Here I’ve compiled 5 of the things I hate the most about BF3. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Battlefield 3. But there are just some things that have made me want to punch EA in the face more than once. Most of them are little things, but it’s the little things that count, right? (Or so my mother says). For example, through every incarnation of Battlefield, they change some great things we’re all used to and loved Why? For the love of all that’s holy, WHY?!
In no particular order and without further ado, here we go:
1. In previous versions, you had multiple views when you were in a vehicle. You could look towards yourself and see what’s behind you (great when you’re in a jet), chase view, and far away chase. Now there is only first person and chase. Why were these not included in BF3?
2. Why can’t I call for a medic anymore when I’m dying? In previous versions, clicking on the left mouse button after you died would let you call for a medic two or three times. This was great for squad awareness because as a Medic, I could hear them, then head in their direction. Now all I have, is a tiny, stupid “revive me” icon that, with shit-tons of luck, I can hope to randomly come across while under fire from a chopper, a tank, a sniper, and random infantry.
3. Now this next one may be a bit picky, bit it’s not. Because that’s how I roll, all oxymoronic and shit. I’m talking about ejecting outside the map boundaries.
I know they want to keep the boundaries of the map tight. Some of the maps in previous BF incarnations had huge amounts of play area, far away from the fighting areas. There, a sniper would sit, 5 mountain tops away, picking people off. So, ok, I get it. Make the map boundaries tighter and keep everyone in a rather close proximity to each other. But what about while flying, and I especially mean jets in this situation? They need a lot more space to fly and maneuver and dog fight. EA took care of that. You have a very generous map area in which you have more than enough room.
But…. Have you ever ejected while flying out over this crossed-out red zone? You are perfectly within the boundaries of flying and you need to eject because your plane’s health is at 10% and dropping fast. You press eject and now find yourself with a 10 second countdown timer telling you to get back into the playing area or EA will kill you. What’s worse is when you’re flying over the actual legal play area and then eject. Isn’t it fun watching your body scream through the air at 300 miles per hour only to be able to open your chute once you’ve passed into the dreaded red zone of death? I mean, WTF? What’s better…letting that jackass behind you get the kill or committing involuntary suicide? You tell me.
Now, I know why they did this…so people wouldn’t fly far away, pop out, and then snipe from outer space. But a simple fix would be, once you eject outside of the controlled play zone, you would get “thrown” to the edge of the playable map. From there, it would let you pull your chute and go off like normal. But nooooo, that would make too much sense to EA. When I’m on the highway to the danger zone, don’t fuck with my lifesaving skills! Either that, or let me target=”_blank”>eject like Goose and have there be some purpose and meaning to my death.
4. In campaign mode, I gotta ask, is this a game or a poorly hidden U.S. Military recruiting tool? While playing in Campaign mode, I couldn’t help but notice the not-so-subtle “product” placement done by the military. I’m specifically talking about the cut-scene of the F/A-18 section.
The scene starts off with you below decks talking to your pilot (you’re the navigator). As your conversation concludes and you follow him up on deck, it seems like EA is using this time to show off their graphical and design capabilities. This is emphasized by the fact that you have no control over your character. You can look around, but EA makes you move to follow the pilot. As you come up on the flight deck, you have an expansive view of a U.S. Navy carrier group in the middle of a vast ocean with rolling waves during an overcast day. You are then slowly made to walk to your jet, and while doing so you get to observe the awesome coolness of the battle group, the carrier, the personnel, and the jets. It’s like I’m in the real Top Gun movie! :/ Once you’re seated in the jet, you MUST help the pilot do the preflight check of ailerons, elevators, and rudder. Are they working, he asks you, as he moves them. Then you are instructed to close the canopy and it’s game away.
It’s somewhat interesting and cool and completely pointless. Are they going for “realism” here? If so, then why don’t they also have me clean the machine guns like I would do in the real world? Or maybe introduce some food just like in Minecraft, because, this is real, and real people eat, right? No, that’d be stupid, I can hear you all saying.
So why then, make me go through this preflight crap? It’s a game, and unless this is a flight simulator, there is absolutely no need for me to go through a preflight checklist. Yeah, “so what?” you ask, what’s wrong with that? Well, that’s an entire other essay, but suffice it to say, PTSD, civilian casualties, and soldier suicide are also real. And if you’re going to promote how “cool“ the military is, then tell all sides of the story. Also show how brutal, inhumane, and disgusting the business of killing people you disagree with is. This part of the Campaign especially, romanticizes and glorifies war while at the same time hiding from you the true costs and outcomes, just like walking into a recruiters office; they promise you the world, but forget your name when you come back with no legs and a disfigured face.
In an article from kotaku.com.au regarding a panel on militarization of entertainment, Captain Russel Shilling, a “consultant at the defense centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury [who] advised on the America’s Army video game that served as both a recruitment tool and a representation of an actual soldier’s role and responsibility in combat, [said]: “What I’d like to see from professional game community is what you don’t see [now]; we don’t see psychological health issues,” Shilling notes. “Instead of bleeding to death, maybe we could see the effect of forces deploying too much. If we could get professional groups on that platform it would be a big help for us.” It may help remove the stigma of seeking psychological help, he said.
Unless you’re going to make the whole game “real,” don’t waste my time with recruitment tool cut scenes and annoying, stupid, not fun motions I MUST go through just to play the game.
5. Three other small issues that I’d like to quibble about: First, I miss the commander option and who doesn’t have fond memories of jeeps landing on your head? Second, from the original BF, I miss being able to drive battleships! Some nice ship and/or watercraft fighting would be a nice addition.
And third, the amount of unlockables, while impressive and fun, makes it very hard for players who don’t buy the game on day 1 to compete fairly. Going up against opponents who’ve unlocked everything while I have nothing is quite lame. However, worse than all that is the map content. When I bought Battlefield 1942 and then Battlefield 2, the game came with ALL the maps! Karkand, Gulf of Oman, Wake Island, etc. (I know BF 1942 was set in WWII and these are not those maps. I’m talking about the principle). Yes, there were add-on packs later, but the main maps all came with the game when you bought it and the add on packs were for things like the European theater. Exciting “side games” if you will. Now, after I’ve spent my hard-earned 50 bucks, I get 4 or five maps and have to pay, yet again, for the “rest” of the game? I’m not the only one to think of EA as a giant vacuum cleaner sucking the money out of our pockets: