Exclusive first look at Battlefield 3: End Game from DICE in Stockholm, Sweden. Lead designer Niklas Fegraeus talks through some of the details. Endgame is all about speed, agility and adrenaline – and nothing emphasises these qualities more than the motorbike chases. .
Niklas, Endgame is finally here. We've seen the motorbikes in the trailer, what's in store for us and how's it different from any modes we've played before?
Well, no we're going all in with speed. It's speed and agility that's the theme of this pack. So Endgame is really about the adrenaline that comes with high speed combat and chases. And the motorbike is of course the epitome of that, where you basically ride it, and you have your friend on the back and you go crazy fast over jumps and taking bases super fast.
So you've got four maps in this piece of DLC. What types of terrain are we going to be riding and running and flying around in?
They are themed kind of around the different seasons. We have the winter map, which is Sabalan Pipeline, and then we have Nebandan Flats, which is a big deserty, hot summer map. And then we have the kind of autumn map which is Operation Riverside and then Kiasar Railroad which is a spring, lush, green type of forest map.
So aesthetically they look very different, but how do they play differently?
When talking about speed, you need some distance to cover, otherwise you won't get anywhere. So, the maps in Endgame are quite big. The exception to that would be Sabalan Pipeline, which is a slightly smaller map. It's still vehicle friendly but it has smaller distances to cover so it's a little more catered to infantry combat.
Traditionally, with a new piece of DLC comes new game modes as well. Have you go any in this new pack?
We have two new game modes actually. One is Capture The Flag, making a triumphant return since 1942. It's a really fast mode, and it's such a Battlefield twist to the mode - because it is a classic mode and it's been done so many times before but not in this way where you actually have vehicles as part of it and as an integral part of it. And the other is Air Superiority and the reason why we picked those two modes is because they really catered to the speed and agility that comes with the pack and this Conquest-style Air Superiority mode where you're supposed to capture areas of the sky which are represented by these blimps, instead of flags, for example. And of course, a big 12 on 12 dogfight, you know - that's the most adrenaline and speed filled experience you can have!
In terms of level design, have you put any fun things in for people on motorbikes to play around with?
Yes! Absolutely. We've added lots of hidden (and some are very obvious) jumps and you can make some really big air jumps or some small. You can do big shortcuts like over rocky terrain or something like that to reach the flag bases faster. So there's lots of cool stuff to do for the people riding the bikes.
And I guess some spectacular crashes happen as well?
Indeed they do! Fail a jump and you hit the pine tree, and it's bye bye.
What's this about a dropship?
This is basically a rapid deployment idea, which means that if you control the central base, you control a dropship which means that you can spawn inside an IUV dropping out of the dropship onto the battlefield through parachute. So you can get a surprise tank coming down from the sky to help your team, which is pretty cool.
To counter to the aerial threat, you've got some aerial defences in there as well, haven't you?
Yes, we have two new jeeps with an AA turret on the back, so they provide very mobile, very fast, anti air support which is really nice because normally you might have to rely on either static AA or infantry which doesn't have the strongest AA, but now you have this very mobile platform to take out air threats, which is really nice.
Now Niklas, we're here at DICE, we've come all this way - it wouldn't be a worthwhile trip without a little bit of insider information. Do you have any tips for us for Endgame, about how to get the edge over the opponents?
But if you pull it off, it's awesome. It's basically: if you have a friend, on the motorbike, and you jump onto the back, that means you can use your own weapons uou're not tied to specific vehicle weapons. So what I like to do is to actually equip some C4, and then as you come up to some of the jumps, that go over roads and over crossings, if you time it right and there's a tank passing by, you can actually go over the tank, drop some C4, and as you land next to it go click! And that is pretty epic.
That's what I call a Battlefield moment!
Yes, indeed it is.
Well Niklas, obviously Endgame is the last piece of DLC and you've been with us from the very start so thank you very much for your time talking us through not only Battlefield 3 but all the iterations of the DLC that have come since then, and I'll look forward to playing Endgame!
Thank you! Always a pleasure.
As mentioned there are four new maps for Battlefield 3: End Game, and each is themed around a different season. The winter map is Sabalan Pipeline, the summer map – Nebandan Flats - is a hot desert, and the autumn map is called Operation Riverside. The final map, Kiasar Railroad, is a lush, green forest map that symbolises spring. Aesthetically each map is very different, and they’re all big to allow bursts of speed and long vehicle chases. Sabalan Pipeline is a slightly smaller map that, while still vehicle friendly, is also catered towards infantry combat.
There are two new game modes in Endgame. The first is Capture The Flag, which makes a return for the first time since Battlefield 1942. It’s a classic mode but here it’s given a Battlefield twist with vehicles making it fast and exciting. The other new mode is Air Superiority, where you capture areas of sky represented by blimps in dogfights of up to 12 players versus 12.
There are lots of jumps, both hidden and in plain sight, and shortcuts that will allow players to reach flag bases faster on motorbikes. There is also a new dropship, which allows for rapid deployment. If you control the central base, you can control a dropship that means you can spawn inside a tank deposited out of the dropship and onto the battlefield via parachute. It’s the perfect way to surprise enemies with a tank to help out your teammates. But to counter these aerial threats, there are new aerial defences in the form of two new jeeps equipped with AA turrets on their back. They provide very mobile, very fast anti-air support.
Finally, Niklas divulges his top tip for taking out opponents in Endgame. It’s tricky to pull off but is worth the extra effort. When sitting on the back of a friend’s bike, you have full access to all your regular weaponry. Equip some C4, and if you time it right, you can pass over a jump located over a road, you can drop C4 onto a tank passing through - landing beside it to detonate. Now that’s what we call a Battlefield moment!
Battlefield 3: End Game is out this March. You can purchase it separately for PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 – or get it two weeks early at no extra charge if you become a Battlefield 3: Premium member.