Oct 7, 2011
The Battlefield 3 (BF3) beta is in full swing but is having a mixed reception due to the choice of map. Operation Metro was the map used for the Alpha testing a couple of months previously and despite numerous changes from the Alpha build to the Beta build there are still issues that concern many sections of the community, new and old.
Although some PC beta participants had the chance to try conquest on the Caspian Border map, the general population is playing out the beta on Operation Metro which is considered by many not to be a true Battlefield map. The layout is very linear with many choke points and there are no vehicles – which is a step back from the Alpha build where the attackers had access to an LAV-25 armoured vehicle.
According to DICE this was removed due to balance issues, and balance is something that DICE prides itself on getting right. Battlefield veterans are bemoaning the changes to an infantry only map as catering towards the Call of Duty market who may not be comfortable with using, or going against vehicles. It is on these points that there have been murmurs of cancelling pre-orders and skipping Battlefield 3 altogether.
However, if Operation Metro is the worst map of the game, then it’s still set to be possibly the best first person shooter game of 2011. The feedback from those who played Caspian Border indicate that it was a truly awesome experience with the full compliment of air and land vehicles.
And literally as I write this the official Battlefield twitter has just announced that Caspian Border will be available from this weekend for all PC users (no PS3 or XBOX360):
Caspian Border promises the traditionally large open map with multiple vehicles including the return of jets from Battlefield 2. With open countryside and many structures it’ll be a completely different dynamic to Operation Metro.
With the release of Caspian Border on PC for all participants the veteran Battlefield community should be able to sigh a collective sigh of relief that the game isn’t fully aimed at the Call of Duty market…. however, console gamers (which comprises the majority of Call of Duty players) will still be effectively running and gunning until the retail release…
Update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/gamesblog/2011/oct/07/battlefield-3-preview-interview via Donncha Interview with DICE indicating that the Beta was primarily for stress testing.