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Thursday, 13 October 2011 15:19

DICE Creative Director: Battlefield 3 will push boundaries of aging consoles

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Lars Gustavsson  is the Creative Director at DICE preparing to unleash Battlefield 3 on the world.  He kindly took time out  to let RadioactiveIT know a little more about one of the biggest game releases of 2011.

 

Since the last singularly numbered Battlefield game (Battlefield 2 on the PC) a lot has changed in the world of video games, specifically military shooters where the Battlefield series finds itself in a crowded market place.  Along with the obvious competitors of the Call Of Duty/Modern Warfare franchise and Electronic Arts own rebooted Medal of Honor games, there are many other 'realistic' based combat shooters such as ARMA and Operation Flashpoint.

'Battlefield has always had its own unique game-play,' says Gustavsson 'and to honest that has been the case for a long time.  There are plenty of shooters out there, Battlefield 3 really sticks with a lot of things that the competition can't match, it's everything from our destruction to our huge landscapes with the all-out war, vehicles, our new social hub, battle log , but also overall a really great engine called Frostbite 2 which allows us to really push the boundaries on consoles, that to be honest getting a bit old, to stay in the forefront and provide gamers with a really good experience'

This Battlefield is being refined, bringing back air combat, but losing the Commander Mode, amongst other changes with this eleventh iteration of the franchise:  'We have been listening to the community and our own experience with Battlefield 2 ' says Gustavsson ' We have also gained a lot of experience through the years making games like Bad Company and Mirror's Edge , it's a mixture of all that experience that goes into [this title].'

'For example, the Commander Mode could work great in certain matches while if you had a commander that didn't care, then they whole team was blocked, this time around we shared the different tools that the commander has to the soldiers on the battlefield instead, so you get a much more dynamic battlefield less dependent on one person.'

The essence of a Battlefield is this multiplayer game-play, it is interesting that the team from DICE quote the influence of a game sporting such an iconic single player element as Mirror's Edge; 'Yeah so many take aways from,  probably one of the best branded, art direction, style and tone [games] that we ever done, with Mirror's Edge, the movement, the physical connection to the in-game world is probably one of the best we have ever done.  Now we have transferred that, now you are connected to the world, you vault over everything, you don't just jump with ridged legs, there is a lot of learning that goes back to this game.'

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The Bad Company offshoot along with more recent titles such as Battlefield Heroes was more of a tongue-in-cheek approach to the franchise, but certainly the impression with this release is that DICE is aiming for a more grounded Battlefield experience: 'This is a more serious style and tone, ' agrees Gustavsson ' foremost we wanted to relay a really good story in single player, a more mature story.  Carrying on the tradition from Battlefield 2 which was themed more realistic and that has been a slant to everything in this game, from art style to choice of weapons, accessories, so that it feels very authentic.'

Gustavsson is loathed to give away too much about the single player story, and so only covers much of what fans already know.  The main action takes place near Iran when a major earthquake hits the region destabilising the geography as well as the political cohesion.  You will be on 'adventures around the world' however.  

According to Gustavsson the single player will be a varied experience; 'you will get to try out a lot of the classical Battlefield game-play neatly wrapped into the story layer.'

Gustavsson acknowledges that injecting story into their games has been a challenge that again the team from DICE has drawn on experience to hopefully improve with this release.

Multiplayer is another story however, this is something DICE are very used to producing, one of our favourite Battlefield games was Battlefield 2142;  'BF3 will ship with the Conquest, Rush, Squad Rush, Team Deathmatch, and  Squad Deathmatch, so there is  nothing really like what we had in Battlefield 2142, but I think we have really given a very nice range from the smallest Team Deathmatch close combat with no vehicles, lots of destruction, up to the all out war with full conquest maps with jets and everything.'

'We have specialisation on your soldier that you can start unlocking, extra armour or weapons, it is the deepest persistence we have ever had in a Battlefield game to the point where we scratch our heads and wonder what we have started.  It makes your experience highly customisable, everything from your dog-tags, your specialisations, your camo, your weapons, and your vehicles even.'

Battlefield 3 is due out late October on Windows, PS3, Xbox 360 as well as a version for iOS devices.


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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for iTWire.com, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.

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