I'm a big fan of DICE's Battlefield series, going all the way back to "Battlefield 1942." So, it shouldn't be any surprise that I'm ridiculously excited for their upcoming "Battlefield 3" game; especially after seeing the latest footage of it in action.
But now I find myself wondering, just how different will it be from the Battlefield game I'm currently playing (Bad Company 2) on PC (Is there any other way to play these games? :) )
What new features and possibilities will BF3 bring to the table and what features of games past will make a return?
Here's what I'm hoping for:
Co-op Campaign - This has been hinted at and rumored but not yet confirmed to the best of my knowledge. Can't help thinking how great it would be to share that experience with friends; especially after the disappointment of Bad Company 2's Onslaught mode not making it to PC.
Better Environmental Interactions - Whether it's guys sticking their guns through geometry glitches to kill me from behind impenetrable cover or just getting stuck on scenery with fatal consequences, I'm really hoping that Frostbite 2 (the new version of the game engine driving BF3) does a lot to cut down on these sorts of things. It's not that such problems are rampant in the current BF games, but when they do occur it really hurts the otherwise excellent sense of plausibility and immersion the games generally create.
Better Matchmaking and Auto-Balancing - I would love to be able to queue as a squad with friends, ensuring that we always end up in the same squad when joining a game. Far too often on the PC version of Bad Company 2, I find myself struggling to team up with friends in the game. This is a particular area where the console versions of the game seem to excel and I hope to see some of that make its way to the PC with BF3. Also, it would be great if BF servers took more into account when auto-balancing teams than simply ensuring that an equal number of players are on both sides. Don't break up my squad of friends or put all the high ranking players on one side or the other. Have the servers base what they're doing on all the data that's available to them and make smarter decisions about who ends up where and the experience will be better for everyone.
Dismemberment in Hardcore Mode - It would be really cool if where an enemy was hit had a more dramatic effect on them. I completely understand why DICE and EA might not want to implement something like this in the game's standard modes, but I don't think I'm the only one who'd like to see an enemy's head pop off (with an appropriate blood spray) after lining up a tricky shot with a sniper rifle. Believe me, I'm very much aware of how that statement might come across out of context, but in the context of a game that in a lot of ways is trying to simulate something that could occur in reality, I think it would be cool for them to push things a bit and notch up the realism in a way that could have interesting gameplay consequences. For example, shock paddles aren't going to do much for a guy who's missing a head, or what would it be like to have to shoot a sidearm with your weak hand because your dominant arm's been blown off? Again, clearly not for everyone, but I'd definitely like to see them explore these sorts of things given the general tone of the game.
In-Game Clan Support - This is something I've seen explored in other games like "Metal Gear Online" and "MAG" to good effect that I think BF, with its clearly-dedicated user base could really benefit from implementing. Again, this is something that could be integrated into an updated matchmaking system and with EA's general emphasis on social gaming of late, I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear that this sort of thing is already being explored. In case anyone's not familiar with the term, a "clan" refers to an organized group of players who coordinate their in-game efforts against other such groups.
Having said all that, there are already tons of confirmed new and returning features for BF3 that I'm very excited about like 64-player support on PC, more destructibility in the environments, improvements to the animation system and jet fighters to name a few. I have a lot of faith in DICE as a developer and I'm pretty confident that BF3 is going to be an awesome game, even if none of the things I'm hoping for make the cut, but it's nice to dream out loud and add my voice to the chorus of BF fans eagerly anticipating the game's release.