I was thoroughly disappointed with this beta. This game is not ready for release. Which is odd, because DICE claims that it is.
Yep, kiddies, this “beta” isn’t really a beta. It’s “kids get to play at daddy’s table early”. The “beta” part clearly refers to the distribution channels used to get the game to the customer and operate the game. QED Origin and BattleLog.
How do I know this? The beta feedback forums are an unmitigated disaster. There are no moderators. There is no organized feedback system, no bug reporting mechanism and no ability to search. That’s right, forum search is disabled in the beta. Not only that, Facebook, XBL and PSN friend support is not in the beta either.
So what exactly are we testing? Origin, primarily, but also to make sure that BattleLog works as it’s supposed to – which it appears to, but without the ability to test social networking, it’s an incomplete test, to be sure. BattleLog is different, but great. The interface works well, for the most part, and the installation was painless. However, it introduces other problems.
There’s also no ability to adjust video settings without entering the game. So, us common folk without a password for the press server are forced to duke it out with tens of thousands of players competing for roughly one thousand server slots. Then, when we finally get into a server, we hit the universal prone button in some nearby bushes and sit there and fiddle with video settings in a vain attempt to achieve a playable framerate.
I have two Radeon HD 4850s CrossFired together and this rig has performed admirably in all current games. I can’t use anti-aliasing in most games (I’m a smidgen short of the necessary memory), but as long as I don’t, I get around 60 frames per second at 1080p most of the time. Not in Battlefield 3. Battlefield 3 doesn’t seem to know that I have CrossFire and also seems reluctant to turn down it’s visual effects. After turning everything down to the “Low” settings, it became clear the the game was still adding some kind of post processing filter that dragged the game down to a crawl.
Even if you do manage to get a playable framerate, you'll be plagued by server instabilities, disappearing/reappearing character models, lag and other general glitchiness. The game is a buggy, alpha quality mess. This in and of itself is no surprise as this is par for the course for new Battlefield games. I’ve participated in a LOT of various betas (around 20) and in every single one, not a single game changed significantly for the better before release. And so, we the players are placed on yet another treadmill – we paid a premium to get the game when it comes out and we’ll be forced to wait roughly 6 months to a year for DICE to fix technical issues and bugs that should have been fixed before the game even entered beta. By then, I’d have been able to pick it up for 30 bucks and be no worse for the wear.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go carve out one of my kidneys so that I can get a video card that might actually run the game at a playable framerate.