Battlefield 3 is due for release on 28th October and it looks a very exciting prospect. Set on the Iraq/Iran border, Earthquakes are making a mess of the landscape for the US forces, with the game using the new Frostbite 2 game engine to create this. The various game play trailers that have been released show the new Frostbite 2 engine in full swing, with the authenticity of sounds and graphics at a new all time high. From echoing bullets to whistling RPGs, Battlefield 3 really does have it all in terms of noise.

Battlefield 3 also brings two new playable characters, Jonathan 'Jono' Miller, who is a marine from the heart of America, seen in the E3 trailer engaging in vehicle warfare in Tehran, taking part in a huge tank attack on the PLR base.

The other new character is Dimitri 'Dima' Mayakovsky, a Russian undercover agent whose storyline involves a fight through Paris to prevent PLR operatives detonating a dirty bomb in the centre of the city. There is also a novel to be released based on the story of Dimitri Mayakovsky.

'Battlefield 3: The Russian' is written by best-selling author of Bravo Two Zero Andy McNab and Peter Grimsdale, who have teamed up with DICE to add to the experience of the upcoming release. The book gives us the back story of in game character 'Dima', who is brought to life by McNab and Grimsdale. The authors put a realistic spin on things, bringing their first hand experience of war into play, to give the novel an edgy, realistic feel. The novel is also due for release on 28th October.

If the views being expressed in the forums are anything to go by, Battlefield 3 is going to be a huge game, and if you still need persuading, if you pre-order the game from EA, you get the first DLC package, 'Back to Karkand' free of charge, which will include maps from Battlefield: Bad Company 2, redeveloped using Frostbite 2.

EA are confident ahead of the release, spokesperson Jeff Brown said to Activision via trade site IndustryGamers, "You've got every reason to be nervous. Last year Activision had a 90 share in the shooter category. This year, Battlefield 3 is going to take you down to 60 or 70. At that rate, you'll be out of the category in 2-3 years. If you don't believe me, go to the store and try to buy a copy of Guitar Hero or Tony Hawk." Well, we'll soon see.

Tom Holgate