EA had big presence at C2E2 this year, especially the Battlefield series. EA had a table with at least 20 TVs and 360s with Battlefield Bad Company 2 and its Vietnam DLC. I got to play a little Vietnam. I’d forgotten how much fun it is to simply blow up a wall in order to get inside of a building. EA didn’t just bring Bad Company though. They were showing off live demos of Battlefield 3 every half an hour.
The demo was inside of a booth right on the show floor. Unlike the other booths, this one was completely enclosed. You had to walk through a door to get inside. There was only room for about 15 people at a time so 10 minutes before each demo a line would form to get inside. Standing at the front of the line was a bouncer. I don’t think that was his official job title but he gave off the vibe that if you did anything against the rules (no cameras or phones at all inside the booth) you would be flying out the door. When they let us in I had to stand in the back of the room (I chivalrously let my girlfriend have the last seat) and the bouncer almost kicked out a 10 year old kid before the guy running the demo said he could also stand in the back also.
If you’ve seen some of the trailers EA has been putting out the last couple of weeks you’ve seen most of what I got to see played live in front of me. It was just as beautiful as in the trailers. The guns, the sand, the explosions… everything looked fantastic. This game is definitely going to make some of you upgrade your PC. It also helped that I was seeing it on a giant screen and with an awesome sound system. They had the volume turned up so you could hear every bullet whizzing past you and feel every explosion. I’m going to be playing this game with my surround sound headset.
The demo showed some different types of firefights in the game. It started with a group of soldiers’ transport being stopped so they can be sent on a mission. The group goes into the city which seems to be crawling with enemy combatants. As they walk into a parking lot the sound of a gun goes off and one of your team goes down. You immediately run to him and drag him to cover (by repeatedly pressing a button). Then you jump into action. This firefight is relatively small. The person running the demo had a lot of practice and killed the enemies pretty quickly. The best part of this section was when he threw a grenade at two enemies behind a half wall. When it went off chunks of the wall blew off.
From that firefight they went to the sniper section. If you’ve watched the trailer above you know the highlight of that section is watching the devastation left in the side of the building after the rocket hits. I have to say though, I’m not sure if the sniper was trying to kill the soldiers or if he was just really mad at the building they were on.
The next section was your soldier following a cord to an explosive that he needed to disarm. This section had a pretty brutal QTE when you are discovered by a single enemy. I’ve seen some speculation that these QTE melee fights might be in the multiplayer as well as the single player but I don’t see how they could work. They would have to be pretty long (probably longer than a chainsaw dual in Gears) and with 62 other people running around on the PC version both of you would probably get blown apart while fighting. If DICE can make it work and make it fun though then more power to them.
After disarming the bomb the soldier gets into a big firefight. The person running the demo ran onto a bridge in order to get a light machine gun. There were some metal panels on the bridge blocking his view while crouched so he simply shot them all until they peeled off. I’m glad to see the tactical destruction from Bad Company back for Battlefield 3.
Finally, I can tell you a little something that hasn’t been in the trailers released. At the end of the third trailer you see your soldier thrown from the back of a pickup because of an earthquake. What happens right after that is a the building directly in front of you starts to collapse. Your soldier is laying on the street as the building starts to fall right at him. Right before it looks like your soldier is going to be crushed the screen went black. The live demo was over and tiny clips of gameplay started to be shown. Right at the very end there was a clip of you in a jet in the middle of a dog fight. Jets! It was only half a second but it was still awesome.
Battlefield 3 already looks great and they haven’t even shown any multiplayer. I’ve been wanting to get a new gaming PC for a while and now I definitely have a reason.