on October 10, 2012
After building a new PC, I thought I would give Battlefield 3 a go.
Gone are the days of simply putting in the disc, letting it install, then playing the game. Oh no. Now we have to hop through the hoops of the publishers in the HOPE that the game will actually install and play at all. Want to know why the PC game market is imploding ? It isn't the content of the games, it's the GD DRM bullsh*t you force us through. It's easier to buy the damn console version.
Case in point:
In order to even INSTALL BF3, you must first install the EA Origin service. Once installed, it will tell you an update is available, so you can sit some more while it downloads and installs the Origin update. At this point you can actually START the install of the game itself. Probably took thirty plus minutes ( at least ) to install the game from both DvD's. This on a brand new, state of the art system.
Okay, it's finally installed. Lets play ! Oh nay, nay. There is an update ! ( :| ) Not only an update, but an excruciatingly SLOW download from the EA servers. ( I have a 6-8MB download from a cable modem setup ) Another 30 to 45 minutes goes by before the update is fully downloaded and installed.
Great. Game is installed, update finally downloaded and installed. Let's play.
Fire it up, and my browser ( Firefox ) pops up. I look through the buttons and find the " play campaign " button and give it a click.
It then informs me I need to install a browser PLUGIN for Firefox before I can play the damn game. Ok, SCREW THIS.
At this point I am so pissed off at the entire process, I uninstall the entire mess and ensure every trace of anything EA or Origin is eradicated from my machine. I will take the damn game into the back yard, douse it with something flammable and sacrifice it to the Gods of DRM. They can take this piece of sh*t back as I will have nothing to do with it.
I will not purchase another game from EA that requires Origin to run. Period. Ever. Complete waste of my time.
Dear EA, if this is the future of your games, you can keep them. I don't give a damn how popular or amazing the game may be. If I have to go through all of THIS crap just to play your games, I won't bother.
Here is how it should work:
Buy game -> take home -> install game onto machine -> click desktop icon to start game -> enjoy game
That's it. That's all. You've turned a simple concept into the most botched up system the world has ever seen.
Fire your entire company and start over because you're doing it wrong.
Hugs and kisses, an EA free gamer.
on December 12, 2011
I wanted to write a review about the game itself, and not focus so much on things outside of the game i.e. Origin and Battlelog.
I've been gaming on the PC since the late 90s, and this is one of the best games that I have experienced. If you enjoy first person shooters on the PC, then this is a must. The game features stunning graphics, but it can still run, and look good on a mid range PC. This game goes above and beyond what other shooters have done in the past and has interesting and unique features (if you want to call them that) that other games simply do not have. These include realistic physics that affect all projectile objects (bulletts fall over distance), suppressive fire that blurrs the screen of the player being suppressed, lasers that blind you, flashlights that white out your screen in dark areas, and sniper's scopes show a glare in the sunlight. The game also features one of the best animation systems that I've seen. Characters transition naturally from animation to animation. Moving about the environment feels realistic, and it looks realistic when viewing other players. The game provides the opportunity to drive and fly all the vehicles in the game during multiplayer. This is what Battlefield is known for. The vehicle combat is fun, but it requires skill, especially when flying in jets or helicopters.
Aside from these new aspects of the game, the recent trend of unlocks and leveling up in shooters is found in this game. You gain experience points for doing things in the game, and that translates into leveling up and unlocking goodies. Battlefield has 4 classes in multiplayer: Assault, Engineer, Support, & Recon. Each class has it's own unlock progression and own special abilities. The game encourages you to be a team player. When playing as a team and playing to the strengths of your class, you earn points faster. All in all, this is one of the best multiplayer shooters out there.
The single player game is short, but enjoyable. It will most likely be finished up in under 10 hours. The story isn't necessarily ground breaking, but it is fun to play through. However, quick time events kind of take away from the otherwise good experience. Not to say they are bad, but they don't seem to fit with what this game is about. They feel like they were an afterthought. The story itself is not as well written as some others on the market, but it works just fine for the game. It doesn't detract at all from the experience, it's just not the most original story out there.
There are some things which I don't like, but they aren't the game itself. They are Origin and Battlelog. Origin is required to play the game, no matter where you bought the game. The program itself is trying to be an alternative to Steam, but it isn't as user friendly, and it isn't as optimized. It will give occasional errors and crashes. For me, I haven't had too many issues, but others have had a great number of issues. It seems hit or miss. Battlelog is the web interface through which you access the game itself. It isn't too bad, but it is trying to turn the game into a social network, which some like and others don't. You track all your player stats through here, and this is also where you access the game and select serverst to play. You have a communication center in here where you can invite friends to join your game, create partys to play together, and use voice coms with your party.
Overall I really enjoy this game.
+Physics and effects
-Origin is required
-Can be buggy at times (seems to have been fixed since launch)
-No team voice chat (party only)
-You have to go through battlelog to access the game.
I would give this game a 9 out of 10.
on December 8, 2011
1 Star? Believe me, I am not a huge fan of 1 star or 5 star reviews. It would be REALLY hard to be that good or that bad. But you know what? I'm so sick and tired of this bigtime corporation (EA) ruining everything that they touch. Ever since Ultima Online, they just buy their way into things and ruin them over and over again. Let me tell you why this game sucks. There are more than a few reasons, but I'll put like 15 reasons in each category. (PC VERSION)
1- ACCOUNT creation mishaps. I went through everything bad that can happen to someone when they are creating an account for a game. EA Account, Merge with Origin account, ok sounds easy enough even though I shouldn't need this origin crap to begin with. But sure, I'll MEET YOUR DEMANDS. I merged accounts after having "e-mail already found" types of crap happening, and other stupid errors. I am not a genius, but after using computers for 15+ years I know how to make an account, and this site sucked for it. I installed origin crap, I installed the game. Finally, let's play this thing.
2- *double-clicks BF3 Icon* waits. waits. (my computer is pretty decent)ok, FIREFOX OPENS. WHAT? OK INSTALL PLUGINS... WHAT? oh my GOD... ok calm down. I install the plugins necessary to let EA take over my web browser. I'VE MET YOUR DEMANDS, TAKE MY COMPUTER! now let me try your game. Ok after crashing a few times before even getting to see the game yet, BOOM...I notice some battlelog crap open in my bottom right windows thing. WOAH, wait a minute, I need 4 (no exaggeration) programs working "TOGETHER" to run a FREAKING GAME. That's FOUR PROGRAMS. Origin, Firefox, Battlelog, BF3.exe. oh and if you count the plugin open in firefox, that's 5. The game launches through your webrowser on some crappy EA webpage for the game. I really can't take it... but it gets better.
3- Ok cool, I don't have a solid state drive, but after loading the game up for 2 minutes, (Skyrim loads in 10 seconds or less)I finally get to play. Ok, adjusting graphical settings... Well, my computer can only handle medium or so... not EA's fault there. READY to play. I go in the game. I'm getting 50 fps(nice) and the first thing I notice is my crosshair dissapears. NOT HARDCORE MODE, no. It just dissapears. Ok, must be my gun. Switch guns and it's back. Switch back and it's there... OK. Walk around a corner, ITS GONE. WOWOWOWOWOW, I HATE THIS GAME.
4- It's clunky in general. Pretty much every menu in the browser and in the game are clumsy and take getting use to. Not a HUGE minus because many games have this problem. But it's a Cherry on top to why this game sucks. I'm sick of typing now so I'll end with this.
EA is the single most crippling thing for video games this day and age. They got into the market at the right time, lots of people playing video games these days. They have their hand in almost everything and they are SOLELY out for money. They will water down the integrity of products to no end. They have deadlines, demands, and proprietary crap all over their name. I can't stand them, and until you give all of their crap 1 star, when it deserves it... they will continue to produce garbage.
I don't know much about DICE, so I won't diss them. But that EA/ORIGIN thing is what made this game the worst for me.
4GB patch came out already... THATS HOW BROKEN IT WAS/IS. STOP BUYING THESE REHASHED WARGAMES AND FEEDING THAT CORPORATE GARBAGE MACHINE. I don't usually rage, but I am genuinely raging right now. I plan to play SWTOR, and I'm SOOO afraid that EA will ruin it.
on October 27, 2011
(+) Graphics and presentation, it looks and sounds amazing. There were many things done to refine animations, and the soldiers and vehicles themselves are approaching an uncanny valley
(+) The game play is terrific. It stays very true to the formula from Bad Company 2, with subtle improvements like full prone, some vehicular control and sight improvements, etc
(+/-) The single campaign is impressive to look at and listen to, but the story itself is mundane and uninspired. There is some pretty amateur writing, in regards to plot, pacing, and dialog. Despite this it's serviceable, and pretty fun to play through. It only took me about 5 hours to complete it
(-) Origin is a terrible and clumsily designed digital distribution and social network, and it's a shame EA is not only forcing it upon consumers but also not publishing a Steam version. It's poorly integrated, violates privacy, and wouldn't even be a quality product if we were having this discussion in 2005
(+/-) BattleLog detracts from the multiplayer process. It's EA's web-based (runs in a browser) interface that replaces the in-game menu and server browser. It makes the simple act of joining a game a hassle. Its use forces the game to exit after each match. I spent a lot of time waiting for BattleLog to refresh, find a server, and essentially re-launch the game. I use Chrome and the extension would occasionally go into overdrive and eat up significant CPU cycles. When the servers are up, BattleLog is ready, and you can actually get in, it's the same quality multiplayer found in Bad Company 2 - just refined. Larger maps and a greater diversity of weapons and customization
If you're interested I'd advise holding off until EA either publishes a Steam version or removes the forced Origin install and BattleLog integration. The other option would be to wait a few years until EA can develop them into a services worthy of live production - right now they're clearly not ready for prime time. And that said, there's still the privacy issues to consider.
(edit #2: I actually went ahead and returned this to my local retailer on 10/31/2011. Apparently I'm far from the first, because the sales person actually apologized to me for buying this)
on October 31, 2011
So you install the game, install punkbuster, and install Origin. Okay, sure, everyone wants to use always-on DRM now, price of admission and all that. Punkbuster is fine, aimbots are way worse than a little anti-cheat software. Then this happens:
Bonus Kübler-Ross sections:
1. You get an authentication error and can't start the game for a day or two.
2. You start the game only to go to something that looks suspiciously like a website. It is a website! Awesome, now I don't have to worry about compatibility issues with the menu and server browser requiring giant firewall exceptions.
3. False alarm, you're not done installing. Go download some always-on DRM. Wait, wasn't that step 0? Yeah, have more. And this stuff will sit enabled in your browser addons list unless you manually disable/enable it every time you want to play. Fine, okay, small price to pay for getting things universal.
4. Wait a minute, this isn't a menu, it's a wannabe facebook page! With capability to link to your facebook page! I guess marketing wanted a more direct line. Or the guy who programmed the menus quit in a huff after being fun of so much for Bad Company 2's PC interface and server browser.
4a. Idle wonder which EA executive thought up the "Gun Club" and loved it enough to save it by forcing users to navigate through it to get to their software.
5. Restart browser, relogin to their website, click single player
6. Servers are down. What?
7. Wait a few hours, servers are up. Try again.
8. Hey, it works! Wait, there are menus in here too! You have to open a menu to a website with a menu to open a menu!
8a. Get about an hour in and the game locks up. Force quite, restart. Locks in the same spot.
9. Fine, I didn't need single player anyway! I just want to shoot virtual soldiers while standing on a flag
10. Login server error.
11. Uncorrupt DNS hosts file, thanks by the way, and try again.
12. Play 5 minutes on a server, round ends, map changes, get kicked out for not having punkbuster installed. It is in fact, installed.
13. Manually download punkbuster updates, a la recommendation. Fails to work.
14. Delete punkbuster updates, make BF3 re-generate the files. Works! Apparently They updated then rolled back.
15. Play a round. It's getting late (you spent 6 hours installing, after all!), take a break.
16. Unrelated beta version of another program crashes out, go to kill the process.
17. Hey, EA garbage is still running! I thought I closed Origin?
18. Return game, wait for edition that runs inside of Steam. IE, probably going to skip this one over.
Final Note: If you wait long enough, the game with be cheap enough with DLC to still cost less than it does now. Karkand isn't even done.
PS To EA marketing: You do not need every buzzword in every meeting to be forced into a game.
on December 9, 2011
I got this game as part of a promotion and I have enjoyed BF and MW games for many years now but this game angered me so much that I'm officially not buying anymore EA products after I'm done with BF3. Why?
Jon Molle said it best and here's my experience:
- The game is fine but it's the installation and the required software that upset me the most.
> Accept EULA, install Origin, Re-accept EULA once again, finish installing origin
> Create Origin Account, sign-in ... okay fine. I would have rather to use Steam but whatever
> BF3 didn't install yet, I open up the game from the DVD drive and it goes through authentication and then boots up another origin client, it tells me that I'm signed on, on another computer. So i close both origin apps and re-launch the game.
> go through about 15 confirmation screens then install...
> Spend about 30 minutes installing 2-DVD's (that's normal)
> The game finishes the installation, but automatically updates.
> Click play anyways, so it sends me to the website
> Accept TOS once again, and subscribe to battlelog forcefully (in its own way)
> Have to install battlelog plugin for browser
> Restart browser, try to launch the game from battlelog, does nothing but wait until the game is updated (I just wanted to try campaign mode)
> Wait until 4gb of updates are done...
> While waiting look over promotional thing in the box for the gun club, go to the gunclub website to subscribe while waiting
> Origin server's are slow, downloading at about 700kb/s, I thought they were suppose to be faster than Steam? I average much higher than that on other sites.
> Finally I can play the game, game loads fine
> Play game, game looks funky with an HD 6950, not sure why...
> Load the game again, works fine, play the game -- everything seems OK. It took about 3-4 hours to install this game from DVD's thanks to Origin and other crapware.
There's so much crap involved with DRM and installation that it makes this game not worth getting legitimately. I thought that people were over-reacting to Origin and all that but it is what it is. Do not waste your time with it. BF3 is a fun game but ask yourself, is it worth wasting 4 hours installing all of this? I'm not buying any other EA game until they completely remove or make Origin and related applications optional. I didn't like EA before, now I really don't like them.
Before you say that this review was not helpful, please understand that this is meant as a protest, not as a product game review. Excellent game, terrible company behind it.
on November 10, 2011
Battlefield 3 is like a full time job. It punishes you for falling behind. If you haven't played this game every day since launch you're stuck at a constant disadvantage and forced into a hazing experience as players with superior weapons, perks, vehicles, and other unlocks relentlessly fire upon you. Only super-competitive players should pick up this game. Be cautious if giving it as a gift.
I've owned this game since release day and it really irks me how the game makes no attempt to separate players by skill or unlocked content. Everything in this game is unlockable. Basic essentials like defibrillators, jet flares, APC missiles, and mines must be unlocked to use. Advanced performance-enhancements can also be unlocked such as upgraded vehicle armor, soldier damage resistance, radar improvements, and enemy-highlighting IR scopes. The game does not sort players to keep them on a level playing field resulting in ridiculously unbalanced matches. Even the servers intended for newbies and casual players are commonly overrun with elite players who absolutely dominate and ruin the experience.
It's also important to point out that it's very difficult to play this game with friends. A bunch of friends of mine picked up this title and we're constantly placed on opposing teams and different squads when playing multiplayer. Squads are automatically assigned and capped at 4 members for some strange reason. There is no VOIP for communicating with squadmates either. Getting everyone together is very very difficult. I've had enough arguments and frustration playing this game with friends that I literally avoid playing with them now. I don't like firing against a friend when they haven't unlocked what I'm able to use against them, and the same goes for the higher level friend attacking me. This isn't a game of skill or strategy or objectives -- it's all about the unlocks and points. All matches are ranked so until EA/DICE releases an unranked system where server admins level the playing field by setting what content is unlocked for everyone the game will remain an unbalanced and frustrating mess.
I've had a lot of fun with the cooperative mode in this game. Using Skype and playing the 6 co-op missions with friends is the only redeeming quality of Battlefield 3. Unfortunately, only 2 people can participate in cooperative play at a time. In cooperative you get access to a wide array of capable weapons, your vehicles work well, and the missions are well-varied. You are unable to communicate with your teammate even through text so make sure to use an external solution if available.
When I do play this game I have to say that the visuals are impressive. The engine is smooth, although it does like to rubber-band voice-overs and movement sometimes. I haven't had any problems with Battlelog other than it spamming me with content I will never see but a friend has finally unlocked. I did have an issue with Origin in that the installation would fail at 85% on the second DVD. This caused the game installation to take over 6 and a half hours. The problem was eventually solved when I switched to a very new USB DVD drive that was purchased for use with a netbook. That drive easily read through whatever funny thing EA did to the second disk. Origin is fond of going unreponsive, and I'm not sure what exactly it's there to do. Turning off the Origin overlay helped improve the game's performance and now it's just relegated to sitting in the background. Not sure why I should use it when Battlelog has its own friends list. This is a strange duplication of resources.
Overall, I have to give this game a poor rating because it's so hard to enjoy. Multiplayer, the biggest draw, is completely unplayable. The longer you don't play, the further you fall behind. EA/DICE had promised unranked servers a week after release so the not super-competitive among us could enjoy the game. Unfortunately, they have broken their promise. Cooperative mode is nice, but limited with 6 missions. Singleplayer is a wash. I would recommend a wait and see approach if you haven't bought the game by now. I can't in good faith recommend this title for purchase right now especially as a gift given the imbalance and hazing design. Stick it on your Amazon wishlist and revisit it in a month to see if EA/DICE has actually addressed any of the concerns in this review.
on November 10, 2011
In Afghanistan, bought game for PC as I don't have a console, just a laptop. Put in game code, said that it was activated, then asks for it a second time, to say that codes already been used.
Dealing with EA's customer service over here is a joke. Guy's telling me that the codes been used, yes, I know, by me. I even uploaded a picture of me, with yesterday's Army Times, my ID, me, the game code, the disc, and the error message. The response was that I got was that I got a bad code, even when it said it worked. None of the codes work at all that they have given me. I've even re-installed Origin and all of my EA games.
So, lessons learned, even if you do have a net connection, make sure it's really fast otherwise EA will take another $60 out of your wallet while you have nothing to show for it.
on November 22, 2011
The game itself is great so far, but the intuitiveness of the Origins software leaves a lot to be desired. It sometimes doesnt know I have the game installed, The idea of having to go back and forth between my game, origin interface, and web browser just to play the game is a terrible experience. Do everyone a favor and get rid of Origin.
on November 2, 2011
-You MUST run the game through Origin which SUCKS. No Steam support. No standalone play.
-No in-game server browser. You browse servers through Internet Explorer. If you want to change servers, you must completely close the game and return to the internet browser to select a new one.
-No LAN play
Need I say more?