With Battlefield 3 now distinctly recognisable on the horizon, it's time to start cranking up the hype-machine as the FPS genre starts to glow with a new potential once again.
We already have a wedge of information on Battlefield 3 thanks to the first details being rolled out this week, but the fog of war still hangs heavy over the finer points.
There's still much to discuss then, and discuss we have in the ream of words below. We think we've come up with some pretty tasty potentials for the third Battlefield outing, but we're just as keen to hear what you're after.
Get thinking, get chatting and tell us your ideas in the comments section at the bottom. Here are ours:
Battlefield's multiplayer experience has always been a hardcore haven for FPS fans and a passionately promoted alternative to the world of COD by many.
That's why some of you were a bit sceptical about the inclusion of a single-player campaign in Battlefield 3. We understand; you just want the devs to remain completely focused on what the series does best and that's well balanced, teamwork encouraging multiplayer.
The wider problem, however, is the quality of the single-player campaigns that have been linked to Battlefield in the past under the Bad Company sub-title.
Take Bad Company 2, for example, which had a campaign that was completely overshadowed by the multiplayer. That wouldn't be so bad a thing if it was purely because of the quality of the game's online offering but the main reason Bad Company 2's single-player failed to impress was because, well, it just wasn't very impressive in itself.
Dopey AI and an all round lack of narrative and cinematic craft were just two reasons that Bad Company 2's story mode was anti-climatic and failed to hit the mark in numerous ways. You could almost tell the team had multiplayer on the brain.
And in a way that's fine, multiplayer is what we came for. With single-player confirmed, though, there's no use complaining that a campaign will be taking a good chuck of studio resources. But if we get the impression it's taken anything away from Battlefield 3's multiplayer, boy will we be angry mister.
If single-player is here to stay then maybe it can benefit from some of the multiplayer elements that Battlefield has always done so well. The addition of campaign co-op would be a happy medium between single and multiplayer if done well.
Battlefield's multiplayer has always encouraged teamwork more than most and the roles and tactical variety available to players means that their skill and creativity can really play a major part.
We'd need a campaign that was geared to co-op though (so it would probably have to be completely separate from the main game), with levels crafted towards players utilising a variety of classes and playing their part, leaving and reconvening with the pack when needed.
For that we'd need multiple, class-specific and teamwork based objectives and relatively open levels with multiple routes and methods leading towards the goal.
ON THE FLY
Let's talk about Battlefield 3's multiplayer mode now; it's what we all came to see.
One multiplayer mechanic that's becoming more and more prominent these days is rolling, dynamic objectives. While Battlefield has in the past had staggered mini-objectives within wider objectives, we like the idea of dynamic changes to circumstances forcing players to dramatically rethink tactics and adapt on the fly.