A Few Thoughts From the Latest Battlefield 3 Demo

EA shows off a quick snippet of the game's Paris level, and we've got some impressions.

The multiplayer beta may be officially under way for Battlefield 3, but don't forget that the game still has a single-player story campaign. EA certainly remembers, having just shown us a little taste of the game's Paris level. We've written quite a bit about the game already, so let's just get right into what stood out most about this demo compared to what we've seen before.

Serious Business

Anyone who was introduced to the Battlefield franchise through the Bad Company titles is going to have a bit of adjusting to do when it comes to this game's storytelling. Whereas the Bad Company games--especially the first one--featured a cast of loveable misfits who weren't afraid to make a joke or three about the nasty predicaments they found themselves in, Battlefield 3 is all business. The Paris demo started off with a cutscene showing a few stern CIA types grilling a military officer about a recent incident, and the whole thing felt extremely Tom Clancy. Yes, the days of Haggard ranting about communist sunglasses are indeed behind us. At least for this game.

Bonjour, Paris!

Lighting in a Bottle

You can tell that DICE is in love with the lighting system in the Frostbite 2 engine from the way it is featured in strategic gameplay situations. One of the moments that stuck out most from this demo involved just such a scenario. For the early part of the level, you and your squad are running and gunning through the parking lot of a giant office building. Cars are overturned, enemies are hiding behind concrete pillars, and the whole thing is a mess. At one point, the EA rep guiding the demo got caught behind a piece of cover with only a small opening to look through and peer at nearby enemies. As luck would have it, though, that small opening pointed directly at the blinding headlights of a parked car that had to be shot out to see the nearby threats. It was one of those perfect moments that would only happen if the player chose that piece of cover at that very moment, but somehow we're inclined to think that the EA rep holding the controller knew what he was doing. And with good reason. It was a very impressive little action scene.

Civilian Casualties

Much has been made about the fact that players won't be able to kill civilians during Battlefield 3's story campaign. But it's worth noting that they're not gone completely. At one point in the level, you'll be running through the Paris office past corpses of white-collar workers lying on the ground after a gas attack has gone off in the building. So if you really, really want to kill civilians in Battlefield 3, you can rest assured that they were probably still alive before you popped the game into your console or started the Origin download. At least very indirectly, you're responsible for those poor dead 9-to-5ers. Congratulations!

Mirror Mirror

One of the office interiors features plain white surfaces punctuated by the occasional bright green support pillar or doorway. In other words, it's the exact same aesthetic from Mirror's Edge. Now you're just toying with us, DICE.

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173 comments
kenkashijd
kenkashijd

do anybody know if auto lock is in the game cuz being online is gonna be a B**** just saying for a first time player of BF.

SOUP_MAN_242
SOUP_MAN_242

I MEAN JUST DONT BUY IT IF U DONT WANT TO ITS UR MONEY AND UR LIFE. BUY GAMES U LIKE.

SOUP_MAN_242
SOUP_MAN_242

@TheCrazedHawaii r u for real? u sir should stick ur hawaii pinaples up ur a$$. thnk bout this. EA,DICE,or who ever else spent a TON of $ on this game. engine, hours, ect. and they would release a turd game. i mean really think before u speak. ALSO IF U WANA COMPLIAN SAVE U SOME MONEY SAVE THE REAL BF3 FANS THE HEADACHE OF UR CRYING AND GO PLAY COD THATS ALL COD PLAYERS DO ANY WAY.

GlassyBubbles
GlassyBubbles

The beta is built upon a version of the game that is outdated. Its not the finished product by far. Beta testing started about a month ago. The beta has only just recently become open to the public. The private beta is ancient thats why some people have ranks like 40+ because they had access to the beta when it was in private testing. THE BETA IS OLD! And they even said frostbite 2 was not working at its full potential because they wanted to have a small file size as if it was a 6G download nobody would bother with it! There are rumors of them delaying the release date just because whiny little trolls are giving DICE/EA a hard time even though the beta is VERY old If you want to big up MW3 then go onto the corresponding page we dont want it here so gtfo.

TheCrazedHawaii
TheCrazedHawaii

im getting tired of ppl saying its a beta, its a beta! First of all, any of the betas u played in the past that were good 9 out 10 the finished product was good, UC 2,UC 3, etc. I love BF games but this is a glicthy piece of doo doo. Btw im in the gaming industry betas are damn near the ending result of the product stop defending something that's not that good.

ferntfactor
ferntfactor

the game will sell at retail in 3 weeks. that means they're producing hard copies NOW to package and ship. that's why this Beta is worriesome. super, super rough.

tisoyboy2
tisoyboy2

Anyone running this with the GTX560 video card? Thinking of ordering one this week. Open to advice. My price range is up to $200

djstupidwicks
djstupidwicks

@nonfanboygamer1 said it the best. Each game will have elements of the series everyone is looking for. I don't expect someone who beats off to MW all the time to be converted to Battlefield or vice versa. I'm not picking sides, but I don't understand how everyone is blasting a BETA, AS IN AN NOWHERE NEAR FINISHED PRODUCT, like it's the final version of the game. If it comes out and it still sucks, ok you win. But I honestly didn't expect to have a bug-less game since they clearly put BETA on it. By the way, yall do realize these are just video games for having FUN right? I've always been a gamer but I would never take it to the extent some of yall do over a 59 dollar game

tntnavid
tntnavid

How about destruction people??? I think destruction is one of the most important features in new Battlefield series that set them apart from call of duty and such, but in the beta version there was almost no destruction (I know they said that they turned it off, but I have a believe that it is BS and they probably gonna add some details, and some textures that's it)

cshourihan
cshourihan

Attention noobs, beta's are not for your enjoyment. They're for testing. Beta. Testing. Anyone who thinks one level on a stripped down version of an alpha build is indicative of the final product is just silly. That said, the PC beta still looks and plays far better than anything out right now. I dunno what you console cretons have to deal with but you should feel lucky you're getting this game at all.

sebs3
sebs3

@skillyywillyy If you've played the beta you'll notice another problem: areas that have a lot of killing (like a planted charge) are extremely tricky. People laying prone is one thing. People laying prone amidst 4 dead bodies is another.

sebs3
sebs3

Just wondering what other people think about the flashlights and lasers in the game... Is it just me or does it seem a bit outlandish that I'm getting blinded by these in broad daylight? Never seen a flashlight have power greater than the sun...

skillyywillyy
skillyywillyy

im not too sure about this prone feature, its gonna encourage players to be lazy and camp. Earning kills easier and thus opening up a whole can of worms in the BF era. when u take the bases and ur squad moves up, man i already know were running into a wasps nest, least non prone u get a glimpse of where there at before they hit you, now its just wait for a bullet and hope the guys aim is way off

ferntfactor
ferntfactor

ok, i play a lot of FPS games, but this is the first Beta i've tried. are they always this rough? if anything, it's turned a routine "buy" into an "i'm gonna wait and see after launch thing" deal. they should not be dissing MW3 when the Beta looks and feels like this. i did spend some enjoyable time looking around under the map when i attempted to hide in a shell hole, though. also, the scoped gun has a nice ring to it and i thought the leg forward animation when you hop over something is a nice touch.

ageadi
ageadi

@Smoov_B I think a lot of us are hoping for the same thing. Dice/EA really raised some high expectations. So the complaining is understandable. Regardless the Beta is a complete let down. It's beyond me why they would release a beta without one of the major aspects that sets it apart from all other fps, vehicles... If us 360 owners get this much of fps drops on a small map without vehiclesnI'm kinda worried how the performance will be on the maps with much more going on... Maybe that's why this metro map was the chosen to mask yet another flaw? I hope not...

Smoov_B
Smoov_B

People ripping this game based on the beta need to understand that this is NOT A DEMO. It's a stripped down version intended to test server loads and the battlelog. Word has it that this beta version is actually an old alpha build. Graphics were stripped down (especially for the 360) to reduce the download size. As for the other bugs occurring rampantly, just remember that a beta isn't indicative of the final and a lot of the issues that people are complaining about have already been resolved.

skillyywillyy
skillyywillyy

Dont get me wrong im a die hard BF fan especially bf2. So far the beta Its like a great game from 2008 or something, graphics and visuals considered. Its late 2011. right?

neonfrax2
neonfrax2

Normally not a big FPS fan, but this game demo has captured my interest in the genre for the 1st time since Rainbox Six : Vegas.

cyberlord852
cyberlord852

i don't need to read this preview to know that battlefield 3 is good i've played the beta so bf3 all the way

skillyywillyy
skillyywillyy

My question is when they showed us way before the beta released that trailer of gameplay action it looked elite, and epic. Now this Beta comes out and its like what? where is the? are u kidding? im a little worried as a BCBF fan, i hope things get better.But i played the beta for MoH and when it released nothing changed, yeah different developers but,but,but,but....

madvibes
madvibes

@skiergamer95 True. Minor graphically glitches, are eventually going to be fixed. But my biggest beef is "Gameplay". What you see is what your gonna get. I do have higher expectations for the Single player aspect of the game. Hopefully that doesn't disappoint.

TigerRifle1
TigerRifle1

@ageadi Perhaps they were thinking release a buggy beta to lower expectations and then wow people with a better game to offset the likelihood that it will not live up to its expectations as a MW killer. But you're right EA is pretty arrogant, if MW does go away it will be because of something that Activision does not something any of its competitors do. I'm still waiting for Killzone to "kill" Halo.

ageadi
ageadi

After a solid day of testing this game out I've come to the conclusion I'll just stick with the 360 version... The game gets a solid 8 in my book once those bugs are patched. I can't believe DICE/EA were ignorant enough to slam MW3 that this game is designed to take it down. I was actually rooting for these guys because I am so sick of the MW franchise... But with framerate drops, mediocre graphics, and a buggy demo, one has to think wtf were they thinking! If this is a 5 month old beta as some have claimed, someone needs to get fired for allowing the release of such a crappy build. All in all I cannot wait to see the sale numbers, especially considering how arrogantly confident DICE/EA has been.

tachsniper
tachsniper

@Fruitymachete you do know seniors exist in college too right? i know C++, C#, java, and a few others, i guarantee the Frostbyte 2 engine is coded in one of those languages. Yes i can fix what is wrong so can they, the magic thing they need is time, and weeks from launch they just don't have it. Plain and Simple.

tachsniper
tachsniper

@Crash_WL I believe DICE will release this game in this buggy almost unplayable state. Why? because i've seen it happen time and time again. What is in an Open beta weeks from launch is what will be in retail. Will it get fixed? sure, but will all the bugs be there day 1? absolutely.

nonfanboygamer1
nonfanboygamer1

Keep in mind guys this is not a MW3 vs BFBC3 war. Each game will have the elements of the series fans are looking for.

nonfanboygamer1
nonfanboygamer1

I loved the first one. The comedy to me made it unique. There's enough serious games out there. I played the beta for a couple hours, it's not bad, there is a few bugs. Like some on here I think this will be good, but overhyped.

pingochos
pingochos

Canceling preorder YES/NO? YES, i want my money back right now, before you release this piece of crap for the 360.

james_324
james_324

@Gravity_Slave-----I'll agree in some respect, however caspian wasn't as bad as you might think. At one point me and my 3 other squad members (all strangers) were all crawling along the bush line and were taking out enemy soldiers one by one using team work. There is good teamwork out there. I also would think after a while, people will get bored with just trying to do their own thing with jets, etc and they will want to participate in the glory known as teamwork. It's worth it.

Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

As good as they can get BF games, there is just one major flaw in its design. With all of the vehicals (ground, air, sea)...there is just too much going on at any given time. What people forget is that war, however brutal, is organized and executed by commanding officials. Dice cannot hope to bring that realism here witha room full of uncoordinated strangers, ignoring all else but the jet/helicopter he is running for. War games need to focus on one aspect of the conflict. Can't play in a toybox, if all the kids want just the one toy...

ValleyofDoom
ValleyofDoom

@Crash_WL Awesome, I'm not learning a whole lot about C++, I'm actually learning the whole gameplay/design/modeling/end-result thing. Basically everything except for marketing and programming (some stuff I do learn). Built about 4 games, each with a 14 day deadline, so that was pretty hectic but a good representation on how stuff actually works in the industry. Hopefully will set up my own studio in a couple of years. :)

Crash_WL
Crash_WL

@ValleyofDoom Good luck with it. I'm in the university studying web developing, but we're not limited to purely web languages, we're having thorough classes on C++ etc. C++ is needed in game developing, and since I've got some experience on it, I'll start a game developing course after I'm done with web developing. All my knowledge comes from coding facts, and years of game developing studies on my own. I've also started working on a 2D game. It's just that I loved games since I was 5, and I respect the developers for their work, and it enrages me when people who don't have the basic idea of coding come here and throw around facts pulled out of their asses. You think DICE would be that dumb to have their gem be released in such a state? Really? This game will beat MW3 or suffer, would DICE release it in such a horrible state? If you believe that, you might as well believe that Santa will come next Christmas because you were a good boy that tried to wake us up.

Fruitymachete
Fruitymachete

@tachsniper We allready know your point here , you dont need to retell that in every post you did on this review , you posted like 20x . You made your point . Simple if you dont like it , then just dont buy it but stop posting it 20x in this topic. and if you think it's so easy for you to find and repair the bugs in an unknown engine frostbite 2 ( an engine where you dont know anything from because you are not the gamedesigner ) and i dont think your HIGH school let you experiment with millions dollars game engines . ________________________________________________ nothing wrong with being a fanboy ( soccer has fans why can't games have)

ValleyofDoom
ValleyofDoom

@tachsniper Again, those bugs you experience have nothing to do with the final product. You may be around for a long time, but you haven't understood anything about alpha, beta and release candidates in that time. As I previously said, I'm done arguing.

sNipe-AR-
sNipe-AR-

If you got a chance to play Caspian Border like some PC players including myself did, you would not be disappointed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9ndz13zUms The true successor to BF2 indeed. Why they put that crap Metro as the beta map is beyond me. It really puts out a bad first impression.

skiergamer95
skiergamer95

@madvibes the release for it is still almost a month away. they'll fix it.

stevieko5454
stevieko5454

aside from the bugs and other issues, i thought it was kind of difficult to determine when I was getting shot at. That thin red line that would show you which direction you were getting shot from would blend into backgrounds. As far as realism goes, the bullets don't seem to impact your character very much.

ClaudiusCaesar
ClaudiusCaesar

@skiergamer95 You wrong! MW3 has a beta. I mean, it had a beta like 4 years ago. lol

skiergamer95
skiergamer95

@nivek_nailgun Just because you played the beta you're saying it's overhyped? Come on. It's not the final game. At least it has a beta unlike other games. (MW3)

tachsniper
tachsniper

@Fruitymachete i am a senior working on my bachlors in game design from R.i.T i know exactly what a beta test is and this isnt it. I also know exactly whats wrong with those bugs i mentioned and i know how to fix them . And i will provided DICE pays me. If you don't care so much then don't read it. and don't take the time to make a lengthy post saying how much you don't care because guess what? Do all that it means YOU CARE

Fruitymachete
Fruitymachete

Some guys here dont know Sh*t about what beta means . If it was a game with no bugs it would be called DEMO and what about the thing that they can't solve the problems(bugs) in 3 weeks before the release date . You guys must know that this beta is veryy very very very old and they allready gathered info and bugs from that beta long before we playing it right now. Also the graphics they compressed it into a file of 1.4GB or something so they had to turn the graphics lower . Battlefield 3 comes out into 2 HD DVD so we are only seeing a small part of the graphics BF3 can do . And if you still complain , then stop raging and cry like a little babies , atleast you saved more money then but i dont CARE so stop posting it .

darkdredude
darkdredude

@ techsniper. all valid points...if those glithches and bugs linger into the final product it is a fial on the Devlopers part, but the beauti is that it can be fixed. It also sounds like your touchig on a much larger and broader issue of developers useing the internet as a excuse not to provide the best work. but then again that is a differetn topic alll together. Just enjoy the final product, rent it first if you have doubts of what it will end up as, that is why we have places like blockbuster and gamefly, and if you realy enjoy it buy it if you don't, then dice will lose out on our money. Lets not base the entire game on the beta, and let them officially finish it before we judge. Right now we are at a 50/50 chance that it will completly fail, or completly blow your mind.

madvibes
madvibes

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

madvibes
madvibes

My PS3 BF3 beta Review: Graphics: B Sound: A+ Gameplay: C+ Summary: So far the most important is gameplay. Not impressed at all. Its seems they took BC2 clone and MW3 game pace and added enhanced visuals. Yes, I know this is the "Beta" demo but also keep in mind the release date is only weeks away. Just my 2 cents....

croberts2477
croberts2477

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

nivek_nailgun
nivek_nailgun

I've only one thought: *yawn* I'm not a CoD fanboy, but all the hype surrounding BF3 ended up being a letdown. It's a prettier version of BC2 with a few add ons. Game modes appear the same. This will be a good lesson in overhyping a product and trash talking another (MW3).

tachsniper
tachsniper

@darkdredude also take for example the glitching though the world bug. that is a collision error, an error that is on the game side, its a software error and has nothing to do with the end users system. Collision errors are sorted though in Alpha. Because they are major problems. Somone standing literally under the surface of the playing field killing people is a definite game breaker in an FPS and should have high priority to fix. Second the parts of weapons just floating in mid air, another physics error in the code itself. Nothing to do with the end users system. Bipods often shoot straight out horizontally from under a weapon like the gun has some metal mustache. Again a physics error. You cant even blame it on drivers or anything like that because drivers don't mess up a games geometry.

tachsniper
tachsniper

@darkdredude ok i understand that, but why have we as consumers settled into that mode of thinking? whatever happened to 100% satisfaction guaranteed? this lowering of the quality bar is insane. Look at the i phone 4 , a fundamental design flaw and what does apple do to fix it? gives out a free case. F that noise i demand a new phone without that design flaw because that is what you said you'd sell me. Nowhere on the box, website, in game does BF3 say "may contain major bugs and defects, product sold as is". i guarantee without fail these bugs will be there at launch. then what will the excuse be?