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Battlefield 3: Aftershock sets its sights on iOS


Part of me wonders why EA even bothered showing off Battlefield 3: Aftershock at a recent event in San Francisco, a planned universal app for iOS devices. It's in a pre-alpha state, with just three different maps and placeholder graphics, and some very rough gameplay on offer during my time with it.

But the potential places Battlefield 3: Aftershock could go have me genuinely excited for what might be.

Gallery: Battlefield 3: Aftershock | 4 Photos

Right now, there really isn't a game plan for Battlefield 3 on iOS. Full multiplayer support over WiFi and local wireless have made it into EA's admittedly vague hopes for the game, and the publisher is also toying with a dual currency scheme -- grind currency (your time) and premium currency (your money). Ideally, in-game currency would unlock different kits and weapons.

Players will have persistent gear and levels, much like Battlefield 3 proper -- but most of the menus I saw had placeholder art and descriptions, so it's hard to be sure of what will be in the final product.

It's fairly certain that Battlefield 3: Aftershock will have separate single-player and multiplayer components, kind of like what was on offer in Battlefield: Bad Company 2 on iOS. There will be a campaign mode that plays like Horde in Gears of War (e.g. waves of enemies come and you shoot them), but the multiplayer scope this time is a bit bigger. Battlefield 3: Aftershock will have a competitive multiplayer experience that aims to be on-par with its console brethren, but it wasn't available for me to check out, sadly.

The only downside of my demo were the placeholder graphics. Understandably, most of the work so far has gone into the game engine and back-end, all of which has been built from scratch for Battlefield 3: Aftershock. Of the three maps I saw, most of the environment was rendered, but there weren't any animations for the enemy soldiers or much visual polish overall.

Battlefield 3: Aftershock is still a long ways off, and its look is sure to change drastically on its way to the iTunes app store, but what little I saw showed overall promise. It wouldn't be the first game on iOS to offer competitive multiplayer in this fashion nor a single-player campaign, but with the right resources, EA can certainly make it one of the better, more fun-to-play time sinks out there.

I suggest starting with a good look at Modern Combat 3.

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