So, I'm in the early beta right now for Battlefield 3. Ars Technica just posted a blurb on it, here:
http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2011 ... s-work.ars
It's very accurate. Combat in BF3 is not quite like combat in any other first-person shooter you've played. It's very visceral, and while you can easily hide all over the place, any shooting you do telegraphs your location quite effectively; even as a sniper. If you are using a laser sight, you can literally blind the holy HELL out of a sniper with it by shining it at their scope. It's crazy, they can't do anything for a moment; I wish I had a screenshot of what it looked like. You can also blind people with the flashlight attachment pretty effectively, too; though it doesn't really have a lingering effect the way the laser sight does.
This is going to set a new standard for first-person shooter online gaming. There are a lot of minor changes that, when added together, make for a whole new level of gaming. It's hard to describe, but the Ars article does a fairly good job. If you haven't pre-ordered it, do so now. Also, for the PC gamers, the game looks incredible if you have the hardware to really crank the quality settings. I do mean incredible, in the very literal sense of the word. It almost feels like friggin' real life sometimes; makes Black Ops and Bad Company 2 look like old Nintendo games, by comparison.
I can't wait. This will tide me over beautifully until SWTOR comes out.