DICE unveiled a little more of their shooter than we've seen so far, showcasing the astounding Frostbite 2 engine's graphical finesse. A live demo saw our protagonist take to the claustrophobic confines of a tank as it raced through the desert, coming under opposing fire and forcing some frankly terrifying tank combat.
It wasn't just the inside of a giant metal coffin we were treated to however. Forced to laze a few targets from the air using thermal imaging, we were witness to a spectacle like no other. Well okay, it was a little bit like that AC - 130 section from Call of Duty, but the lighting and glare used to such great effect in Activision's seminal modern warfare franchise was turned up to full; it was genuinely difficult to believe we were watching a game and not a harrowing news report from a conflict in the middle east. The action was frenetic, and the sound design forced you to feel every slug that hit, and every explosion that rocked the screen.
Also mentioned was the inclusion of an online service called 'Battlelog', designed to allow people to form clans, customise matches, and round out the matchmaking process, not unlike a certain other company's online service. As if there were any doubts that DICE had Activision's Elite firmly in their sights, they pointed out the fact that 'Battlelog' would be offered 'absolutely free', a knowing smirk on their faces.
Speaking of multiplayer, we were given but a glimpse of what lies in store for Battlefield 3's online section, though what we did see looked impressive. The frantic nature of the singleplayer seems to have made the jump, with bullets ricocheting and the destructible environments crumbling, leaving teammates gradually more exposed. The multiplayer trailer can be found here.
Finally, and perhaps most excitingly, DICE announced a multiplatform open beta coming this September, a whole month before its October 25th release date, possibly another retaliation to the news that Activision will offer a private-public beta.
We're very excited for Battlefield 3, and it might just take game of the show at this year's E3. How do you feel about DICE's efforts, and their blatant jabs at Activision? Let us know in the comments box below.