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Veteran Member - Level 13
Battlefield Play For Free is a PC browser
based game slated for release sometime in 2011 and its name sums up the
experience. Meshing together different aspects of the Battlefield
franchise DICE is creating a Battlefield game anyone with a computer can
enjoy. The title is currently in the closed beta state and I've played it
for around 8 hours. I'd like to share with you what I've experienced in
hopes of informing both the Battlefield faithful and skeptic. This is by
no means a review.
Battlefield franchise has always been about battles taking place over large
maps. Players choose a soldier class to play as which dictates the
weapons and equipment they spawn with. Vehicles are a big part of gameplay
and often the reason some FPS fans steer clear. The beta has one map and
one game mode; conquest on BF:2 Karkand. Conquest is a game mode where the 2
teams fight over 4 territories. The more territories under your control the faster points are earned. Reach 1000 points before the other team to win.
Mechanics in use from previous Battlefield Games
roles from Bad Company 2
means there are 4 combat roles, Assault, Medic, Engineer and Recon.
Assault class gets an AR and ammo resupply box. Medic class has the
Machine Gun and health kit. Engineers stay tried and true with SMG and
repair tool. Recon of course has the sniper rifle and motion
sensor. Also like in Bad Company 2, players can choose to have a shotgun
as their primary for any class. It's a safe bet that after the beta a lot
more weapon alternatives will be introduced.
trees from Battlefield Heroes.
in the beta each class has 2 skill trees. 1 for equipment and another for
combat. Each skill tree has 3 tiers. When the player levels up they
are rewarded with one point to distribute on either tree. Equipment based
skills include the ability to throw grenades, fly a jet or use the secondary
fire on a tank. Combat expertise has the more unique abilities which all
give the player a strategic edge over competition. Skills include climbing
ladders faster; sniper, grenade and mortar strike detection. Most
skills are the same for each class but some are specific. For example
there is no spawning on team mates by default in this game. The assault
class can gain the skill to call in reinforcements; teammates that die within
the vicinity of the player will respawn near him.
appearances has been brought over from Battlefield Heroes
pretty bare bones right now. Players can choose between 2 skin tones, 2
hair colors, 3 haircuts and whether or not our soldier has stubble. One
of the biggest bugs I've seen is the frame rate hitch that occurs every time I
respawn. This is because it is loading everyone's customization.
With how limited the customizing is now I'd hate to see how bad the hitch
becomes when the game releases.
is no switching kits on the fly in this battlefield game. Instead
you create a soldier for each class. Before joining a game you choose
your soldier. So if you go in recon only to find 3/4 of your team is also
recon, you'd have to leave game, choose a different soldier then join again.
This may change after the beta but who knows.
is no squad mechanic. This came as a quite a shock to me. As
I stated above the assault class can purchase the skill of having nearby
teammates respawn on him but that's the extent of it for this beta. There are 2
teams of 16 players and that's as in depth as it gets.
It's a good thing DICE has chosen to make this game resemble Battlefield 2
visually. Without the destruction mechanic from Bad Company and 1943 the
game feels like classic BF on the PC. Those of us who have been playing
BF before it moved to consoles the nostalgia factor is very strong.
had best play according to your combat class. With beta how it is
now there is very little weapon and gadget selection for each class. If
you are playing assault you had better be attacking. If you are Recon you
had best stay back, spot targets and score headshots. I've been a part of
several matches where one team was mostly snipers. They spent the whole round
stuck in one corner of the map just typing into the chat that the Recon
class wasn't powerful enough. Truth is you can't win against tanks and
automatic weapons with a bolt action rifle. Play smart!
leads to the next big change, sniper rifles and grenades leave easy to notice
smoke trails. If you've used the sniper in Halo it's that same
concept. As soon as a sniper pulls the trigger EVERYONE knows where it
is little to no recoil on the Medic M3 light machine gun. The majority of
my play time has been with the medic. To compensate the weapon takes more
than a few rounds to down a foe. But with the high rate of fire it is
devastating at close to medium range. I imagine when the game goes live
this weapon will be top tier and only accessible by those who devote a lot of
time or fork over some serious battlebucks. The games where I've had a 4
to 1 K/D ratio have been with this weapon.
Beretta pistol is a beast. More often than not when I'm sniped it is by
this weapon. It's a freaking pistol with the accuracy of a laser
pointer. It does 17 damage to the body requiring a max of 6 shots to down
a soldier at full health. Like the M3 there is very little recoil.
The recoil I do experience may just be the natural movement of my hand as I
click. BTW it takes less than a second to click a mouse 6 times.
I'd like to see added/changed
a friends list.
I highly doubt the game will ship without it and I'm sure it's because we're in
a beta that it is missing. Still it is disheartening to have 3 friends
who want to play together and must resort to quitting and restarting in order
to randomly join a friends game.
Last time I played BF: Heroes it was the same way. For ease of its users
there is a big PLAY NOW button. Click that and you'll be connected to a
server. So without a friends list I have to join a match, quit and join
again until I'm randomly put into his game. If we didn't live so close
together I bet it'd be impossible.
negative influencers to spawn points. It seems no FPS can ever be
released without players complaining about the spawn system. The way it works
here is you get 2 choices; spawn near the battle or spawn ALL THE WAY back in
your base. Unless a tank has respawned in the base players generally
choose to be close to the action. There doesn't appear to be any check
system for whether or not the enemy is right next to your spawn point.
I've respawned within arm's length of an enemy APC. I even respawned
already getting shot. You see, the player model appears before the
respawn timer finishes. You'll come across an enemy who looks to be AFK
then suddenly starts moving. Playing for hours/days on the same map
learning the spawns is easy. Teams that dominate generally leave the
enemy with one capture point and surround it with vehicles.
up on the chat censorship. Being a free game that can be launched from an
internet browser means 2 things. There is no ESRB rating attached to the
game. Also anyone with high speed internet can be play the game after
about 30 to 60 minutes of download time. We all know how mouthy folks are
on the internet so DICE has instituted a chat filter. If you ask me it
could be toned down some. Example I typed, "That M9 pistol is
***." *** is a bad word. (edit: apparently it's a bad word here at GI lol) Someone else typed in, "This
game is great, but I wish it had squads." The words "wish
it" were censored; you can figure out why.
best way to describe Battlefield PLay4Free is with the phrase, "stripped
down". The gameplay is the very essence of the franchise. By
stripping it down DICE has managed to create an experience that should be
accessible to those who have never touched the franchise. At the same
time they've managed further diverse the rolls of the different classes.
Playing to your soldiers strengths is more crucial to winning the battle.
I am a huge fan of the franchise so it should come as no surprise I'm pleased
with how the beta is playing out. I recommend every FPS fan to give it a
shot, especially those who haven't tried a Battlefield game before.
You'll get a mouthful of what makes the franchise successful without having to
spend any money.
There is also this little bug with
spawning invisible. Happened to me once. It was a lot of fun.