Monday, 3 October 2011

Battlefield 3 beta impressions (rant free!)

The Battlefield 3 beta is currently drawing in opinions from all over the web, with the epicentre being the Battlelog forum. Of course, the loudest hive mind voice to be heard is the one that’s complaining about how Battlefield 3 simply isn’t Battlefield 2, or that X is overpowered and Y breaks the game. At the moment the forum appears to be a hornet’s nest that is busy stinging itself to death, so I thought I’d liberally spread my feedback on the game’s open beta here.

Most complaints levied at the game seem to be muddied by a lot of fanboyism and comparisons to Modern Warfare. There are so many threads popping up that are titled “I’m unhappy, preorder cancelled” or words to that effect, but I really can’t believe that these people are genuinely not going to buy the game. Compared to a lot of semi-realistic shooters, such as last year’s Call of Duty offering, Battlefield 3 plays brilliantly.

One mistake that I think EA have made with the beta was the map selection. A lot of the more legible criticisms seem to be about Metro, a Battlefield 3 map that does not feature vehicles at all. As vehicles are a predominant feature of the Battlefield series it seems strange to omit them from this public taster session. The absence of vehicles has also lead lots of people to draw the comparisons with Modern Warfare which may or may not have put them off Battlefield 3.

The game mode was also not the most inspired choice. Whilst I believe that the rush mode is best suited to the Metro map, for me, Battlefield 3 signalled the return of conquest as the main play mode. It’s not that I dislike rush mode, it’s just that I heavily associate it with Bad Company and not the core battlefield titles such as 1942, Vietnam, 2142 and of course, Battlefield 2.

Even with these factors however, I think Battlefield 3 is bloody marvellous from what I’ve played so far. I’m especially surprised by Battlelog. Launching each multiplayer game from the web browser seemed most strange to me at first, but the system has started to grow on me. There doesn’t seem to be any extra delay at getting into a game, and in many ways it’s made the process faster.

So, screw the haters and play the game if you haven’t already tried it. I’m definitely getting Battlefield 3 and am hoping it will rekindle my love for online gaming. I haven’t been this excited by an online game since Counter-Strike.

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