Battlefield 3 is only a couple of months away, and EA and DICE are here at Tokyo Game Show with something special for us. We got our hands on Operation Guillotine, a section of the single player campaign set in Tehran, just outside of the city itself.
The demo starts off at the top of a hillside in the middle of the desert night. Next thing you know, you’re being yelled at by a commanding officer to take a portable mortar launcher down to the front lines to provide support. Then the intensity kicks in as you are running down the steep hill while being bombarded by enemy fire while flares, explosions and smoke light up the sky. Obviously, this makes for an intense opening to the mission.
As you reach the bottom of the hillside, you and your squad take shelter behind a four-meter wall which provides cover from the heavy fighting. Here you place the mortar down on the ground and set up shop while your loader packs in a flare grenade and launches it into the air.
With the night sky now lit up in red hues, you make your way to a soldier boosting you over the wall. A heavy barrage of bullet tracers fly past from a machine gun placement near the wall, mowing down your squad mates who do not reach cover in time. This section really reminded me of the original Medal of Honor section where you stormed Omaha Beach: the same level of intensity and struggle can be found here.
After taking over several machine gun defensive positions from the People's Liberation and Resistance (or PLR), you are then told to breach a building which the enemy has fortified. A grenade through the window deals with the first lot guarding the entrance. The gameplay here now changes from a large outdoor area to slowly making your way down tight corridors. I switched to a shotgun for some up close and personal action. As you’d hope, the guns themselves all handle, sound and feel unique; during the first area I must have picked up five or six different weapons off the fallen insurgents before me and none felt the same.
Back to breaching the building: you can move up to doors and tap the action button to kick a door down, and tapping faster resulted in a speedier breach. You can also let your AI squad mates take care of doors if you feel a bit hesitant to move forward.
One door in particular I kicked in and found myself being beaten to the punch by an enemy waiting on the other side, causing me to fall flat on my back. The shock triggers a slight slow down and I pulled the trigger on my SPAZ-12. The dude didn't stand a chance. Once I cleared the next few halls and exited the rear of the building, the remaining troops take control and I head into the passenger side of a Humvee, marking the end of this single player demo.
I'm a huge fan of Battlefield for its multiplayer, but seeing what DICE have created in this single player experience, I believe I'm going to really enjoy this game a lot. The demo was played on the PlayStation 3, and while the frame rate did drop a couple of frames during the more really intense battles, as a whole it ran rather smoothly, and I'm sure they’ll have it optimised more for release. All in all, they certainly have my pre-order.
After this, we got to sit down with Gustav Enekull, Marketing Manager from DICE. Be sure to check out the interview here.
The Good: Full-on intensity. We love it!
The Bad: Frame rate did drop a little during battles.
The Ugly: Squad mates who get mowed down by enemy fire.