Ok, I am writing my first ever rant! Yay! Some of you may know me as the CEO of Leatharian Studios from here: Indiedb.com. Well today, you will know me simply as Millan, that guy who wrote about what the Battlefield 3 Beta is all about. So onto the main course: Battlefield 3.
Before I really get into this, I would like to point out just a few things: one, the Beta is an incomplete version of the game, two, Battlefield 3 is an amazing game, and three, my findings are based purely on the beta and as such are not based on all the game modes and maps. Now, the beta, to start off, even though it is unfinished, is a lot of fun and this is only on one map with one game mode, I haven't even touched Caspian Border or 64 player madness. Even though DICE chose not to publicly test Caspian Border or their trademarked massive warfare, they do seem to have some reason for doing so. For instance, it has long been known that the Battlefield series has been plagued by its infantry combat, so, logically, as a game dev myself, I can see why DICE wanted to focus the Beta on their infantry combat, which Operation Metro addresses perfectly. Also, Operation Metro gave DICE a way to show off all the capabilities of their Frostbite tech, because it afforded a first base that is very foliage heavy and showcased rendering as well as scale, a second base that was underground and really showed of the dynamic lighting and also showcased some instances of destruction, a third base that showed off all the micro destruction and really close up combat, and finally a fourth base that showed off the massive destruction trademarked in the bad company games and also showed off the great looking new particle effects and lighting. Another thing is that I am sure that DICE was more wanting to test Battlelog than the actual game, because it did ship with more than its fair share of bugs and glitches.
Although there were many great things about the beta, there were some flaws as well. The big one being the lack of Caspian Border to play on, but there were other problems that plagued the PC beta. The first big problem other than the lack of Caspian Border was connection problems which have been largely fixed due to Battlelog updates. Another big bug early on was people getting under the terrain in the first part of the map, but DICE also addressed this problem, quoted here from a news update on Battlelog: "Terrain destruction disabled, because it causes problems with people crawling around under the map. We have a proper fix for this in the retail game, but chose to simply disable it for the OB." Although it may sound lazy on DICE's part, it is actually a good call, because doing a patch would be hard for many players I'm sure and because terrain deformation is a minor point in the long run, and it will still be in the retail version. There were other more minor bugs, but those kinds were expected to be happening in a beta. The only troubling thing was the number of bugs so close to full release, but I am sure DICE has fixed many of them and the engine is probably designed to fix bugs quicker.
Overall, the beta was a success and many people, me included, played and enjoyed it.