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Why I'm not buying into the early Battlefield 3 hype

Battlefield is a long running series from Swedish arm of EA, DICE. Unlike most people on N4G, I'm a true Battlefield veteran, having played every retail release (as well as the F2P games and 1943). With Crytek apparently having dropped the ball for the PC release of Crysis 2 (a claim I find ridiculous despite the obvious console spec PC demo), many are turning towards DICE, hailing them as the new PC leader. This blog is my thoughts on why this isn't, or at least will not likely be the case.

DICE's early games, especially 1942, BF2 and 2142 were hardly graphics kings, not that they were meant to be. But it still remains a ridiculous fact that 2142 released just 13 months before Crysis, yet at max settings looks worse or at least no better than Crysis does at minimum settings. Bad Company 2 certainly took steps in the direction of utilising the PC's power, yet it still can't match it with the best.

My main issue with DICE though is not to do with graphics; it is with DICE's support for the PC platform. It is appalling, and has been for over half a decade.

BF2 released as a relatively broken game. Anyone who played BF2 within the first year will know about the frequent random disconnects, which on their own were annoying enough. Add to this though the similarly frequent complete crashes and you've got a game guaranteed to be bloody frustrating. These issues were certainly improved, but it took too long for the patches to roll out for such major issues.

Battlefield 2142 was the next game in the series, and while it proved very unpopular amongst fans, it is actually my favourite, and is the game in which I've put the most hours (roughly 250). Despite it's exhilarating gameplay, it was technically even worse than its predecessor. Server disconnects got far worse, game crashes got 10x worse. I remember getting up early in the morning on many an occasion looking forward to owning some noobs twice my age, yet finding myself spending an hour trying to get into a game, fighting through start-up crashes, log in errors (to EA servers), more crashes, disconnects, more crashes. You get the picture. I knew this was not an issue on my side, as I had/have a very stable and fast internet connection, and also experienced the same issues across two separate computers and two separate copies of the game. Once again, the patches trickled through slower than the anti-hack patch for MW2.

Indeed, I found that the patches usually introduced more issues without really fixing anything, and often removed awesome features. For those who don't know, in 2142 you could spawn on squad members as in other BF games. However the squad leader could also deploy spawn beacons which would see players drop onto them from above in 'pods', which could initially be steered slightly to allow the spawner to land where they wanted within a small radius of the beacon. Then DICE took the ability to steer them away which was a major problem as the beacon had a natural variance in spawn position within the radius. This would lead to the issue where it would spawn you over the shield of the enemy titan's aircraft bay when the beacon was placed on top of the titan. Not being able to change you're fate, this would lead to instead death. Frustrating and unnecessary. Needless to say this major annoyance has not been rectified.

Then we come to Bad Company. It is truly unbelievable that the same people condemning Crytek for allegedly not supporting DX11 from launch, saying this is a clear rejection of their PC heritage are praising DICE as the saviours of PC gaming.

DICE have on several occasions in recent years given PC gamers the ultimate 'f**k you'. Bad Company 1 never saw a PC release; something that I feel is absolutely outrageous given that the PC should have been its primary development platform. 2009 saw the release of 1943 for consoles initially, with a PC release planned later on. This was a further disappointment for the PC community, but the promise of a PC release 'soon' was enough to keep remaining PC based fans from angrily hitting the forums en masse. Then of course at the start of the year no less than 19 months after it's initially console release, the PC version was officially cancelled. DICE are probably lucky that by then everyone had given up hope of a PC release, and as such the fan reaction was minor.

The disappointment for PC gamers didn't end there though. During the lengthy wait for 1943, Bad Company 2 came out, and was thankfully this time supported by a PC release. Mod tools were promised, and then cancelled. Sound familiar? The add to this the fact that the PC got the DLC late on many occasions, and there really is no reason to believe anything DICE says when it comes to the PC platform.

So the point of this blog is really not to bring hate on DICE or Battlefield. Battlefield has long been and remains one of my favourite franchises. The point of it is to inform those who really don't know anything about the history of DICE and its relationship with the PC. DICE have certainly shown early signs that BF3 on PC will get the treatment it deserves, but seeing as PC gamers have been waiting 6 years for that treatment, I'm appalled that so many people on N4G and in the wider gaming community have been so easily and quickly sucked into to thinking DICE are PC's saviour.

Come late 2011 we may find that DICE's claims that the PC is the main focus for BF3 were after all true. For now though based on all the evidence from DICE's past, scepticism is the only rational way to approach this title.

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Emilio_Estevez2660d ago

I agree with you here, but it sounds as if the tides are turning in PC's favor. This could be their last chance for redemption.

evrfighter2660d ago (Edited 2660d ago )

"saying this is a clear rejection of their PC heritage are praising DICE as the saviours of PC gaming."

The praise for that is going to Valve and Steam >.> where you been?

Most real BF veterans that truly understood that DICE was giving them the finger when BF2 was the flagship responded in kind across all forums with that infamous "boycott 2142 until they support bf2" as their signature.

I kept my end of the bargain and to this have never purchased 2142. Seems like you didn't even know wtf was going on. Veteran my ass. jk jk

I remember full well the amount of piss poor support DICE/EA showed and the patches to fix patches. I responded in kind and spoke with my wallet with their next game. They in turn responded by making bc1 console only. I was PISSED.

How pissed I was and I was extremely happy to see them knocked off their high horse by cod4 but as time wore on they seemed keen on trying to regain the trust of pc gamers. My hope was that they finally wised up and realized their franchise is dead in the water without the backing of the pc community, and so I gave them a chance with bc2.

I enjoyed bc2 and while there were some server problems at launch they did not ignore us like they did bf2. They were patched I enjoyed bc2. wished for some mod tools and moved on.

Remember what they did and don't blindly fall into the hype.I'd hate to see a battlefield veteran, someone I probably played alongside or fragged not let go of a grudge.

Tachyon_Nova2660d ago (Edited 2660d ago )

I didn't support the fix BF2 campaign because I'd had my fun with it. To be honest I'd played as much of the game as I really felt I could while still enjoying it to its fullest given it doesn't exactly have a diverse range of game modes (ie only had Conquest). However, had I known that they would soon give the platform the boot altogether, I would have boycotted 2142.

I'd like to say also and perhaps this wasn't entirely clear in my blog that I don't hold a grudge against DICE, I just don't think it is realistic or reasonable for so many people to all of a sudden be supporting DICE for their efforts on PC.

I think it is only sensible to adopt a wait and see approach. For example, I think DICE need to show a continued desire to push the PC with BF3, not just an initial trailer and talk of PC specific features, I want to see these with my own eyes, properly implemented.

BUT, I have a completly open mind towards BF3 and despite DICE's poor support for titles I feel that they do make quality content. It's just that they haven't yet done enough to prove that they are serious this time.

jjohan352658d ago

I wholly agree with the blog entry. EA has never been that great at supporting their consumers. Everyone flocked to EA after Activision turned into the devil. EA's patches never fixed anything and instead removed features on consoles and PC.

lex-10202660d ago

I agree. The reason I'm not buying into the hype is because of of Battlefield 2 on the console. If anyone remembers BF2 on the xbox 360 it was TERRIBLE. Hardly playable. I think most people are assuming this is Battlefield bad company 3. Not battlefield 3. I'm hopping it doesn't follow the path of BF2.

Pandamobile2659d ago

Battlefield 2 != Battlefield 2: Modern Combat.

I really wish you console gamers would learn the difference.

lex-10202657d ago

I really wish you PC gamers would learn to read. I very clearly say ON THE CONSOLE or ON THE XBOX 360. Do I really need to clarify and say Battlefield 2 modern combat, when I say ON THE CONSOLE or ON THE XBOX360. I mean seriously. ON THE CONSOLE or ON THE XBOX 360 means NOT ON THE PC. I know they were different games, and I was not talking about Battlefield 2 ON THE PC. I was talking about Battlefield 2 ON THE XBOX 360.

Pandamobile2657d ago (Edited 2657d ago )

BF2 was never on the Xbox. That was BF2MC.


lex-10202657d ago

Are you really that much of a stickler? I HAVE to say BF2MC? Seriously? Does it really matter. Isn't BF2MC still BF2 even though it has a different name. I know it's a totally different game but it still has BATTLEFIELD 2 in the title does it not.

Learn to not be a stickler

earbus2658d ago

Ha i love modern combat played great for me still have it but each to their own.

GLoRyKnoT2660d ago

Regardless, you will have to play the hand your dealt bro. We are all fortunate to even be in the game. Carry on soldier.

a08andan2660d ago

I think that, to make the argues about what version is the best less important, they need to make all games downloadable and when you buy for example the PC version of something, then you will get a digital code to download the game to your ps3 or Xbox 360, if available on those platforms ofc.

Tachyon_Nova2660d ago

Absolutely, I think you should only be made to buy the game once to play it on whatever you want, although not for the reason you give.

Look at movies, recently they have been release combo packs. For example you get the Blu-Ray, the DVD and a digital copy for a small premium over the stand alone Blu-Ray (I woudln't mind paying some minor premium of around $5 for downloading the other versions of games, afterall the file has to be hosted by the publisher and that costs money). I would absolutely support a similar model for multiplatform game releases. Afterall, we are paying $60 if you're in America or $80-100 a game in Australia so it's hardly fair if we should be forced to spend the same again to play it in a slightly different form.

I think Portal 2 on PS3 (which has a code for the PC version) will be an interesting test bed for this sort of model, and I hope it does really well for EA/Valve/Steam so that other publishers will start doing the same thing.

MARKUS_MAX1MUS2660d ago (Edited 2660d ago )

To True,

People are so quick to forget those who wronged them in the past (DICE) and forgive them for those who have wronged them in the present (Crytek)

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