Previews

Battlefield 3: Frostbitten on the big screen

DICE showcases the stunning FPS in all its glory...

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The footage moved on to that sniper scenario that sees your group slithering across a rooftop under fire. The main thing to add to what you've already witnessed is that with proper surround sound engulfing your ears that sniper shot is flinchingly snappy. It really adds to the tension, making sure there's no doubt that if one of those bullets hits you it's going to rip you in half.

We've already talked about our admiration for the little bits of damage on show for this section; the splinter plant-pots throwing soil everywhere, the dust flying off the walls, but the original video cut just after the player took the sledgehammer approach to the sniper by firing a rocket propelled grenade at the hotel he was firing from. We never did get to see just how much damage Frostbite 2.0 was capable of and the cynic in us pondered whether DICE had chosen to cut the video short because, despite all the dust and debris, the damage sustained by the hotel wasn't all that spectacular.

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Thankfully the cynic in us got a stinging slap in the face at the showcase as the dust cleared to reveal a gaping hole covering in the side of the building with flames pouring from pockets of destruction. Frostbite 2.0, we yield.

The final section we were allowed to peek at is, of course, the scene where the player is tasked with locating and disarming an improvised explosive device. The key part of this section for us was the fist-fight that ensued between the player and an interrupting enemy. It was quick, blurry and still difficult to tell exactly how well the melee system will work in practice.

FACE FACTS
We did have another facial issue at this point, however. As with our commander previously, there was a discrepancy between the quality of NPC faces and the surrounding environment. While we have to stress that the problems we have with Battlefield 3 faces probably owe to the fact that we've been spoiled by its environments more than anything, we couldn't help but feel that the bloke punching us in the head looked almost cartoony. At least, he looked like a game character in a photorealistic world.

In any other title it wouldn't be an issue and indeed, it was quickly forgotten once we were back outside, battling on the bridge over what was once probably a busy main road. Battlefield 3 was back at its finest with a seemingly endless draw-distance, scorching sunlight flooding into every possible space and even the leaves on the palm trees bowing ever so slightly in the gusts of wind expelled from grenade blasts.

And it's those little details that impressed us throughout. The snap of the sniper bullet, the slap of your boots on the concrete floor, the way strong beams of virtual sunlight somehow managed to tamper with our real-world climate. There's so much more to be had from DICE's FPS and the stunning Frostbite 2 engine that really shines through under the right conditions.

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You already know that Battlefield 3 is beautiful but, trust us, until you've seen it on the big screen, with some big sound, you don't know the half of it.

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