At an EA Mobile press get-together in San Francisco this week, one of the new games on display was Battlefield 3: Aftershock for iOS. Although the game is very early, we had a chance to go hands-on with what we think might be a bite-sized, freemium take on the first-person shooter series.
When we started playing, the first thing we noticed was that the levels seem to be broken down into tiny chunks, much smaller than the sprawling levels of Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Each level also gave us a 1-3 star rating based on our performance.
In the level we played, we began in a bombed-out underground garage, where terrorists kept pouring in through a hole in the wall. This siege-like staging, along with smaller levels, could make for some interesting gameplay scenarios.
Although there was no hint of a story in the build we played, we were told that the plot of Battlefield 3: Aftershock follows a military rescue team that heads to the Middle East after a powerful earthquake. From what we played, the story may take a back seat to the instant action, instead of combining the two like in Modern Combat 3.
The build of Battlefield 3 that we were presented with was quite rough, in a pre-alpha state, which is earlier than we usually get to see most games. As a result, there were a lot of glitches, like enemies shooting through walls, but we expect the final version to be a lot more polished when it comes out early next year.
We also noticed a lot of freemium-style user interface details, like the ability to purchase more health packs before a round, and banner ads on the menu screen. EA Mobile wouldn’t confirm that Battlefield 3: Aftershock is going to be a freemium title, but based on what we played, it certainly seems to be shaping up that way.
When Battlefield: Bad Company 2 launched last year for a measly buck, we hailed it as a Must Have game and a great deal to boot. If Battlefield 3 were a freemium shooter, with much smaller, faster levels, it’d be a departure for players but possibly an even bigger financial success for EA. We’ll have more details for you on Battlefield 3 for iOS as we continue to receive them.