Today's blog is a quick one, folks, because I bet there will be about a million of these up today, and I wouldn't want to waste your time. (I lied...I played a lot today and I only have a little bit of time to write!). If you don't end up reading past the header, it is SO WORTH IT.
...When it works. You see, since this is the first day of a BETA that we're talking about here, the game has a myriad of problems to go along with it. This is by no means a demo, or a preview, or anything except what it's stating that it is: A Beta. I don't know exactly HOW you can have a comprehensive Beta only a month or so before release...But that's just me. I just want anyone who hasn't taken the plunge to know exactly what they're getting themselves into.
Anyways, lets talk game! The first thing I noticed about the game is that it FEELS gritty. I didn't play it on PC (Xbox, to be precise), so I didn't get to experience the drool-enducing graphics experience that PC users did. However, I don't think it really detracted from the experience, because the real "feel" of this game is not in how detailed the textures are...It's all in the animations and sound.
Every little thing has been animated to what seems like perfection. The sway of your gun feels like you're aiming a 20 lb object, not a piece of paper. The way you run and vault over things feels very organic. Even when you switch firing modes and hear a "click", the gun sways slightly. The sound of the guns is very intense, even better than Modern Warfare 2, which I thought excelled in sound design. Grenades are not huge atom bombs, but have just enough oomph to them for you to recognize. The sound is not "In your face", but it has presence and depth...And that's something I'm blown away by.
Battlefield 3s gun-play is simply unparalleled. When I play Call of Duty, I feel like I'm playing an acrade cabinet: The guns have no weight, your character is gliding around, and everything is very flashy, quick, and that can be fun. But Battlefield 3? You are poking your head out of cover, and shooting a gun that feels GOOD to shoot. I don't have vibration on...But I can feel the shots. I can feel WHEN I get shot. Every gun feels powerful, and DICE has captured something that I feel no other FPS has done to date. The closest I felt to this weighty, powerful ADS gameplay was in Killzone 2. Battlefield takes what was great about that sci-fi universe, and applies it to something far more familiar and close to home.
While Battlefield's second-to-second action is some of the best I've ever played, the game is not without its flaws.
The most notable problem I have with the game probably lies in my platform choice. The fact that the Xbox version is limited to 24 players in a single match puts a real downer on the "Battlefield" part of battlefield. Even on maps that are supposedly downscaled for consoles...It just doesn't feel like Battlefield games should. This could be due to a severe lack of vehicles, but I'm noticing that there is just far too much downtime in what is supposed to be a huge, massive-scale warfare game. If I wanted to, I could completely avoid the action, and probably never notice it. I never felt like I was a part of an invading army, pushing tooth and nail to advance on another HUGE army. I just felt like I was sneaking around with my 4 friends...Which was fun and all...But definitely not "Battlefield".
The other problems I experienced were largely Beta-based...But I feel that they're worth mentioning. Why? Because if this is how EA handles the actual launch of BF3...We're going to see a lot of angry customers.
Getting into a game is, to put it simply, very difficult. You have to sit there, hitting the "Multiplayer" button over and over as it attempts to connect to the EA servers, constantly telling you that you've disconnected. After you finally manage to get in...You'll probably want to play with some friends. This is nearly impossible, because even if you set up your "Squad", there is no guarantee that you'll get into the game in the same squad, let alone the same team. This was a problem back in Bad Company 2...And I can't believe this didn't get fixed, even for a Beta. This myriad of online-related social problems is just pathetic by big-budget AAA standards, and if this really is indicative of the final game...This game will fail on a social level.
I'll tell you this much: I have no problem playing CoD
with my friends...
As much trouble as it was getting into the game, I can't help but feel that it's wroth it. Despite feeling a bit empty, the matches I played were a lot of fun, and I've got that "itch" to play it again even after playing it for a few hours. Regardless of how difficult it was to get all 3 of my buds on the same team, in the same squad, playing with friends made the experience that much better. Even if you're getting stomped on (Like we were!), Battlefield 3 is one of the best multiplayer shooters to come down the pipeline in a very long time.
Also...The Beta is FREE. Go try it! Go try it RIGHT NOW.