Battlefield 3 (commonly abbreviated BF3) is a first-person shooter video game developed by EA Digital Illusions CE and published by Electronic Arts. It is a direct sequel to 2005's Battlefield 2, and the eleventh installment in the Battlefield franchise.
The game was released in North America on October 25, 2011 and in Europe on October 28, 2011 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. EA Mobile also confirmed a port for the iOS platform. The game sold 5 million copies in its first week of release, and received critical acclaim from most game reviewers. It does not support versions of Windows prior to Windows Vista as the game only supports DirectX 10 and 11. The PC version is exclusive to EA's Origin platform, through which PC users also authenticate when connecting to the game.
In campaign mode, players take on the personas of several military roles; a USMC recon Marine, an F-18 systems officer, an M1A2 Abrams tank operator, and a SPETSNAZ operative. The campaign takes place at various locations, from Iran to New York, and follows the story of Sergeant Blackburn and later, Dimitri Mayakovsky.
Battlefield 3 features the combined arms battles that made the series popular across single-player, co-operative and multiplayer modes. It reintroduces several elements absent from the Bad Company games, including fighter jets, the prone position and 64-player battles on PC.To accommodate the lower player count on consoles, the ground area is limited for Xbox 360 and PS3, though fly space remains the same.
During an interview with Game Informer, EA stated that Commander Mode is unlikely to be included, which was met with some criticism on the EA forum.
The game features maps set in Paris, Tehran (as well as other locations in Iran), Sulaymaniyah, New York, Kuwait, Wake Island, Oman and the Persian Gulf. The maps cover urban streets, metropolitan downtown areas, and open landscapes suited to vehicle combat.
Battlefield 3 introduces the "Battlelog"; a free cross-platform social service with built-in text messaging, voice communications, game statistics, and the ability to join games that friends are already playing (though both players need to be on the same platform).
The game's campaign takes place in the year 2014. The initial sections of the campaign are set near the Iraq-Iran border, where the US Marine Corps are fighting the People's Liberation and Resistance (PLR). The game later moves into northern Iran, continuing the fight against the PLR. There is a mission set in the streets of Paris, and another set in the sewers and subways of New York.
A demo featuring the new co-op mode was featured at Gamescom 2011. DICE GM Karl Magnus Troedsson confirmed that a split screen option will not be available in co-op mode. Battlefield 3's new Battlelog social network, DICE noted, would be tied to all co-op matches, allowing players to try to beat friends' scores and to track their performance.
Battlefield 3's multiplayer matches see players take on one of four roles: Assault, Support, Engineer and Recon. The Assault class focuses on assault rifles and healing teammates. The Support class focuses on LMGs and supplying ammunition. The Engineer class focuses on supporting and destroying vehicles. The Recon class focuses on sniping and spotting enemies. The mechanics of the weapons have been changed to utilize the new engine: compatible weapons may have bipods attached which can then be deployed when in the prone position or near suitable scenery, and provide a significant boost to accuracy and recoil reduction. Suppressive fire from weapons blurs the vision and reduces the accuracy of those under fire, as well as health regeneration. The Recon class can put a radio beacon anywhere on the map and all squad members will be able to spawn on the location of the beacon.
Several game modes are present, including Conquest, Rush, Squad Deathmatch, Squad Rush and for the first time since Battlefield 1942, Team Deathmatch.
The PC version of Battlefield 3 does not feature a main menu; instead the game is launched via a web browser from the Battlelog web site. A server browser is present in console versions of the game, however.