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Battlefield 3 beta – Colin versus the PC version

Tuesday, 4th October 2011 14:39 GMT By Colin Gallacher

VG247 reader Colin Gallacher played the Battlefield 3 beta on PC, wrapped up his thoughts and recording HD video of the beautiful shooter in action. He’s potentially a little better at it than Pat.

Firstly, I love the way this game feels. I haven’t been involved in a single game that hasn’t been fun, be it offense or defense, assault, engineer, support or sniper. And this from someone who has played over 500 hours of Call Of Duty in the past two years.

The graphics are incredible. When I’m not sprinting into danger I often find myself doing a little sightseeing. Frostbite 2 is breathtaking; the way light glistens through the leaves on the trees, the way the colours from the command point drop on the wall behind, the way the gunfire ricochets through the hollowed out Metro station are all spectacular. It really adds to an intense atmosphere that can change from level to level.

If the allure of Battlefield 3’s stunning graphics is enough to draw you in, then beware, as it really does come at a price. I have an Nvidia GTX 560 Ti, which runs the game silky smooth at High settings. I rarely drop below 55fps running at 1080p with all the DirectX11 bells and whistles on.

So how does it play? Battlefield 3’s multiplayer gameplay is quite the eccentric mix, and it really depends on the type of map or game type you’re playing. Conquest is a whole different kettle of fish to Rush, for example. Operation Métro, now the only level available in the open beta, can only be played as a Rush level, which is an intense attack versus defense on a large map cut up in to different segments.

Both attacking and defending are quite different styles, as Pat touched upon in his videos. Attacking is an adrenaline-fueled charge, in which your team is rewarded for teamwork, perseverance and, at times, luck. Defense is a much more nervy battle in which you and your team must dig in and really work to hold the line. It should be said that DICE has done an excellent job on balancing each game-type.

The destructive capabilities of Frostbite 2 have been greatly improved over the first incarnation; most of the objects you come across have some sort of deformation. There are whole rooms inside the underground Métro station that can be blown apart with a well-placed RPG or some sticky C4 explosives. This means that the battlefield can change in seconds. Suddenly the cover you fought valiantly for is blown to smithereens, changing your entire game plan.

Free-flowing experience

It really makes you think about alternative routes and new tactics. I’ve even encountered people who decided to create their own cover by planting some C4 on the ground and then hiding in the newly-created crater.

The controls are considerably sharper and more responsive than previous Battlefield games; it’s almost Call of Duty-esque compared to the downright clunky Bad Company 2. It all makes for a more free-flowing experience. Small obstacles are easily mounted as your soldier volts over it with the precision and elegance of a free runner.

The beta isn’t without it’s bugs, though, which is only to be expected in such a release. One such prominent glitch involves falling through the ground during the opening section of Op Métro. While annoying, it’s one of the more amusing problems, as you can be sure that it’s happened to others too. One time this happened to me there was quite a little intense battle happening under the map as people were still fighting above. Since I started writing these impressions, it appears that DICE has fully fixed this issue.

It also seems that Battlefield 3 has a problem with limbs and character models at times, as there has been a handful of moments where a fellow soldier running with me would appear to have broken ankles and have their arms twisted behind their necks shooting wildly into the sky; I’m quite sure DICE added that as a new feature just yet. Wildly flailing limbs DLC confirmed?

Caspian Border

I was lucky enough to play Caspian Border on a 64-player Conquest server; unfortunately the map has since been removed from play in the beta. Conquest, for those who don’t know, is where a number points are positioned across the map and the team that wins had the longest share of controlling the points when the time runs out. Not all points are needed to win, just the majority.

As soon as you jump into the map you can tell that it’s something special. The scale of the starting base alone is impressively large. A selection of vehicles is littered around the military base, ranging from Humvee’s to FA-18 jets. Naturally the queue for said aircraft is filled with greedy gamers who will do their best to bring your joyous jetting experience to a halt with a nicely placed jeep on the runway. It’s not until you finally get yourself into the air that the sheer size of the battlefield hits you. It really is bloody massive, bigger than my local town I’d say. Gone are the linear choke points of Operation Métro: on Caspian Border there could be any number of miniature battles scattered across the map, and suddenly the lowly foot solider can feel surprisingly small, with all the jets, helicopters and tanks steamrolling towards the points.

I’ve put together a video showing off each section of Operation Métro from an attacker point of view: see above. Subtitles are available on request due to the nature of my Scottish accent. I recorded all the footage myself from the PC beta, and it’s running at a nice 720p 30fps for the video.

With the release of Battlefield 3 fast approaching, it will be very interesting to see how DICE use the data tracked from the beta. Though one thing is for sure: Battlefield 3’s multiplayer is shaping up to be an excellent, long lasting experience.

Colin won a competition to visit DICE in Sweden through VG247.

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29 Comments

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  1. loki

    Again masked advertising. Played yesterday in beta,did not see anything beautiful. BF3 it is crap and fail

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Christopher Jack

    Too much bugs, I somehow ended up underneath the map when I went prone & my character was shaking as if he just has a severe case of arthritis.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Fin

    Way too many superlatives!

    #3 3 years ago
  4. manamana

    @1 LOLZ

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Peetry

    Personaly I love the beta (bugs aside), never really liked BF infantry only but on the whole I’ve coped. Cannot wait to play bigger maps, with vehicles, on conquest. That is what BF is to me, I would question DICE’s choice of map for the beta

    #5 3 years ago
  6. endgame

    too right Colin! I agree with everything u’ve said about the game. Ive played it for more than 18 hours and I think it’s truly amazing. :) btw I also have a 560 Ti. great video card! more than enough to run this game properly. and the nvidia bf3 drivers r still young. :) hmm wondering how my mobile ati 6490 runs this game.

    p.s. pls don’t feed the trolls!

    #6 3 years ago
  7. OlderGamer

    All the bete did was make me cancel my preorder.

    I have not played it on PC, no way I could afford the type of rig to run it beyond what a console can do anyways.

    I did play both the xb360 and PS3 versions. The graphics are a tad cleaner(less flicker) on xb360. No other differences. And both games look, feel, and play like crap.

    If I get this game it will be at a much later date for a lower price and it had better include DLC. But I doubt I will be getting it at all. And I loved Battlefield. This game reminds me of a cheaply done COD rip off. It doesn’t come across with any of the magic that make a BF game shine.

    I’d rather spend an afternoon playing BFBC2 then this current build of BF3. And for those that will claim that its just a bete, don’t fool yourself. If it was good enough to show off, how much do you really think it will change? Expect a few bug squashes, and a large day one patch.

    But the bugs aren’t what chases me away, its the actual game itself. And that won’t change in a patch.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. DrDamn

    @5
    The map choice was intended to show you things BF games haven’t traditionally done. No vehicles, much more enclosed map with internal battles. Everyone knows that BF does big open maps with vehicles, that’s it’s bread and butter. Metro was a chance to say, look we can also do this if that’s what floats your boat. It’s just extra variety to add to an already tasty mix.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. freedoms_stain

    Everyone who played Caspian Border was impressed with the game.

    That should say it all to “Preorder cancelled!” whiners.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. manamana

    @OG “But the bugs aren’t what chases me away, its the actual game itself. And that won’t change in a patch.”

    How can you judge the overall game, by having played rush on a map without vehicles, on a beta from an old (at least one month) built? I hate day1 patches, really. But if it makes the overall game better what they didn’t fix in their crunchtime, I’m all in.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Fin

    @10

    The core design won’t change – the only thing that’ll be changed in a month of development is bugfixing (which it needs a lot of).
    Also, if they wanted to get people to like BF, shouldn’t they have had a map with vehicles, like you say?

    Regardless of whether the final retail will be better, DICE lost a lot of potential consumers due to the bugs and map choice.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. turbulence

    If you guys want to see more Caspian Border + Jets

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVUwecX0wlo
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VE6dZ58yMgQ

    #12 3 years ago
  13. G1GAHURTZ

    Pat’s vids are better.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Colin Gallacher

    Be advised: Cheers endgame! :D

    PS – If anyone fancies a game my name on Origin is Cgalla2000

    :D

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Droid

    You seem to be the only person in the world who was lucky enough not to fall through the floor! Ruined my experience of the beta. Nice vid though.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. manamana

    ^ how can such a thing “ruin” your experience? Its a Beta after all. That means, it has glitches, bugs and errors of all kind. I recently play the Beta more than horde from Gears3. My friends call me nuts and still I cant keep my hands of that broken piece of rush crapmap…

    #16 3 years ago
  17. jacobvandy

    Falling through the floor was a bug with the terrain deformation (you know, the ground can be shaped by explosions and such). They disabled that for the beta, so that glitch simply doesn’t exist anymore, though they say they have a proper fix (retaining deformation with no more clipping) for the full game.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Droid

    @16 Well I thought what I said was clear enough but I’ll clarify just for you. It makes the beta unplayable, or at least not worth playing.

    @17 Yes I understand it’s all fixed up fine for the final version, I’ve had it on pre-order for a while now. Looking forward to playing it properly.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Colin Gallacher

    @18 They’ve had that fixed for a few days now though?

    #19 3 years ago
  20. manamana

    @18 yes, I got you long ago. How it makes the beta unplayable just doesnt makes sense to me. I’ve encountered it three times and I’m nearly ten hours in….

    #20 3 years ago
  21. Droid

    @19 Not played for last few days so didnt know they had fixed it. I’ll pop in and try again.

    @20 Well I got it every time I lay down or went near a ditch crouched so you got luckier than me.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. Virginityrocks

    Console players are such idiots…evidenced from above…

    #22 3 years ago
  23. tenthousandgothsonacid

    I don’t know what the whinging retards are on about, I thought the ps3 beta was fucking ace. Pre-ordered ! The rest of you mouth breathers can go back to COD…

    #23 3 years ago
  24. Fin

    @22

    Virgins are such idiots…evidenced from your name…

    #24 3 years ago
  25. LOLshock94

    i agree with OG that the game is not special at all and noway does it feel like the battlefield i once loved, the bf i loved was balanced, lots of vehicles, was slow paced and tactical and about 100% of the people were not morons that went around saying “look at bf3s cock its massive lets suck it and say every game which isnt battlefield is shit”
    @23 why play cod when you can play bf3 they re basicly the same game except bf has more players

    #25 3 years ago
  26. Colin Gallacher

    @25 LOLShock94, just wait until you try Caspian Border. It’s considerably more like Battlefield you used to love!

    Plus I’d rather not suck BF3′s massive cock :(

    #26 3 years ago
  27. John117

    I really, really, really, really! cant see how someone can complain about the grafics… The game takes like what, 15-30 min download? How much does people expect to get from such? And as for me I still love the grafics, havent fallen down a “hole” once while playing (though certainly been killed by people in “holes”. The whole game runs fluently on my Xbox and I love the new animations though expecting them to be even better when the “actual” game releases… So maybe some people cant appreciate a F2P open beta, but I sure as hell can!

    #27 3 years ago
  28. freedoms_stain

    I just played the ps3 version and the worst “bug” I could come up with was very distant texture pop in.

    Soooooooo buggy! cancel preorder nao!

    #28 3 years ago
  29. Dralen

    I really don’t understand how you could dislike this game. I found the beta great fun (Even with the bugs “Hey, its a beta after all”). I like the way it encourages players to use suppressing fire to hold the attacking team back, you just get this awesome feeling of battle when you’re defending a position. I haven’t played the console version yet, so I don’t really know the difference, but from what I’ve played I cannot wait to get my hands on the full game. I really think it’s stupid how you can complain that the game is now too similar to COD, from playing just 1 map, on 1 game mode. DICE obviously chose this map so they could show the diversity of the game.

    Also, most of my friends list on Xbox Live are playing “BF3 Beta”, so they must be doing something right.

    #29 3 years ago