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The Battlefield 3 beta – impressions, HD video, screens

Tuesday, 27 September 2011 17:46 GMT By Johnny Cullen

With it launching for MoH owners and Origin pre-orders today before opening up to the public on Thursday, Johnny Cullen takes a look at the multiplayer beta for Battlefield 3. HD video and screens of the PS3 version included.

Battlefield 3 Beta

Massively anticipated follow-up to DICE’s 2005 shooter, Battlefield 2.

Multiplayer beta goes live today for Origin pre-orders and Medal of Honor owners.

The beta goes open for all on Thursday.

It includes Operation Metro map, featuring one playable mode, Rush.

The full game launches on October 25 in the US and October 28 in the UK for PS3, 360 and PC.

Last week at Eurogamer Expo, for the first time, I got my hands on Battlefield 3. Playing the single-player Operation Guillotine on PS3, I was immediately impressed; it was was my game of the show.

But everyone, including EA and DICE, knows that multiplayer is the meat. Online play is Battlefield’s main pillar, a fact which assured the fabled success of Battlefield 2 in 2005. Today we got to see what Battlefield 3′s really about with the launch of its multiplayer beta.

Don’t expect to see too much: you’ll get one gameplay mode in the form of classic Battlefield mode Rush, where the attacking forces need to destroy M-Com stations from behind enemy lines whilst the other team tries to defend them before the opposition runs out of reinforcement tickets.

Basically, it’s an all-out fight between the Yanks and Ruskies on Operation Métro, which takes place between a park and a near-destroyed subway station slap-bang in the middle of Paris. Before you begin a match, you get you standard Battlefield class selection windowand choose between Assault (some basics including M16/AK47M, M9/MP443, Medic Kit), Engineer (M4/AK74U, M9/MP443, RPG-7V2, Repair Tool) Support (RPK-74M, MP443, Ammo Box) and Recon (SVD, MP443, Radio Beacon). Once you’ve picked the class and load-out, you’re away.

I’ve only had a couple of matches at the time of writing this, but what I’ve seen is definitely action-packed. The map is a staged affair, with you pushing forwards as a team in attack; when your objectives are completed you get given the go-ahead to move up. Before that, you’re warned to stay back from the next area until you’ve destroyed the stations.

The action is intense. Novices will experience plenty of death. There’s a lot of sniping going on, especially in the park area of the map, and if you don’t keep your head down expect to lose it. The indoor firefights are fantastic: shooting from all sides, hilariously accomplished sound effects and crossed streams of bullets make for exhilarating play.

This is Battlefield, so it’s a measured take on the soldier genre. You work as a team or you’re dead, basically. The in-ear chatter is faultlessly immersive; you want to pull together to win.

It’s a beta, so there are issues: I got kicked by EA’s severs from my first match, although I’d assume this is a general issue rather than an isolated one.

I’ve only played the PS3 version as yet, so I can’t give a comparison with other platforms. The beta went live for early birds on PS3, 360 and PC today.

After a sticky attempt at multiplay with last year’s Medal of Honor, DICE is back on the Battlefield, where it belongs.

Going by last week’s EG Expo single-play hands-on and today’s beta hands-on, October 28 cannot get here fast enough.

Battlefield 3 launches on October 25 in the US and October 28 in the UK for PS3, 360 and PC.

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61 Comments

  1. Patrick Garratt

    The video will be here in a few minutes. Both the screens and movie are taken from the PS3 beta.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Patrick Garratt

    There’s the video. I’d like to apologise in advance for getting so shot.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. tenthousandgothsonacid

    Nice vid, looks sweet.

    Mr Garratt, are you aware of the concept of ‘taking cover’ ? Check it out, it might help ;)

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Kabby

    If you’re into this stuff you should probably get the PC version.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Ireland Michael

    Pats not very good at shooters, is he? =P

    Looks damn amazing though.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Erthazus

    Back in 2002 with these models.

    I think something is wrong with model textures or it’s just a slow loading.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Maximum Payne

    Remind me of Crysis 2.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Ireland Michael

    @6 Nobody gives a fuck.

    The game looks amazing to anyone who manhood isn’t entirely dictated by the horse power of their personal computer.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Virginityrocks

    That looks terrible. The shadows clip and the lack of antialiasing is obvious. The far terrain also seems to constantly reload.

    @8 It’s not just about graphics… It’s about frame rate.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. Ireland Michael

    @9 Funny you say that, since I’m busy enjoying the hell out of replaying Final Fantasy V at the moment.

    Good art design is what I care about, not how many fancily worded graphics card techniques are running simultaneously in a game at any one time. That’s why a game like Okami will always look amazing, and Call of Duty will continue to look worse and worse as the years go by.

    Game looks truly astounding. Can’t wait for this.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. Erthazus

    “Nobody gives a fuck.”

    “Nobody gives a fuck” is just you. Visuals for the FPS genre is important and it is as important as gameplay since shooters were created it’s a tradition to push visuals in some direction and it was a tradition to push it with each Battlefield Game. Be happy that consoles finally getting this franchise.

    also, my post was not dedicated to graphics. I said about game models which have problem with texture loading.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. freedoms_stain

    @Pat, ouch man, your BF inexperience was in full evidence there dude!

    Gotta look out for the scope glare, it = Wookies afoot and you got caught out a couple of times.

    95 tickets for Metro, interesting. Not sure what to think of that.

    Kill cams are back in the exact same way as before which is slightly irksome. I don’t think it’s fair to show your victims several seconds of your movements after they’re dead, it gives so so much away, really unfair mechanic.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Ireland Michael

    @11 No, really, 99% of the posters here genuinely don’t give two flying fucks about snobby PC graphics elitism. I understand that this is genuinely hard for you to comprehend, but it’s true.

    Try not to wank over your graphics card too much. You might short-circuit it.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. OrbitMonkey

    ^ I’m a big fan of killcams, helps weed out the campers :)

    Also gonna side with Erz a little here, graphics DO matter when its comes to games like fps’s/racing sims where the gameplay is quite basic really. Though I agree that its not so important as gameplay when it comes to rpg’s/adventure games.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. Chockster

    Love your death at 2:40 Pat, there’s something almost nobly futile about it.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. Patrick Garratt

    Chris – I really do think I should play some more. Felt like a chubby uncle at a teenage wedding.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. _LarZen_

    Just me or did Battlefield BC2 look better? Some strange textures going on here…but its beta so could just be that.

    @13 Butt hurt much?

    #17 4 years ago
  18. Gekidami

    ^ Nah, it looks better than BC2, but yeah, some of the textures -especially on character models- do look a bit odd. Its also quite buggy.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. Erthazus

    @Ireland Michael, your butt hurts too much. My comment have nothing to do with PC graphics elitism.

    @17, no, it looks much better than BC2, but character models are a bit strange.

    Yes, on PC they look great, but there is no way that they can look that bad even on consoles (PS3 specific). Look at the 3rd screen or 5th screen.

    Even Killzone 2-3 crappy models look much more detailed at least in geometry. Maybe they stripped character details because of destruction and strong lightning direct X9 effects. (Thay can’t make it worse than on PC in terms of mechanic and variety because it would be just a bit cheesy and for the competition)

    #19 4 years ago
  20. G1GAHURTZ

    LOL!

    Pat, your skills are uber l337! Hehe…

    It’s funny… on your penultimate death, I was thinking why you were doing so bad. I thought: ‘Mostly just positional awareness. He just keeps going to the wrong places.’ Then just as I was coming to that conclusion, you ran back to exactly the same spot and got killed again!

    Just think about your position a bit more, and I’m sure you’ll be taking out the pros in no time…

    #20 4 years ago
  21. Ireland Michael

    @17 Over what, exactly?

    Graphical snobbery?
    PC fanboy egos?
    The fact that I don’t get spontaneous orgasms from slightly higher resolution textures?

    #21 4 years ago
  22. rbevanx

    Well I’m not a pc fanboy but I have PS3 and 360.

    Anyway, putting that childish rubbish aside the screen tearing is very clear in that video and just looks terrible. No point in having detailed graphics when the console can’t keep a decent frame rate.

    Either way I just cancelled my PS3 pre-order for the game and will try out the beta’s on both 360 and PS3 to see for myself if it’s worth my hard earned cash.

    Just as well the beta is free.

    #22 4 years ago
  23. G1GAHURTZ

    Oh, btw…

    Honestly doesn’t look (visually) that good to me. Honestly, honestly, and I’m honestly not just having a dig. Pop in is horrendous on occasion, and the jumping over the fence problem at the end of the video was awful.

    I’m still planning on giving the beta a good play session, though…

    I want to give this game a fair go before deciding whether to buy it or not.

    #23 4 years ago
  24. Patrick Garratt

    @20 – I’ll try again. I strongly suspect I’ll get killed a lot again.

    #24 4 years ago
  25. Kabby

    Do a live commentary while playing. I’m sure it will be funny.

    #25 4 years ago
  26. xino

    the game is AMAZING!
    sound effects is unbelievable! you need to enjoy this with turtle beach with high bass or good surround sound.

    graphics are good but visual is amazing man.

    it is very very apparent that A LOT of work when into this. So much better than Crysis 3. Man how many f**ing staff worked on this game? it is very incredible man. Must be 300 staffs working on this game because the amount of details in the game makes it feel like a real war ONCE again like in BF2!

    #26 4 years ago
  27. GrimRita

    Not being a console gamer, I wont enter the arguement about graphics but my question is – Does anyone know if this is a portal 360 version on to the ps3? Looks like it because the PS3 is far more powerful, its just a shame hardly any developer uses it

    #27 4 years ago
  28. monkeygourmet

    Looks good, especially for a small sub HD video of a 1 map Beta.

    Can’t wait to try out the 360 Beta, i’ll miss the PS3 one as 360 will be my console of choice when this does get released.

    Makes me laugh that people are still comparing the graphics on PS3 and 360 to the PC… Erthazus especially, your a very strange guy. You seem to know alot about PC’s and graphics. You must understand they vastly dwarf what is capable on a console… So why do you keep going on about it?

    Doesn’t it make you feel weird talking the same shite over and over again like a broken record? I suppose thank heavens for forums as at least you get to have some dialouge with people.

    #28 4 years ago
  29. LOLshock94

    the xbox 360 version of BF3 beta is by far the most shittest thing ive ever played there is literally a glitch everywhere you look, and i have played tons of betas but this beta is just disgraceful how can they possibly send out a beta and use people to find glitchs when all you got to do is move and then a glitch will appear and i just found out that because i brought medal of honour(shittest game of 2010) that i get today early then everyone else…EA can go fuck themselfs…

    #29 4 years ago
  30. monkeygourmet

    @29

    What kind of glitchs? Clipping, framerate or just everything?

    Thats a shame although im guessing the full game is almost ready to go gold now? I mean, this “beta” is only about a month away from launch, not a huge amount of time to clean it up if there’s that much wrong with it?

    #30 4 years ago
  31. LOLshock94

    @30 stupid glitches like going prone and falling under the map, a glitch where if u die then you respawn your screen goes blue and you cant see shit, a glitch where the game will randomly stop you from running and the only way to run again is to crouch and then stand up, a glitch where you can go iron sight and the only way you can go iron sight it to change your weapon, a glitch where a grenade just disappear, also frame rate gliths, glith where if you assassinate someone they wont stop doing the animation…and the worst glitch of them all is the when you revive someone and they sink to they are stuck under the ground…WORST BETA IVE EVER PLAYED

    im going to download the ps3 beta tomorrow and see if the same shit is happening on there

    #31 4 years ago
  32. DaMan

    #28, This is why:
    http://www.vg247.com/2011/07/27/dice-battlefield-3-frame-rate-issue-blown-out-of-proportion/comment-page-1

    #32 4 years ago
  33. monkeygourmet

    @31

    I will try both too, although im sure the final product will be great. Shame the beta sounds a bit lacklustre.

    As long as it plays as well as Bad Company 2 i’ll be happy! ;) I would get it on the PC but i’ve spent far too much on tech recently and i’ll be damned if im gonna upgrade for one game, especially as i know a lot of people who will be playing this on the 360.

    #33 4 years ago
  34. Ireland Michael

    Some people don’t seem to understand what the term “beta” means.

    #34 4 years ago
  35. OrbitMonkey

    You can understand why devs really must think of a beta as a double edged sword. If its not running as good as the finished product, the whole web slates it o_O

    #35 4 years ago
  36. GrimRita

    Well probably because Alpha should have ironed out these flaws. So looks like a 10gig day 1 patch? LOL poor suckers.

    #36 4 years ago
  37. luee77

    is the beta out in the west coast california

    #37 4 years ago
  38. LOLshock94

    @34 mate if any other game did this you would slate them but since its bf you suck its cock till its dry
    @35 gears of war 3, halo reach and spec ops the line betas were perfect with no glitchs and those betas were 6 month betas before the retail versions came out, bf3 beta is a beta 4 weeks before the retail and it has more glitchs then san andreas

    #38 4 years ago
  39. GrimRita

    This is why I hate when publishers announce a release date months ahead, and then launch the game finished or not. Sega do it alot with Total War and Football Manager.

    Just because games can be patched, doesnt mean that us the consumer should put up with half finished piles of shit, charged at full price. We have to use our bandwith to download these huge patches and its unacceptable.

    #39 4 years ago
  40. Ireland Michael

    @38 Actually, no, I wouldn’t. I do and always understand what betas are for, and I fully understand that bugs are to be expected. The whole purpose of a beta is to see what occurs under live testing.

    It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that it’s Battlefield. These problems are true of almost all betas.

    #40 4 years ago
  41. xino

    it doesn’t make sense man!

    the game is coming out 25 of oct. Obviously it has gone gold already.
    All the fixes they do with the Beta feedback will be down as a download patch update.

    #41 4 years ago
  42. OrbitMonkey

    Well I guess a few glitches are to be expected, they are pushing It out a month earlier than they originally planned to get edge on MW3 right?

    #42 4 years ago
  43. Erthazus

    I tried it on PS3 just now. Finished few matches. It’s basically stripped to death and they stripped every texture out there. I dunno, kinda looks lame. But whatever.

    To be honest, Battlefield 3 on PS3 looks like Crysis 2 or like any FPS out there on consoles… You just can’t go further with the current console hardware which goes already beyond 5 years. You get just features like destruction and lightning effects, cool animations.

    but it definetily looks on par with other console shooters and it looks better than Call of Duty by a hundred miles.

    Everything else looks on top notch. Really great level design, sound effects are on par even with BC2 or with good PC.

    PC for me 100%. the difference between them is not huge, it’s gigantic. Like 2 different games to be honest and i’m happy that DICE worked their ass off for this game on the PC.

    #43 4 years ago
  44. monkeygourmet

    @43

    So it looks good for a console then?

    You don’t make any sense… Consoles this generation aren’t able to generate effects in the same way cutting edge PC graphics cards can.

    So, compared to other CONSOLE fps’s, how does this look? If it looks similar to Crysis 2 did on the 360/PS3 with destruction and vehicle combat with 24 players then thats a fantastic achievment considering they are using 5 year old out of date hardware isn’t it?

    #44 4 years ago
  45. viralshag

    @ monkeygourmet, I admire your tenacity to try and understand Erth. I told you before though, dude, it’s a waste of time ;)

    I’m just loading up the PC beta now to see what all the fuss is about.

    #45 4 years ago
  46. jmg24bad

    you know what. I dont give a fuck about graphics at all. Only pc gamers bitch about graphics ALL THE TIME. I getting sick and tired of them always bitching and moaning about how much their pc can do. If you paid over $250 for your pc to run a game….. great, good for you, you have disposible income that you can waste on pc parts that get upgraded and outdated in 6 months anyway. but you can NOT find a PC for $250 to $300 dollars ( even right now) that can run better GRAPHICS than the PS3 and XBOX 360. You cant do it. I have looked.

    #46 4 years ago
  47. viralshag

    @46, That’s so not true! You can… uh… well, you can buy a DFX card for that much! Easily! Who cares about, like, everything else! Right? At least you would have a GFX card that can do it! And that’s what counts! Screw your motherboards! Fuck the RAM! Suck my solid state HDD!

    I’m going to hold this GFX card and imagine graphics ten times better than crappy consoles! Suck that for $200!

    :)

    #47 4 years ago
  48. daytripper

    not impressed with the visuals as much as i thought i would of been and yes i am aware of the pc version being massively superior and it’s a beta. i was playing it and not getting the hype.

    (ps3 version)

    #48 4 years ago
  49. viralshag

    I’m really enjoying this on the PC at the moment. I haven’t tried the consoles yet.

    #49 4 years ago
  50. Redh3lix

    Gameplay feels more Battlefield than Bad Company which I was hoping. Graphics (on PC) are of course astounding on “Ultra”.

    Bit glitchy with clipping issues etc (especially around A on first outside objectives) and lots of server instability, but then you could put that down to demand. I think it’s a little late in the day to call it a beta given the release date so I guess it’s an earlier build?

    Overall, awesome game :D

    #50 4 years ago
  51. viralshag

    What do people think of Battlelog? I can’t say I dislike it. I didn’t find myself using it all that much as I seemed to be pretty lucky with stable servers. I didn’t get kicked once and the game only crashed while I was updating my gfx card.

    There are quite a few bugs, but it is a beta, so it’s to be expected. Certain objects such as trees and concrete blocks seem to be in a constant state of movement and juddering, killed players tend to fly half way across the map (which is actually quite entertaining), there is some poor clipping issues.

    Other minor things is stuff like the lens reflection thing, it’s a good idea and should be kept, however, sometimes it look more like a flashlight which is a bit odd. Not going to lie, I mistook it for a regular light sometimes haha. And they have some pretty nice pad support! Yay!

    #51 4 years ago
  52. freedoms_stain

    Comments like #48 are why Metro was a bad choice for the Beta.

    This was their chance to showcase Battlefield to new players, to demonstrate in real terms what separates Battlefield from the rest of the pack.

    Operation Metro is far from the best of Battlefield. Battlefield to me isn’t narrow sausage shaped maps focussed almost entirely on infantry, it’s large sprawling maps with large scale vehicular combat on land, sea and air as well as infantry.

    What is Operation Metro? It’s a freakin Combat Mission map off MoH made slightly more bearable because they removed the airstrikes and made sniping less effective. Operation Metro has a grand total of ONE vehicle, a Light armoured troop transport, and it’s only usable for the 1st base and a bit. Hmm, where have I seen that sort of setup before? Oh yeah, MoH!

    If they wanted to sell Battlefield they should have picked a map with more variety and made at least Rush and Conquest available if not all 5 of the game types, because as it stands Metro is not a good illustration of what Battlefield is – At least I pray this is the case. If Metro is indeed indicative of what Battlefield 3 is, then they can suck my boaby.

    Dice need to get off their obsession with Rush. They seem to think that because it’s the most played game type in BC2 that it’s either better than or prefered to Conquest, not true, the fact is that most of the Bad Company Conquest maps are simply bad (Most of BC2′s conquest maps are sections of Rush maps with flags plopped down, in some cases this worked, others it didn’t) or too easy for stacked teams to base rape on, therefore Rush is a safer mode for the random player playing on his own to get on with. There’s also the fact that BC2 is overpopulated with BushWookies and Rush is perceived as easier to Wookie up on. I’m pretty sure Conquest would be preferred over Rush if the maps were designed better, i.e. designed for conquest rather than designed for Rush then conquest shoehorned in.

    They should have built Battlefield 3 for its existing fanbase, and it’s feeling more and more and more that this is not the case. Screw Mass Appeal. BC2 sold 9 million copies last I heard – That’s pretty decent. Build on that instead of trying to poach the CoD audience.

    #52 4 years ago
  53. Ireland Michael

    @50 The “Ultra” setting doesn’t actually work. What you’re getting there is the “High” setting. You can select “Ultra”, but it does nothing. So the game will look even better on launch.

    @52 I think it’s unfair to say that Battlefield 3 isn’t being built for its existing fanbase based of one map. I get the impression they just wanted to try something different with this map.

    Apparently they’ll be putting another map live at some point, so that should be worth checking out.

    #53 4 years ago
  54. GrimRita

    Metro was used in Alpha and failed to impress. freedoms is right. BF is all about vehicles etc etc. Many a folk here are giving it all the benefit of the doubt and I ask why? BC2 was in the SAME kind of mess at beta and launched with shocking bugs, so this wont be any different.

    Such a shame for what was once a mighty FPS title

    #54 4 years ago
  55. viralshag

    Well regardless of preconceptions, the bottom line for me was that I had fun playing the game. And in my opinion it still stands apart from the run-and-gun FPS’s out there.

    I do agree that it would have been good to see some vehicular combat. It is a little worrying that if this is the current state of the game with only a month until release, they should pull their finger out.

    #55 4 years ago
  56. Ireland Michael

    @54 Bulletproof leaves!

    http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&q=%22bulletproof+leaves%22

    #56 4 years ago
  57. freedoms_stain

    @53, If it was just about the map then I wouldn’t have an issue, there’s a bunch of little things that mount up.

    The map is one for sure, not particularly the map itself but the decision to choose that map rather than one that would offer a more complete or representative experience if what Battlefield is. Then you’ve got the very high weapon damage in normal mode which is not historically a Battlefield feature (BF has always slotted somewhere between the sustained aim and pure twitch models), you’ve got the huge expansion in the weapon attachment and “spec” systems which are trending in modern shooters. There also seems to have been a degradation in the team spirit of the series, merging kits so you’ll have to rely less on team mates, no commander, reduced communication capabilities -all these things promote the loner style.

    I’m still giving Dice the benefit of the doubt for now, but I’m feeling less confident about BF3 as the next best thing in FPS now than I was 6 months ago.

    #57 4 years ago
  58. GrimRita

    @56 ;)

    #58 4 years ago
  59. Ireland Michael

    @57 Well, the final product will speak for itself at the end of the day, and once that’s out we can make a fair judgement on it’s overall quality.

    #59 4 years ago
  60. OrbitMonkey

    @57 High weapon damage in normal mode & promotion of loner style? That sounds familiar… Tell me, this Metro map… Fairly small, with emphasis on infantry tactics & narrow corridors, channling players Into killzones?

    #60 4 years ago
  61. viralshag

    @60, I actually wouldn’t say that at all. If anything, I found you have a number of opportunities to outflank the opposing team and get a foothold in the fight.

    I wouldn’t say they are kill zones but more choke points. If you played against a team with good communication and understand of where these points are in a map, you would have a tough time. If you had two teams that knew what they were doing, you’re in for a real fight.

    I don’t think I would call the map small either, each section of the map had at least 3 main channels towards the objectives which seemed to offer little cover but the fastest route. In between those three channels you had everything else, basically, that offer more cover but more opportunities for the opposing team to lie in wait for you.

    At first I didn’t think it was a very good map but the more I played the more I think about it now, I actually think it’s very well balanced and thought out.

    #61 4 years ago

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