Currently I am testing Battlefield 3
I just thought I give my 2 bits on that topic.
(Please note my native language is german so you probably find some misspelling)
Overall I must say this game was pretty much hyped. Can Battlefield 3 satisfy expectations of the people?
Well. If you ask me, I would definitely say “No!”. If you would ask my friends and mates you would definitely get the same answer.
If you search your answers in the Battlefield 3 UK, US or EU Forums, then you probably find different opinions.
Ok so I want to share my experience with the game. My experience is collected both from my own gameplay experience but also from several discussions with
friends and people in the forums.
About the delivery of the game:
For me as a gamer since the 80´s I saw pretty much games. I must say when I dislike something than it is, if a game is delivered through detours. Yes you can say I am happy if I just can install the game, make a shortcut on the desktop and just start the game. I also do not have any problems with menus which are in-game. In fact I expect that everything related to the game IS in-game.
That is the reason why I was shocked how EA/Dice delivers Battlefield 3. First you need to install a tool called origin which is a house own selling platform for games from EA. This tool has definitely no advantages for a game instead of shopping. The overall download of the game is minimalistic and it looks that you can’t even choose an installation directory. Yea the tool will just put all the content on your clean OS partition which is horrible. Maybe you can choose anywhere how to install the games but if you ask me.. I did not want to watch where I can find that option in Origin. I just want it as it was in the past. Give me an installation file and then I choose where I want the game to be and not such a tool like origin. So origin is not my taste. For me it is useless and for my friends as well.
But not enough. After you have downloaded and installed all files, you need to click on the game in the origin manager. Then you will be redirected to a website called Battlelog. That is something like a Facebook-styled app where you can start the game. Honestly.. start a game through a website feels like playing a facebook app.. feels like playing this battlefield play4free crap. In fact they force you to start the game by a devious route. Usability? Not existing. It’s just the same bullshit like Facebook. Untidy navigation and hey it took me and my friends more than 30 minutes to join a game together. What the heck is so wrong with an in-game sever browser and menu? Why the heck is there need to develop such a mess? We all had similar opinion. Battlelog is completely cluttered, has no usability and its useless. And hell yes we want back our good old in-game menus and server browser. We don’t really need improvement here and in fact Battlelog is not an improvement.
I think that most people have already there friends and clans and if not there are enough ways to find new game mates so that there is no need for something like the battlelog. Yes I know its a trend to say “People want to socialize!” but in fact that statement is not true. Most people are already socialized and anyway this Facebook trend is not copyable to whatever. Do we gamers need it? I asked people and they expect game features instead of that. I think it is just a wet dream of any social media expert involved to this product and it reminds me also somewhat to stuff like Gamespy which never did establish. This battlelog alone and the detour to start the game was already the only reason to cancel my pre-order. What I forget to write here is that you need to install garbage browser extensions and plugins so that you can start the game. I already see it coming that if you have problems they will ask you how many plugins you did installed, which browser you use and so before they can fix your problem. All this is a complete mess and I do not want to support this lalalala-Facebook-trend.
I understand from business perspective that it might be easy for the company to pull out updates through this system but the biggest reason seems to be that they can now supply you on this way with ads in the future. They also can gather stats about you and analyze them. Also my theory is that they want to kill the second-hand market. Really and again.. I do not support this system and I wont buy the game.
About the graphics:
I must admit I was somewhat surprised when I saw all these early Battlefield 3 videos. In fact I was amazed.
When I first logged into the game I did notice my computer can handle the settings very well. Ok ok.
But looks like videos can give you another impression. in the game my thrill of anticipation did bust in the very first minutes.
To be true I do not want to say that the graphics are ugly or so. But anyway I noticed some huge gamebraker in this engine.
Battlefield 3 is very colorful and some people might like it but me and my friends didn’t. The overall opinion was that the game has too much
brightness in textures, the lightning is overdone, everything is glowing even the soldiers looks like sparklers, the reflection on textures is overdone as well so that the overall setting looks very plastically and in some situations cartoony. I’m surprised that it appeal in-game different to the video previews.But the reason should be that I was now able to run through the whole maps and that’s why I got overall impression and not single cut scenes like in a video.
From the aspect of the engine it also doesn’t look innovative it rather did remind me to Crysis 2 mixed with Mirror´s Edge graphics.
I don’t know why but the Frostbyte 2 engine is not my taste. Its too much make up and overdone. As I said plastically. It didn’t gave me the Battlefield look and feel. It is hard to describe.
About the sound engine:
Here I must say that it was in some situations very bombastic. I really did like the sounds. Not much to say here. I just would prefer it if the weapon sounds coming from my own character would sound a bit more like the weapon sounds I hear from my team mates and near me (enviroment sounds). I mean a little bit more acoustic and echo would do it but that could be a matter of taste and I don’t know what others think about it. Really… I don’t want to complain much here as the sound engine seems to be modern and top-notch. I want to stay fair and I really want to say again that it is overall bombastic and the sound immersed me pretty good when I used my headset but I guess it is not much different if you use your speakers. Let me call this part of the game almost perfect.
Here I did feel the biggest disappointments. The complete handling (movement, controls) of the character was a major turn off for me and my friends. We played with keyboard and mouse but it still does feel like you play it on Xbox or ps3 with a controlpad. Moving and shooting feels rather like any console game or is at least more comparable with Bad Company 2 or any of the latest Call of Duty games. I did like the complete control, handling and game feeling of Battlefield 2 or Battlefield 2143 but Battlefield 3 feels like a pain. I would not like to get used to it. It’s just not what I expected and I am sure it is rather optimized so that the dev team can easily port it to Xbox and ps3. And then we come to…
Hitboxes or Hitzones. It looks like they are optimized for people who will play the game with control pads on console. It’s defenetly nevermind where you shoot at as long as an enemy is in front of you. You will notice you will hit him/her anyway. My theory here is that a control pad is inaccurate in aiming but a mouse not. So the game is optimized for consoles but not for PC. You definitely don’t need to search and aim the head of an enemy. You just shot as long someone is in front of you and if you are the first who shoots, you will survive and get a kill credited. A real major turn off from the game. We talked about that on our Teamspeak Server and we all had the same opinion, it is not good. But we had also the same opinion that the produced damage by the weapons is just fine and makes a bit more hardcore. The hitzones are definitely not contemporary for a PC game and might only work on consoles with control pad. If you take shelter for example behind a stone, then it doesn´t mean you are safe. I seems to me that there are still problems and bullets can go through very heavy objects. If bullets can go through soft objects I would understand it. But in BF3 they in some cases I had the feeling the bullets can go through any object so that I didn’t feel safe often. But that problem might be fixed in the full release and that’s why I do not want to complain much about it as long it will be fixed.
Classes. I did not really see a reason for such hard class changes. It has definitely not anything to do with BF2 or BF2142 anymore. They changed so much that I don’t want to start listing all that here. For BF2 veterans that is a real pain. They moved complete weapon sets to other classes. We said also that we rather would like it if we have more classes like in Battlefield 2. They also removed the commander mode. I did not play commander much in BF2 but anyway this feature was really great. I did like it to destroy the commander buildings with C4. Indeed I do not understand why they removed the commander.
Squads? Squad management in BF3 is a real catastrophe. At least in beta you can’t join or create squads for your friends. I definitely feel no team play. The system puts you randomly in a squad or on a team and it is a real pain to get all your friends playing together. I am not sure if there will be big changes until release.
Do you remember the great squad management in BF2 and BF2142? Dont expect much from BF3. Loos like they thought this Battlelog management would amaze people.. but where is the sense when you create a group in Battlelog if the system randomly throw your friends apart in-game? Right, it makes no sense. In BF3 you need definitely more communication with your friends and it is often so that you ask your mates “Hey do you go over the right, middle or left flank?” and that is something we didn’t really need when we played BF2. You joined squads with your friends in the past and the good thing was you could easily find your friends on the map and radar as a squad was colored in green. It was perfect. This system alone makes BF2 to a better game then BF3. No problem if you shed bitter tears now.
command-rose is also not in the beta but we believe they will add it in the release version (Yea I did read that now, its true).
Let me write down some words about the rank-progression or let me say level-up-system. I’m not sure if they reduced the distances between each rank due to test reasons. If not.. then it is a real problem. I rather favour the system from BF2 and it took me a very long time to go up all the ranks there. in BF3 Beta it feels just like “Ding-Ding-Level-Up” and “Ding-Ding-Next-Level-Up”. First I got a new rank each match or at least each second match. Yea I noticed the distance between each rank will be bigger the higher your rank gets. However it still feels like the progression is easy and fast to master. Also I miss a tier-tree where I can spend points and unlock weapons. I favour the system of BF2142 but the new system is not a real problem for me. Some people might like it. I just think you go up all the ranks way to fast and that must be changes. Holy sheep… Yes! I did like the tedious way in BF2!
The Interface (UI). Here me and my friends had again same opinion. You definitely feel lost. The little radar map and the color of it is a complete joke. You just feel lost and we also said it will be impossible to get used to it. Same for the map. You´re lost and we asked our self why they did decide to make it all in blue color. The Scorecard has no ping tracking (why?) and you cant see which class each name in the scorecard plays.
There was tons of bugs and the whole games looks more like pre-alpha stage but not beta. If they can fix this in just one month, then they have a mission. I do not want to list every bug here as the list is big. I also think that bugs are ok for a beta. My overall review here is not based on any bugs it’s based on gameplay experience. The bugs will probably removed when ever. But the gameplay wont change in the future! So to argue its just a beta wont change my overall opinion about the game.
When we played the metro, we had the feeling that EA/Dice tries to copy Call of Duty. Also the bigger map called caspian border which we did access with a leaked password, doesnt gave us the good old BF feeling. That´s where Bad Company 2 already failed. Suprising the Battlefield PC Community positive as such.
Caspian Border has closer flag points then the bigger BF2 maps have. It was very soon clear that the devs provide more instant rambo battles like in Call of Duty
and Bad Company 2 instead of the nice exploded battles in Battlefield 2. And those battles in each corner on a big map, thats what at least me and my friends expected from a title called Battlefield. Warfare here and there in whide spreaded flag points with much posibility.
I could go on and tell you that I am not a real fan of the idea that they didn´t even add a commander but as I said the screwed already the whole classes up. Everything looks like it makes no sense. Why would you remove so much elements and features of a game which had a real big impact and a huge fan base (BF2)?
For the BF2 players BF3 seems to be a kick in the arse… yea it is a deliberate provocation.
I’m tired and I probably missed lots of points in my little review but most of them was anyway negative for the game.
Concluding my judgement is devastating. They should have called the Game Battlefield Bad Company 3 instead of Battlefield 3. It’s not much similar and I would not call it a sequel to Battlefield 2. I played Battlefield 2 over 5 years and it was a hell of fun. I think that isn’t the target of this industry anymore. You do not have to be pleased with a game for a long time as they want to sell you new games in the future and that soon as possible. 5 years fun is something they see as a problem. The keyword today is shares and stocks and those sharks will do anything to prevent that you are pleased. Battlefield 3 would probably be a game if I would buy it, it would be soon in my game shelf and get dusty til Battlefield 4 which will probably the same mess. The game industry has changed negative.
Is Battlefield 3 really not a console port? Bad Company 2 definitely was. Now they told you that the main development-platform was the PC but Battlefield 3 is still cross-platform. And that’s is what you feel in-game. I feel they produced it so that it can get easily ported over to these consoles. It is a pain and insulting us PC gamers very hard. Those days seems to be gone when PC had their own games with great quality and longterm fun. Today its mass consumption and mass food forced into line for the casual. That´s how I did experience Battlefield 3. As I said I am not completely sure about the difference between Medal of Honor, Crysis 2, Bad Company 2, Call of Duty and Battlefield 3. It’s all the same instant 5 minutes battle stuff. No innovation.. nothing improved then graphics (matter of taste) and sound. Does graphic and sound dazzle me so that gameplay is indifferent? Hell.. no! Gameplay is much more important for me. If I want to watch a movie, then I sit in front of my TV and DvD player. But when we talk about games I want to get immersed by funny gameplay and that please for a very long time!
I do not want to get assimilated neither through facebook-trend, xbox, ps3 or what ever. I stay PC Gamer and I choose my games carefully like all my friends will.
Will Battlefield 3 flop? Again my theory is that this game will be sold much anyway on the casual and fast mass consumption market and I believe there is demand for such a game otherwise Bad Company 2 and Call of Duty would not be sold so much. But I also believe that many people will be soon bored so that they can come up with new sequels. And those people will buy this junk food again and again. From the other side I definitely did read and hear from people that they canceled their pre-order due to several reasons. Me and my friends included. But the market is still so huge that this fact wont be a leg fracture for EA. Buy or buy not.. get used to it or not.. as long as you are happy with your decision. I am!
Please notice this blog post and my opinion are the subjective thoughts of me and some of my friends. Everyone is free to have an opinion, also you. If you like Battlefield 3 then it is ok. Opinions and favor can be different. I do not like this game and my friends don’t too. I am free to blog about it even if im aware of the fact that it could start a controversy. But that’s how it is. EA has divided the BF Community into two different camps since Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 3. That is obvious.