Battlefield 3 (commonly abbreviated BF3) is a first-person shooter video game developed by EA Digital Illusions CE and published by Electronic Arts. It is a direct sequel to 2005's Battlefield 2, and the twelfth installment in the Battlefield franchise.
The game was released in North America on 25 October 2011 and in Europe on 28 October 2011 for Microsoft Windows,PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. EA Mobile also confirmed a port for the iOS platform. The game sold 5 million copies in its first week of release, and received critical acclaim from most game reviewers. It is the first game in the series that does not support versions of Windows prior to Windows Vista as the game only supports DirectX 10 and 11. The PC version is exclusive to EA'sOrigin platform, through which PC users also authenticate when connecting to the game.
In campaign mode, players take on the personas of several military roles; a Force Recon Marine, an F-18 weapons system officer, an M1A2 Abrams tank operator, and a GRU operative. The campaign takes place at various locations, from Iran to New York, and follows the story of Sergeant Blackburn and later, Dimitri Mayakovsky.
Battlefield 3 features the combined arms battles that made the series popular across single-player, co-operative and multiplayer modes. It reintroduces several elements absent from the Bad Company games, including fighter jets, the prone position and 64-player battles on PC. To accommodate the lower player count on consoles, the ground area is limited for Xbox 360 and PS3, though fly space remains the same.
During an interview with Game Informer, EA stated that Commander Mode is unlikely to be included, which was met with some criticism on the EA forum. The game features maps set in Paris, Tehran (as well as other locations in Iran), Sulaymaniyah, New York, Kuwait, Wake Island, Oman and the Persian Gulf. The maps cover urban streets, metropolitan downtown areas, and open landscapes suited to vehicle combat. Battlefield 3 introduces the "Battlelog"; a free cross-platform social service with built-in text messaging,voice communications, game statistics, and the ability to join games that friends are already playing (though both players need to be on the same platform).
The game's campaign takes place in the year 2014. The missions are flashbacks that are part of the interrogation of Staff Sergeant Blackburn and do not occur in order of events. Chronologically, the initial sections of the campaign are set near the Iraq-Iran border, where the US Marine Corps are fighting the People's Liberation and Resistance (PLR). The game later moves into northern Iran, continuing the fight against the PLR. There is a mission set in the streets of Paris, and another set in the sewers and subways of New York.
A demo featuring the new co-op mode was featured at Gamescom 2011. DICE GM Karl Magnus Troedsson confirmed that a split screen option will not be available in co-op mode. Battlefield 3's new Battlelog social network, DICE noted, would be tied to all co-op matches, allowing players to try to beat friends' scores and to track their performance. It has also been confirmed that participating in co-op mode allows the player to collect points that unlock additional content that can be used in multiplayer.
Battlefield 3's multiplayer matches see players take on one of four roles: Assault, Support, Engineer and Recon. The Assault class focuses on assault rifles and healing teammates. The Support class focuses on LMGs and supplying ammunition. The Engineer class focuses on supporting and destroying vehicles. The Recon class focuses on sniping and spotting enemies. The mechanics of the weapons have been changed to utilize the new engine: compatible weapons may have bipods attached which can then be deployed when in the prone position or near suitable scenery, and provide a significant boost to accuracy and recoil reduction. Suppressive fire from weapons blurs the vision and reduces the accuracy of those under fire, as well as health regeneration. The Recon class can put a radio beacon anywhere on the map and all squad members will be able to spawn on the location of the beacon.
Several game modes are present, including Conquest, Rush, Squad Deathmatch, Squad Rush and for the first time since Battlefield 1942, Team Deathmatch. The PC version of Battlefield 3 is by default launched via a web browser from the Battlelog web site. A server browser is present in console versions of the game, however.
- Staff Sergeant Henry "Black" Blackburn
- A member of the U.S. Marine Corps 1st Reconnaissance Battalion and the game's main protagonist.
- Sergeant Jonathan "Jono" Miller
- Miller is a tank operator, taking part in an operation against the PLR in order to support the USMC forces in Tehran.
- Lieutenant Jennifer "Colby" Hawkins
- Hawkins is an F/A-18 NFO (Naval Flight Officer) responsible for manning her aircraft's weapon systems while participating in an aerial operation over Tehran.
- Dimitri "Dima" Mayakovsky
- A GRU operative deployed in Paris and Northern Iran to stop a nuclear threat.
- The game's main antagonist, he works closely with the PLR, Kaffarov and the CIA.
- Private David Montes
- An American Marine who fights together with Sergeant Henry Blackburn, and is also the last surviving member of his squad.
Set in 2014, Sgt. Blackburn leads a five-man squad on a mission to find and safely return a US squad investigating a possible IED in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq, whose last known position was a market controlled by a hostile militia called the PLR. However an earthquake destroys the city during the firefight with the PLR. Blackburn escapes the ruins with Montes and other survivors. Several weeks later, the US sends Marines into Iran. Naval aviator and F-18 pilot Lt. Hawkins engages fighters over Iran and takes part in an air strike against Mehrabad Airport. In the aftermath of the air strikes, Blackburn and his squad are sent to Tehran to perform battle damage assessment and apprehend the leader of the PLR, Al-Bashir. While investigating an underground vault in the target's suspected location, Blackburn and his team learn that the PLR acquired Russian portable nuclear devices, and that two of the three devices are missing. Being overrun, and requesting back-up, an M1 Abrams convoy led by Sergeant Miller is deployed to extract Blackburn's team. Miller facilitates Blackburn's helicopter extraction, but is captured when waiting for a Quick Reaction Force. Miller is promptly executed by Solomon and Al-Bashir, with the event being filmed.
Later, Blackburn and his squad manage to capture Al-Bashir, who realizes Solomon betrayed him and reveals his plot to detonate the nukes in Paris and New York, before dying from the wounds he sustained in his capture. Blackburn's team also gets a lead on an arms dealer, Kaffarov, who was working with Solomon; however, while pursuing Kaffarov, the Americans encounter a large Russian force, who are also attempting to apprehend Kaffarov and are hostile towards the Americans. Almost all of Blackburn's squad is killed, while aSpetsnaz team led by Dima assaults Kaffarov's villa. Dima successfully interrogates Kaffarov, and reveals Solomon's plot to Blackburn.
Blackburn arrives at the villa and finds Dima and an unconscious Kaffarov. Dima tells Blackburn about the threat and asks for his cooperation to prevent a war between their nations. Meanwhile Blackburn's commanding officer arrives and Blackburn is forced to shoot his superior. Due to this, Blackburn is captured and interrogated by agents within the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and explains all of his previous operations to them in flashbacks. During Blackburn's capture, Dima attempts to stop the attack in Paris, but he is unsuccessful and his team is wounded in the resulting detonation. The CIA agents do not believe Blackburn's story, since Solomon is a CIA informant and since there is no concrete proof of his involvement in the terrorist attacks. They instead believe that Russia is responsible for the attacks and that Dima had played Blackburn.
Left with no other option, Blackburn and surviving squad member Montes break out of captivity to stop the attack in New York. Montes is shot in the process but Blackburn manages to kill Solomon and recover the bomb.
In the epilogue, having been diagnosed with radiation poisoning, Dima writes about the efforts of both him and Blackburn to stop Solomon's plot and prepares to shoot himself. However, a knock on his door prompts him to stop.
Battlefield 3's lead platform is the PC rather than a console. The Xbox 360 version of Battlefield 3 is shipped on two discs due to the disc size limit; however, the PS3 version ships on one Blu-ray Disc.
Battlefield 3 debuts the new Frostbite 2 engine. This updated Frostbite engine can realistically portray the destruction of buildings and scenery to a greater extent than previous versions. Unlike previous iterations, the new version can also support dense urban areas.
Battlefield 3 uses a new type of character animation technology called ANT. ANT technology is used in EA Sportsgames, such as FIFA, but for Battlefield 3 is adapted to create a more realistic soldier, with the ability to transition into cover and turn the head before the body, as well as "drag fallen comrades into safety and mount weapons on almost any part of the terrain".
PlayStation 3 exclusive content
On 6 June 2011, during Sony's E3 2011 press conference, Jack Tretton of Sony Computer Entertainment of Americaannounced that the PlayStation 3 version of the game would be bundled with a free copy of Battlefield 1943, however, at launch, the game wasn't included. EA then said that Battlefield 3 PlayStation 3 owners would receive timed-exclusive DLC for the game instead. On 20 November 2011, Law firm Edelson McGuire took EA to court on behalf of disappointed gamers. The complaint focuses on EA's communication of the change of plan, second proposal with early DLC that had already been announced. Shortly after EA was threatened with being taken to court over its failure to deliver the free game as announced at E3, EA announced they will offer owners of the PlayStation 3 version of Battlefield 3 a free downloadable copy of Battlefield 1943.
Wii U version
On 7 June 2011, during Nintendo's E3 2011 press conference, John Riccitiello of EA games expressed interest in Nintendo's upcoming system, the Wii U. Patrick Liu, the executive producer of Battlefield 3, stated that EA DICE currently have no games in development for the Wii U and a port for the console "probably won't happen".
The open beta commenced on 29 September 2011, for all platforms, and ended on 10 October 2011. 48 hour early access was granted to those players who bought Medal of Honor: Tier 1 edition first-hand or pre-ordered the digital version of Battlefield 3: Limited Edition through Origin.
Electronic Arts president Frank Gibeau confirmed the company's intention to release a sequel during a keynote at the University of California. His comment was then Tweeted by attendees. "There is going to be a Battlefield 4", he said. Afterwards, an EA spokesperson told IGN: "Frank was speaking broadly about the Battlefield brand – a brand that EA is deeply passionate about and a fan community that EA is committed to." On the eve of Battlefield 3's launch, DICE told Eurogamer it was the Swedish studio's hope that it would one day get the opportunity to make Battlefield 4. "This feels like day one now," executive producer Patrick Bach said. "It's exciting. The whole Frostbite 2 thing has opened up a big landscape ahead of us so we can do whatever we want."
Marketing and release
Battlefield 3 was revealed on 3 February 2011, by GameInformer magazine. A month of GameInformer coverage included information on building the game and interviews with DICE, as well as three trailers: a teaser and the first two parts in a series of gameplay from the level "Fault Line". Several other trailers were released showing different aspects of the game, including both single and multiplayer, as well as emphasizing the new engine. On 16 August 2011, co-op gameplay and a "Caspian Border Multiplayer Gameplay Trailer" were shown at Gamescom 2011 illustrating the co-op mode and the first footage of air combat, respectively.
Trailer releases also gained momentum in the week before the release of the game. EA released a multiplayer trailer which showed the variety of maps available in multiplayer, with short scenes of actual gameplay. It also featured shots of a map that is included in the "Back to Karkand" downloadable content (DLC). EA also released an official launch trailer, showing off the various missions in the single player.
EA CEO John Riccitiello stated that Battlefield 3 is aimed at competing with the Call of Duty series. "This November, we're launching Battlefield 3. It's going up against the next Call of Duty, which is presently the No. 1 game in the game industry," he said, "A game that last year did $400 million in revenue on day one. Battlefield 3 is designed to take that game down." EA planned on spending over $100 million on a marketing campaign for Battlefield 3. Electronic Arts also stated that Battlefield 3 is a "flat out superior" product to blockbuster first person shooter Call of Duty. EA has also said it is going on the "offense" in regards to its marketing on Battlefield 3, saying that it started its campaign early to establish a "beachhead". Anyone who had watched a trailer for the upcoming film Act of Valor through the official Battlefield 3 website could receive free downloadable dogtags for use with any version of the game.
All pre-orders of the Limited Edition grant free access to the "Back to Karkand" DLC pack, a reference to the "Strike at Karkand" map (a popular BF2 map), to include four maps brought over from Battlefield 2, 10 new weapons, 4 new vehicles, 5 new achievements/trophies, and a new addition to the series, "Assignments". The maps from the expansion pack will be: Strike at Karkand, Gulf of Oman, Wake Island, and Sharqi Peninsula.
Pre-ordering at selected retailers and Origin included the "Physical Warfare Pack", granting access to time-based exclusive weapons and items; including a light machine gun, a sniper rifle accessory, and armor-piercing ammunition. Also included is launch day access to the DAO-12 semi-automatic shotgun, which other players can unlock through game play. Pre-order at select retailers also provide the "SPECACT Kit Upgrade", the "Dog Tag Pack" and Battlefield 3 gear for the player's console avatar. Pre-ordering at Origin gave players a shotgun and beret for Battlefield Play4Free, and 48 hour early access to the Battlefield 3 beta.
Originally the "Physical Warfare Pack" was to be exclusive to pre-orders, but fan reaction to this was negative, causing EA to clarify that it would be made available to all players for free later in the year. On 2 September 2011, a trailer for the Physical Warfare Pack was released on YouTube showing all the content included within the pack in action in-game.
All the content except the "Back to Karkand" pack was available from day one. The release date for the pack has been announced for 6 December 2011 for the PS3, and a week later for the Xbox 360 and PC.[dated info]
To access the game's online multiplayer mode on consoles, players need to activate an Online Pass. New copies of the game include one Online Pass for the original owner of the game to access the multiplayer; however, if a player buys a used copy or rents the game, they must purchase an Online Pass separately, or access a 48 hour trial via the official game site. When asked why the developers implemented the pass system, game designer Alan Kertz replied, "because servers cost money, and used games don't make developers any money." Some of the Online Pass codes were invalid from the time of purchase, which EA responded to be telling affected consumers to ask the retailer for a replacement code.
Back to Karkand
The first DLC, "Back to Karkand", was announced before launch and was released on 13 December 2011 for PC and Xbox 360, while PS3 owners received it a week earlier. It was priced at $15 USD but was free for all users who purchased the limited edition. It features four maps remade from Battlefield 2, three new vehicles and ten new weapons.
At GDC 2012 DICE revealed it would release three more DLCs priced all at $15 each. The second DLC, "Close Quarters" arrives in June 2012 featuring four new infantry-oriented maps, ten new weapons, HD Destruction, ten new assignments, five unique Dogtags, and a new game mode, Conquest Domination, a Conquest mode adapted for smaller spaces.
The third DLC, "Armored Kill" arrives Q3/Q4 2012. Armored Kill is set to include new vehicles, specifically mentioned are tanks, ATVs, and mobile artillery, as well as new vehicle-oriented maps and what is called "the biggest map in Battlefield history".
A previously unannounced DLC, titled "Aftermath", was revealed in a trailer for Battlefield 3 Premium.
The fifth DLC, "End Game", arrives next winter. An EA spokesperson stated in a BF3 interview that the expansion involves a "character in the jungle, Apocalypse Now-style." Otherwise, no other information has been released yet.
30-second sample from the Battlefield 3 Main Theme.
|Problems listening to this file? See media help.|
|Battlefield 3 (Original Video Game Soundtrack)|
|Soundtrack album by Johan Skugge & Jukka Rintamäki|
|Released||24 October 2011 (Digital)|
|Genre||Video game soundtrack|
An official soundtrack album was released on 24 October, one day before the game was released. It is available on iTunes and Amazon. The music was composed by Johan Skugge and Jukka Rintamäki.
|Battlefield 3 (Original Video Game Soundtrack) (Digital Release) (35:59)|
|1.||"Battlefield 3 Main Theme"||Johan Skugge & Jukka Rintamäki||1:56|
|2.||"Thunder Run"||Johan Skugge & Jukka Rintamäki||2:51|
|3.||"The Red Wire"||Johan Skugge & Jukka Rintamäki||0:33|
|4.||"Solomon's Theme"||Johan Skugge & Jukka Rintamäki||2:51|
|5.||"Spark"||Johan Skugge & Jukka Rintamäki||0:43|
|6.||"Frostbite"||Johan Skugge & Jukka Rintamäki||0:49|
|7.||"The Death of Vladimir"||Johan Skugge & Jukka Rintamäki||2:17|
|8.||"Fire From the Sky"||Johan Skugge & Jukka Rintamäki||3:06|
|9.||"Kaffarov's Villa"||Johan Skugge & Jukka Rintamäki||1:05|
|10.||"Operation Metro"||Johan Skugge & Jukka Rintamäki||2:03|
|11.||"La Bourse"||Johan Skugge & Jukka Rintamäki||0:53|
|12.||"Tremors"||Johan Skugge & Jukka Rintamäki||2:04|
|13.||"Choked"||Johan Skugge & Jukka Rintamäki||2:15|
|14.||"Black Gold"||Johan Skugge & Jukka Rintamäki||1:23|
|15.||"The Great Destroyer"||Johan Skugge & Jukka Rintamäki||2:22|
|16.||"Hunter's Point"||Johan Skugge & Jukka Rintamäki||0:54|
|17.||"Brawl"||Johan Skugge & Jukka Rintamäki||0:48|
|18.||"Interrogating Blackburn"||Johan Skugge & Jukka Rintamäki||6:39|
|19.||"Battlefield 3 Dark Theme"||Johan Skugge & Jukka Rintamäki||0:32|
Andy McNab penned a tie-in novel called Battlefield 3: The Russian, which features the story around GRU Spetsnaz commando Dimitry Mayakovsky and his involvement against the PLR. He also served as the game's consultant on military tactics. The novel was released on 25 October 2011.
Sales and revenue
According to EA, Battlefield 3 garnered 3 million pre-orders by the day of its release. It is unknown at present whether these figures are worldwide or just for the US. The pre-order total makes it "the biggest first-person shooter launch in EA history", according to the publisher. Two days after launch, EA CEO John Riccitiello announced via a conference call to investors that Battlefield 3 has already shipped 10 million units within a week of release, with 3 million of those being pre-orders. Electronic Arts stated that the title sold 5 million units within the first week of availability, easily becoming its fastest-selling game. After one month, EA chief financial officer Eric Brown announced Battlefield 3had sold 8 million copies, and that the publisher has shipped 12 million copies of the game to retailers, 2 million more than it shipped for launch week. Peter Moore, the high-profile COO of EA, insisted that Battlefield 3 successfully captured a slice of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3’s market share.
In Japan, Battlefield 3 had sold around 123,379 copies for the PS3 and 27,723 copies for the Xbox 360 when it was released. In the first week, the game had sold 18,792 copies for the PS3 for a total of 142,171 copies. The PS3 version later sold 8,094 copies for a total of 150,265 copies.
(PS3 & X360) B+
|Game Informer||(PC) 9.5/10|
|Official Xbox Magazine||9/10|
Battlefield 3 has received mostly positive reviews. IGN gave Battlefield 3 a score of 9.0 out of 10.0 for all platforms, and praised the graphics and multiplayer game. Even though it criticized the single-player campaign story, and the occasional glitches of the game engine, it still gave the game a mostly positive review, "Regardless of the narrative missteps or the occasional glitches, Battlefield 3 offers an unforgettable, world-class multiplayer suite that's sure to excite shooter fans."
Joystiq awarded the game 4.5 out of 5 stars, stating that the campaign was "tactically linear" and that the A.I. within the game were "murderously un-fun to fight". Complaints were also made of the multiplayer aspect, stating that destruction was less than expected: "It's not Bad Company 2, and levels won't start out intact and end looking like the surface of the moon the way they often did in that game." They did, however, praise the multiplayer experience as "unmatched", stating that this should be the sole reason to buy the game.
Gamespot gave Battlefield 3 a score of 8.5 out of 10 across all platforms. They praised the deep multiplayer mode, great variety of vehicles, many well-designed environments, and a great reward system for team play; however, they criticized the campaign for being "dull and disappointing" and using a "familiar formula". The cooperative mode was viewed favorably; the only criticism on the cooperative missions was that "there aren't more of them to keep you busy".
Official Xbox Magazine gave the game 9 out of 10, commending the game for its multiplayer mode, but criticizing the solo campaign. Similarly, Official Xbox Magazine (UK) gave the game 8 out of 10, applauding its multiplayer gaming and calling it "The most expansive, refined Battlefield multiplayer yet" while also criticizing the single-player experience.