DICE Level Artist Pontus Ryman flies Battlefield 3 fans through one of the four brand new maps included in the upcoming expansion, Aftermath.
Set in an earthquake-struck Tehran, Epicenter features some very distinct features that are sure to provide a very different Battlefield experience this December. Ryman writes in the latest Inside DICE blog, “To push the [earthquake] theme even more, I wanted something unique in the level that really was specific not only in comparison to the other maps in the expansion pack, but to all other multiplayer maps in Battlefield 3.”
In this case, he’s referring to the continuous tremors that occur randomly throughout a match in Aftermath. He adds, “The effects are more than just window dressing. It creates a new element of suspense, as no one knows when the tremors will hit. And when they do, players will need to be able to judge whether to try and steady their aim and go for a shaky shot, or whether to hold their trigger finger until the tremor has passed – at the risk of letting the enemy out of their sight.”
Obviously, the landscape in Epicenter has seen better days. However, the shifting of the earth creates some unique exploration opportunities. “A broken pipe in the ground becomes something you can crawl through; a rift in the street becomes a protective trench; and a pile of rubble becomes a makeshift staircase that takes you to the next level inside a building,” explains Ryman.
Also, expect “there to be plenty of additional paths for players to find. There are a number of places where players can destroy specific doors to open alternate routes. These routes can be very handy when trying to flank enemies or if they want to avoid confrontation.”
Much attention was also paid to building and other structures – making sure they looked as if they were toppled by an earthquake, not torn apart by war, as in previous Battlefield 3 maps. Ryman talks about designing buildings in Aftermath: “we designed them in a collapsed and tipped over state to show that something actually damaged their foundations (rather than them having been hit by a bomb, for example). This gives way to interesting areas where the rubble pile from a half collapsed building creates a new path for infantry to gain the higher ground.”
Lastly, Ryman recalls the inspiration for Epicenter: “The idea behind Epicenter was to do a severely shattered high-rise district from central Tehran, with the sensation of trying to survive in the aftermath of the earthquake. The map name also stemmed from the idea that this map features one of the areas hit the hardest by the earthquake in the single player campaign.”
Check out the flythrough below and make sure to visit our Battlefield 3: Aftermath preivew!
What do you think of Epicenter so far? Excited to get some play time on it?