DICE on building Battlefield 3 from the 'gun out'

Four new--frankly, stunning--screens from Battlefield 3 have been released, showcasing the Rolling Thunder single-player level shown off during E3 2011 and the Metro map available during the short-lived alpha test on PC. Additionally, the Battlefield Blog has been updated, discussing the importance of authenticity in the upcoming shooter from developer DICE. The first element the team feels it must perfect are the weapons, the blog notes. "We know our players look critically at the guns in our games, so we brought in experts," senior designer Alan Kertz wrote. "Is the exit smoke from this RPG large enough? Is the precision increase when adding a heavy barrel to this rifle noticeable enough in semi-burst fire mode? How does the addition of a foregrip to this rifle affect the stability when firing in fully automatic mode?" Kurtz postulates, as the team continues to tweak and test the weaponry available in Battlefield 3. "Our military advisors not only help us get it right, they help us understand why it's right."

Battlefield 3 'Metro' multiplayer map

Comparing the process of ensuring weapon authenticity to both Battlefield 2 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Kertz says there is a "larger focus" on getting all of the details right in Battlefield 3. "This comes down to details like reloads, mobility, bullet trajectories, and even how the caliber and barrel length of a gun determines muzzle velocity and energy. For Alan, this approach clearly leads to better gameplay." Kertz notes that the army selects a different weapon for different reasons, and that DICE hopes to give the same strategic choice to players when the game ships later this year. The arsenal will be built from real life selections made by the U.S. Marine Corps and Russian Army; however, built upon that "base" of firearms, a number of "returning classics" have been added into the fold. "We’re not just giving you weapon A or B, take it or leave it, though. Each main weapon will be heavily customizable to suit different roles. The majority of weapons in Battlefield 3 can be tailored by the player to fit anything from close quarter to long range combat, or something in between. But we’ll save that for a later Battleblog post, when we will go deep into weapons customization." Battlefield 3 launches on October 25 for the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. A beta test is planned prior to the game's launch.