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Battlefield 3: Returning to its roots on Wii U?

The only decent way to wage digital war...

The problem with collecting 31 of your friends and staging a battle in real life, complete with tanks, jets and more assault rifles than a texan gun shop, is that you're all too often mistaken for real soldiers and accused of trying to spark a minor war.

We're lucky, then, that we live in a world in which the Battlefield series is a thing. birthed as multiplayer shooter Battlefield 1942 on PC, the Battlefield games have gone on Quantum Leap-style hops through eras, with titles set in Vietnam, World War II and space year 2142 before settling on 'sort-of moderny-future' as their setting of choice.

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The most recent of these was Battlefield: Bad Company 2, and it proved a major success for series creators DIce on PS3, Pc and Xbox 360. Now their publishers - EA - have confirmed the next Battlefield will make its appearance on Wii U.

Battlefield 3 takes the series' penchant for war and expands it. the Bad Company games were slimmed down somewhat from the PC-only Battlefield 2, having reduced the player limit from 64 and depleted the vehicle pool.

Battlefield 3 will bump that back up again, while also adding the kind of ridiculous weapons of war it'd be stupid not to jump into and take for a ride. these include fairly simple vehicles - Humvees and quadbikes - but extend all the way up to mad future-o-jets and secret helicopters bristling with guns. Players are able to control all of them, leading to firefights on a massive scale, as two teams clash over their objectives.

In Battlefield 2, those objectives were flags, set up at points on the map that you needed to stand around in until they were captured. then you had to defend them against enemy onslaughts.

Bad Company introduced a new game mode, called rush, that cast one team as defenders and the other as attackers. Battlefield 3 will have both game modes and, if the multiplayer levels we've seen so far are anything to go by, gigantic maps on which to play them.

But the most interesting aspects of a Wii U Battlefield 3 are the elements that could return from earlier in the series' lifespan. EA president Frank Gibeau has mentioned that the touch-screen controller would allow for a 'commander mode', last seen in Battlefield 2.

This set one player as a leader, letting them dictate where on the map their squad should move next. The Wii U controller would allow a player to assume this role and draw little arrows all over the map while still controlling their soldier - previously Battlefield 2 players had to lock themselves in little cubby holes to do their commanding.

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Even on a smaller scale, the potential for squad communication is greatly increased with Wii U. "Go to that thingy over there near the wotsit" becomes an easy-to-follow arrow; "Help! A man behind a rock is shooting at me!" becomes a little red notifier on the map that you cradle in your hands.

This version of Battlefield 3 might not have the sheer visual grunt of the top-end PC version, but the fact that EA's president is talking up the potential of Wii U means the version that Nintendo gamers will get their hands on promises genuine ingenuity in its mass multiplayer brawls.

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