Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Gamers dress in military garb for release of 'Battlefield 3'

BRANDON --"Battlefield 3" has been called one of the most anticipated
first-person shooter video games of 2011. And looking at all the folks
lined up at the GameStop on East Brandon Boulevard for its midnight
release Tuesday, it's easy to believe that's no exaggeration.

While this particular store had several hundred pre-sales of the
game, the worldwide pre-sale of EA's "Battlefield 3" reportedly hit 2
million a week ago while another 12 million people took advantage of a
limited "beta" or test version of the game earlier this month.
At GameStop in Brandon, some of the people waiting in line looked as
if they had walked straight out of the online warfare game that, offers
breathtaking visuals and hair-raising audio where you can hear every
bullet whizzing by your head and feel buildings crumbling around you.
The game's big rival, Activision's "Call of Duty 3," will be released
in two weeks. But the hardcore gamers in the midnight crowd – ones who
dressed in military garb and carrying Airsoft (BB gun) replica weapons
so incredibly real-looking they made sure to have clearance to carry
them from the local authorities – say "Battlefield 3" is superior in
nearly all aspects of gaming.
" 'Battlefield 3' is team-based tactics with so many different types
of vehicles involved in the game play with these massive maps (battle
areas) and destructible worlds," said Matt Farmer, owner of Battlegrounds, an indoor Airsoft arena in Tampa. "To me, 'Call of Duty'
is more of an individual, fast-paced, tournament-based game where score
matters. But in 'Battlefield,' there's multi-player objectives where you
have to work with other players as a team to achieve them. I just think
that's a lot more entertaining and challenging."
By the time GameStop began selling the game for $60 at midnight, more
than 100 buyers were lined up down the sidewalk waiting for their copy.
To contrast Farmer and his friends decked out in military garb, two
unarmed waitresses from the new Wing House in Brandon, Allison Bowsher
and Allison Gates, served up samples of their wings to those waiting in
Apart from the Wing House women, everyone in line wanted a copy of
"Battlefield 3," either on Xbox, PlayStation 3 or PC. The big advantage
of the PC version is the ability to have as many as 64 players in a
single online campaign, as opposed to a maximum of 24 on the other
No matter how they planned to play it, most of the people who bought
the "M" (mature rating) game Tuesday night say they were planning to go
home and play it throughout the night. And many of those were teenagers
and even pre-teens.
So if you don't see someone at work or school today, there's a chance they're at home right now playing "Battlefield 3."

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