I’ve all ready voiced, very loudly and very clearly, my reasons for boycotting Battlefield 3. That having been said I’m not one who can justify to myself or others talking about something I don’t know anything about or have had no part in. That being said here is my experience so far with the Battlefield 3 beta.
For starters I wasn’t even invited to the closed beta a month or two ago. Never mind the fact that I’ve beta tested for a decade or more, have run a beta for my own game, played Battlefield since it’s inception and until recently owned Bad Company 2 on every system it exists on and even on the PC *TWICE!*. All that aside, here is my experience with the current beta.
Again I wasn’t invited to the PC version. Mainly because I chose not to buy my way in to it. My buddy Chris got his invite, downloaded the game and…can’t play it. First it only works on IE(officially any way) and second when he tries to launch the game he runs it, it finds a server and then the website tries to launch the game it won’t run. I spent about 45 mins googling and trying different possible solutions and nothing fixed it. This is 2 x 45mins so a total of an hour and a half man hours and no solution. He had spent some time before I got home from work trying to get it to work too so all told I’m sure it was more than 2hrs spent trying to fix it. Not a great start.
Tonight I discover that I’m able to download the PS3 beta no key or anything required. This, unfortunately, made a worse impression than the game not launching at all on the PC. Now before you jump down my throat about how it’s “beta” etc. and I should expect some issues. I fully understand that. Recall my comment above about having beta tested for over a decade. This, this thing, is a giant pile of garbage. It’s hard to know where to begin. Being as close to official launch as it is I assume they are throwing preview code out to aid in hyping the game. But lets be honest this is not what you want the first impression of your game to be.
For starters I had a tough time discerning lag from glitches from lag hacking. On more occasions than I can count I would watch an enemy player appear out of no where and kill a team mate or, with no footstep noises or other indication of his presence he would kill me from behind in our spawn. On one occasion I turned a full 360 degrees seeing no one only to be knifed from behind in an area with out cover. I mention the lag hacking or possible exploitation of the maps because there were several times the kill cam would seem to be moving in the floor. Another occasion I was covering a door and facing a teammate who was also covering the door from the other side. An enemy simply appeared from no where in front of my team mate and knifed him in the face before he could respond. I managed to kill the guy but only after he turned around and simultaneously killed me too.
This lag, or what ever it is continued in to other areas of the game. I would frequently throw grenades that an enemy would stand directly over as it went off, he would shoot me and kill me and his kill cam would show 100% health. Also while attempting to fire, even sited, I would be struck not only by recoil but apparently by epilepsy too. It would appear that recoil was happening but also that my character was sporadically bending at the waist. The flash light is way way way over powered. From a range of 30-40 meters away it would obscure a 10-15 meter radius keeping you from being able to hit not only the enemy carrying it but any enemies in the immediate vicinity. It’s like they ripped one of the lights from the 9/11 memorial and attached it to a weapon rail. Last but not least were the weird buggy smoke trails lit like muzzle flash but with no one present. Other than obscuring vision and flashing sporadically they don’t move, they don’t do anything. Like a programmer was testing muzzle flashes but forgot to remove the particle system and lighting. Finally about every 3rd spawn or so I would spawn with no retical.
The interface has about as many problems. The outfitting menu is some what similar to Battlefield Bad Company 2’s but they’ve added so many do-dads and cruft elements that it’s just a visual mess. The kit selection menu was kind of jammed towards the bottom like they hadn’t scaled the elements for console and half covered the deploy button indicator. Weapons, as you would expect being metal, are a grey color and much of the kill indicator text is a sort of semi-translucent blue. When you’re weapon is sited the text is nearly invisible. I couldn’t tell if I got a kill at range or not due to this which essentially left me chasing ghosts on occasion.
All said this has been one of the worst beta’s I’ve ever played. I can give a lot of forgiveness to a game since I know what it takes to make one but this, I’d call this beta and probably wouldn’t let any one with out an NDA see it. This has completely re-enforced my belief that not buying this game is the right thing to do beta or not.