Tag Archives: bf3

bf3: a disjointed, angsty impression

A History of Violence

What do you want in a war game?

It’s difficult to sum up what made Battlefield so appealing to me when I first played 1942 so many years ago. Most likely, it was because my friends were playing it, and because it was different from other first person shooters. This distinction was found in its huge, open battlefields, its diverse class system, and the myriad of vehicles that made the game a completely different experience every time you joined a server. The developers tinkered with the mechanics of their open-world battles through several subsequent games, all of which more or less retained the original aspects that made it so engrossing. The formula was successful, but being PC-exclusive as gamers tired of perennial system upgrades and immigrated to the 360 and PS3 caused Battlefield to slowly fade from relevance.

The Empire Strikes Back

Electronic Arts was sick of Call of Duty stealing all the glory on the consoles. So they came up with a simple, devious plan: lure potential Modern Warfare 3 players into the new Battlefield game by infusing it with stuff that made them feel at home: shiny lights, focused action, a slew of unlocks (to keep players coming back, masking unrewarding gameplay), and a low threshold. DICE played their part to keep the hardcore franchise fans sticking around – they said they’d develop the game for PC first, then consoles. They maintained this throughout development, despite a disappointing alpha and beta showing.

And now they’ve admitted that this was a lie.


I put up with the beta, despite the signs that the game would be lackluster. Now that the game is out, it’s clear that DICE have screwed this thing up. They’ve contradicted nearly everything they originally said about the game design in an attempt to pander to a new audience. I can’t begin to list all my gripes with the game here, but I’ll put a few out: the maps are small, players must unlock the most basic functions, flashlights are blinding, snipers frequently out-duel machine guns at close range, the squad system is dysfunctional, and the game lacks any semblance of balance. They’ve fixed the terrain glitches from the beta, but the maps are patheticBF3 does nearly everything worse than Battlefield 2 did it years ago, and there’s really no excuse for that.

I didn’t want to play Call of Duty; that’s why I sold back my copy of MW2. I wanted a different game, a sequel to BF2 like they tried to convince me I was getting. Having said all that, it’s not a terrible game; it’s probably worthy of the ~7/10 rating the users have given it on Metacritic (the critics’ reviews are useless, because EA hand-picked favorable outlets). It’s possible patches will bring it to a point that it’s an actually great game, but that may be wishing for a bit much.

In some alternate universe, motivated purely by the desire to make an awesome, open-world battlefield with teamwork and tanks and helicopters and jets and aircraft carriers, devoid of the pressure from Activision and EA’s bickering, and wanting to give the people who play the game what they want, Battlefield 3 could have been great. At least we only waited six years for this mediocre sequel to BF2. The silver lining is that Skyrim is only a few short days away.

(Editor’s note: I wrote this on a cool head. Imagine what I would’ve put in here if I’d just been the victim of the auto-knife lock-on kill system they’ve implemented in the game…)

bf3 beta thoughts

Writing this now is probably futile, as much of this will be changed in a few weeks (or, more likely, years), but I still want to give my initial impressions of the Battlefield 3 beta. Perhaps it will serve as a benchmark for review years from now, seeing how far the game has come – hopefully for the better.

The Battlefield 3 beta is a flawed thing. It’s beautiful, but not in the way Red Dead Redemption is beautiful; it’s more technically capable, but less polished and refined. So begins the litany of shortcomings that one must forgive at this stage of the game’s development. But with only a couple of weeks left before the game must “go gold,” the developers still have plenty of work to do.

Continue reading bf3 beta thoughts

bf3 footage

The first video of Battlefield 3 gameplay has been released. While a great leap forward from the initial teaser trailer, it’s still seizure-inducing and still doesn’t show very much, with the short bursts of footage mostly coming from single-player cutscenes. Most of the screenshots that have been revealed so far seem to have come from this. The game looks great, and we get to see our first glimpse of someone being dragged to safety. Exactly how this mechanism will work in multiplayer is still unknown, but it looks promising. None of the HUD has been shown yet, as it’s probably far from finalized.

More is expected to be revealed on March 1st.

bf3: what really matters

There are some features that are considered to be of high importance by many players of the Battlefield series; for any feature, however, there are those who see it as unimportant, and that could include the developers of Battlefield 3. This post contains a summary table that will be updated with specifications and details as we determine the status of these controversial features in the upcoming BF3 game. Information is subject to change as new sources of information become available.

The chart is split into three sections: gameplay, maps and vehicles, and technical. Sources are indicated in the chart and linked at the bottom of the page.
Continue reading bf3: what really matters

some more bf3 thoughts

The soldier on EA’s new site for Battlefield 3 shows remarkable attention to detail. The large points are there, such as his M4 firearm and authentic uniform. But it’s got all the little touches as well, and one that stuck out to me was the “NKDA” patch on his chest. Years ago I might have ignored this, but I now know this as an indication of “no known drug allergies,” a very useful piece of information for field medics who might need to treat this soldier without taking a full medical history. What else can we glean from this soldier? Well, we know he’s right-handed, and also that he’s impervious to flames – most likely due to a defect in his C-fibers or the transmembrane proteins responsible for heat reception. I doubt these facts come into play once the game is released later this year, but it could be good to know. 😉

EnterBF3.com has a breakdown of the trailer, pointing out that the factions shown are the U.S. and Russians, with vehicles very similar (or identical) to those in Battlefield 2. And delving into the pre-order pages on Amazon and Gamestop uncovers mention of “drag[ging] your fallen comrades into safety,” which seems like a pretty cool gameplay mechanic if it works as described. It was a bit strange for medics to be diving all over the streets in BF2, whipping out defibrillators left and right.

Now that I think about it, is anyone disappointed that the PC version caps out at 64 players? True, recent versions of Battlefield have dumbed the limit down so that we’re used to less, but Battlefield 2 could handle 64 players in 2005. Computers are better, Internet connections are faster…it just seems that 100 or more players should be a possibility by now. I imagine the chaos would be even more fun on a massive battlefield with targets everywhere. Sony’s MAG can handle 256 players at once. Alas, DICE didn’t see it as a necessity.

Additionally, DICE has said that BF3 will have a singleplayer campaign and co-op to augment the multiplayer experience. I remember when I first got Battlefield 1942 thinking it was strange, or a bit lazy, that the game had no singleplayer component – but now I’m actually worried that they’re including one. It shows that not all their energy is going into the multiplayer, which is the crux of the game, and the inclusion of such modes is definitely a product of the game being released on consoles. I’ll reserve judgment for now.

The limited edition of BF3 is available to pre-order now from major retailers, although no one knows what the limited edition entails yet. Amazon has the release date cautiously listed as December 31st, 2011, but the game will most likely be released well before that.

new battlefield 3 details

Productivity in late 2011 is looking less and less likely. The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim is coming out in November, and now confirmation of this…

http://blogs.battlefield.ea.com/battlefield_bad_company/archive/2011/02/04/battlefield-3-is-coming-preorder-now.aspx##Battlefield 3 is slated for a Fall 2011 release. The early tidbits revealed about the game are promising: “the return of jets, prone, and 64-player multiplayer.” That plunges us straight into our first point: having just tried out the Crysis 2 demo on Xbox 360, my disdain for console shooters has been reinforced. Even if it’s ported, BF3 will be better on PC than PS3 or 360. And that’s not to say it will be a straight console port, because the prone functionality and larger multiplayer limit for PC, in conjunction with previous remarks from BF3 developers, suggest that DICE haven’t completely forgotten their roots. BF:1943 was recently cancelled for the PC, which upset some, but it was supposedly to ensure that BF3 would be the best game ever – and 1943 wasn’t very much fun anyway.

The teaser trailer doesn’t reveal much, but we know the environments will be highly destructible, and graphics should be amazing (the Frostbite 2 engine is in use here). We will have to wait to get the big questions answered. Is there regenerating health? Are there ridiculous “perks” and upgrades that make the playing field uneven? Will there be a commander, and how will squads function? What about mod tools? How have they compromised the game in response to consoles and the sickening success of the inferior Call of Duty series? And the rest of the issues I mentioned earlier

I haven’t been able to get into Bad Company 2 – it has a learning curve. BF2 probably had a similar curve, and it took a plethora of patches to make it playable, but it ended up all right. That said, BF3 is heralded as being the “true successor to BF2,” so hopefully some of my gripes with BC2 will be irrelevant. I think it may have to do with modern combat in general, however. As new technology is added to these shooters, making the games faster-paced and making most gunfights last less than a second, a part of me longs to go back to the drawn-out battles of 1942, with single-fire bolt-action rifles and a hint of strategy involved. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 1942 “expansion” for this game in the future, since the team had success with the reinventing of Vietnam on the BC2 engine. But that’s further down the road.

For now, we await the return of the true first-person shooter, and hope that it’s pure, with minimal screw-ups from its developer and cash-hungry publisher.

battlefield 3 beta

Oh, well look at this

EA has announced that if you waste your money by buying the limited edition of the mediocre game that is Medal of Honor, you can get access to the beta for Battlefield 3. That’s right – they’ve told us before that it’s coming, but nothing has been said about BF3 for quite some time. And even now they aren’t showing a logo or giving any other details, other than that the beta will begin within a year of Medal of Honor‘s arrival this fall.

What’s interesting is the mention that Xbox Live Gold is required to access the beta of BF3, indicating that the game will, once again, not be a PC-exclusive. It remains to be seen if this can be DICE’s return to glory after heading further and further from their former success. In my book, if BF3 has a full assortment of vehicles (land/sea/air), massive maps, full squads and squad leaders, commanders, 64 player support, mod support, decent VOIP, a command rose, revive ability, and none of this garbage auto-regenerating health and/or unlimited ammo, then it will be a success…even if they manage to screw it all up somehow.