Here’s a basic overview of all the nine maps available in the Battlefield 3 game at launch.
SUPPORTED GAME MODES: ALL
BRIEF: INFANTRY FOCUSED COMBAT IN SUBWAY
SITUATION REPORT: HEAVY FIGHTING IS EXPECTED AS U.S. FORCES PUSH TO SECURE THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT IN CENTRAL PARIS. RUSSIAN ANTI-AIR EMPLACEMENTS IN CHARDONNAY PARK ARE LIKELY TO BE THE FIRST TARGET.
SUPPORTED GAME MODES: ALL
BRIEF: VEHICLE/INFANTRY COMBAT IN DOWNTOWN PARIS
SITUATION REPORT: THE AMERICAN INVASION OF RUSSIAN OCCUPIED PARIS IS IN FULL MOTION. THE UPSCALE AREA IN THE 7TH DISTRICT OF PARIS SERVES AS THE BATTLEGROUND.
SUPPORTED GAME MODES: ALL
BRIEF: TIGHT URBAN COMBAT
SITUATION REPORT: THE BATTLE FOR CENTRAL TEHRAN HAS REACHED ITS SECOND WEEK, AND WHAT WAS EXPECTED TO BE OVER WITHIN DAYS NOW CONTINUES AS RUSSIAN AND U.S. FORCES CLASH FOR CONTROL OVER THIS ANCIENT CITY.
SUPPORTED GAME MODES: ALL
BRIEF: VEHICLE WARFARE IN LARGE VALLEY
SITUATION REPORT: A RECON RUSSIAN FORCE HAS SET UP CAMP ON THE TURKMENISTAN SIDE OF THE IRANIAN BORDER AND PROCEEDED TO TAKE OVER THE HEAVILY BUILT UP BORDER CHECKPOINT.
SUPPORTED GAME MODES: ALL
BRIEF: ALL-OUT DESERT WARFARE
SITUATION REPORT: U.S. AND RUSSIA LAUNCH LARGE-SCALE ASSAULTS TO CONTROL IRAN’S BIGGEST SOURCE OF OIL. SECURING THIS AREA WILL OFFER FULL CONTROL OF THE SECTOR AND ITS KEY FACILITIES.
SUPPORTED GAME MODES: ALL
BRIEF: INFANTRY FIGHTING IN TIGHT CITY STREETS
SITUATION REPORT: A FIGHT FOR CONTROL OF ACCESS ROUTES NEAR TEHRAN. U.S. FORCES MAKE A PUSH FROM THE HILLS UNDER COVER OF DARKNESS WHILE RUSSIANS HAVE SET UP DEFENSIVE POSITIONS ALONG THE MAIN ENTRANCE POINTS.
SUPPORTED GAME MODES: ALL
BRIEF: MIXED COMBAT IN INDUSTRIAL SETTING
SITUATION REPORT: U.S. MARINES LAUNCH A STRIKE ON A MAJOR HARBOR BY THE NOSHAHR CANALS ON THE IRANIAN COAST. THE STRATEGICALLY IMPORTANT PORT ALLOWS FOR DEEP WATER VESSELS TO OFFLOAD ESSENTIAL MATERIALS.
SUPPORTED GAME MODES: ALL
BRIEF: FIGHTING IN WINTER MOUNTAINS
SITUATION REPORT: A RUGGED MOUNTAIN AREA PLAYS A MAJOR ROLE IN DECIDING WHETHER RUSSIAN OR U.S. TROOPS ARE SUCCESSFUL IN COMBAT OPERATIONS IN THE SECTOR, AS THE AREA IS HOME TO KEY RADAR INSTALLATIONS.
SUPPORTED GAME MODES: ALL
BRIEF: AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT
SITUATION REPORT: KHARG ISLAND IS IRAN’S BIGGEST OIL EXPORT TERMINAL. IF THE U.S. CAN STAKE CONTROL OVER THIS ISLAND, IT WILL DENY THE RUSSIANS CRITICAL ACCESS TO IRANIAN OIL RESERVES.
You heard that right, Call of duty just unsheathed its sword and told BF3 ‘hey you don’t scare me bro!’. Check out the latest Modern warfare “Tango Down” and watch it till the end, you will notice something rather familiar; a blatant joke at Bf3 blockbuster of a trailer that featured jets called Caspian Border.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Tango Down Trailer:
Did you see that? The end with the wall-e bot? There’s that reference. Hilarious…
I’m not crazy about black widow, she was one of the many fail factors that brought down Iron Man 2. Individually, they are all very weak tired characters at least that’s what their movies proved, as Thor was ridiculous concept from the start while Iron Man turned into a goofball. It will have to rely on Hulk and maybe Captain America. None of them holds a candle to Nolan’s Batman. But even before Nolan, Batman was always unbeatable in popularity and everyone saw him as a legitimate superhero. Him and Superman. I imagine if they ever decide to do a proper Justice League, it will impress much more than the underwhelming effort by Marvel with Avengers so far.
What is that a satanic symbol I see? A pentagram could mean many things nonetheless it’s most identified with devil worship and the road lines forming it are in the middle surrounded by burning oilfields which just screams allusion to hell. The unusual yet recognisably obvious placement in the game not to mention the presentation at E3 could not be mere coincidence. The image above is taken from E3 trailer. Is DICE messing with us by putting subliminal messages of devil worship or is it part of the game’s story? I have theories of my own but right now I will just let you decide for yourself!
Respawn Entertainment, the newly formed game development studio headed by former Call of Duty developers has just launched their new website. Long story short, they were the guys responsible for all the Call of Duty games before Activision gave them the boot in 2010. Now working for EA, they plan to strike back with an awesome game title that we have yet to see. The gaming community is eagerly awaiting any announcement concerning their first game, today we are just one step closer to getting a first look. That blurry picture along with another absurd one from their website are our only clue as to what game they are working on. What do you see? Is it a fantasy world full of castles and ruins? Could it be an alien planet?
Now after playing around with the picture I got this far:
Looks more and more like some factory or ranch kind of thing. There are wood walkway bridges at the bottom yet I see no water, it reminds me of vietnam war environment with mud water. The original photo shows a dark and cloudy atmosphere. The mountains and green field could be hint of a European or Asian location so it’s definitely not a western. It could be set on an island, I’m leaning on that. That factory or house, actually has a water tower or it could be a guard tower. And there is something busy happening on the roof, very odd shape, almost like a billboard or a satellite dish. There’s also a bunch of what I think are radio towers and there is a clear path paved out in the green field suggesting some kind of vehicle transport. The hanger door is where it starts. As for that structure in the foreground, I can only assume it’s ancient castle; could be dracula’s castle for all I know. Also is it just me or is there a human figure at the top of that structure on the balcony?
This is the other picture from the site which doesn’t tell us much:
The word “Down” or “Domn” could be significant, a google search leads me to “Domnus” and “Domnintor” which are latin words for Mister or Sir. Domintor is a King’s title derived from Domn, which means lord or ruler in Romanian language. What if this game was really about Dracula? And the image could be of a gun barrel but seeing the white pipe tube thing makes me think different; clearly it’s supposed to go through the metal hole. Is it a weapon or armour? Strong chance of steampunk elements as we have a factory or hanger and ruins. Alien technology is not out of the question, how does it blend in with the human made hanger is anyone’s guess.
Check their awesome website and be on the look out for more clues in the times ahead. http://www.respawn.com/
It’s been confirmed that they are working on a sci-fi shooter but if I had to speculate right now, I would say it’s either set in an alien world, an island, or you play as a modern day Vlad the Impaler. What would really be cool is if it’s set in an orbital, a mega-structure and it’s actually a space settlement that has relatively primitive humans; people who aren’t advanced enough to figure out they are on an alien run space station and not on an actual planet. Something close to this sci-fi concept:
Whatever it is I can’t wait to see it.
Guess who’s so swiffy today? Google released a tool called Swiffy for converting flash files into HTML5 ones so they be used without a flash player. All you have to do is go the google labs swiffy site and upload a SWF file. Go here if you want to try it out: http://swiffy.googlelabs.com/
And if you want to see some examples for yourself there is a gallery: http://swiffy.googlelabs.com/gallery.html
The brains behind this at google wanted a way for non-flash compatible devices to be able to play flash content.
If you came across news about the controversy surrounding the new Final Cut Pro and you wondered to yourself “why is this making mainstream news”? Well join the club, it appears now everything that is apple related even if it doesn’t affect the masses it nonetheless is expected to make the headlines. That’s what you get for creating a worldwide cult based on a indoctrinating marketing hype.
The backlash over Apple’s new direction for the much beloved editing tool has spewed uncontrollably all over web; with editing professionals expressing their disbelief at how Apple dismissed their “pro” workspace needs in exchange for a featureless “iMovie” equivalent; one that could be geared for the ipad market. Or so is their perception of it anyway. The reality is most features are still in tact from the previous versions but have instead been remodelled to work differently and one would have to relearn how to work them. Not good news to professionals who depended on FCP for years and now being told to get used to a whole new system. There are vital features however Apple has surprisingly removed like the multicam editing, what were they thinking? According to New York Times article, Apple said they plan to add it again in patches. Classy of them don’t you think?
My distaste for anything Apple is clear as day. And their editing software is no exception, but I think the pro editing community protest too much. What I gather, Apple wanted to rewrite the FCP from the ground up so it can transition it to the next phase and allowing more innovative improvements in the future. Accept the changes, that’s what an upgrade is, an improvement. From what I read about the new features and changes, their heart is in the right place and they seem sound overall. If anything they might finally catch up to Sony Vegas standards. But why did they feel the need to release a half baked dumber version of the product? Beats me. You can read for yourself all the misconceptions being addressed here: http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/23/professional-video-editors-weigh-in-on-final-cut-pro-x/
Now if you really feel FCP is not good for you any more, well you might be doing yourself a favor by using something like Sony Vegas instead. It’s a lesser known editing software, but it in my view is much functional than anything else I used. Some think of it as the best kept secret. It’s an awesome software that gives you a bazillion rendering choices and it’s amazing what you can do with it.
It sports a fun to play with layout that is more convenient in my opinion, it’s the firefox of editing softwares, customise the layout any way you want and the ability to drag out the color correction windows for instance and pop them in again. You can never lose your unsaved work as it has a robust recovery system. Overall, it might not look fancy but it’s light and versatile with a ton of capabilities under the hood. The industry should be using it, not Final Cut or Avid stuff. The trial version can be found here: http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/vegassoftware
UPDATE: DICE made another clarification: “We will unlock the contents of the Physical Warfare Pack for free to all Battlefield 3 players later this year.”
EA was subtly testing the dark waters when they first announced the DLC “Back to Karkand” as a way to lure gamers into pre-ordering Battlefield 3. The DLC would be free of charge for those who chose to pre-order the game. That caused some fuss from the BF community and you would think EA would be quick to realise what mistake they made; but they went forward anyway with yet another DLC called “Physical Warfare Package”.
The game hasn’t even launched and EA is painting a greedy picture of what they plan to do with the franchise, as it enters mainstream popularity. This got to be the most controversial thing that happened to BF yet. This multiplayer weapons package DLC we were told was offered exclusively at certain retailers only in the UK; giving an unfair advantage to those who are willing to pay extra and from certain stores. Gamers are fed up from this trend of using DLCs and retail-exclusive items to bank in on the game more and more. So now disgruntled gamers are using the boycott against BF3 pre-order as a way to express their frustrations.
Fast forward to this week, the idea of a boycott spread like wildfire starting in reddit has caught the media’s attention from all directions. The boycott was more aimed at the pre-order rather than the game itself. Here are examples:
All this in the mist of EA gearing up for a marketing war against Activision. Certainly seems to be the most epic boycott against a game ever attempted. It’s either reddit has one hell of an influential community or the media was eagerly waiting to stick some bad news to what is deemed to be the greatest game of the year. Whats more this boycott didn’t only affect EA; from the looks of things, other games currently promoting such DLC before these games even launch are also affected as their community copy what BF fans have done seeing how effective it can be. DICE has a history of treating their fans well, well enough to succumb to fan’s demands in issues like this. However, DICE’s reponse today shows a different view, they aren’t relenting, instead they offered some clarifications about the DLC.
Here is what they said:
Q: Is the Physical Warfare Pack available in all regions, or just in the UK?
A: It will be available worldwide at select retailers. It was first announced in the UK. Exact details for other countries and retailers will be announced at a later date.
Q: Will Physical Warfare Pack imbalance the game?
A: The three exclusive items in the Physical Warfare Pack were specifically chosen not to be overpowered or imbalance or break the game in any way.
Q: Why do I want the Physical Warfare Pack?
A: Owning these items will give you a more varied arsenal, but it will not give you a significant advantage on the battlefield.
Q: Is the Back to Karkand expansion pack exclusive to pre-orders?
A: No. You can also buy it separately if you do not pre-order Battlefield 3. Back to Karkand will be available the exact same date after the launch of Battlefield 3 no matter if you pre-ordered or buy it separately.
Q: When will the Back to Karkand expansion pack be released?
A: We have not yet announced the Back to Karkand expansion pack release date.
Q: How much does the Back to Karkand Expansion pack cost?
A: We have not yet announced a price. However, it will be included in the Limited Edition at no extra charge.
Q: Do I have to choose between Back to Karkand and the Physical Warfare Pack as my pre-order bonus?
A: No. There is no way you can pre-order Battlefield 3: Limited Edition and not end up with the Back to Karkand expansion pack at no extra charge. On top of this, select retailers all over the world will carry the Physical Warfare Pack. Exact details for other countries and retailers will be announced at a later date.
Q: Why do you offer pre-order bonus items?
A: Because we believe in rewarding our core fanbase with special offers — such as giving them the Back to Karkand expansion pack at no extra charge.
They appear to have not backed down. This also did very little to put out the fires hitting the web as it’s not showing signs of simmering down soon. Fans are still charged up about the DLC still being shoved down their throats and DICE’s response only shows their reluctance to cancel the DLC. It is important to note whose running the show here, DICE just makes great games, it’s EA that is after the money. No doubt, lusting over what Activision has been getting easily off its Call of Duty fanbase for years.
Even though, EA isn’t the first to attempt such a money grab scheme, it is in fact starting to be a cruel trend and BF fanbase have become well aware of what happens when you leave a game company to creep into your wallet as you continue to play their game. Call of Duty’s meaningless DLC and “subscription” model is one of the worst things to have shaped the industry and gamers are paying for it dearly. Back then it was not a simple matter of gamers caving in, no actually, the majority ate it up like addicts paying for a quick fix. When you buy a game you shouldn’t keep paying for it. But it’s the ever so rising casual gamers who embraced that menacing concept and made it a mainstream practice with their unquestioning brand loyalty and their unfamiliarity with normal gaming business practices; in other words, an uninformed consumer. Think of them as the equivalent of Apple fans and sadly they represent the majority and the rest have to suffer for it. This time, specifically PC gamers expect better from DICE, battlefield is too good of a franchise to be used like this. Seeing this trend creep into their favorite franchise wasn’t going to go down without an argument the same way Call of Duty fans accepted their new reality. EA should’ve known better as the value of a loyal fan is worth much more than that of a quick dollar.
The evidence supporting this claim is surprisingly solid. A TV trailer of X-men First Class movie is right now the Most Viewed video on youtube with more than 2 million view count. Problem is, it got less than a thousand likes/dislikes and very low activity in the comment section. Not only that, normally such high views would be generated from external sites featuring it such as facebook and when looking at its statistics it becomes clear those millions of views came out of no where. The video, I’m told by youtubers who were there from the beginning, was uploaded with a million views under its belt and more views got added from it being in the Most Viewed category. Usually with such numbers you would see thousands of comments and likes/dislikes, no such thing here, just 200 comments. Not only this, the users who first revealed this embarrassing truth have had their comments deleted. This could only mean one thing and it doesn’t bring me comfort knowing how much of a sell out Youtube has become.
Now of course it’s not good to jump into conclusions, there could be an explanation we don’t know about. One could be the video getting views of another website while it had viewer interaction features locked until recently, although statistics page would’ve indicated this if it were true.
Hope they give us some real explanation soon or else Youtube will lose some respect. Fake views should not be the business they offer. Like one youtuber (SkylarRuloff) said: “you shouldn’t be able to buy views. earn them like everyone else does.”
In case you’re wondering, here is the video in question:
This can be categorised as breaking news. Remember in my last posts when I talked about that kid who wore a Activision badge and wasn’t allowed to play BF3 demo at E3, even though he wasn’t an Activision employee? Well, this new story is even better and takes the cake.
Apparently Kotick’s personal assistant waited in line at the EA booth so she can get a chance to talk to EA guys. She wanted them to give Kotick a hands-on experience with BF3 in their invite-only presentation, you know, play it for a while, afterall he is a CEO of a big major game company. Fat chance, EA said. Her request was denied. The personal assistant put up a small conversational fight before walking away. I wonder what she said.
EA reps were shocked by all this; what did Kotick think? He’s their competition, not to mention the most hated person ever by gamers. That alone should get him banned. Anyway the whole thing is funny, its pretty clear that as a gamer himself he’s been itching to play it after watching the epic gameplay, I don’t believe he wanted to steal ideas or anything. He’s probably jealous of EA/DICE’s technical achievement as well. Serves him right, instead of choosing to advance CoD’s quality he choose to make money of it and take advantage of his loyal fanbase.
UPDATE: It appears there is a plan for a Battlefield 3 book by Andy McNab. More info about his new book here.
Andy McNab, writer and ex-SAS, didn’t just wait for BF3 to come out to play it, no instead he decided to help out by providing military experience and motion capture. Famous for such ground-breaking books such as “Bravo Two Zero” and his Nick Stone series, his expertise in weaponry and tactics are unsurpassed earned from his years as part of the best special forces team in the world not to mention spent some time in an Iraqi prison. DICE, people behind Battlefield, were lucky to use his experience in developing the motion capture and advise on handling the weapons for their new game as shown in that picture. His face is pixelated in the photo like always for his safety, he’s a wanted man by terrorist organisations after all, actually “Andy McNab” isn’t his real name either.
You should expect BF3 to be the most realistic looking war game right down to the soldier’s animation and terrific attention to details in how soldiers behave in missions as evidenced by the demo shown in E3.
Speaking of things British, the Guardian seems to like it…a lot: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/jun/08/e3-2011-battlefield-3