Battlefield 3 Beta Preview

So. I’ve spend about an hour playing the new Battlefield 3 Beta on my PS3, and sad to say (though maybe expected?), I’m disappointed.

Basically, I’m going to summarize what I’m about to say in this one line: Stick with Battlefield: Bad Company 2 until EA and DICE decide to churn out Bad Company 3.

Am I jumping the gun on my conclusions? Heck yes. Why? Well, the BF3 Beta should be a demo or a preview into the game, it’s engine, features, etc… and from what I previewed, it caused me to lose sufficient interest into buying the game. Now I have no doubts that BF3 will probably feature some supremely well-made single player campaign. From the footage I’ve seen, it does look great and fun, but generally, I’m not going to buy a shooter first day for a great single player campaign (unless it’s a more story-telling focused game, such as Uncharted or something.), I’m buying these things early because I want to hop onto multiplayer and enjoy some games with friends and what not. Battlefield 3′s multiplayer in the beta was utterly disappointing. I’m not even talking about the lack of vehicles and whatever they promised will be there, that I expect them to keep their word on. What killed the experience for me was much deeper, at least code wise.

A total lack of Environment Destruction.

In the single player campaign, we can see the Frostbite 2 engine being put to good use. There’s a repeatedly previewed scene where the player fires an RPG/Rocket into a building, taking nearly the whole structure out. The explosions and the visuals of the structure collapsing are spectacular as show in the video. On the contrary, the multiplayer is rather devoid of, well… features. Never mind the fragfest that the game feels like CoD more than previous Battlefield games, nor the lack of vehicles present among other things. Battlefield 3 really feels like it’s suffering from a lack of making the most of the game’s newest engine.

Yea, sure, you can still blow out walls in a building, but that still leaves the entire ‘indestructible’ building frame. Gone is the ability to collapse a structure in Rush mode to take out opposition holed up inside, or to claim objectives, removing a great deal of the strategy and depth that I came to appreciate from the Battlefield series.

There have been reports however that the beta released to the public is TOTALLY different from the buggy and crappy mess that was released. That the beta we are playing is a real beta from a long time ago in development. However, it begs the question… why are we gamers beta testing an ancient, completely poor, and dated beta if the development teams have already progressed so far past this point? What good does that actually serve the development team? About the only relevant data they could extract from such a beta test would be multiplayer server loads, and that’s a relatively simple fix. Why wouldn’t players have been given this sort of a beta 6 months ago instead, when DICE was probably actually in this phase of development, giving them a lot more valuable data and feedback.

Further food for thought, why would EA choose to use such a flawed beta as a preview/advertisement for one of their biggest games to date? I mean… all the beta seems to have done for me is kill my interest in purchasing the game day one, as I’ve no assurance that the game surpasses Bad Company 2′s multiplayer.

It seems to me that EA had best review its own policy for using betas as playable demos and previews of what’s to come. If the beta’s so radically different from the actual game, why not release a beta/demo much closer to the final product if you’re planning on using it as advertising. Otherwise, if you’re going to release a flawed as crap beta, actually release it in your actual beta development phase so you can get a lot of good feedback from many willing gamer participants.

No brainer? Yea. Boo urns on you EA. I’ll be waiting for reviews or… maybe just Bad Company 3.


About Aaron

Co-founder of ACGVentcast!