The EA booth is more than just a booth. It's a city of games, and Battlefield 3 is the city's left pillar. It's barely 1:00, an hour after the opening of the exhibit hall here at E3, and there's already a line around the block, so to speak, for the Battlefield 3 demo booth.
We entered the closed-door booth under the multistory Battlefield 3 banner to a 16-computer multiplayer setup. Players diligently manned their stations, the booth's custom Battlefield 3 headphones hugging their head. They were playing a round on the multiplayer map Operation Metro. For those of you who tuned into the EA press conference yesterday, the map name should sound familiar. It's the same amazing urban environment showcased at the event.
Each screen was filled with action: close quarter combat in the subway, long range strikes from crumbling buildings, and players moving between cover surrounded by blazing fires, the sharp cracks of gunfire, and collapsing architecture. It's a good thing they had warning signs on the tops of each monitor to signal that the build being played was pre-alpha, because it was so polished you probably couldn't tell otherwise. The gameplay is sharp, fluid, and filled with vivid colors. Even in a concrete jungle, the verdant green of foliage and scorching yellow flames popped into life.
Within the closed door demo there was another closed door room. The exclusive area held video demonstrations of the Frostbite 2 game engine, the system that drives Battlefield 3's innovation. Only a handful of people were allowed in during our time in the booth, and once they were briefed, they were given the chance to join in on the multiplayer combat.
The attendees who made it into the Battlefield 3 booth received customized dog tags in addition to their exclusive hands-on experience with the game. To experience the thrilling revolution in shooters for yourself, look forward to the open multiplayer beta this September.