DICE, the studio behind the upcoming Battlefield 3 first person shooter, has just presented a full list of details about the nine multiplayer maps that are included in the regular edition of the game, highlighting some of the design decisions taken by the development team during the creation process of the new title.
Battlefield 3 is certainly one of the most anticipated games of the year, at least by shooter fans who want to see if it's capable of competing against the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, coming next month from Activision.
DICE and Electronic Arts, the two companies behind Battlefield 3, have held a special open multiplayer beta stage
for the title across the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 platforms, and have now presented a full list of details concerning the online mode and the maps included for it as standard.
Overall, there are nine maps in the new shooter, across five multiplayer modes, including Conquest, Rush, Team Deathmatch, Squad Deathmatch and Squad Rush.
The maps include already familiar levels like Operation Metro and Caspian Border, but also new ones inspired from the single-player campaign.
Operation MetroOperation Métro is the map from E3 and the Open Beta, so some of you are familiar with it already. It is a map that perfectly illustrates that we want to take our players on a journey. Especially in Rush, you can see how Operation Métro is almost three maps within one: You start out in a lush park, then move into a bombed-out section of the subway tunnels, to finally emerge in a dense urban environment outside the Paris stock exchange. It’s a map that asks you to constantly adapt your class and load out for the diverse situations you will find yourself in.Caspian Border
Caspian Border was meant to encapsulate the classic Battlefield all-out vehicle warfare gameplay, and also to be a lush and green contrast to the more urban and desert maps in Battlefield 3. The border control splitting the map in two was introduced to add an interesting break both visually and gameplay wise in the otherwise beautiful and open landscape. Caspian Border is one of the obvious map choices if you are after the full vehicle experience, as base distances are generally too long to cover by foot. Pretty much every type of vehicle is available in this map.
We knew we wanted to do something very urban in the city center of Tehran. The fiction has you coming in two weeks after fighting started, so the tight and narrowly built city has a great deal of destruction already when you spawn into the game. Grand Bazaar is a classically mirrored map where both sides have very similar pathways, sideways, and possibilities to traverse heights to get a better view of the action. It’s a very short range close quarter combat map where shotguns tend to be favored.
Seine Crossing has two sections of Paris split in the middle by the river Seine. Seine Crossing has a number of larger roads for vehicles to patrol, while infantry can sneak through tight alleyways and climb staircases to reach second or third levels inside buildings to reach a better tactical position – unless the enemy takes down the building facades. The final M-COM stations in Rush are placed inside a bank building, which is the largest indoor environments of this map and forces the attackers to slightly change tactics.
When we set out to do Noshahr Canals, we wanted to contrast the urban and rural with something more industrial. So we set Noshahr Canals up as an industrial harbor, featuring a mix of infantry, land vehicle, and boat gameplay. The attackers in Rush start out on an carrier ship and can reach the beachhead by amphibious vehicles, boats, and helicopters. All of the bases on the map have an industrial theme but still have different styles, like a train yard, dry dock, or airfield. Compared with the larger vehicle maps in the game, this allows for tighter infantry combat.
Kharg Island is our second map with boat gameplay. Thematically it’s representing an assault against Kharg island in the Persian sea, an industrialized island not far from the Iranian coast. The map is slightly more focused on vehicles with longer distance between flags than for example Noshahar Canals. In the Rush game mode, the beach assault begins on the coastline with a well-defended beach you need to break through to create a beachhead for further attacks on the island, before it opens up wider in the later part of the map.
One of our largest and most vehicle-friendly map, Operation Firestorm is the classic Battlefield gameplay taken to the extremes. Size-wise, and with some puzzle skills, you could actually place three Atacama Deserts -- one of the largest maps from Battlefield: Bad Company 2 -- within the playable area of Operation Firestorm. This is a wide-open desert map where the burning oil fields in one direction are contrasted by clear blue sky in the other direction. Construction sites dotting the area bring interesting possibilities for infantry to hide in elevated positions, spot vehicles, and take them down by mortar or RPG.
One of the inspirations for this map was a photo of a night time skyline of Tehran which now is basically the same vista that is available in the game. You start up on the hills above the city outskirts and eventually work your way into town. This atmospheric night-time map, where you can see rockets lighting up the sky, has a balanced mix between vehicle and infantry focus. It plays length-wise and starts semi-open with plenty of room for vehicles, but ends on a much more urban and tight note with less focus on vehicles and more on infantry.
Damavand Peak, internally known as Base Jump, is built on the idea that we want players to be able to base jump, and features our most extreme height differences ever in a Battlefield map. Attackers in Rush and Squad Rush will start high up on a mountain ridge above a mining facility. The only way down into the valley is to somehow make the 500 meter descent. The further the attackers progress in the map, the more vehicle warfare will be present. There is also a large tunnel section dug into the mountain side at the bottom of the map, and the view when you look up at the starting location is spectacular.
Battlefield 3 is out on October 25, in North America, and October 28, in Europe, for the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 platforms.