For the last three days, I’ve been playing Battlefield 3 on a decommissioned aircraft carrier floating in the San Francisco Bay.
If that fact wasn’t surreal enough, I was playing with hundreds of other PC gamers on top-of-the-line gaming rigs custom built by Nvidia to provide us with the “ultimate” BF3 experience. This event shall forever be known as the GeForce LAN 6.
However, the Battlefield 3 beta was anything but the “ultimate” BF3 experience.
This glitchy, buggy, unfinished mess that was released as a public trial only a month before the game was to go on sale left us with many questions and legions of gamers were ready to give up on Battlefield 3 all together and cancel their pre-orders right there and then.
Many of us old time testers shouted, “Hey, it’s a BETA, it’s supposed to have issues, this is an old build!” But the masses cried foul. “There’s no way they can fix this mess in one month, I don’t care how old the build is! How dare they release this to the public, don’t they know any better?!”
However, the build I’ve been playing for the past few days is literally light years ahead of the beta. While not the final product, Nvidia and DICE confirmed to me that what we were playing was “damn close” to final build and if this is any indication of the final product… I’m sold.
There were no bugs, no glitches, and the Ultra quality visual settings actually looked “Ultra”. Being a high end PC gamer and a member of the press who gets to test damn near every PC game, I’m as jaded as they come. Yet everything about this build was downright beautiful. I played on new maps like “Operation Firestorm”, “Damavand Peak” and and “Grand Bazaar” and the first time I deployed on each – I did nothing but stare. The first time you see each of these landscapes laid out before you on PC, you will be in awe. Wether it be the burning oil fields of Operation Firestorm or the magnificently detailed snow capped mountains of Damavand Peak, I’ve never seen anything quite like it, especially in a first person shooter, and that’s certainly saying something.
Hell, I even noticed little things like the fact that the UMP-45 had been nerfed a bit. DICE had clearly been listening to the player feedback, even at this late stage of the game. The entire experience felt balanced, focused and rock solid. It’s a testament to DICE’s commitment to PC game development and pushing the envelope with their Frostbite 2 engine.
Their developer commitment is also evidenced by the fact that I saw no vehicles flipping over, nobody falling through the map, no flying corpses hitting me in the face and no crazy giraffe neck dubstep.
I am proud to report that Battlefield 3 (on PC at least) is finally ready for action.