DICE discusses Battlefield 3 console multiplayer changes

By Steve Watts, Jul 26, 2011 7:30am PDT

DICE is making a few compromises for the console versions of Battlefield 3 -- namely, fewer players and smaller maps. The compromises aren't ideal, but studio head Patrick Bach recently defended the decisions.

"The biggest difference between the PC and console version of Battlefield 3 is that we have 64 players on the PC and 24 players maximum on console," Bach explained. "The rest is more or less the same: we use the same engine, the same technology, the same animation system, the same lighting system. Our aim is to give the player the exact same experience and not try to dumb down the console version.

"If you want the same quality of game, I would say it's really, really hard. We tried to get more players in [to the console version] but then you need to scale down all the graphics, scale down all the destructibility, and sometimes you need to scale down all the map sizes," Bach told GameZone (via CVG). "Everything is a compromise on: where do you cut?"

Bach compared Battlefield to other games on the market, and says DICE "[doesn't] see games that have more players as a better experience, so having more players per se doesn't automatically give you a better experience." He says if they squeezed in 64 players, people would get "very upset that it looked worse, played worse and wasn't as fun as the PC version." He also says that scaling down segments of the console version allows them to keep vehicles accessible.

He also called the multiplayer maps "more or less" the same. "When we say they are smaller, it's not that we have cut them in half. But we tried to compact them slightly to keep the action up. If you compare it to Battlefield: Bad Company 2, the maps weren't really small on console. We actually had huge maps even for console. We have the same kind of angle on it right now. We want to create the same experience for PC as for consoles."

Battlefield 3 is due on October 25 for PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 -- though its digital platforms are still undetermined. If you just can't wait that long, the public beta is set for sometime in September.

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