Battlefield 3 Details Leaked?

A report on Digital Battle is claiming to bring the first details of the next game in Electronic Arts' and developer DICE's Battlefield series.

According to the article--which cites an anonymous investor briefing that was sent in by a tipster--Battlefield 3 will apparently be returning to the modern setting of Battlefield 2, following the series' brief foray into the future in Battlefield 2142. One example of a map is titled "Baghdad Burning," with the only two playable factions consisting of NATO and the Middle Eastern Coalition.

The extensive feature list notes the game will ship with only 8 maps, supporting up to 80 players total in online play. Online stat tracking and awards will be taken further with a new "Soldier" feature, which will allow for avatars that can be designed as in a massively multiplayer game, and outfitted with unlockable armor and other accessories. Game mechanics appear to be similar to past games, including ticket-based capture points, five playable classes (Sniper, Assault, Engineer, Medic, Support), 48 vehicles, and 34 weapons.

Though only Windows Vista and OS X are listed as supported operating systems, it is hard to imagine Windows XP users will be left out of the dust. The game will supposedly use the "Frostbite DX" engine, apparently a version of the same engine used in the upcoming Battlefield: Bad Company. In-game replay and recording features, popular in recent games such as Halo 3 and EA Black Box's skate., are also bullet-pointed.

The report concludes with a teaser trailer and announcement set for January 2008, along with a tentative public beta scheduled for next summer. Given the questionable nature of this rumor--the low number of maps in particular stands out as an oddity--keep your eyes peeled for either a confirmation or denial from EA in the future.