In light of the recent Battlefront 2 trailer release I decided it would be good to re-hash Battlefront(2015). The TL;DR is that people are blinded by their nostalgia from Battlefront 2 in particular. I replayed Battlefront 2 on stream leading up to the release of this game. Battlefront 2 had no story to speak of. The entire campaign is a set of cut scenes amounting to essentially “Remember that battle they didn’t show in the movie? We were there!” followed by playing a bot match with the occasional objective. There was no story to speak of in Battlefront 2. The following is a review I wrote on Amazon’s feedback page in support of the game. I probably should have posted it here initially but I thought it would be most effective on Amazon. Here it is, unedited.
Posted: December 9, 2015
Don’t buy the anti-game hype from most of the other reviews. Many people are mad because the game didn’t meet their unrealistic expectations due to all the hype. Also make sure you are comparing launch numbers to launch numbers when comparing this with other games. While the two large map game modes do only have 4 maps there are 10 maps across all multiplayer game modes with many of the smaller game modes having 8 of those 10 maps available. There are some additional maps for Battles and Survival(horde mode) which stacks the deck further and arguably accounts for the content not given to a campaign. When compared with other modern shooters this is on par. For a 1:1 comparison consider the following launch time map counts BF Hardline 9 maps, COD Blops 3 12 maps, BF 4 10 maps, BF 3 9 maps, COD AW 8 maps. I could go on but I’m sure you get the point.
I’m sure there are going to be hundreds of reviews of the Battlefield Hardline Beta now that it’s in the open. I wanted to share a perspective that is a little bit different. I had the displeasure of taking part in the Alpha or Private Beta. I don’t recall which it was but I’m going to go with Alpha and you’ll see why below. This allows me to do a little then and now analysis. Lets dive in shall we?
The Battlefield Hardline Alpha, to put it bluntly was an ugly mess. It looked like they used the older Frostbite 2 engine instead of 3. The cops and robbers character models and cars looked like they were bought cheap off of Turbo Squid or some other cheap pre-fab site. The weapons were copy/paste out of BF3 or 4 and frankly so were the game modes for the most part. The only saving grace of that experience was the new game mode, who’s name I don’t recall, added where each team had an armored car on each side of the map and it was a game of attack and defense to see who had the most cash in their truck at the end of the game. I’m sure you can imagine that over all I wasn’t thrilled.
So this brings us to today and the now open beta of Battlefield Hardline.
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.
So I used to be just mildly miffed at EA because they have crappy service and their tech, I’m looking at you EA Store Downloader, never worked. But now I’m down right pissed. To the point of boycotting Battlefield 3.
I bought and played Battlefield 1942 from the day it came out. In fact I still have the original discs and key. I bought and played Battlefield 2 when it came out, lost the key and just recently re-bought it on steam. I bought Battlefield 2142 twice, once on PC when it came out and when I got a Mac I bought it for that too. I’ve played many hours of Battlefield Heroes and, while I’m afraid to admit it, might have paid for an item or two on the store. I never did buy Battlefield Bad Company because, at the time, I saw it as a travesty to the online multiplayer only nature of the game. I was wrong. So to make up for it I bought Battlefield Bad Company 2 four times! Once on PC, Once on Xbox 360, Once on PS3 and then when BFBC2 Vietnam came out, to avoid the a fore mentioned crappy EA Store Downloader I re-bought it on Steam along with Vietnam. So now every one is getting invites to Battlefield 3 Alpha, except me, and as you might imagine after countless hours and dollars I am way way way beyond pissed.
I believe part of the problem is that I have two EA account. Each under my very very old yahoo account and under my newer(2008) gmail account. I’ve tried adding all the games to my games lists under both accounts. I’ve tried the tips outlined here http://bf3nation.com/2011/07/battlefield-3-alpha-bypass-anyone-can-get-in-get-your-invite-now/ and so far no luck. When I try the second suggestion from that site it tells me my account is not suitable.
It’s just about the last straw. I’m going to Quakecon next week. If I don’t have an Alpha invite by then I’ll hate EA with even more passion than before and I’ll say good bye to the game series that has brought me so much pleasure for so so long.
Now I know many of my friends are going to think I’m crazy. I’m not crazy. I have principles, balls and I’m more than willing to communicate with my cash, or with holding of. EA/Dice, fix this or lose a long time paying customer.
Ok so up front I have to let you know I owned an original Xbox and have had an Xbox 360 for the past year and a half. Being an original PC gamer I’ve never much liked the idea of paying a monthly charge to play a video game. It just kind of blows my mind. I suppose the advent of DLC might have made it worth while but then why am I paying a third party plus paying the developer for that DLC. Regardless I’ve done it and it was good. Definitely a solid experience from Microsoft. But…with the exception of the money from my wallet I really didn’t know what I was missing.
First what you need to know is that we’re about half way through this generations life cycle. Both Microsoft and Sony have stated they plan to keep this generation of consoles for 10 years plus. That means 5 more years of the 360 at $50 a year. That’s $250, give or take 5 games worth of cash. May be some of you make enough money that it is inconsequential but I think for most of us thats a tidy bit of money. An while we’re on the subject of money Microsoft points are designed to generate that non-round amount that leaves you just short of the amount you need to buy that next game or avatar item. The PlayStation charges real money at set amounts. No need to worry about left over cash on your account that you can’t use. Score 1 for the PlayStation. The other effect this has is the ability for any one who uses the system to create a free login/profile on playstation.com and log in to the system to maintain their own Trophy record, use their own financial information to buy games and avatar items and to maintain their own friend list. The girl friend is much happier getting in to the online action and I can barely tear her away from Fat Princess.
Second is in the social aspect. While PlayStation Home is definitely a unique and fun way to interact with people and view certain types of content its just worth mentioning as a unique point of interest. My actual point is that I had the Xbox 360 for a year and a half and I’ve met precisely zero people online that I play games with. Every one I play 360 with were either met online but not on the Microsoft service or were people I know in real life. Day two with the system and I’ve all ready added one friend, who is some one I’ve never met in real life, just from sharing a squad in a game of Battlefield Bad Company 2. It’s not clear yet if that says something about the nature of gamers who choose a PlayStation 3 or if it says something about the folks on the Xbox 360 or may be its just happy coincidence. No matter how you look at it I’m up one friend and team mate over a year and a half with the Xbox. We’ll see what the future holds.
The system uses Bluetooth. If you’ve used a cell phone then you probably know what that is. It’s a standard wireless technology for connecting things in close proximity. Controllers, keyboards, and headsets are the most common things connected to a console via this technology. I saw bluetooth headsets at Walmart for $13. How much is a 360 wireless headset now? The PS3 also supports other standards and functionality like USB ports front and back with the ability to plug in standard FAT formatted hard drives for things like video content, music and even full system backups. While the Xbox 360 can do the first two it doesn’t do the last one. Throw in user replaceable internal hard drives for easy upgrades in the future using standard cheap SATA based hard drives. I can drop $100 for 1TB for my PS3 or I can drop…oh wait the only option is a 250GB for the same price for the Xbox 360.
Many of the games on the PlayStation 3 are more unique and more fun than those on the Xbox 360(I do realize thats subjective) and the majority of big title games are cross platform and thus available on the PlayStation 3. The Blueray player is great when the compressed HD from netflix just won’t do it justice or if you have to have a physical medium in your possession(*cough*avatar*cough*). It’s far more quite than the Xbox 360 and consumes less space. I could go on but alas a geeks gotta sleep. I look forward to more posts about the awesomeness of the PlayStationo 3 and all the new possibilities it provides over the Xbox 360.
P.S. While I was shopping around for my Playstation 3 I found a few places selling the 250GB for only $50 more than the 120GB version. Hard to beat a deal like that.
Just wanted to write a short post and remind every one that Deathspank still looks amazing and still has me very excited. I might even be able to pull my self away from Battlefield Bad Company 2 long enough to give it a good play through. Some interesting developments is that Gamespot is listing it as canceled for the PC and only for Xbox 360 and PS3. Diablo meets Monkey Island can’t possibly go wrong. No word yet on multiplayer, co-op or any sort of online elements. Do you really need all that fluff when it sports a huge number of customizable equipment…yes. Regardless the game looks beautiful and buttery smooth. Excited!
I’m not so delighted to admit that my original post from my old blog where I detail how Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 was going to fail in lord only knows how many ways is at the moment lost. My contract with my service provider was up and while I did make a backup the hard drive that backup was on was lost or stolen some where in my move to my new job. I will post my original article when I manage to recover it.