On September 29, DICE launched the Battlefield 3 Open Beta on all consoles. Comprised of only one map/mode combination, the PS3 beta provided us with an opportunity to take one of this year’s most hotly anticipated titles for a spin.
Amidst the assumed bugs, glitches and general issues, the Battlefield 3 beta was nothing short of amazing. What was so amazing you ask? Well, here’s a few reasons why you should jump onto the PS Store and grab it while it lasts.
- Weapons not only felt great, but they sounded phenomenal. They were nice and heavy and music to my ears. Recoil was clearly evident, providing a much more realistic experience.
- There was a bountiful arsenal of weapons and attachments to go into battle with.
- A greater range of sensitivity in the options panel than BFBC2. With a few slight adjustments, COD fans like myself feel right at home.
- Environment destruction was divine. If I saw some asshole hiding in a building trying to pick my comrades off, I simply launched a missile in his general direction, blowing a hole in the wall and foiling his plans.
- Sniper glint. No longer could snipers simply sit at the back of the map in the bleachers, as their positions were jeopardised by the reflective glare emitted by their scopes. There’s been a few complaints made about this (no doubt by 8 year olds who couldn’t care less about the objectives), but, in my opinion, it will force players to focus more on the task at hand instead of hiding at the spawn in some azalea bushes.
- Hit detection seemed top notch, especially for a beta.
- Suppression was extremely effective. Providing suppression fire in the close vicinity of an enemy blurred their screen slightly, making it difficult for them to fight back.
- Revive options. In previous BF games, it was crushing to be revived in the middle of a firefight, only to be killed as soon as you got back on your feet. In the BF3 beta, I could choose whether or not I wanted to be revived, or respawn at a selected location. A much welcomed addition.
- Reduced weapon sway when either crouched or prone. A simple, pragmatic touch.
- I could finally go prone. Thankyou, Jesus! You bearded, robe-wearing fucker!
Beta’s are renowned for having a few faulty parts. Hell, that’s the whole point of them, right? Here’s a few things I noted that caused some concern:
- The game’s frame frequency was a bit on the fritz. Quite often I would be running, my screen would skip a beat and I would appear somewhere else nearby.
- I could not run over small objects on the ground such as overturned bins, rocks or caterpillars. Most of the time, I couldn’t even see what was preventing my movement, which at times was very frustrating.
- Sometimes after spawning, my screen would retain a kind of blue sepia effect. This was easily removed with a quick pause/unpause, however.
- Quite often I could not aim down my sights. I would hold L1 and the game would refuse to give me a more accurate method to firing my weapon. This always seemed to happen when a tango charged out in front of me like a streaker at the cricket.
- There were a few areas on the map where I would often slip underneath the map. Key areas for this were around the first A bomb site and while running up the hill on the attacking side of the first B bomb site. Thankfully, once I advanced into the subway, this problem stopped.. er.. being a problem.
- Some of the trees/environment looked a little bit dated. This was to be expected in Battlefield though, considering how large the maps are.
- I couldn’t cook grenades.
- The squad system failed more than it succeeded. It was very rare for me to party up, join a game, and have all of my squad members on the same team; or even in the same game.
- The game didn’t really balance teams evenly. There were a number of games where one team would consist entirely of players below level 5, while the other had at least 4/5 players over level 20.
With that all said, it was understandable for these issues to be present, being a beta and all. DICE have announced that a number of these problems have already been fixed and will be non-existent when the game is released on October 27.
Some Free Advice
Many players are new to the Battlefield franchise, and as such here are a couple of tips to start you off on the right foot. If you have any further advice, please feel free to share it in the comments section below.
- Fire your weapons in short bursts. If there is a substantial distance between you and your enemy, consider switching to single fire by pressing down on the d-pad for more precision and less recoil.
- Take advantage of suppressive fire. If an enemy is hiding behind a block of slate and one of your team mates is charging in for the kill, unleash some rounds at the slate or just to the side. It will blur your enemies screen as the bullets whiz past his ears. You will be rewarded with a suppressive assist.
- You can attach bipods to your weapons by going prone. This will increase accuracy and once again, reduce recoil.
- Stick with your team mates. Running off on a solo venture may make you feel like John McClane, but you’ve got a better chance of survival if you work together.
- Use flashlights sparingly. Switch them off when you’re running around in the open, as it makes you easier to spot. Instead, only switch them on when you enter the slender tunnels of the subway.
- If you discover an enemy, hit select. An orange marker will appear above them for not only you, but the rest of your squad.
- Use RPG’s to destroy enemy fortifications. Blow away barriers and camping areas near objectives to make it tougher for defenders to do their job.
The Battlefield 3 Open Beta suggests greatness. While it’s obviously not quite there yet, I think, once the kinks have been ironed out, it will no doubt compete with the COD series as the dominant FPS experience available on the market.
If you’re thinking about buying BF3 at the end of the month but you’re not quite sure whether or not this game’s for you, be sure to download the free beta from the PS Store and evaluate it for yourself.
The beta runs until October 10.