By Sanryd 18 Comments
Disclaimer: I've never played Bad Company 2, or any other battlefield game, and thought I should mention it due to so many people drawing comparisons between that and this beta.
I knew the beta for non-VIPs didn't start until tomorrow, but I thought I'd give it a shot, and to my surprise, I got right in on the PC thanks to EA's little CNC4 beta key exploit. Loaded up a quickmatch, and got stuck in the Kabul City Ruins map with a couple other people with a banner across the top of the screen that says, "Waiting for 4 players," as I'm sure some of you've already seen. After about 5 minutes of running around pointlessly, I decided to try the server option instead. There, I found a list of servers that would become invisible when I tried to scroll through the list, forcing me to choose from the first page of them. That was perfectly OK though, because they were the only ones with more than 1 or 2 players.
Got into a game on Helmand Valley, and immediately got shot when I spawned. "Great start!" I thought to myself. I noticed that happening a few times during other matches, and while I like the option to spawn right into the heart of the action, it can be a little frustrating at times. I've heard people complain about the lack of kickback on the guns, and while I see their point, I thought it was great. The overall feel of the movement and shooting feels really satisfying, and the lack of kickback just makes it better, in my opinion. I've always had a thing for satisfying kills, which is why I love MW2's little "+XP" that shows up when you kill someone. This was even better. While it may not seem like an important point, I thought the XP indicators that pop up when you get a kill are really great. Especially when you get a kill that comes with extra XP for a headshot, defensive kill, etc.
I've always preferred shooters on consoles, so I decided to plug in my 360 gamepad, and try it out. Turns out the right analog stick has such a high sensitivity, regardless of the sensitivity setting under the options menu, that even slightly touching it causes the camera to spin at an extremely high speed. I did some searching, and found that other people have been having this issue as well with no known solution, so I used Xpadder to replace the mouse movement with the right analog stick. Worked fine, but I obviously noticed the lack of precision I was getting with the mouse. This led to me attempting to play with the gamepad in my left hand using the left analog for movement, RB for reloading, and left trigger for crouch, and the mouse for aiming. It's a weird way to play the game, but it worked perfectly! I enjoyed it much more, and did better, when I was playing this way. Just try it! I think many people would be pleasantly surprised, if not just surprised at the fact that it's at all playable.
I'd say, regardless of it's similarities to MW2 and Bad Company 2, it's a really solid experience. I don't play a ton of PC shooters, but the amount of posts in other forums I've seen where one person after another is cancelling their pre-order really puzzles me. I'm definitely going to play a ton more of it before it ends, and I know I'll end up buying it when it's released. That only question now is, which platform? Before I played the beta, if you would've asked me which version I'd be getting, I'd have definitely said the 360 version, but after playing with my convoluted gamepad/mouse method, I'm starting to have second thoughts!