Battlefield 3's multiplayer maps detailed

By Andrew Yoon, Oct 14, 2011 1:15pm PDT

Why does Battlefield 3 feature the multiplayer maps it does? "Creating levels at DICE is a democratic affair, and a process that is ruled in equal amounts by art and gameplay design," DICE's David McDonagh said. At the start of the design process, DICE's artists and level designers mocked a few potential levels. Then, the team votes on which maps would make "the most compelling and diverse package."

Ultimately, the team whittled down the list of maps down to nine. These maps are the ones "that combined bring out everything we want both veteran and new Battlefield players to experience in Battlefield 3 multiplayer."

Caspian Border

It is one of the few "lush and green" maps included in the game, and is considered an "obvious map choice" for players that want to play with vehicles. "Base distances are generally too long to cover by foot," DICE explains, which is why nearly every type of vehicle is available in this map.

Damavand Peak

Called "Base Jump" internally at DICE, this map takes place on a mountain ridge above a mining facility, and thus, "features our most extreme height differences ever in a Battlefield map." Because of the change in terrain, vehicle gameplay becomes more prevalent the further you progress in the map.

Grand Bazaar

Set in the urban center of Tehran, it is a "classically mirrored map" so that both sides will take very similar paths. It's a close quarter combat map "where shotguns tend to be favored."

Kharg Island

One of the few maps with boat gameplay, Kharg Island is set in the Persian sea, not far from the Iranian coast. This is one of the more vehicle-friendly map, thanks to the longer distance between flags.

Noshahar Canals

"We wanted to contrast the urban and rural with something more industrial," DICE explains. Being an industrial harbor, the canals feature a mix of infantry, land vehicle, and boat gameplay. Because it's a much smaller map than other vehicle maps, there's "tighter infantry combat."

Operation Firestorm

This is one of the largest maps in the game, and is "classic Battlefield gameplay taken to the extremes." According to DICE, "you could actually place three Atacama Deserts" within the playable confines of Firestorm. "Construction sites dotting the area bring interesting possibilities for infantry to hide in elevated positions, spot vehicles, and take them down by mortar or RPG."

Operation Métro

This is the map from E3 and the open beta. "It is a map that perfectly illustrates that we want to take our players on a journey," DICE says. Because of its diverse sections, "it's a map that asks you to constantly adapt your class and load out."

Seine Crossing

Yet another Parisian map, this one features a bank building--one of the largest indoor environments in the game. "Infantry can sneak through tight alleyways and climb staircases."

Tehran Highway

"One of the inspirations for this map was a photo of a night time skyline of Tehran which now is basically the same vista that is available in the game." This nighttime map is balanced for both vehicles and infantry, starting in an open area, but ending with an urban "tight note."

Battlefield 3 is coming to PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on October 25.

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