Tommy Rydling – Product Manager at DICE: Having recently come back from a great GamesCom show in Germany, here’s your chance to learn all about the Battlefield 3 co-op campaign that we showed off on PlayStation 3.
We designed co-op is designed to be the perfect blend between the strong narrative from single player and the open-ended action from multiplayer. We are fusing the replayability of multiplayer with a pick up and play mentality to create a totally new flavor of Battlefield.
Co-op follows the same philosophy as our award-winning multiplayer game mechanics. Teamwork is practically never forced upon you, but working together will make things much easier and — more importantly — lead to victory.
The missions in the co-op campaign are for the most part asymmetric. This means that one mission can have you piloting a helicopter while your friend is the gunner, for example. Other situations have one player disarming a bomb and the other one defending him. Or (as you could see in our press conference playthrough at GamesCom) you can do tandem kills to avoid detection. There are also other mechanics requiring teamwork, such as spotting enemies to make large firefights easier, or the essential concept of reviving one another to avoid ending up at the game over screen.
The co-op missions in Battlefield 3 all take place in the same world as the single player campaign, and follow a unique series of events that lead up to an explosive finish. Players in co-op will take the role of soldiers that are not tied to any one particular branch of the Armed Forces. This is an intentional design decision to allow for a vast variety in gameplay in the different co-op missions.
The mission revolves around a defecting informant, El Zakir, that you and your co-op friend need to escort to safety. The mission starts outside the building where El Zakir resides. You need to move in, remove any opposition, and extract the target. If you can make it that far without raising a single alarm, there’s a little bonus in it for you. Part two of Exfiltration has you clearing a path for your convoy so you can reach the outskirts of the city, before entering two of the vehicles and assisting by manning the top-mounted machine guns. There’s much more to the mission, but that gives you an idea of what to expect.
To survive through the co-op missions, you’ll need to stay close to your buddy. If he goes down, lend a helping hand with the new co-op “Man down!” mechanic, that lets you revive him in the heat of battle. While being down, you can still use your secondary weapon to defend yourself, while slowly crawling to a safer spot where your friend can help you without getting shot. If both of you go down, it’s game over.
You fight together. You die together. And you score together. After having cleared a co-op mission with your friend, your total combined score will be displayed via Battlelog, our suite of free social features that connect all Battlefield 3 players. Missions are designed to be shorter than single player missions, so you can easily do multiple rounds in an evening to try and beat your friends’ high score. The best score of your Friend will be displayed for each mission, so you know what to aim for.
Difficulty is high. We are definitely going for a tough challenge in all missions. Also, since competitive players will likely try each mission several times, all of the co-op missions contain randomized elements to keep every playthrough fresh. Clearing the co-op missions not only gives you scores and bragging rights – it also has benefits for your multiplayer career. There are a number of weapons that you can unlock in co-op and take with you to the regular multiplayer modes. These unlocks are based on your combined scores accumulated throughout the co-op campaign.