Alright people, I’ve got a lot to say here and not many words say it in, so I’m not going to waste precious space on introductions. Read the headline if you’re unsure what the article is about.

The basics

Battlefield 3 is one of 2011’s most exciting looking games, and possibly its most ambitious first person shooter. Published by EA and developed by DICE, Battlefield 3 promises to build on a firm heritage of Battlefield awesomeness.

It is being released on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360, and is due out in South Africa on 28 October.

Campaign

Although the multiplayer component is the star of the show, Battlefield 3 will also feature a single player campaign which will be set near the Iraq-Iran border.

Multiplayer

Battlefield 3‘s longevity lies in the multiplayer component. There will be four unique classes: Assault, Support, Engineer and Recon, and several game modes, including Conquest, Rush, Squad Rush and for the first time in a Battlefield game, squad/team deathmatch.

The PC version of Battlefield 3 will make use of dedicated servers, and the likes of iGame, MWEB and WebAfrica will be providing these services in South Africa. The PC version will also support up to 64 players on a single match, although the console version will max out at 24 players.

Classes

Like previous Battlefield games, Battlefield 3 will consist of classes, each with their own items, upgrade paths, and roles to play in multiplayer games.

Assault

There will be no medic class in Battlefield 3, so instead, Assault players will carry med kits and defibrillators.  The Assault class will also perform a core combat role.

Engineer

The Engineer class will not change too much from Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Engineers will specialize in destroying and repairing vehicles. They will also carry torches, making them well suited to exploring dark areas. Shining a torch in an enemy’s face will temporarily blind them.

Support

The Support class marks an interesting addition to the Battlefield universe. Support players will be able to use a heavy machine gun, which will require setting up on a bi-pod. They will earn points for laying down suppression fire. When under suppression fire, players will experience blurry vision and a shaky camera affect. Support players will earn points for sharing ammunition.

Recon

Snipers in Battlefield 3 will reportedly be less powerful, and quick scoping will be especially difficult. Players will also have to hold their breath before firing to be accurate over long distances. Recon players will also get C4 explosive packs.

Vehicles

Vehicle based combat has always been a big part of the Battlefield experience, and Battlefield 3 will be no different. The game will feature 20 different vehicles spread across 12 vehicle classes. Battlefield 3 will include jet fighters, helicopters, tanks, quad bikes, and lots more.

Additional multiplayer details

–  Players will be able to mount sniper rifles and machine guns onto surfaces for increased accuracy.
– Destroying a tank won’t kill everyone inside, only those closest to the blast.
Battlefield 3 won’t ship with mod tools, but they may come later.
– The PC version of Battlefield 3 will use dedicated servers and Punkbuster.
– There will be ranked and unranked servers.

More Battlefield 3 details

– The console versions will run at 30 frames per second at resolutions slightly below 720p. The Xbox 306 version will ship on two disks.
Battlefield 3 will not be available on Steam.
– DICE claims that Battlefield 3‘s hit detection has been vastly improved.

OK so maybe that’s not EVERYTHING you need to know about Battlefield 3, but it’s all I can fit in under 600 words. It doesn’t really matter though, because you’ll be able to try the game out for yourself at rAge  which takes place between 30 September and 2 October. Of course you could also take part in the open beta which is happening right now