The Battlefield 3 Open Beta may be a taste of what you can expect from the war shooter, but it really doesn’t tell the entire story. The beta is simply a crude, unrefined and six-week old version of the real game. On top of that, it’s limited to a small portion of what is actually a huge multiplayer experience.
Yes, the beta has definitely raised concerns, despite the updates and regularly fixing, and made a few worry that their hopes of playing an excellent war title may be shattered. But DICE – along with a few other gamers like myself – would tell you to hold your horses, as there is much, much more to expect from this shooter, and the Open Beta should in no way be a foundational impression for the game.
The Open Beta previously contained no vehicles – no tanks, no buggies, no attack choppers, no sexy jets to start with, but with Caspian border unlock, fans are left with even fewer reasons to complain. Some of that was taken care of in the recent updates, but the beta never really felt like a true demonstration of the capabilities of the game – or at least the capabilities that we expected.
So is the Open Beta really enough to rely on? Well, yes and no. Yes, because it’s a satisfying fact in itself that DICE has officially stated that there is little reason to think of the beta as the demo for the game. Speaking to The Guardian, Battlefield 3 producer Patrick Liu said:
Yeah, I think there’s been a misunderstanding of the term ‘beta test’! We ran the alpha tests with a rush map and we wanted to have some sort of reference so we could compare results – so we needed to have more-or-less the same map. But we do understand the concerns that we didn’t show a conquest map, but we have demoed Caspian Border, and we did run a conquest map as a limited PC-only test.
So what should you be expecting from the retail version – that’s something that we can talk about now. There is the obvious Conquest Mode to look forward to, with the hot favorite map so far being Operation Firestorm.
There are also other modes and maps to look forward too; while Operation Firestorm is a map suited for large-scale war, cramped maps like Grand Bazaar give a classical feel of intense Battlefield action, with lots of infantry fighting and plenty of armored vehicles roaming about.
Then comes the single-player, which hasn’t been talked about ever since the release of the beta. The single-player is still nearly as mysterious, but it’s not enigmatic enough to make us feel kept in the dark. There are quite a few different missions, each one being memories and recollections of Sergeant Blackburn while being interrogated. Sound a lot like Call of Duty: Black Ops, doesn’t it?
There are some levels that consist of conventional on-foot fighting, while others are more exciting, such as one where you play as a female pilot taking the backseat of a jet. No, you don’t get to fly the thing, but you do get to spot enemy planes, release flares when in trouble, and lock on targets when you have the change to shoot. It’s still plenty fun and provides a tangible shift from the infantry stuff you have to do.
Then there is also co-op to consider. The co-op mode consists of missions that are tied in some way or the other. The missions are played in the same way as the singeplayer mode; however, instead of linearly driven gameplay, you and your partner have to work together and stay alive to complete a certain task or objective which is exclusive to the level.
The campaign may have a few clichés and familiarities, but there is no reason to believe and expect Battlefield 3 will be anything less than amazing, and that the multiplayer of the game will be a much more refined version of an already promising (though not fully thirst-quenching) beta.