Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Battlefield Bad Company BETA Impressions

Higher quality version here:

Finally got my hands on a key for the Battlefield Bad Company BETA.

A few impressions:

I'm really enjoying the BETA so far, it's very fun to play, with the spectacular explosions, the graphics, while not on the same level as Gears Of War it is up there. One thing I did notice about the graphics, is there isn't a huge leap in quality if you play it in HD compared to SD. I found this when I recorded the footage, I have to use SD to record my footage as my capture device doesn't support HD, and I have to say that I forgot I was playing in SD very quickly, then going back to HD I wasn't exactly stunned like in most other games on the 360.

Saying this, I always believe gameplay > graphics. This isn't saying the graphics are bad, they just won't blow you away. Some dark areas are a little too dark and with no ability to change the brightness in game (let's hope this is fixed), you're going to have to modify the brightness on your TV. Quite annoying. Luckily, the brightness issues aren't as bad as some will have you believe.

More impressions will be added as I play the game more.

Update 1: Just finished with a game on the level Oasis. The map is pretty impressive, you will play the map once one day, then the next day it'll feel like you're playing an entirely different map. The map is wide open, with plenty of oppertunities to snipe, ambush or just go for a head on assault.

I briefly had a go with one of the helicopters, which I can't say I enjoyed too much, but having them as an addition is something you can't really complain about. The controls can be a bit awkward at first, and not as loose as Battlefield 2's helicopter controls. You can definately tell the controls and feel for the helicopter have been changed from Battlefield 2 quite drastically, it feels much more stiff and the interface in the cockpit is quite... Well, arcady I suppose is the only way to explain it.

I also had a go in one of the tanks, the controls for the ground based vehicles are quite awkward to start off with, with the left trigger accelerating and the left bumper braking/reversing, it doesn't seem very natural at first, but as it is with anything, you get used to it. The tanks handle similarly to Battlefield 2 on the PC, and are destroyed similarly. If you really want a chance destroying one of these tanks, you're either going to want to be in a helicopter, another tank, or be very good with the C4. The Demolition kit's rocket launcher doesn't seem to do anything to the tanks, I have heard they take around 3 rockets, but unfortunately every attempt I made at getting 3 rockets shot, was ended prematurely, as it's very hard to get those shots off without being spotted and killed.

That leads me on to the spotting system. It seems from my experience, enemies are automatically spotted when you merely glance over them with your crosshairs. It makes finding enemies a little too easy, and stops you from really sneaking. It is almost like having a hack enabled, being able to see where every enemy is as an orange dot. It would be more suitable if the enemies were located only on the radar, and not actually visible as orange dots in your vision. I'm not sure who came up with this idea, but I hope it's removed for the final build.

The weapons all feel relatively good to fire. The animations for them being quite average, and the feel of them not exactly pulling you into the experience, with you screaming "Whoooo it feels like I'm shooting a real gun!", but it doesn't feel completely naff either.

The final thing I will cover for now, is the sound. It is top notch, some of the best sounds you'll find on the console right now. Distant explosions and gunshots sound realistic, and blood curdling screams and nearby explosions that make your ears ring, sound crisp and clear. One glitch with the sound though, is some of the sounds cutting off mid animation. An example is, you will begin reloading your rifle, the first clicks and clangs of the weapon's mechanisms can be heard, but all of a sudden you won't be able to hear the final sounds, such as the magazine entering the magazine bay. (Interupted for rant: In the unlock screen, the magazine size is written down as "Clip Size". You would have thought if somebody was going to make a military game, they'd at least research the difference between a magazine and a clip first. Put it this way, the only weapon I have come accross to use a clip in this game, is the revolver)

One gripe I would like to add, is some of the weapons not utilizing the ironsights. The LMG's and Assault Rifles both go into the ironsights when you hold down the left trigger, however the Shotguns and the SMG's don't. Instead, these guns just come slightly closer to the screen and the screen zooms a bit. I really don't understand why all the guns don't use ironsights, it's just inconsistens, and a pin in an ironsight will give much better accuracy than a crosshair on the screen. Hopefully this is just unfinished code, and all the weapons will have ironsights in the finished build, but to be honest, I'm not holding my breath.

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