EA DICE's flagship military combat series continues with Battlefield 3, a first-person shooter with destructible environments, large-scale maps, controllable vehicles, and online support for up to 24 simultaneous players. The single-player campaign, which the publisher estimates to be 12 hours in length, features multiple playable characters in a structure similar to Activision's Call of Duty franchise.
In a storyline set in 2014, you'll play as a Russian agent sent to stop a terrorist attack in Paris, a Marine corporal in the Tehran desert, and as others in missions set in Sarajevo, New York, Wake Island, Oman, and Sulaymaniyah. The Frostbite physics engine introduced in the Battlefield: Bad Company spin-off series has been enhanced, now allowing for the complete destruction of buildings and scenery objects as well as vision blurring or blinding effects. Soldiers can also shoot from the prone position.
The multiplayer game features a choice of team-based options. Conquest has your side trying to claim and hold different areas of the battlefield, while rush involves one team trying to quickly advance across a map as the other team defends. Team deathmatch is also included, and there are four available classes in the game: assault, support, recon, and engineer. Both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 titles are designed to run at 30 frames per second at 720p resolution.
Gearbox sends gamers back to the Borderlands for a shooter-adventure sequel of high-velocity combat and custom character development. The first-person action plays out in dystopian outpost environments on the original game's planet of Pandora, five years later, as a greedy industrialist called Handsome Jack seeks to weed out the local populace through a series of gladiator matches. Players choose from four new character types, each with three branches of specialized development in the game's RPG-like experience system. Experience comes with kills and quest completions.
Expanding on the original game, Borderlands 2's gun system can create millions of different computer-generated weapons, as well as shields and equipment enhancements. Non-player characters are more expressive, and quest outcomes have more influence on the game world. In addition to the dusty, desert settings of the first adventure, the sequel visits a number of new Pandora environments, including the merciless frozen tundra where the revenge-driven plotline begins. Online, over a local network, or in split screen, the game's co-op mode allows a second player to freely join and drop out of a game in session.