Ahh, EA. Where to start? Oh, I know. I only own this game because I bought SimCity during its chaotic release week, and for putting up with that debacle (as if I had a choice), I was rewarded with an already-finished game that actually works—in theory.
“We have lost the objective. We have lost the objective! I REPEAT, WE HAVE LOST THE OBJECTIVE!”
I’ll give you a quick backstory of my history with the Battlefield franchise: I loved BF: 1942, liked BF: Vietnam less, and BF:2 would not even function properly on my PC thanks to copy protection and whatever other opening-week nonsense that was happening those years ago. So, given my experience with SimCity and earning a free game for it, I figured I’d give the series another go. Straight away, the game tells me it requires Origin to be played. Well, that’s fine, I already installed EA’s inbred cousin of VALVe’s Steam. I get the game downloaded and patched and ready to play, and click the game in Origin, and it launches my web browser. Wha?
“Um, I just wanted to, uh, confirm that the sighting of the tank is, uh, true, over.”
So, the web browser opens with no explanation or tutorial of its UI or how to actually join a server, so I just click the big “Quick Play” button and wait. This causes Origin to pop up and “sync” the two web services, which makes me wonder: why on Earth do I need to use Origin to do this? Or, alternatively, why couldn’t this game—which requires Origin—actually use Origin to, oh I don’t know, allow me to join my friend’s game, form a group, or simply join a server? The game executable opens in a window, and, if given a chance, will sometimes remain minimized for hours while I get distracted by the internet—diverting gaming hours into the endless nothings of online browsing.
“The enemy has taken all the objectives, I repeat, the enemy has taken ALL the objectives, what the FUCK are we going to do about this, guys?’”
Admittedly, part of that is my problem. But only part! Forgive me for expecting a AAA-title to have it’s own server client UI in-game that doesn’t require me to download a plug-in for my web browser, let alone have a web browser. I just don’t see why Origin couldn’t have handled that, or the game executable itself. OK, this review gets better, just hold on.
“Be advised, we have taken the objective.”
The game, once I finally got into it, was quite confusing—you get dropped into the thick of it with some puny starting weapons and no instructions. Meanwhile, your enemies have been mastering the maps over the course of years, hiding behind a specific bush or spying and killing you through a crack in some distant concrete wall. But this is nothing but a pittance—once the adrenaline starts flowing, you start running around, shooting your friends and figuring out which people are enemies, and the game starts to entertain. Massively.
“Uh, I just spotted an enemy tank; he’s a big fucker, over.”
The respawning system is ingenious. The maps are expansive and varied, with interesting things to do and see in each of them. The weapons and their upgrades are very fun to customize and unlock. However, it’s frustrating to use weapons in co-op that are unavailable online—even to unlock—without paying an extra $20. I find that to be offensive, especially in this multiplayer-centric game, but the weapons they do have available seem more than adequate to counter the more advanced, cooler weapons. It is a fun game, but I don’t see what will keep me interested beyond the tried-and-tired Call of Duty: Modern Warfare unlock system. All-in-all, it seems as if DICE has made a good, solid game that EA has bogged down with their typical anti-consumer policies.