I’ve put 6 hours into the Battlefield 3 open beta in the last two days and overall I’m quite impressed. The game looks pretty and it is fun to play. Thankfully my, now somewhat dated, PC can play the game respectably. I get around 40FPS outside and 60FPS inside on automatic, which picks high settings for everything except motion blur which goes to medium. I also think AA is off.
Though, on the design side of things, I think DICE have made some choices I’m not quite sure about. My main gripe surrounds the browser based battlelog system for launching of the game. While, I understand why you would want to go with a web base solution as it integrates well with the stats systems which is central to a shooter like Battlefield. Having to hit Alt-Enter to go back to full screen between every round gets old fast. Also not being able to manage your party voice communications from within the game is also a pain. What really irks me about this is that the Origin client has a built in web browser, but battlelog is not supported within it. When I first heard about the web based server browser, I fully expected it to be integrated into Origin. The fact that it is not is disappointing. Hopefully in the future, DICE and EA will get around to moving battlelog into the Origin client.
The other thing I’m not sure about, is the complete lack of squad management in game and the lack of a in game voip system. This is a game about teamwork, even in pub games, but they seem to have thrown up roadblock to doing doing. I had hoped that DICE would have continued the dual channel voice com system found in Battlefield 2, where squad leaders could talk to their squad and the commander. A similar system where squad leader could talk to other squad leaders and lone wolfs to co-ordinate strategy, but not flood the main com channel with all the squad chatter. Then again right now there seems to be no voice communication going on at all at the moment.
I’ll post some more thoughts about Battlefield 3 later.
If you want to play with me my battle log profile is here.