Easy Now: Battlefield Play4Free Is Out

By Jim Rossignol on April 6th, 2011 at 12:25 pm.

Free to manshoot!
Easy Studios’ free manshooter Battlefield Play4Free is in open beta now, which means that anyone can play… for free! Hurrah for that. I’ve been playing for a few days now, and will soon post CRITICAL JUDGEMENT on it, sat, as I am, on the throne of judgement that we now use to judge things critically. I’ll be investigating its guns, free and paid for, as well as looking up its nose. Then, and only then, can we be sure of its worth. Here are some initial impressions: Argh, you can’t change any settings in game! Also: hmm, it’s all a bit locked down with these skill trees ‘n stuff. And: there’s lag about, and it really needs that server browser (which is coming, apparently). Fourthly, I totally shot some dudes. I am invincible!

Anyone else in there?

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41 Comments »

  1. Farkeman says:

    its extremely clunky and glitchy atm , hard to play fps like that =/
    thats because its still in beta ,obviously.

  2. SquareWheel says:

    Hopefully better than Battlefield Heroes was? Tried playing that one but was bombarded with micro transactions – promptly quit.

    • Delusibeta says:

      Microtransactions were present and questionable in the betas, unfortunitely. Not quite to the levels of Battlefield Heroes (or TF2) yet, that said.

    • Baka says:

      Besides the underwhelming FPS experience itself, this was what permanently scarred me away after my first match in the beta.
      The second I left the battlefield I was asked if I would be interested in upgrading my 19 dmg gun for a 21 dmg gun for such and such amount of peggles. After quitting the game a form asked me if I and why I didn’t spend a lot of money instantly in their upgrade shop. In the beta itself!
      I know about the different payment methods to finance such games and all that and maybe I just have to adjust to this kind of gaming experience, but it was really off-putting for me.
      The gaming and payment parts of the game were just unbalanced in my opinion. It could work theoretically, as I put a few quid into League of Legends, but the EA method (Heroes, 4free, Dragon Age, etc) is just way too agressive for me.
      Here’s hoping FireFall gets it right.

    • RiptoR says:

      @Baka: wait till you see what EA did with DLC in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12. It’s a verifiable attrocity…

  3. BrendanJB says:

    Its good for free, but I would not pay for it. I’ve been playing the beta for the last few weeks and yeah, it’s something that you can just open up and shoot people in.

    Use credits from killing people to buy weapons which disappear from your inventory after 1-3 days depending on how many credits you use. You buy them with real money to keep them.

    You also have to pay to have new soldier slots, so you only get to play as one class unless you pay more money. The GUI is disgusting and inventory management is messy at best. You walk about 5cm a second, people who pay more than you get better equipment, nobody works as a team, it takes 3-4 rockets to destroy vehicles, etc.

    Again, for free, it’s decent, but don’t go in expecting anything but extremely average gameplay and quality.

  4. MajorManiac says:

    For me the big question is – “If I already own Battlefield 2 with all the addons, is this worth playing instead? If so what does it do better?”

    • BrendanJB says:

      There answer to your questions are “no”, and “nothing”, respectively.

    • PureUncut says:

      Play for free is like a terrifying nightmare.

      You’re most certainly in a place that resembles Karkand but it definitely is not Karkand. You slowly bounce around the place like you’re weighed down in treacle whilst getting more terrified of the facsimile of the place and people you remember from your past. You get more upset then try to leave, only you cannot because you’re asked why you have not paid the toll keeper.

      You then realise you’re at school and not wearing any underwear. Your teeth start to fall out, you fall off a cliff and are chased down a corridor by a monster.

      It’s only after suffering every bad dream you’ve ever had that you wake up in a sweat and uninstall the .exe.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      It is oddly dreamlike, you’re right.

    • Barnaby says:

      I don’t see how free to play games will ever really work, especially in FPS games. Either you pay money for useless aesthetic items, which seems iffy whether or not its enough to finance ongoing support of a game, or you pay money for items that are actually useful in the game and introduce balance problems. Either way I don’t like either of these options.

      While there are still plenty of free to play games on my radar I have very little hope that one will ever find a balance that doesn’t ruin the gameplay and be enough money to finance the game support.

      As a side note, I think hats RUINED TF2. /me puts on flame resistant hat

    • rayne117 says:

      @Barnaby “As a side note, I think hats RUINED TF2. /me puts on flame resistant hat”

      What is your response to this statement: “I understand the hats are only cosmetic and the new weapons that have been introduced are all weapons that can be found free from playing the game (with a few exceptions, but these weapons are the same variant of a findable gun) and are balanced correctly to be able to fight against default weapons”?

    • Barnaby says:

      @Rayne
      I imagine my problem is less with the balancing issues (if any) caused by the weapons/weapon sets but more by the fact that the game never was very balanced. As they introduced more and more weapons for the classes the dynamics of gameplay changed as well, and yet sufficient balances were not implemented. I think they did a pretty piss poor job of balancing the engineer relative to the other classes especially.

      My complaints also have to do with the player base and available servers. There are usually two types of games, 1) games where neither team is using any measure of teamwork and its just TDM with some objective nobody cares about or 2) games where there is one team that is focused on the objective and another team full of morons trying to simply play TDM. For the second case this devolves into rage quitting on the failing team and the winning team continually getting more and more stacked.

      My problem isn’t necessarily with the hats/weapons themselves, but the success of the hat store and the idiot playerbase that continues to play the game for hats while completely ignoring the balance issues of the game. I have this awful feeling that the success of the hat store is going to only reinforce these sorts of ideas and then its microtransactions in CSS or god knows what else. Many decisions Valve has made as of late have me worried, the main things being bringing Steam to Mac and creating a version of Steam for TV’s. If you look at the amount of updates they’ve released for all the Source games they ported to Mac, they must have been spending quite a bit of resources on that. I know about the way Valve staff works with small groups of people on different projects but I don’t think that changes the fact that those are resources that could be spent elsewhere, such as a new CS, L4D2 campaigns, or HL2 Ep3 or any other number of things that would actually benefit PC gamers.

      I know I kind of got off track and sorry for the rant, but it’s something that has irritated me for quite a while. For the record, I’ve been a Valve/Steam fan for a long time.

    • Davie says:

      My main problem with TF2′s glut of items is that it’s ruined the aesthetic of the game. No longer do you have teams of stylized mercenaries doing battle with gear that evokes Bond movies and 60s pulp stories–now it’s fat quarterbacks with bear claws fighting samurai cosplayers with oddly-shaped rocket launchers and black stereotypes in hand-to-hand combat with milk deliverymen in a claymore-fish duel. It’s devolved into complete absurdity, and while I normally appreciate that kind of spastic randomness, you can have too much of a good thing. TF2 looks like a clown show now.

      But enough of that off-topic nonsense. In terms of Play4Free, I think I’ll give it a miss, because I’m happy with BF2 and Heroes was god-awful, so I don’t really trust EA’s ability to create a decent successor in the same vein.

  5. Flappybat says:

    It is lighter on content than Battlefield 2, making it particularly pointless. You could get the old game for a few pounds with more content without paying any extra.

    It only took me ten minutes to feel that FPS games had moved on a ton from BF2 and I would be better off playing Bad Company 2 than this game with it’s huge flat open areas.

  6. Lobotomist says:

    Its not bad.
    For what i understood free (F2P) webby version of Battlefield 2

    No server browser or way to see your ping though. Thats problem

  7. Flaringo says:

    This is just terrible. If I spend 44 euro on the currency you buy, I think I can buy all the weapons and gear for 2 classes. Might as well just go buy Battlefield 2, it should be a lot cheaper at this point, there’s a few good mods for it, more content and it plays better.

  8. trooperdx3117 says:

    Tried to play it but for some reason the mouse cursor on the menu dissapeared so I didnt know if I was selecting anything. I hear though they have a system that requires you to level up before your allowed to fly helicopters and planes, I think I can get behind that

    • RiptoR says:

      It’s a known bug with the fullscreen mode. I’m actually surprised they still haven’t fixed it…

      (or did you simply play the beta a couple of months ago?)

  9. yhalothar says:

    I’m playing it, it’s pretty fun, but I don’t see the point of paying at all – I’d rather buy BF3 when it comes out, have a (possibly) better game and pay much less in the long run. I

    • er910 says:

      I really don’t see the point of this game either. At least Heroes feels different. Playing this just makes me want to play BF2.

  10. dignifieddevil says:

    does not work at all over here in the Asia land. Came up to a pink screen at a local pc bar. might add that battlefield heroes was a lag fest when it worked here too so I don’t think DICE / EA / whoever runs this stuff is getting the servers out for us players in the East. which is a shame because a free to play FPS like that could provide serious challenges to the current special force monopoly of online fpses in Asia.

  11. McDan says:

    I will totally be killing some dudes. Look out for the guy that’s in your base…

  12. Sorbicol says:

    The fact you got this to run I would take as some sort of victory. I gave up after repeated attempts got me no further than the loading screen. Still that was the closed beta.

  13. Jad says:

    I know that they are different types of games, but if I’m looking for some quick pick-up-and-play free shooting, Quake Live really fulfills all of my needs.

    If I’m going to be playing a more substantial, team-based or class-based game, well then I have a bunch of games I’ve already paid for, from L4D to TF2 to MoH and of course BF:BC2.

    I guess an important question for anyone who’s played this: how long does it take to load — to get into a game? Because if its any longer than the few seconds for Quake Live, then I might as well pull up a “real” game instead.

  14. Bodylotion says:

    It’s almost as addicting and fun as Battlefield 2 is/was and it’s free so it sounds like a win/win situation. Unfortunately glitches, a flickering screen and bugs are annoying the hell out of u. There’s a skill tree you can earn points and add them to any skill u like for example ‘grenade throwing’ which is pretty fun. You can earn new weapons by playing the game in which you’ll receive credits, you then have to buy the guns and can use them for 1 or 3 days. If you have enough money to spend you can also buy the weapons and/or clothes forever but im not sure why anyone would do that.

    Overall; if you’re short on cash try this game it’s pretty fun but still buggy in beta stage.

  15. dvesey20 says:

    I played Battlefield 2 for over 1000 hours in the first year of release, mostly as assault and usually as a squad leader. On some maps my team on average had a 10% higher chance of winning. I have played COD4/CS (over 100 hours each), Combat Arms, and AVA.

    This game has the elements that made BF2 fun, except for the squads/prone/numerous minor things. I do not miss the lack of a server browser [so far]. It is faster paced, but not as fast paced as COD. Unlike COD, you have to stop and crouch to fire accurately in BFP4F. It does NOT have BF2′s load times. It does have a WoW-like talent tree, which I think is neat for giving you the feel of progression, but is otherwise completely unnecessary and maybe counter-productive in a competitive first person shooter.

    I’ve been playing P4F for a few weeks now and I definitely expect to purchase some Battlefunds (currency for microtransactions) after another month or so of play. The very best weapons are available for real currency only, but the 2nd best ones can be earned in game for about 1-2 hours of play a day (or purchased outright with Battlefunds).

    I would say this game can be “pay 2 win.” But first person shooters are so reliant on “skill” that in most situations it doesn’t matter. It is “pay 2 win” in that if you run across a identically skilled player in an exactly level playing situation [other than what the other person purchased], you will die, and he may have 1-10% of his health left. That said this game is a lot of fun without paying anything at all.

    I really don’t get people who assume that all microtransaction games are bad, because they assume that the monetization method itself makes the game bad. This kind of thinking isn’t that different from racism or any other kinds of discrimination.

    My biggest gripe in the game so far is the playerbase. I think it’s mostly due to the playerbase changing since I played BF2. The overwhelming number of people are campers and don’t try to capture flags. They don’t understand when to flank and when to go straight in. Most don’t put down ammo boxes or medkits (no teamwork mentality). They don’t understand that you can’t move and shoot a weapon accurately at the same time. I enjoyed BF2 mostly because most of the people were of similar skill. As it is in P4F, I typically have a 3:1 to 10:1 kill to death ratio, and am almost always the #1 player overall. I’m really not that great of a player. I think it just says a lot more of the player base.

    Why play this game instead of BC2, BF2, or BF3? Because you can play indefinitely for free. Because so far it’s very fast to get into a populated server. Because it’s very fast to update/download/get into the game. Because it will continue to be played because of it’s low cost to entry.

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      I really don’t get people who assume that all microtransaction games are bad, because they assume that the monetization method itself makes the game bad. This kind of thinking isn’t that different from racism or any other kinds of discrimination.

      …I don’t even…

    • MajorManiac says:

      “Why play this game instead of BC2, BF2, or BF3? Because you can play indefinitely for free.”

      I think the problem with this concept is that most (but not all) customers who will want to play a battlefield game will already own one of these titles.

    • Xocrates says:

      @MajorManiac: which leaves out the millions that might be interested but don’t feel like shelling out for a full game.

      I agree that Play4Free biggest flaw may be redundancy, but it may be an entry point for many players into the full priced entries, and I think EA is aware of that.

      i.e. it’s a glorified demo for the franchise

    • Nick says:

      you can get BF2 for such a small amount of money its not even funny, its also still vastly superior to this awful thing.

  16. Heliocentric says:

    FOR GODS SAKE

    I need to make it clear, i’m not a free to play hater. I even had fun during apb(but i’m not one of the people who swore it was perfect).
    I put hundreds of hour into company of heroes online, early on in battlefield heroes i bought pcgamer just for the points card (i was also curious to see how the mag was doing in general.) and had a ball playing as a commando and employing the holy trinity of sniper rifle, ied and knife to great effect…
    Then with little warning one day they starting adding guns that are genuinely better and cost so many points you can’t hope to afford them by playing. I even went back to try jet packs, and then realised it was a pay for toy.
    This is the same publisher who let paying players fly in an fps and argued it didn’t effect balance!
    But, i was willing to try this out, maybe they learned.

    The first screen i see is offering better guns. WTF

  17. Robin_G says:

    Very annoying that the only way to permanently own a weapon is to buy it. Even if the the credit cost was exponentially larger, I would have preferred that.

  18. Nick says:

    I advise anyone to either buy BF2 or wait for a suitably low cost version of BC2 instead.

  19. mkultra says:

    I love microtransaction games. Those little toys and hats are much like the cigarettes I habitually buy. I purchase them frequently, but separately, so while I’m emptying my wallet over the course of time, it doesn’t feel like it at all! And, they are cancerous! Fantastic!

  20. Syrion says:

    The “price” for “buying” better guns for 1-3 days is actually not very high, so you can easily get some better gear for a day and then gain the cost back while playing for an hour or two.

    It’s a fun game, but I see absolutely no point in paying any money for it. It is a stripped down version of BF2, which itself is very cheap by now, the much more modern BF:BC2 is not much more expensive, while the hopefully vastly superior BF3 is already around the corner.
    I had a lot of fun with BF:Heroes in the beginning, as it was quite a different, charmingly more lighthearted approach to the concept, but to me already now BF:P4F is a most forgettable game. Fun for a few free hours, but pointless beyond that.

    And that name… ugh

  21. Qwentle says:

    The lack of server browser was what did it for me. I foolishly chose a medic and grabbed a shotgun (my general setup from BC2). The majority of the time I tried to enter a map it put me in Oman, which is almost totally based on long range encounters and vehicles. With no squad spawning to keep you with a team, I felt like my class choice had absolutely no reason, and I couldn’t change (even if I had purchased an extra slot, I couldn’t have changed in game anyway). Other than that the game seemed pretty solid for a F2P shooter (I’ve been playing a lot of them recently, and BFP4F is definately the most polished I’ve come across so far). The HUD especially is very pretty.

    Overall though if I am going to play a BF game I’ll almost certainly boot up BC2 or BF2 rather than play this again.

  22. Terics says:

    I only own the PS3 version of Bad Company 2. This game felt like a demo. The micro-transactions don’t bother me since I’ve played lots of “FREE2PLAY” games. I see it as the developers trying to get money. Its a fun little game I might use to get my non PC gaming friends into. Since at this point those who don’t have BF2 probably wont buy it with Bad Company 2 and BF3 on the horizon.

  23. Dances to Podcasts says:

    “as well as looking up its nose.”

    Good. You shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

  24. alilsneaky says:

    It’s no good.

    They changed it so you can only play 1 class (last time I checked it was two, before that it was all 4).

    It’s way laggy, movement sucks, way less maps, weapons rebalanced to be like in cod.
    Paying players get a serious advantage.

    Just spend 10 dollars on battlefield 2 , it’s ENDLESSLY much better.

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