PSN Battlefield 3: Multiplayer Beta

My copy of Battlefield 2 sat on my shelf after I picked up Black Ops until I started leaving Black Ops with my girlfriend and started back on Battlefield. I don’t prefer the Battlefield series to the CoD series but I’ve heard too much about the Battlefield 3 not to try it.

First Impressions

It looks beautiful. The game looks amazing, at first. The graphics and animation feel smooth and besides the over abundance of clipping issues that crop up (due to its beta status) it can be pretty cool to just explore the map.

Controls are a bit finiky but seem on par in comparison to the last outing. I’ve always felt that aiming in the Battlefield series has had a somewhat splashy feeling while CoD has always felt much more controlled and direct (but that’s just my opinion). The map (“Operation Metro”) has its wide open moments as well as its tight and mid-range moments allowing players to utilize all flavors or guns and classes which is a plus in my book.

[Un]Impressions

The game has way too much clipping and it is way too easy to find your way to the bottom of the map and fire up. For those who don’t know, clipping is when characters models seem to be crossing into the environment or vice versa (like people walking through trees or characters swimming into the floor). The final version had better remedy this or this game will be, in essence, broken.

Guns feel pretty spot on with the exception of the pistols which are incredibly deadly at close range. I killed four players on sight at close range with a single clip, no reloads. While I felt great at the time, it still speaks volumes in the negative.

The gameplay seems fine but frame skipping occurs often due to the game’s beta status (I hope). Mix this up with the previously mentioned clipping issues and the game becomes nearly unplayable at points.

After looking closely, watch people run around and you’ll notice their character models tend to lean sideways when they’re running on uneven terrain. It looks… awkward. And I keep on getting this frozen screen where it is a portion of the game map and the rest is black. I can still hit the home button and get out of the game but it really is just a blank screen. Annoying.

All in all the beta is playable, to a point. These issues are only acceptable because this game is a beta, if any of these issues remain in the end then I wouldn’t expect the BF series to pose any significant threat to CoD in the near future. If you’re interested in a hint of what’s to come check out the beta. But honestly, this is worse than the Uncharted 3 beta we played a few weeks back.

Here’s a few tips on the map to keep your K/D ratio in the green:

The gameplay for Rush is the same as it was in BF2. Two teams sit down on opposite ends of a map with two objectives near the defender spawn. When those two sites get taken down, the defenders rally back to another point as the map opens up to allow the attackers to get to their next objective. It allows for diversity in maps, different strategies and the need for separate modifications.

This is a welcome change from BF2 which was go from wide area 1 to wide area 2 to 3 to so on. It meant that if you were a sniper in the first area, you probably played that class throughout. Here the areas play out to be significantly different and allow for players to work in completely different ways if they please, or not if they don’t.

The key to Rush has been for the attackers to work together in order to hit the sites as coordinated as possible while the most effectively tactic for defenders was to have the majority of the team defending sites with one or two squads working in tandem to disrupt attacking lines.

For the first portion of Operation Metro, the two teams spawn on opposing sides of the park with sites A and B sitting closer to the defenders. Attackers should stick to cover when rushing the sites but the easiest and most effective way there is through the bushes to the left side of the map. Not many defenders guard the area and the bushes make you basically invisible. Defenders can use the same tactic to make their way past the sites to keep the forward progress for attackers slow.

Snipers now show lens glare so keep a look out for that as well as massive campers by rocks and bushes. The easiest way to take out defending campers is to hook left and move right taking  them out along the way. Head the same way and employ similar tactics to break apart attacking lines.

The second portion takes place in the metrolink subway area. It’s dark, tunnels get crowded and shotguns are deadly. Attackers should be careful not to clump up here and keep their eyes towards nooks and crannies to avoid getting taken out by unseen enemies. Defenders can take to the attack by using the subway cars to inch their way behind enemy lines and make it all the way to the Attacker’s spawn points if they please. Defenders need to move quick here and Attackers should slow down to keep from bunching up in some of the smaller halls and tunnels. Flashlights work great while laser sights are likely to get you killed.

Update: I’ve played through this area a few times so I’m starting to get the hang of it but this third area is incredibly slanted towards the defense. If you can keep people posted to the three major entrances, there’s no reason the defense can’t completely dominate here.

The third area is the ticket/gate counter for the subway system. You’re going to find it difficult to cross unless you have sufficient cover from teammates. There isn’t really any trick to employ here, due to the open nature of the area flashlights are likely to get you killed more often than net you kills. A shotgun can be used to clear some of the narrower halls and entryways but your best bet here is a long to mid-range weapon. If you can somehow make it to the attacker’s side as a defender with a shotgun, you should be able kill with relative ease. Flashlights will be effective for the head-on confrontations but the nature of the wide area means that it’ll get you killed here.

Update: This fourth is completely in favor of the offense. If the offense can take over the two buildings and cover the ground with snipers, the game is pretty much over.The respawn for the defense is in a horrible area and can be complete covered with decent tactics by the attacking team.

The final area is teeming with corners, windows and entryways. This makes it difficult to defend but difficult to attack. The safest bet is to stay on the ground and stay low if you’re attacking. Use mid-range weapons (engineer) to cap the advantage here. Defenders are going to have the easiest chance of infiltrating and disrupting attacking lines. Keep a rifle on you and move quick to cut attackers off from windows and sniping positions, at least until you die. Attackers should make use of the higher grounds with rifles and snipers covering the ground level. The key here is going to be the ground with support taking positions up top.

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