The T3 masses have spoken, and if our Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 vs Battlefield 3 poll is anything to go by, the new Call of Duty game is set to become a hit. And while Call of Duty: Black Ops remains the best-selling game of all time in the UK, there are more than enough fans of game developer Dice's upcoming shooter to suggest it's not going to be one way traffic when the two biggest game releases of 2011 go head-to-head.
Battlefield 3 video: All the details
We've told you all we know about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, so now it's time to see how the competition stacks up with our guide to everything you need to know about Battlefield 3.
Battlefield 3 trailer
Battlefield 3 videos have been exploding across the web since its announcement back in February this year. A teaser trailer and several lengthy gameplay trailers were released showing off the tasty, hyper-realistic new Frostbite 2 engine, with US soldiers tackling enemies on foot, in tanks and in jets. Check out the "My Life" trailer below for a look at how Battlefield 3 marines go about, er, winning hearts and minds.
Battlefield 3 gameplay video
After releasing a handful of shorter teaser trailers, EA promised that the first full-length gameplay trailer would be released once the Battlefield 3 Facebook page picked up a million fans. In return, we got the "Fault Line" gameplay trailer below, our first proper look what EA Games head Frank Gibeau was talking about when he described Battlefield 3 as "flat out superior" to Call of Duty. We're not coming down on either side for the moment, but there's no denying Dice have cooked up something very, very pretty.
Battlefield 3 guns and weapons
The arsenal that players will have at their disposal is - no surprises - extensive, comprising dozens of real-world assault rifles, sub-machine guns, shotguns, pistols and sniper rifles. Dice haven't been shy about showing off the heat, either, with gameplay videos showing the player suppressing hordes of enemies with an M249 machine gun, stabbing a multiplayer enemy in the throat with a combat knife, and blasting an enemy sniper out of his hiding spot with an AT-4 anti-tank launcher.
Not that Battlefield 3 enemies are the sort to let these kind of shenanigans go unanswered. The enemies of freedom in Battlefield 3 eagerly return fire with stockpiles of old Russian weaponry including Dragunov sniper rifles, rocket propelled grenades and the Russian military's current weapon of choice, the AK74.
Battlefield 3 vehicles
Battlefield 3's combat isn't all duck and cover, though; as in previous Battlefield titles, players will have the opportunity in both the single and the multiplayer modes to help spread democracy from the driver's seat of a battletank. Armour confirmed so far includes US battle tank de jour the M1A2 Abrams and Soviet BM-21 missile batteries, both shown in the "Thunder Run" mission video below.
Battlefield 3 will also take players airborne with a hangar-full of combat and support aircraft. Team players will, rumours withstanding, have transport helicopters to ferry buddies to the front, while players chasing kills will race to grab the stick of a range of attack aircraft, with those popping up in videos so far including the FA/18 Super Hornet, F16 Fighting Falcon and AH6 Littlebird helicopter. Meanwhile, in the single player campaign, players will remote-pilot drones equipped with laser targeters to call in airstrikes from squadrons of friendly bombers in Call of Duty-esque, AC-130-O-Vision.
Battlefield 3 features
While Modern Warfare 3 impressed at E3 with its "Black Tuesday" gameplay video, the visuals were nothing to radio home about for anyone who'd played the series' previous instalments. Battlefield 3, on the other hand, is bringing a whole new engine to bear: the Frostbite 2 engine. Built in-house at EA, Frostbite 2 is debuting in Battlefield 3, adding vast open environments, true cinematic lighting and buildings that crumble under fire. Don't believe us? Take a look at Dice's Frostbite 2 demo video below.
As for the animations themselves, Dice went straight to the expert to ensure that every jump, roll and lunging knife-stab looked as authentic as possible. Medal of Honour may have had a team of ex- and current special forces soldiers on staff for its latest release, but Battlefield 3 brought in Andy "Bravo-Two-Zero" McNab for maximum gun-geek credibility.
Battlefield 3 multiplayer
If Battlefield 3 is to stand any chance at knocking Modern Warfare off the top spot, the multiplayer will be where it needs to bring out the big guns. As is traditional in the Battlefied series, Battlefield 3 maps look larger than Modern Warfare 3 maps, with players able to use the space to pilot vehicles around the combat zone. Bigger multiplayer maps also mean space for more players: the PC version of Battlefield 3 has support for up to 64 gamers in a single, chaotic multiplayer match, while the console versions of Battlefield 3 will offer 24 players the chance to have it out in the same arenas.
Battlefield 3 DLC
EA stirred up controversy and calls for boycotts with the announcement of exclusive DLC for UK fans who pre-ordered the game. The "Physical Warfare" pack was to be a free pre-order exclusive, and would include the Type 88 machine gun, semi-auto DAO-12 shotgun, a flash suppressor for the game's SKS sniper rifle and special flechette ammunition for the shotgun - one-inch tungsten darts packed into a standard shotgun shell for extra oomph. Since the outcry, EA have confirmed that the Physical Warfare pack will be available to all players as a timed exclusive, with those pre-ordering Battlefield 3 getting their mitts on it first.
All players who pre-order the game will also receive the "Back to Karkand" DLC package, which will include four new multiplayer maps, as well as a selection of favourite weapons and vehicles from Battlefield 2. The pack is expected to be made available to the rest of the game's fanbase after one month.
Battlefield 3 UK price
Officially, Battlefield 3 UK price will come in at the standard £50 for console games, and £40 for the PC. But with all the hype around the game, retailers are already battling each other down to offer the best deal on Battlefield 3 out of the gate. Currently, Amazon.co.uk is offering the PC version for a spot under £30, while the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions are down to just under £40. Expect further price drops and deals as the launch date edges closer, however.
Battlefield 3 UK release date
Battlefield 3 launches in the UK on October 28th, three days after the US release and just a week and a half before Modern Warfare 3 arrives on the 8th of November. Will that be enough to get a headstart on Modern Warfare 3? We look forward to finding out.