A lot of you may know that I have been visiting the Mighty Goef (that’s our new name for the ocean, bru) for the past two weeks. While I enjoyed numerous wonderful days of sun, sand and all of the other stuff that we love doing at the beach – the gamer in me was dying a little on the inside knowing that there were awesome games waiting for me back home.
I finally, finally, finally got the chance last night to sit down and try both the Forza 4 demo and the Battlefield 3 beta. One got me really excited and the other one really didn’t.
Battlefield 3 Beta
So after getting home after my flight yesterday, I was chilling with two of my buddies who I play online with often and I was telling them about how excited I was to finally check out Battlefield and Forza. When I mentioned Battlefield though, I was met with some perplexed looks of… I dunno… just not what I was expecting. They made me boot it up right then and there on my Xbox 360 and give it a go.
I didn’t spend much time playing the BF3 beta last night and if I must be honest, it’s mostly because I just didn’t want to. The level loaded up and before I knew it I was running around feeling all awesome thinking that they had missed something, and that I will love it.
That didn’t happen… within about 10 – 15 mins I was ready to leave the game. I kept dying over and over, barely getting a moment to test my controls… only to find out that it was because our spawn had been surrounded by a bunch of toss-jockeys lying prone on the floor in bushes. I didn’t like that I didn’t like the beta… I really wanted to like the beta, so why wasn’t I enjoying it?
Is the game bad… or is this just a result of some bad decisions. What decisions you may ask? Well, for starters… who in their right mind decided that for a Battlefield, I repeat, Battlefield game – a franchise made famous for its large maps, vehicular combat and freedom – it was a good idea to use a map that had pretty much none of the sort? Why on earth would they do something so silly? Maybe once the game is put into its proper environment, it will really begin to shine. Also, what’s up with that bullet damage?
The beta is clearly doing more harm than good for DICE and EA, who are going out of their way to try and dethrone the Call of Duty franchise but the way things are going, I think Battlefield 3 pre-orders are being cancelled more than they may care to realize.
The major issue that I have been explaining to a few people already is that just because the beta has been released so early to the game’s release, it doesn’t mean that the build used for the beta isn’t really old, which seems to be the case.
I found an article last night called Why the Battlefield 3 Beta was bad for EA and DICE and it sums everything up quite nicely.
A beta is a beta, it’s not a demo and people really need to understand this. At the same time, DICE need to realize that the beta is still a representation of their game, and releasing it to the world WILL make people judge according to what they feel. The major issue at the moment is that even if the graphics are bumped up like they say they will be, the gameplay is the major concern here.
That aside, the biggest problem is that the brand and product image has now been damaged and DICE and EA are going to have to work very hard to keep gamers as excited as they were before the beta was released and that’s about all there is to say about that.
Forza 4 Demo
So, the other game I was really excited about trying out was the Forza 4 demo and I’m gonna get straight to the point here and say that I was definitely not disappointed, I was even surprised.
Forza 4 is looking phenomenal, the graphics received a huge boost sure but the real star of the show is the actual gameplay. I set the steering mode to simulation and the feel of the cars is every bit as sublime as I could have ever hoped and easily the closest thing I have felt to driving real cars around the Kyalami racetrack in real life.
While the ridiculously quick cars like the Ferrari 458 Italia and Pagani Zondas are great and all, I always find that the best balance of speed and feeling comes from the mid-range cars. When motoring around the track in the BMW M5 or the Subaru Impreza the game really showed its worth to me. The driving feels perfect, the rear-wheel and all-wheel drive cars felt completely unique and the feel of weight and rubber-to-tarmac was just about everything I was hoping for.
As I sit here writing, all I can think about is how to wangle some time out of my day to sneak off and go play the Forza 4 demo a little more. So to put it quite simply, Forza 4 is totally rocking my world from the demo alone… and that’s what an early representation of the game in any form should do.
It’s been pretty surprising to get home and find that two games I was really looking forward to made me feel two completely different things. The Forza 4 demo sold me completely and while I am hoping to get a review copy to review for everyone soon, if I don’t get one I already know that I’m ready to throw money at it.
Battlefield is, on the other hand, a completely different story. Something I was so sure of has made me think twice and that’s not good for DICE (no rhyme intended, yo). It’s really going to have to go down to reviews now and it almost doesn’t make sense in my head because as I said before… I was so sure that it was going to be great.
That’s the hype train for you and it’s something that we all – and especially us journalists and critics – need to be very careful of, especially before we start throwing around money – or even worse – words like “must have”.
Last Updated: October 7, 2011