So, after so many teasers and bad mouthing the competition, EA has finally released the Battlefield 3 beta for people to get a taste of the game, as well as fix the issues plaguing the beta so that it does not creep up in the final game. I played the beta on a PS3 and was really curious as to how the game will run on the consoles, and so far it’s a mixed bag. Yes, there are no framerate issues on the PS3; the beta runs nicely, but the visuals seem to be quite average. Considering the scale and the size of each map, I think we have to let that slide on the consoles. If you want good graphics in this game, the PC version is the one you should be playing.
As I mentioned earlier, the game runs really nicely on the PS3, which is a major accomplishment from DICE. The game runs on a new engine called the Frostbite 2 and looks like it fits the consoles quite well. The first thing you will notice while playing is that you can get a kill ever easily. There is no lag here at all, and the game does not run on dedicated servers. Since the game supports 24 players on the console; the firefights are quite hectic and enjoyable, although, considering the blurry visuals, sometimes it gets a bit confusing.
If you have played Battlefield: Bad Company 2, the game will instantly remind you of that. It feels like a sequel to that game rather than a sequel to Battlefield 2 on the PC. The game has an insane amount of unlocks and perks, which to be frank, every FPS game has in its arsenal. Ranking up and unlocking weapons are all displayed in the game, along with ribbons, so if you get a decent amount of kills. You will notice some pretty things pop up in the screen. The XP gained is shown after the game. One thing I have to say is that, DICE have really nailed the netcode in this game. It’s just perfect. Something that will remind you of game like Killzone 3, where you could easily play a hectic online game without bothering about network lag.
It’s an amazing feeling when you sneak in a bush, and kill a bunch of guys with the pistol and go prone immediately. The animation here is top class, except the grenade throwing one. I hope they fix the grenade animation because it just looks hilarious. Coming to prone, I really love how your soldier goes prone and gets back up. It really makes you immersed in the game. Since it is a Battlefield game; going prone can save your life. Everything from the animations to recoil is really well done, although, I do have some issues with glitches that you can encounter here. Yeah, I know it’s a beta, but considering the game will release next month, they better fix all these issues.
Coming to the graphics; the game touted as one of the most visually impressive games of this gen, looks kind of weak on the consoles. It may be the scale, or the amount of things the game is pulling off on consoles, but it doesn’t look that good compared to Bad Company 2. I wouldn’t say the game is underwhelming visually or a downgrade. It looks great, especially on a PC but on consoles it really doesn’t match the hype. One thing that stands out is the lighting. There is no doubt that it’s one of the best lighting implementations I have ever seen. Ranging from flashlight to Sniper score, you will notice it. The fire effects and the amount of stuff happening on screen are simply surreal.
It may be too late to touch up the visuals, but console gamers shouldn’t mind, since it is still one of the best looking games made, especially due to the lighting. The beta has Operation Metro, where you get to play in a variety of environments like a park, underground metro station and Parisian streets. The latter looks visually stunning in the daylight even on consoles. The maps are brilliantly designed with good cover opportunities and places emphasis on attack and defense. There can be 4 players in a squad, and you get bonuses for healing them. There is no Caspian border map here, so no Jets for the console gamers in the beta.
The weapons are just fantastic here. They are nicely designed and look great. But the most important thing is that it feels good to fire them. You can unlock weapons as you keep ranking up and can also unlock different accessories like scopes and flashlight. It’s a good feeling to customize the gun to your liking. There are a variety of them available in the beta ranging from Assault rifles to Snipers. You need to put some time in the game to adjust to the recoil, but once you fire in short bursts you will get the hang of it.
There are a lot of glitches and other technical issues in the beta. Hopefully DICE can fix all of them. Battlefield 3 is shaping up to be one of the best FPS games ever made, and if you have a good PC, it is recommended that you buy the game for that platform, as it is definitely the definitive version of the game.
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