Review : Battlefield 3 beta

The much awaited Battlefield 3 beta is finally available on every platform. Took a while to get it on PSN cause of maintenance, but it eventually works quite fine.

The first thing you notice is the graphical leap from Bad Company 2 : it was expected but the Frosbite2 engine really opens a new era for game development. Never in past FPS graphical effects such as dust, fire, sparks and smoke have been so rich, vivid an realistic. Your character’s animations are unprecedented too : whenever you prone, crawl or jump a wall, you can see and feel you have an actual body instead of being a floating weapon. Environments are splendid too, clipping and alaising remain a problem though.

Gameplay is a huge improvement from Bad Company 2 : the maps are still a little too big but with 32 players there a lot more action. I still can’t bear the respawn system since it makes a long way if you respawn in the base, and that you often get owned on the spot when reappearing on teammates. The multiplayer is quite exciting nevertheless, the sound environment, knife kills, progression system and weapon balance make it hooking and immersive. The devs also put great care in details : for example if an enemy aims at you with a tactical light or a red-dot, it will blind you

Last but not least, sniping really feels great, even though the Paris map didn’t seem suited for it. Unlike CoD, distance is a huge advantage despite desperate attempts from DICE to nerf sniping. Snipers’ lens are as shiny as a car’s headlight, which is supposed to be the reflection of the sunlight, save that it’s permanent and applies in dark metro tunnels…

It’s so good I can hardly believe this is just the beta. If the full game actually turns out even better than that, then Battlefield has good chance to flatten Modern Warfare 3!

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