Yesterday I cruised home over lunch to start the BF3 beta download, and for 3 gigs it went exceptionally fast. 80% by 2PM or so is no joke with that size download. I wasn’t able to get in the game right away due to a driver update download (much slower from nvidia) and the CHILDRENS, but got in late at night for a span of time. Suffice to say, this is really a must-have game for everyone that likes FPS, even if they play 10-20 hours with the singleplayer and dabble with the multi, it will be well worth it for the visuals alone, which are incredible. EA knows everyone will want and buy this because, let’s just face it, it will be awesome incarnate. Like Blizzard with Starcraft/D3, and Stardock and every online publisher, EVERYONE wants to try to take a piece out of Steam. Since BF3 is going to be so awesome, EA wants to take a big piece out of Valve with it’s new Origin system. You must have Origin installed and running to play BF3, even the single player, from what I understand. So EA is strong-arming people who want to play their awesome game to have their version of Steam installed. Wouldn’t you?
Obviously, this has raised the same type of ire that D3’s “always online” with the master servers (like an MMO) issue that is causing lag in single player games in the beta (granted it’s still a beta). What’s more, the older thingy EA did to try to mimic Steam really really sucked, so who can blame people that are gunshy after that crap was installed and polluted people’s systems? However, just like D3, everyone will buy this game anyway despite complaints and suffer Origin’s existence. Given that, after just a few hours last night, I think EA’s Origin is going to be a lot less obtrusive and annoying than Blizzard’s MMO style approach to Diablo 3– though Origin seems very strange at first because it is the game’s front end and it’s in a browser, I think interface so far is top notch, everything is very cleanly laid out, it doesn’t seem to effect anything in game, chatting is very well implemented and overall stuff is very simple to find and use. At first I was understandably annoyed, but after an hour or so with many crashes kicking me back to the interface, I started to think the Origin implementation is pretty neat. If you are a hater without giving Origin a go, you know you cannot deny that BF3 is something you want and it makes total logical sense that EA would push it’s version of Steam off it’s super heavyweight title. Just try it out. It’s not that bad.
Now onto the game: BF3 crashed a lot. I fell into the map twice and couldn’t get out until I hit a kill-brush. There was horrible lag when I was near some other players, ending in my demise via the knife. I couldn’t find a server that wasn’t full for 5 minutes or so each time I tried to play. I didn’t get on the map with the vehicles because they were all locked. I couldn’t get in a game with any of my friends. Lots of issues? Yes. Was it fantastic and would I face all of these issues to play more? YES. The feel of the game was great, grenade explosions are absolutely breathtaking (I threw one every time I respawned just to see it explode!), tracer rounds look gorgeous, the environmental damage effects are awesome, and you can go prone and, drum roll, you can get points for suppression fire!!! Fire and movement tactics not only implemented in a game but rewarded. Finally. Say you are a mid ranged, hang back and fire the LMG’s type of player– you may not kills that much but you are certainly helping your team by forcing the enemy to keep their heads down and restricting their movement. Now you get POINTS for it.
As I mentioned above, I only got to play on the non-vehicle map in the park/subway and only for an hour or so, hence I can’t write that much about the game. Despite no tanks and toys, it was absolutely engrossing– clearing halls and rooms with your squad via grenades, suppression and rush is what this is all about and BF3 does it well. I’m itching to see what else the game has in store.
Also of note, on Origin Deluxe BF2142 is in the FREE GAMES section. Can’t argue with that!