Let’s continue our season of the betas with Battlefield 3′s open beta that began yesterday. The beta for the Xbox 360, the version I’m currently testing, is a 1.3 GB download found in the XBLA Marketplace. Understanding this is a beta, you know and expect there to be glitches and match making issues, that’s a give in, so I concentrated more on how the weapons felt and how the leveling system worked. My first impressions with this title have been pleasant, The Rush game mode is the only available mode, and the one map you’re allotted to play is Operation Metro. Operation Metro starts out in an open park that moves down into a subway as the match progresses depending on the Attackers success on taking objectives. The first park area of Operation Metro is completely broken. You randomly fall under the map, and navigating it isn’t stable making it feel like you’re swimming, or a split second from falling into the map. You play four available classes simultaneously raising your main level and each individual skill. Support starts out with light machine guns and give out ammo. Medics use assault rifles and can give out med packs or revive downed players. The Engineer uses sub-machine guns, has an RPG, and can repair vehicles. The Sniper class uses, you guessed it, sniper rifles and can throw down “receivers” that allow teammates to spawn from them, acting as a huge tactical advantage. The weapons feel very similar to Bad Company 2, so jumping right into combat was both smooth and familiar. Since this is a downloadable beta and not the final copy, it’s very hard to gauge how the new Frostbite 2 engine will run. Graphically the beta is on par but I would have liked to really see the new engine work it’s magic. Matchmaking for now is broken, forget about playing with your party, the four friends I was playing with were rarely in my squad and often times on the other team. I’m certain all of these minor problems will be tuned in 25 days…or let’s hope so. I would hate to have this most anticipated FPS fall short because of broken levels and matchmaking issues. Battlefield 3 looks very promising, but I expect more for the proclaimed COD killer.
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