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RANT: Battlefield 3 Impressions

Well it's FINALLY HERE! The true successor to BF2, and a game with an insurmountable amount of hype to live up to amugst it's hardcore fans. Well we here at NODJ are squading up and putting the game through it's paces, but until I hammer out a full review here are some early impressions.

Meet the team.

I know (and understand) that the problem riddled Beta scared away a lot of BF fans, and potential new-comers alike. Well from the 4-5 hours I've gotten into the PC multiplayer I am happy to report almost all previous issues have been addressed. This means they either fixed something that wasn't working, or added completely new things that were sorely missed.

Squading up is easy enough in game or through Battlelog. The servers move seemlessly through a map playlist. The ground collision works, and the controls are re-mappable, and the menu available in game. Overall they fixed all the big ticket issues that made the already overwhelming BF3 experience even more insurmountable to new players.

Another big worry item (for the PC crowd) is playability. I am happy to report that while BF3 can tout some amazing graphics with over 1k spent on just video cards, it runs perfectly fine on my ATI 5770 (seems like around 30 ish frames on high settings with motion blur turned off). Kudos to Dice for making such an enjoyable, and scalable experience.

It's interesting seeing the new breed jumping into the battlefield. While the PC audience is usually the most mature of the bunch it's still sort of funny seeing that ex-COD guy who is holed up in a corner, or hiding in a bush, thinking he's gonna be doing much of anything besides getting a kill in the off chance someone happens by his hidey hole. Also, as in previous BF games, laying out random grenades is not really going to net you a lot of kills. I expect people to come to terms with the BF mentality of play later on, but in these early days it'll be fun to watch the community grow. Oh also, no UMP god mode that was blood-boilingly rampant in the Beta.

Know your place UMP.

So Battlefield 3 is mostly as promised, and amazing, with a few little sticking points. I can't figure out how to get voice chat going through Battlelog, which is frustrating. Importing friends from Origin is hit or miss, and more of a pain than I feel it should be. From initial MP sessions we've played, I actually really miss the interaction of a commander setting squad objectives and helping when he can. It was an amazing part of BF2, and games like MAG further perpetuated a hierarchical team-work system of rewards that frankly I thought would be present in Battlefield 3. Without any sort of central direction at times the game can feel like 32 guys looking to go kill 32 other guys. Granted that can also be amazing, but without some direction the new player's eyes and brain will just melt as a light show of HUD elements and explosions great him at every second. The Commander is definitely a feature I feel could be added in, and supported as a modifier on game type.

Well I don't have much else to say except I am enjoying the game immensely and to that end am gonna wrap this up so I can get back to the battlefield. Hope to see you there!

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