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.