Far Cry 3's included level editor provides all the tools and textures necessary for crafting unique multiplayer maps, but one tinkerer has instead taken to recreating some very familiar locales with uncanny accuracy. As reported by MP1st, user ShadowZack has shared a series of maps fashioned after popular arenas from Battlefield, Call of Duty, and Counter-Strike.
We're getting perilously close to the end of the year, which means it's time to start gathering up our PC gaming experiences and forging them into great big lists. YES. Our game of the year awards are coming up, but before all the arguing starts we thought it'd be nice to reflect some of your most picturesque PC gaming moments.
So here it is, The PC Gamer Community Screenshots of the Year 2012 [ta-da!]. I've picked out ten favourites from the official screenshots thread on our forums. Read on for a chance to admire some lovely images, rediscover some of the year's prettiest games and find out exactly how Mario and Luigi managed to sneak in. Those crazy plumbers. There is no limit to their cunning.
Battlefield 3's rubble-strewn Aftermath DLC won't rumble onto your hard drive until December 4 when Premium players step into the dusty demolition of post-earthquake Iran. (Non-Premium players can access Aftermath on December 18.) Accompanying the new maps, weapons, and Scavenger mode is a hefty patch rebalancing recoil and accuracy of some of the more commonly used guns across each of the four multiplayer kits. The patch notes tell all (via PCGamesN), including a slight reduction in the requirements needed to nab those lofty high-tier medals.
The gutted interior of a tower in Tehran's financial district and the shattered remains of a parliament building are two spectacles talked about but not shown in the latest Aftermath footage. We do get descriptions of the four new maps, however, which include "devastated financial district map Markaz Monolith, the heavily destroyed Epicentre map, the Talah market map, which is a mix of the old and the new architecture of the city, and finally Azadi Palace, a huge urban landscape with a massive parliament building at its core." Catch new moving pictures of dusty tussles in Tehran's tattered streets below.
EA Games VP Patrick Soderlund has been talking to OXM about the various projects underway at DICE right now, and it sounds like there's more going on beyond Battlefield 3 DLC and Battlefield 4. "The DICE guys are roughly 300 people in the Stockholm studio," said Soderlund. "Not all of them are working on Battlefield things, and that's intentional, because we don't want to become a Battlefield factory."
"The minute we start saying 'you're going to make a Battlefield game for the rest of your life', they're going to go some place else," he added. "So for them to make great Battlefield games there need to be other things for them to do as well. That's why we have people who move around quite a bit.
Update: Regarding those other projects, "Mirror's Edge 2 is in production at DICE," says former Battlefield producer Ben Cousins in a tweet spotted by PCGamesN, a fact that is supposedly "general knowledge in the Stockholm dev scene."
We've seen parts of Battlefield 3's forthcoming Aftermath DLC before now, but this is our first proper glimpse of the Epicentre map that seems to be the focal point of the expansion. Level artist Pontus Ryman took to the Battlefield blog (hereafter referred to as the 'battleblog') to talk about the map, in a post that included a long, lingering flythrough of Epicentre itself.
Crossbows are coming to Battlefield 3 in the next expansion, Aftermath. A new post on the Battlefield blog outlines the strengths and weaknesses of the new weapon, which has the power to both kill silently and blow holes in walls thanks to multiple bolts ammo types.
Standard bolts can kill at medium at short range, balanced bolts can kill at long range, scan bolts highlight enemies within a 10 meter radius of the impact site and explosive bolts create a small C4 explosion at the point of contact. You can switch between ammo types "on the fly."
If you like Battlefield 3, or war movies, or just explosions then you should definitely take a look at the five minute "Moments" machinima for Battlefield 3. It creator Robert Stoneman one week to make with help from 15 in-game stuntmen. See quadbikes speeding backwards over the dunes of Bandar Desert, see jets duelling over the Alborz and see what happens when a tank lands on top of a low-flying chopper. I don't know about you, but this is one of the slickest Machinima vids I've seen in a while.
On a post at the Mordor HQ forums, spotted by PCGamesN, DICE staffer Mikael Kalms has reversed a previous statement that DICE would allow players to turn off the colour-grading which gives Battlefield its muted, cold aesthetic.
So, here we go again. The saga began when devs suggested that modders trying to alter the colour palette of the game might inadvertently fall foul of anti-cheat measures and find themselves banned from the game. The ensuing outcry led DICE to suggest it would implement such an option with the next patch of the game. But now it seems the company has thought better of that, with Kalms reproducing an official statement saying, "we are proud of the visual identity of Battlefield 3 and do not wish to change it."
DICE retreat from BF3's war on colours by adding 'disable colour grading' option [Update: nope, changed their minds]
Colour-tweaking mods have become fairly popular over the last few years, as visual filters degrade what could be beautiful environments for the sake of authenticity or style. In a game like Fallout, rectifying the game's very green visuals is as simple as installing the Fellout mod; try that in Battlefield 3 and you risk having your account banned, over fears that it gives an unfair advantage. Well, DICE have finally seen sense, revealing that the game's next update will add "a console command for disabling the color grading entirely in the game", meaning that such mods should now be unnecessary.
Each chunk of Battlefield 3 DLC has had its own flavour, so far. Back to Karkand was a dusty payload of retro maps reforged in a cutting edge engine, Close Quarters focused on tight maps that delivered fast, accessible scraps. Armoured Kill was expansive and full of tanks. What will Aftermath be?
After the debut trailer, it's hard to say. It's set in ruined, post-quake Iran, but the prospect of more maps set in crumbling yellow streets doesn't especially sell it. There are scoped crossbows, though, which could deliver a quieter, deadlier alternative to a silenced pistol at medium range. The interesting moment comes just before the logo break, which suggests that we might have to contend with mid-match earthquakes. Now that sounds interesting.
A server update for Battlefield 3's Armored Kill rolls out today, although it appears to leave the expansion's literal easter egg well enough alone, probably out of fear over what might hatch. What it will do is tweak the respawn times of the gunship, fix knife takedowns, and make it so that "players can no longer enter vehicles while climbing a ladder." DICE have also added the option to remove the minimap in Hardcore mode, for increased realism and odds of getting lost. You can see the full list of fixes here.
Friday only, GameFly has Battlefield 3 for $10. Friday is such a generous day! Looking forward, Steam's weekend is dedicated to THQ, with 50% off its collection, individually or in a bundle, Amazon has 10% off Borderlands 2 and War of the Roses, Green Man has another 25% off voucher code, and Legend of Grimrock is 50% off at GOG. Much more after the jump.
Tinkering Battlefield 3 soldiers released a mod today allowing tweaks to the displayed color levels, with the most dramatic result involving the suffusion of the pervasive blue-tinged gradient into supposedly more natural colors. The sample photo album and comparison video definitely show a stark difference between stock and modified visuals, but when asked for his input on the mod, Battlefield 3 gameplay designer Gustav Halling said it was "too colorful" and warned of possible permanent bans for users.
Expect to see lots more of Battlelog in the coming years. EA have bought ESN the company who built Battlefield 3's browser based stat tracking/social network/game launcher site. Gamasutra highlight a statement from the company suggesting that they'll be hunkering down with DICE for a while to "focus all of its energy on DICE, Battlelog and the Battlefield series."
Our full verdict on Battlefield 3's latest DLC pack is inbound from pro internet gun-shooter and sometime PC Gamer Art Editor Jon Strike as I write this, but Tom Senior was rather impressed with Armored Kill when he got his hands on it earlier in the month.
It's hard to believe that it's been a whole decade since we were riding on the wings of bombers and making car bombs with satchel charges in Battlefield 1942, one of the most influential multiplayer shooters of all time. To celebrate its storied run, Origin is offering six major entries from the series at $10/£10 a pop.
DICE have announced their shortlist of the ten finest entries for this year's Battlefield 3 community video contest, featuring some spectacular kills, skill shots, plane stunts and war montages from the front lines. Some of the entries are on par with DICE's trailer efforts on the run up to Battlefield 3's launch last year, but now there are lots more maps to play with, which means more bridges to fly under and more indoor areas in which to pilot your helicopter, scaring everyone inside to death.
Battlefield 3 players think about tanks once every six seconds, but how often do they think about the flowers? NEVER, I bet. How many daisies have you crushed while driving your M1A2 Abrams into a squad of engineers? Some, probably.
The Armoured Kill launch trailer is the tale of one flower that survives a huge tank battle on one of the expansion's four new maps. The map pack is out on Xbox today. Premium players will get to jump in and dodge the daisies next Tuesday. All other paying customers can get in on September 25. Wonderfully stupid scenes of all-out-tank-battle-war and miraculous flower survival follow.
Battlefield 3 balance and bug fixing updates don't come along very often thanks to the certification process required by console manufacturers, but when they do arrive, they change a lot. Today's chunky 2.2GB patch arrives a week ahead of the release of the Armoured Kill expansion pack for Premium owners, and seems particularly concerned with weapon balance. Reload times, recoil and damage/distance values have been tweaked "based on joint community feedback and statistical analysis." Bipods have been buffed again and a number of vehicle bugs, and a couple of Donya Fortress exploits have been fixed. Check out the full list of fixes, as they appear over on Battlelog.