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Battlefield 3 Hands On Preview

Viewing the Battlefield 3 Online Beta through the eyes of a noob.

Deciding to take the Battlefield 3 Online Beta for a spin was not a simple decision for me.  It’s the latest in a series that I’ve never played before and while I’ve been known to take some names and kick some ass in even the toughest of FPS single player modes, multiplayer has always been a different story entirely. 

Competitive multiplayer has a tendency to stress me out.  It’s embarrassing getting picked off time and time again by a squeaky voiced, prepubescent kid who seemingly just learned how to curse and is celebrating his newly expanded vocabulary.  It’s frustrating to come to the realization that you’re really no good at a game that you fancied yourself a pro at.  Surely practice would help but that sounds an awful lot like work.  I’ll stick to the main campaign, thank you very much.

These are all things that I’ve felt with practically every FPS online mode I’ve ever played—from Quake to Halo 2 to Modern Warfare I’ve played and then walked away feeling like less of a man.

But as I find myself defending my position in an almost idyllic public park—I say almost because, you know…there’s a war going on—something  strange occurs to me.  I’m actually enjoying myself.

The epiphany I’m describing didn’t come to me right away.  It was only after a couple of hours that I realized that I was becoming emotionally invested in the experience.  I’d often heard of gamers learning every nook and cranny of a map.  I’d always dismissed them as a group of players that had way too much time on their hands, yet here I was memorizing the best ways to enter the metro station and under what circumstances to use them.  I was making actual notes in my composition notebook as to where some of the better vantage points were.  I was tweaking my weapon loadout during respawns to reflect the changes in the match.  I was having fun and more importantly I was doing well.

There’s something about this particular Battlefield 3 map that resonates with me.  I’ve heard all the internet chatter about how Metro isn’t “Battlefieldy” enough--how there aren’t any vehicles and the destructible environments aren’t as prominent as they are in other maps—about how it’s buggy and how there isn’t as much variety as people would like.  It seems to me that these complaints are mostly coming from long-time fans of the series or FPS multiplayer aficionados because I think Metro was a good choice.  There are wide open spaces in the park for more open battles and then the action moves into the metro station with its narrow corridors and poorly lit rooms.  It’s a good showing of variety; in a mode like Rush, your tactics need to continue to evolve as the battle progresses.

Thinking of things in these matters won’t shut up the vocal few who treat the beta more like a demo, though I can hardly blame them.  EA is marketing it as such (the Battlefield website proclaims “Try the new shooter from DICE before everyone else”) and so it’s only natural that the public would perceive any present issues as an actual failing of a finished product no one has played yet.

As for myself, I think it’s just a bunch of self-proclaimed pros tired of getting pwnd by noobs like me.

Battlefield 3 will be released on October 25, 2011 on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.



Esteban Cuevas Staff Alumnus

10/04/2011 at 08:48 PM

I too don't like to hear semantically null insults from prepubescent boys but I've had my eye on this game for a couple of months now after seeing an impressive trailer and being in the mood for a shooter.


10/04/2011 at 09:00 PM

Good to know.


10/05/2011 at 01:45 PM

the beta is really, really fun, and has made a fan out of me. I need to get my mic going so I can actually participate in a squad-like manner.

I also dig the spotting feature of the Battlefield series; can't pick off that runner? spot him, and let one of your boys take his sorry ass OUT.

Mike Wall Staff Alumnus

10/06/2011 at 10:26 AM

Nicely done Jesse glad to see your sticking it to those "self proclaimed pro's". That is actually one of my biggest pet peeves with competitive shooters, everyone thinks of themselves as a god, therefore it hey die or have a bad game it must be the game's fault because they could never do any wrong. Anyways glad to see that you actually enjoyed a multiplayer fps experience as I know it is not really your thing. I think i might have to try giving BF3 some serious attention though I believe I'm already going to be spread fairly thin with all the other games coming out. Why do there have to be so many great games coming out in the next 2 months.

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