providing masses of feedback. More than 47 billion shots were fired in the closed beta, 19 million dog tags captured and more than 20 million comms stations were destroyed - so people really do like to play on mission!).
The game itself, in case you'd forgotten, makes good use of the impressive new Frostbite 2 engine (which has its roots in EA Sports titles, of all things). Expect more destruction, better sound and shinier graphics - and (wait for it) dense urban areas, handled with ease.
Combine all that with a deep, action-packed storyline, massive multiplayer (64 person on PC!), and all manner of vehicles and weapons, plonked onto one of the largest maps we've seen in an FPS, and you've got a winning combination.
Battlefield 3 is due out in just a few days - October 25th in North America, October 27th in Australia and October 28th in Europe - and we can hardly wait.
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Jimmy the Geek