Play Battlefield 3? Look me up.

I’ve been digging into the multiplayer for Battlefield 3 and I have to admit that it’s a lot of fun. I still prefer CoD, but it’s definitely growing on me. I’m not the best BF3 player out there, but I seem to be learning.

Anyway, if you play and you’d like to add me to your friends list you can find my BF3 profile here. You’ll note that in lieu of my usual gaming nick of Dead God I’ve gone with Semper Fatalis. This is because there are apparently a lot of folks out there that have already registered Dead God as a nick in all its different permutations so I opted to go with something completely different.

Games I’m Looking Forward To: “Battlefield 3”

I have to admit that I’m a little surprised by this anticipation. Mainly because I absolutely hated the original Battlefield 1942 and my opinion of the series didn’t improve any with the successive games in the series. There’s a long standing rivalry between fans of the Call of Duty series and the Battlefield series and I’ve long been on the CoD side of that debate. I felt the huge maps and the addition of vehicles slowed things down and unbalanced the game for those folks who just wanted to pick up a rifle or heavy machine gun and find some enemies to shoot. I called it quits on BF1942 when during one game a guy in a tank sat at the single spawn point my team had left and repeatedly blew everyone away just as soon as we spawned. I didn’t buy every one of the following Battlefield games and expansion packs that came out, but I did give it another try by picking up Battlefield 2 when it was released and I did try out Battlefield 2142 at a friend’s house when that came out. Neither of those releases impressed me and I had pretty much written off the series as something I’d never enjoy.

Then I was convinced to pick up Battlefield: Bad Company 2 for a LAN party I was going to. I’ve been meaning to write a review of it for some time now, but just haven’t gotten around to it. The short version is that I again wasn’t immediately impressed at the LAN party, but later when I decided to play the single player campaign and try the multiplayer online (on the basis that I owned the damned thing so I may as well give it a fair shake) I found that it grew on me. BF:BC2 is the first in the series that I actually enjoyed playing. I’m still not a huge fan of the vehicles — in particular the helicopter gunships seem overpowered with no easy way to take them out — but at least tanks can be busted without too much trouble. I think it helps that they’ve added game modes where vehicles are either very limited in availability or non-existent, which I tend to prefer. The ability to spawn on squad mates helps keep the pace up as you’re not running over hill and dale trying to get back into the action from a distant spawn point (unless you want to). I also think the XP system in the game progresses too slowly, but that’s more of a nitpick.

One of the things I really do like about BF:BC2 is the destructible buildings. In CoD most of the guns can penetrate walls making it so there’s really no safe place you can duck down when under fire. Someone with a light machine gun can just spray the wall near where you were last seen and chances are they’ll hit you enough times to take you out even if you try to change location. I believe that bullets can penetrate some walls in BF:BC2, but it seems like walls offer more protection than in CoD. At least until someone hits it when a rocket launcher or a vehicle turret and blows the whole damned wall away leaving you exposed. Destroy enough walls on most buildings and the whole building will collapse upon your foes. That’s pretty cool. You get some protection from hiding in a building, but you can’t camp there for long periods because someone will eventually blow your hiding place to pieces.

So given that Battlefield: Bad Company 2 left such a good impression on me I was more than a little interested in seeing what Battlefield 3 would be offering and I got the chance to get a taste of it when I was invited to participate in the Alpha test. I can’t go into details due to the NDA, but it left me intrigued enough to consider preordering the final game. I haven’t, yet, but more so due to (personal) budgetary concerns than any hesitance about the end product.

Then there’s video clips of multiplayer gameplay such as this 64 player battle:

Which, I have to say, does a pretty good job of making the vehicles look awesome even if I can’t fly the planes/helicopters worth a damn. I am disappointed that BF3 won’t be available through Steam — apparently there’s some disagreement between EA and Valve over how DLC and patches should be distributed on the Steam network — but as a sweetener EA is offering a bonus free game if you preorder on their Origin digital distribution system. It appears that Origin is much better than their previous DDS known as The EA Store and I already have two titles on that platform, but I’d rather use Steam when I can.

So I’m still a huge Call of Duty fan, but my cold heart towards Battlefield is starting to thaw.

EA has launched an Alpha Test for Battlefield 3 multiplayer.

And I’ve been invited to participate in it.

And that’s about all I’m allowed to say about it according to the EULA. One, that it exists and two, that I’m in it.

Yes, I really did read the EULA so I’d know how much I could talk about it.

That said this should be interesting. As any of you who have been around for a long time know I’m a huge fan of the Call of Duty series, but up until Battlefield Bad Company 2 I didn’t really care much for the Battlefield series at all. I bought Battlefield 1943 when it came out and found it less enjoyable than I did CoD. I picked up Battlefield 2 when it came out to see if enough had changed to win me over and I wasn’t impressed. I had pretty much sworn off the Battlefield series and only bought Bad Company 2 because I was going to a LAN party where it was going to be played.

If I recall correctly the first BFBC was the first one to have a singleplayer story in addition to the multiplayer. The sequel continued that trend and I found myself enjoying it quite a bit. The multiplayer also offered enough different game types that I found that more enjoyable than previous Battlefield games as well. I still think CoD has a faster style of play mainly due to smaller maps and no vehicles, but I find myself actually playing BFBC2 multiplayer on a semi-regular basis which is a first for me with this series.

Given the missteps with Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 and the drama that followed in its wake with Infinity Ward founders being fired and an exodus of the top design staff leaving to join the founders at a new company, there’s reason to question how good the next Modern Warfare sequel will be. Combine that with the fact that the folks making Battlefield 3 consider the PC to be the target platform instead of the consoles as opposed to Activision making the consoles the primary target with PCs getting a port, well, that’s damned attractive if you’re a PC gamer like me. All the stuff that went wrong with CoDMW2 (no dedicated servers, no mods, no admin ability to keep out cheaters, etc.) is all the mistakes that the BF3 folks seem determined to avoid.

It could very well turn out that I don’t fall completely in love with BF3 when it comes out, but they’re certainly doing all the right things to help ensure that I do. And now I get to offer some feedback on the alpha version of the multiplayer game. It’s almost like someone at EA is gunning to make me a full-on convert.

Oh, and did I mention that the multiplayer looks like this?

Oh yeah!