PAX '11: Battlefield 3 Community Event Recap

Not long ago we at DualShockers got an email from EA asking if we would like to attend a special Community Event at PAX Prime 2011 to check out Battlefield 3, and as any sane person would do we instantly jumped at the opportunity. I was fortunate enough to be selected for the event and have EA pay for my flight, hotel and PAX pass. Oh, and did I mention that part of the gig was that I got to play Battlefield 3 for a couple of hours at a private event? Because I totally did. Read on to see how everything went down and read about my experience in Seattle all thanks to the kind folks over at EA. 

Let me preface this one with one shocking detail: prior to this weekend I had never flown before. I’ve traveled plenty, but always in a car. I’d also never had the fortune of visiting a large gaming event like PAX, E3 or anything remotely similar. So to be given the opportunity to take part in all of this truly meant a lot to me. Those of us who were flown out by EA stayed at the Westin hotel which was very nice but unfortunately did not have free wifi access in the room (hence me not writing anything until coming home). Just a few blocks from the convention center, it was a short walk every morning to get the party started.

Every day at PAX itself was a wonderful adventure where I met many friends and personalities I knew from the internet and had a great time while also getting to play all of the games coming out in the coming months, though to read more on those keep an eye out for all of my PAX coverage in the next week. Friday night however led to us returning to the hotel in the evening for the Battlefield 3 Community Event.

As we entered the meeting room at the hotel, computers provided by Nvidia were set up around the room with a PlayStation 3 next to them. Of course before we got into the hot BF3 action we all had some food again courtesy of EA. As soon as this was done, it was time to play some Co-Op on the PlayStation 3.

Unfortunately my Co-Op partner’s PlayStation 3 decided that it didn’t want to keep working anymore and refused to send any video signal. The two of us waited while a new test unit was set up and the software installed, watching the others play the level and enjoying the open bar. With ten minutes left for the allotted Co-Op segment the system finally started running so we decided to give it a shot.

The beginning of the level encouraged us to stealthily take out the enemies in the room ahead of us, but as we were pressed for time we decided to take another strategy at EA’s suggestion: go nuts. So we burst into the room with the LMGs strapped to our backs in our hands and mowed down everything in sight. I swapped my silent pistol for a shotgun and we cleared the room and made our way through the level at breakneck speed.

Time ran out and everyone was setting up for multiplayer, but we were informed that shockingly our gung-ho tactic was EXTREMELY effective. One EA rep said we made it about 80% of the way through the level, and I would like to note that we did so without dying a single time. We took turns getting downed occasionally, but never went fully out. I like to mark that one up as a solid victory.

Afterwards we spent the rest of the evening playing multiplayer on the PC running at fully optimized settings, and I have to say that quite bluntly it was a wonderful experience. Prior to the event a few of us knew each other or were perhaps familiar with a few of the other players through reputation, but for the most part this was 16 complete strangers on each team. It didn’t take long for us to start communicating, strategizing and working together to stop the other team from making progress.

I think my game was broken because I was in the top 3 in the room every game. Turns out I’m so awesome I broke the game. After our hands on time with the game, we were given a few very awesome pieces of swag courtesy of EA, DICE and their partners: our choice of four different models of Gunnar Shades (I got some sweet red ones), a sweet little wristband/bracelet, a Razer Imperator mouse and an Astro Scout backpack which is going to be mailed to our houses.

I would like to thank Seeson and everybody at EA and DICE for giving us this wonderful opportunity, and the kind people at Nvidia, Off Duty Gamer, Astro and Razer who both helped out with the equipment for us to play on and gave us some nice new gear to further enjoy Battlefield 3 when it launches later this year! Now if only I had a PC capable of running it.

To the rest of the people who attended the event, I got some of your dogtags. Get at me when Battlefield 3 launches so I can come get the ones with your gamertag on them.

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John Colaw

John is what you might call something of a badass. When he's not writing about games or playing them, he's playing in the Kansas City band "Documentary" and drinking as many different beers as often as he can. He's a huge comic nerd in the best sense of the term, with a particular love for the Creator Owned movement.

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