An after-action review (AAR) is a professional discussion of an event, that focuses on performance standards and enables development professionals and colleagues with similar or shared interests to discover for themselves what happened, why it happened, and how to sustain strengths and improve on weaknesses. The AAR tool affords leaders, staff, and partners an opportunity to gain maximum benefit from every program, activity, or task. It provides:
Coming off the gamer high of being able to attend E3, host a LIVE Ustream and meet folks in the gaming industry, I was still very surprised when OffDutyGamers.com received invites for EA’s Battlefield 3 to attend a special invite only Community Event on the Friday evening of the PAX Prime 2011 Show held in Seattle, Washington, August 26-28, 2011.
Rigger82 and I were asked to come and participate in a CO-OP match on the PS3 and a Rush and Death Match on the PC. Who were we to turn down such a cool deal?? Of course we jumped at the chance!! We were under orders to keep our traps shut and eyes forward. Being of the military mindset, we of course, honored that request and only now are we released to pass on what an awesome time we had.
Rigger82 and I flew out from our respective AO’s (Areas of Operation) and conducted a linkup in the Seattle Airport. Moving as a fire team, we proceeded to the host hotel and got settled in. All day Friday we toured the PAX Show and to say there was a lot to take in is an understatement. But I’m not here to talk about PAX, which was just sugar on the cookie. I’m here to report on the Community Event and that you shall have.
At 1930 hours local Rigger82 and I proceeded to the room in which the community event was to take place. Upon arrival we spotted the setup of the PC/PS3 combos set up at 32 different stations. Each station included Astro headsets outfitted with the BF3 logo we first saw at E3. Furthermore, a fine feedbag was laid out in the form of a buffet with chicken, steak,’ taters, and for the plant eaters, salads. Two different types of desserts rounded out the menu. To wash down the tasty meal, several varieties of adult beverages were available to partake in.
Prior to the start of gaming, Seeson along with Matt Pruitt EA Marketing Manager, welcomed us folks to the event, and showered us with some awesome swag. Included in the cache was a sweet set of Gunnar glasses, an Imperator mouse from Razer, and an ASTRO gaming backpack. OffDutyGamers provided para-cord bracelets to all the participants at the community event. To say everyone was thrilled and excited to be on the receiving end of such awesomeness was an understatement.
The first round of gameplay was on the PS3 for a CO-OP match. This map required you and your partner to operate as a team and complete objectives of freeing a prisoner and moving him to safety. Easier said than done. Being an almost exclusive player of games on the PC, this non game controller controlling Neanderthal managed to actually get to the prisoner, free him, and move to safety. That is until I became injured and my uh, er, “partner” let me die out in the middle of the street! This map requires “Cooperation” to complete all the objectives! LOL!
A note from his “partner”: Did you know that if you cant hear your battle buddies screams (like a girl I might add) over the hail of gunfire and visual dynamics you just plain don’t know he’s down. Well, in my defense we were getting acclimated and I frankly lost battle focus and when I regained it, he was in a spot I couldn’t reach in time out in the open.
Playing Battlefield 3 on the PS3 is visually well done. The game play is intense, and if not for using the silly controller (hey it is MY ARTICLE!) one would think you were playing on a PC platform. You and your partner need to shoot, move, and most of all COMMUNICATE. If you forget any of this, you will get dead quickly on this map. Your A.I. opponents respond adequately to you and your partners’ moves and there are plenty of them to keep you busy.
Game play was smooth, I noted no choppiness, the A.I. responded to the stimuli that you provided the graphics, and sound rank among the best.
The main thing that bugged me as a military man is in Night Vision Mode. Entire scenes should appear in a green and black view. In the NVG mode on this game, figures appear in multi-color Infrared Spectrum colors while the rest of the background in regular NVG mode.
We ran through the map a couple of times before moving onto the PC and the Rush and Deathmatches.
The first play on the PC was a Rush Mutiplayer Match. This match took place in the Subway system that by now you should be familiar with, Operation Metro. You played either the attacker or the defender. Very quickly you learned to once again to shoot, move, and communicate! All of the community players were linked via the headsets and the trash talking that went on would have made my poor sweet, mother blush!
I was on the attacking side, and the defenders put up a pretty good fight. They watched the choke points and defended well. Quite a few fell to the hail of my well placed bullets and a few tossed grenades. The defenders got a little cocky and brave in that they actually tried to come and attack in the spawn point! We flushed them like old toilet paper and moved into the tunnels and took the fight to them. Communication and character selection is once again very important. Before respawning, Rigger and I communicated as to which character we were and the other took another character. If I was Assault/medic, then Rigger chooses to be Engineer and vice versa. This way we could mutually support the other with medic packs, ammo, etc.
After Rush, we reset and moved onto the Deathmatch. This match played on a map that the Alpha testers didn’t even get to play on! The match took place on the daylight streets outside of the Metro Subway station. You could use every building for cover or concealment; snipe from inside of buildings, using cars and dumpsters to cover your movement etc. The pace was fast, the adrenaline was pumping and at one point I came around the corner only to be face to face with an opponent! To say I was startled and jumped is an understatement!
I prefer to play on the PC and the use of the mouse and keyboard felt great! I was in my element of playing a great FPS on the PC.
The event wrapped after four hours of eating, drinking, and game play. Not all of the time was spent playing on the two platforms provided. Time was taken by all participants to exchange business cards, ideas, and just plain sit around and shoot the breeze.
The event was well planned, well-staffed, and hosted by some of the best in the gaming business. OffDutyGamers.com wishes to thank, Seeson, Matt , Kevin, Daniel, Ian and the rest of the BF3 team for this very special invite.
We had the privilege of hanging out with FPSAdmin owner/operator RudeDog and since his camera is way better than anything we had, we pointed a few times to things we felt amused us. Check out some of the photos from the event at FPSAdmin.