BF3: A Mystery Wrapped In A Beta Engima

By Alec Meer on July 30th, 2010 at 8:45 pm.

This isn't battlefield 3. This is Medal of Honor. Be still your beating heart.

We know nothing about Battlefield 3. Nothing. We don’t even know if there’ll actually be battlefields in it or not. Why, they might well be war-meadows instead. Or fight-commons. WE KNOW NOTHING. That hasn’t stopped EA from announcing a beta, and using it as a lure to make you buy the new Medal of Honor. Not just its standard copy, oh no. Purely its limited edition. Which is one more degree of abstraction than I believe we’ve previously had from betas’ original purpose.

If you’ve read beneath the jump because you’re hoping there’ll be details about Battlefield 3 here, do bear in mind that WE KNOW NOTHING.

All I can tell you is that if you buy the Medal of Honor limited edition, along with a recieving a bunch of exclusive in-game weapon and armour loot which “gives players a tactical gameplay advantage on day one” you’ll receive an invite to the BF3 beta “within 12 months.”

Unless the beta doesn’t actually happen within 12 months, notes the small print, in which case you might not get access to it. Wha… really? Nice. Nice.

Is it just me, or are Chihuahuas a little bit creepy? Also, is it just me or is this beta plan more than a little odd? They’re trying to lure people into buying a limited edition of one game with an invitation to the beta of another, made by a different studio, and which might not happen for a year, and of which WE KNOW NOTHING. Can’t help but wonder how calculated an attempt this is to lure insta-groats out of the Battlefield community. Very strange business.

And let’s go back to the whole thing about the limited edition giving players “a tactical advantage.” When did we move past the point where add-on stuff and whatnot is purely cosmetic and full-on into “if you spend more money you will be more effective than guys who spent less money?” I thought there was a gentleman’s agreement to be cool about this stuff.

I sincerely hope MOH is a splendid game, because the nodules being stuck to it seem a little distasteful to mine poison eye.

Still, if the idea of getting the earliest possible access to Battlefield 3, no matter what its setting might turn out to be (who owns the My Little Pony license these days? I just bet it’s that) tickles your nipples, get thee to this MOH pre-order page.

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70 Comments »

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  1. ZIGS says:

    Good thing I a single player-only gamer (well, except for Trackmania) so I couldn’t care less

  2. Geoffrey says:

    Regarding it being a different developer, that isn’t entirely true, assuming that DICE makes the theoretical BF3. DICE is the developer behind the multiplayer portion of the new MoH, so they’re kind-of related.

  3. JohnnyMaverik says:

    I’m not entirely sure why but this kind of stuff really turns my stomach.

    • Centy says:

      Because its using the beta to sell things rather than you know actually test the game.

  4. Premium User Badge

    lhzr says:

    When did we move past the point where add-on stuff and whatnot is purely cosmetic and full-on into “if you spend more money you will be more effective than guys who spent less money?”

    “a tactical gameplay advantage on day one”

    it prolly unlocks some stuff that you’d otherwise need to work for. like magic the gathering: duels just did, they released unlocks for some of the packs so that you don’t have to beat certain single player scenarios, you can just pay instead to get them. so it’s not THAT bad.

    • Duffin says:

      Start of the slippery slope.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Pre-purchase today and receive the exclusive multiplayer MP7 weapon and early access to two high-powered shotguns.

      According to the Steam store page and the trailer that at its top.

    • Forch says:

      Technically you can access all the weapons that paying players in Battlefield Heroes can, but nobody in their right mind would spend the time and effort required to obtain them.

    • Sassenach says:

      I believe BC2 also promoted pre-orders with the promise of having stuff exclusively unlocked from the start. But those who purchased later were able to unlock these items through playing for a time. Although it’s not been explicitly stated, it seems likely that it would be the same deal here.

  5. BAReFOOt says:

    Simple rule of thumb: If they are that quiet about it, they know it’s worse than what you assume when you don’t see it. So they don’t want you to rip it apart.

    Which is why my scale from 0 to 10 has a special number for those games, that is placed at the right location on the scale: −1!
    Meaning, that it’s so bad, that it drags down all other games by the same publisher with it.
    So future reviews get a “General untrustworthiness divisor” of N, where N is the times the publisher has done this. :)

  6. rocketman71 says:

    Well, we know that probably you’ll have to pay for dedicated servers, and that it won’t support LAN.

    • Xercies says:

      LAN in these times of the 2010s is pretty much as dead as a dodo really looking at how most companies don’t seem to offer it anymore.

      sad but true :(

  7. Simon Stirrat says:

    DICE have been teasing a ‘secret’ game for a while on twitter. I was hoping it was Mirror’s Edge 2, but it looks like BF3 instead. I’m guessing BF3 will be out Christmas 2011 or March 2012.

  8. Alexander Norris says:

    Unless they ditch the BC2 engine entirely or make playing a game that uses it significantly less like struggling against a river of molasses, I’ve got absolutely no interest in this. It’s a sad, sad shame considering 90% of my “this is why I play video games” stories come from Battlefield games, but that’s the price I’ll have to pay for the fucking atrocious floatiness/lack of responsiveness of Frostbite 2.

    • Duffin says:

      What exactly is it about the Frostbite engline you don’t like? I played alot of BF2 / 2142 and was worried that BC2 would be just a console port but I’m really impressed by it. It doesn’t feel unresponsive at all to me, maybe in the first hour or two of playing but now it feels great, a million times better than MW2.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      I’ve put a hundred hours into it and it still feels like shit. Your man/dude/soldier/avatar/whatever simply does not go where you want him to. His movement is floaty and unresponsive; it takes half a second to get up to full speed or stop and no, it’s not lag. Yes, it may be more realistic than the way CoD4 does it, but this isn’t a soldier sim; I play ArmA2 for that.

      This is a game, and a particularly “arcadey” one at that, so I expect my mandudesoldieravatar to handle smoothly and accurately. MW2 is shit, but it’s a million times less frustrating to just move around in than BC2 because the controls are actually responsive. Really, making a slower-paced game than the retarded sprint-jumping twitchfest that is CoD4/MW2 does not require making handling your basic infantryman as terrible as it is in BC2.

      (Plus BC2 is a pale, pale ersatz of previous Battlefield games but I don’t need to tell you that if you’ve played BF2/2142 and played at least a little of BC2.)

    • Jimbo says:

      I had no such issue. BC2’s handling felt fine to me. That you managed to play 100 hours makes me believe it wasn’t all that much of an issue for you either.

    • Psychopomp says:

      He plays a lot of things that make him angry.

      He’s addicted to grump.

    • blargh says:

      I’ve had the same issues. BC2 has pretty much put me off any multiplayer game DICE is going to be making (can’t find it in me to hate on Mirror’s Edge, unless they screw that up too somehow).

      I was anticipating BF3, but no more. You can bet it’ll be just as shitty a console port as BC2 is.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      @ Jimbo –

      That you managed to play 100 hours makes me believe it wasn’t all that much of an issue for you either.

      Except there are no other new Battlefield games (not that BC2 is a proper one, anyway). Anyone wanting their Battlefield fix with shinier graphics like, say, me would have to play BC2 for that. Which is what I did.

      And since when has playing enough of a game to have a valid opinion on it turned into a point against you being allowed to have a valid opinion of it? Your statement is ridiculous.

    • Dreamhacker says:

      This ^

      The Battlefield series has had it’s ups and downs. As for me, BF2 not quite redefined but evolved the semi-massively online FPS experience from earlier games like Planetside to such a degree that I can’t help but look forward to BF3.

      Rocket-jumping and railgun-sniping? Thanks, but no thanks, we’ve had that since 1993. Heck, probably longer than that.

      I want mobs of soldiers in large billowing battles. I want artillery and aircraft making players run for cover. I want tanks that can steamroll through an enemy line only to be taken out by a foolhardy lone guy with C4. I want the Battlefield experience in video, audio and physics. And unless someone else can make an ambitious enough BF-clone, I’m looking forward to BF3.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      @Dreamhacker — if I’m not mistaken, the people working on Homefront (that “North Korea invades the US” FPS) are the same people who worked on Frontlines: Fuel of War, which was a well-executed modern-day Battlefield clone with a few neat gimmicks of its own that unfortunately fell prey to buggs, cheaters and little to no marketing budget, resulting in it having next to no players. Plus, the only place you can really get it nowadays is on Steam and that version doesn’t work half the time.

      These are the same people who made Desert Combat for the original BF1942, so I don’t think it’d be too much of a stretch to assume Homefront will basically be Frontlines 2. Battlefield might have a saviour yet.

  9. Warduke says:

    That is a pretty cheesy way to pimp a beta (that may or may not happen) in the “limited edition” only. EA’s done that with Command & Conquer games too for the last few years but it seems there is always another way to get into the beta once that time rolls around.

  10. TeeJay says:

    “My Little Pony” meets TF2, Robot Unicorn, Dr Who, Sonic etc…

    http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=gallery%3AAnimeAmy%2F7653076#/d2qr08o

  11. Inno says:

    Talk about a sick marketing move to hawk a terrible game, MoH in this case. As for BF3, if BFBC2 and MoH multiplayer beta, etc are anything to go by i’d rather it be postponed indefinately. DICE really aren’t what they used to be anymore.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      To be entirely fair, DICE have always made slightly shit games that were spawned from half-assedly half-executed brilliant ideas and accidentally stumbled into being good after a while. DICE are exactly what they used to be; it’s just that the stumbling into brilliance thing seems to not be happening yet.

      Honestly, the company motto should be “DICE: Accidentally Good.”

  12. Leper says:

    It also appears to be a 360 beta as you need a gold sub to take part in that offer.
    Which predictably has made a lot of people, who were expecting a pc exclusive, rather angry. I guess it was inevitable though, hopefully it doesn’t affect the pc version adversely.

  13. Skinlo says:

    I’m predicting in 3 years, BF will be just like COD, used to be an amazing series, but gone into consoleland, and will never return.

    • bananaphone says:

      It’s already done that. No Battlefield game has been as good as BF1942.

  14. negativedge says:

    oh hey look, another trumped up macho modern warfare game with a superfluous treadmill design and an unnecessary limited edition, but this time it pimps another macho modern warfare game with a superfluous treadmill design. so excited!

  15. bogie says:

    I have to agree the frostbite engine is made for consoles and is extremely unresponsive for the PC. They need to update the BF2 engine for BF3. If BF3 is on the Frostbite engine and i’m sure it will be as it has been announced for console too then its a crying shame.

    And what ever happened to BF1943? DICE treat us like dicks.

  16. Heliocentric says:

    I remain hopeful. EA MARKETING is not DICE. So I’ll wait and see.

  17. blargh says:

    Thanks, but no thanks. I am no longer interested in any multiplayer game that DICE may want to offer after my experiences with BC2 both in the beta and the retail game, and the next rehashed overpriced piece of shit they’re throwing at us.

    Not interested in any more shit ports of shit games by DICE.

  18. Jabberslops says:

    Do you even remember how horrible the BF2 engine is? The net code is a mess, the physics are a mess and the cone of fire from weapons is the dumbest thing of any fps game I have played (Which is quite a lot because I have played more FPS games than I can remember). It has other issues as well. The only good thing going for it is it can be modded

    It’s a shame really, DICE can’t seem to make a game engine that doesn’t have major issues and because the made frostbite as a console first PC later type of game engine, they have destroyed the ability to mod it easily and within a reasonable time for even professional mod teams.

    I would say, fix frostbite to allow modding like the BF2 engine, but keep the destruction, keep the sound system and replace the physics engine with Physx (Really any physics engine that is better than havok, because havok is seriously ‘showing it’s age’ and how limited and crappy it was to begin with and still is ).

    • Jabberslops says:

      This was a response to bogie about updating the BF2 engine for BF3

    • bogie says:

      Yes BF2 engine has its flaws which is why i said it needs sorting out and upgrading but the vehicle and flight mechanics in BF2 are absolutely spot on. Also the weapon mechanics for vehicles are spot on. It is the infantry part that needs sorting. If they could emulate COD for infantry and keep the same vehicle mechanics, update the graphics, update the front end then they are on to a winner!

  19. RagingLion says:

    “made by a different studio” – bear in mind that DICE is making the multi-player for MoH even if they have nothing to do with the single-player so there is at least a reasonable connection here. Just wanted to point that out.

  20. Kevbo says:

    Wow…. I don’t really know how to react to this. First I agree that add-ons and other exclusive crap that gives advantages is just plain stupid. I don’t mind when they allow pay for cosmetic junk since I don’t really care about my outfit or skin. I also don’t mind when they give things that are normally locked until a higher level. However when they give special, exclusive stuff only to the group who pays more then I have a problem and I only see this getting worse :(

    As for betas becoming the new way to get people to pre-order the expensive special editions and now get access to other games… sigh…. I just don’t like where our industry is heading. Support indies and the modding scene people!!

    Finally for BF3, I normally would jump at the opportunity to play the beta for BF3. However I won’t be supporting MOH, not even for a beta invite. Also I believe BF3 will be using the next version of the Frostbite engine which may be better adapted for PC but still focused on consoles. My hopes are going down the drain with DICE and just about every other major dev (some exceptions). Greed is destroying our industry ever since gaming turned into an industry and not a passionate hobby :(

    Sorry for the rant, long day at work…

  21. Marco Antonio says:

    If will be released on ps3 and 360, fail 100 per cent. B3 should be exclusive on pc.

    • bogie says:

      Agreed but due to the money grabbing it won’t be. It should be made for PC then ported to consoles.

  22. ThePieSpy says:

    There seems to be a typo, I think you meant to but a “C” instead of a “F” there DICE.

  23. Jason Moyer says:

    Surprised by the hate for BC2. I’m running it maxed out on an older system (E7200/8800GT) and it runs well. Having played every BF game to date as well as lots of TF2 and the late 90’s classics (Q/Q3/UT/QTF) I wouldn’t hesitate to call BC2 the best multiplayer shooter I’ve ever played.

  24. Aftershock says:

    That would indicate that the shotguns are of the “work to get or pay to get earlier”, whereas the MP7 is purely “pay to get”. Which is bad, but it’s more than likely a clone of a different weapon.

  25. Coldwave says:

    So many angry men here.

    As far as I remember BF2 had far worse controls and shooting mechanics than BC2.

    Oh and dolphin divers, glitch users, jet campers, exploiters and far more ways to grief.

    Hell, I even liked BF 2142 more than BF2.

    • chimpyang says:

      The 2142 engine is a pimped version of the BF2 engine. You are essentially playing the same ‘core’ mechanics, with different values and a few more features tacked on.

  26. wazups2x says:

    Sadly Battlefield 3 will inevitably be dumbed down for consoles. It will be a miracle if it is as good as Battlefield 2.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      Or it could be great, like BC2 is. Each successive PC Battlefield engine has been better than the previous one, so it would be surprising if that didn’t continue.

    • wazups2x says:

      Yeah, BC2 was good for a console game but I want a true PC game for BF3. BC2 isn’t near as good as BF2. I was hoping BF3 would be the next great PC Battlefield, but now knowing that it is being released on consoles the chances of it being as great as BF2 is very slim.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      BC2 punches BF2 in the kidneys and steals it’s lunch money, imho. I wouldn’t complain if it had larger maps with more vehicles (if they can put together Rush maps in BF3 with the size/scope of BF2’s conquest maps I’d be thrilled) but the game feels so much more balanced to me. I dunno where the complaints of BC2 being console-oriented come from. The game is certainly streamlined compared to BF2, but I think that’s actually created a much better game, regardless of the platform.

    • Premium User Badge

      Chaz says:

      I think some people have the proverbial rose tinted glasses on when thinking about BF2. My memories of BF2 are games plagued by bunny hoppers and circle straffing. I certainly don’t think BC2 is any more “dumbed down” by comparison, if anything what with the destructable scenery I think BC2 is the much tighter game. The best maps in BF1942 and BF2 were always the smaller ones with good choke points and CP’s which covered each other. The large BF2 maps just used to decend into a chaotic mess of small uncoordinated skirmishes spreadout all over the map, which I always found rather unsatisfying.

  27. Spacegirl says:

    Is there anyway Medal of Honor is going to be any good? I just can’t see it happening…IMO at the series’ best it was “an okay shooter.”

    This is such a lame ploy to get ppl to buy the limited edition. Who the hell would get the limited edition to a Medal of Honor game otherwise? NOT A LOT OF PPL.

    OH MAN I CANT WAIT!!! IM SUCH A MEDAL OF HONOR NERD! I REALLY ENJOYED THE LAST LIKE 4 OF THEM!! I CANT WAIT FOR THE ART BOOK LOLOL.

  28. chimpyang says:

    Hence why mods such as FH2, BF2 Pirates and Project Reality – amongst many many other mods, have made the game last.

    Although, if this is available for consoles such as the 360/PS3, then my expectations for the game have taken a nosedive.

  29. Tei says:

    BF3? make it, I will buy it, and millions of other dudes.

    YEA, WE KNOW WILL BE A PURE PC GAME FOR THE PC CROWN, but make it anyway, please. Somehow lure the execs to think is the next MW2, but better.

  30. Pmeie says:

    they already did the “we are blatantly giving pre-orderers an advantage from the get-go” with bfbc2, in case you missed it, rps. i dunno if they did it before that.

    they have a weapon unlock system in the game with which you unlock better weapons (albeit mostly slightly better, but things like medic defib paddles to revive teammates are pretty significant) so it’s just an extension of that attitude.

    • Pmeie says:

      oh but yeah you unlock it later anyway as you play, all the stuff you get as a pre-orderer. but still, people who pay more get the advantage first up ;P

  31. Alex says:

    Давно ждал этой новости, будем надеяться, что BF3 будет лучше приспособлена для проведения турниров нежели BFBC2.

  32. Sidorovich says:

    Get out of here Stalker!

  33. ChaK_ says:

    Multiplat saddens me so much, I feel like crying.

    I was waiting some kind of BF2 revival, I guess I’ll have something else.
    They’ve already limited map size and numbers of player on console, I can’t see it being bigger.

    and AFAIK limited edition will ahve the same price, just like the BC2’s one

  34. Skurmedel says:

    Yes, Motörhead and BF 1942 were just accidently good… they just smoked some pot and started coding and designing and behold, a good game. No skill or ideas whatsoever. For BF3 it’s rumoured they will smear their eyes with sodium and cover their armpits in bhut joloka.

    • Skurmedel says:

      Alas my reply was directed to the void.

    • Premium User Badge

      Chaz says:

      Well lets hope that it doesn’t bring you to the attention of the ancient Elder things and other unspeakable horrors that lurk out there.

  35. Rubs says:

    More terrible dumbed-down-for-consoles bullshit(aka BC2). OH JOY.
    2005: 64 players online on gigantic battlefields. Multiple planes and helicopters on a freaking carrier. Mods. AMAZING.
    2010: 32 players online on poorly designed singleplayer maps. LOL. GARBAGE. Fuck off, DICE. Cant wait to see the next thing you directly rip off from Call of Duty.

  36. MacSquirrely says:

    What a bad choice of game to pack a beta for BF3, a beta of a game which is more or less the game your playing! Just Bullshit

  37. Skurmedel says:

    Indeed I tremble whenever I let myself fantasize about the unspeakable horrors of the emptiness.

    Nice prints by the way.

  38. Carra says:

    “gives players a tactical gameplay advantage on day one”

    Reading that gave me the same reaction: what?

    A limited edition should just contain a few extras. Add a cd with the games music, a few pretty pictures, a cute ingame pet, a making of cd. But for gods sake, nothing that gives them an advantage in game.

    Why would I want to play a game where those who paid more kick my ass?

  39. Initialised says:

    So this is EA’s evil plot to start charging for demo content: bundle it with a ‘Special Edition’

  40. Son says:

    I don’t think you’ll find anyone bashing BC2 outright. It may be a good game in it’s own right, but toting it as a true installment in the “Battlefield” series is like running a stock car in a Formula 1 race.

  41. Araxiel says:

    Great Scott, where the heck am I? Or rather, when…
    I have to quickly get those 1.21 jiggawatts to go back to my time where betas where still something that where used to test a game’s capabilities using a big and diverse audience.