Battlefield 3 beta Xbox 360 report

While there's no arguing the power of a gaming PC for Battlefield 3, playing the beta on the Xbox 360 proves the game holds its own on modern consoles and an HDTV.

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Concerns over the drop off from the PC to the console versions of Battlefield 3 have grown as the game’s October 25 release draws ever closer. Visual differences, lower player count online, slower framerate, and the limitations of playing with a controller sparked the most heated debates. All those thoughts were certainly in my head as the Battlefield 3 multiplayer beta downloaded to my Xbox 360. They were summarily forgotten before my first match was even half over.

Battlefield 3 on console, at least Xbox 360, hits everything that had me excited about Battlefield 3. It looks and sounds amazing, and creates an unrivaled sense of the heat of the moment in firefights. (For a look at the game in action on 360 see the video below from our earlier story Battlefield 3 video shows off Xbox 360 gameplay) Does it do that quite as well as PC? No, of course not; a reasonably capable gaming PC will be able to run Battlefield 3 at higher resolution, with better graphical effects than its entertainment center competition. That, however, takes nothing away from the quality it puts on the screen of an HDTV.

From the moment I hit the park area in which the opening fight of the beta map takes place the near photorealistic environments, clean and natural lighting, dramatic smoke and bits of debris in the air, and, lest it be overlooked, amazingly immersive sound effects all came flooding through. I played this map on PC at E3 and for all intents and purposes it felt the same. As it had then, the game completely engaged my senses, pulling me into the battle.

In this beta, the game is Rush mode on the Metro map. It begins with the defenders protecting SAM sites that the attackers must destroy to allow an airstrike that will open a path into the subway system. The fight takes place in a park, with the attackers having to cross a lot of seemingly open ground to get to the two targets. But the detail in the world changes things up. The natural berms, vegetation, and low walls of the park’s landscape provide plenty of cover to maneuver through.

Once the shooting starts, all those things that look good while watching the game become critically important to playing the game. In this complex setting, sound provides an invaluable aid in figuring out what’s going on. The impact of a few rounds on the concrete wall to my left sounds completely different than the ricochet off the rocks and dirt to my right. From this I can start to get an idea where the enemy is, and above all else, know where to keep my head down. Likewise, when I hear the splash of footsteps in water or the rustle of leaves as someone squeezes through vegetation, that gives me a good idea where the enemy is, and where they’re headed.

In all four stages of this Metro map, the delicate balance Battlefield 3 achieves around the objective points stands out. The complexity of the environments contributes a lot to making this work. In a later area, inside the Metro station, many fierce battles go back and forth in a lobby area that the attackers must assault up a pair of escalators. To say there are crossing lines of fire barely describes the situation. With all the smoke and general chaos, though, it’s just possible to get up the escalators and establish a couple of positions from which to press the attack. And then the defenders rush back, running to reestablish position, making a flying leap directly into prone to just get down in time behind a turnstile and return fire.

As the description of the action should convey, Battlefield 3 works just fine on console, thank you. Other than the occasional screen tearing (something PC gamers are plenty familiar with I might add) and the odd glitch here or there which I attribute to it being a beta as much as anything else, I wasn’t thinking about what platform I was playing on when trying to win the round. Hop in and give it a shot if you can when the beta goes open across all platforms on Thursday. And put your headset on. Failure to communicate and coordinate with teammates is the quickest way to be on the losing side of the scoreboard at the end of a match.

Battlefield 3 is due to release October 25 for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360. For more on the game's campaign, see Xav's recent Battlefield 3 preview.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    September 28, 2011 4:30 PM

    Garnett Lee posted a new article, Battlefield 3 beta Xbox 360 report.

    While there's no arguing the power of a gaming PC for Battlefield 3, playing the beta on the Xbox 360 proves the game holds its own on modern consoles and an HDTV.

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      September 28, 2011 4:48 PM

      Sounds good, I was a little concerned. Although I don't know why. This is where the money is, so they wouldn't get lazy on the ports.

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        September 28, 2011 4:55 PM

        I don't think anyone is worried about a lazy port so much as hardware limitations.

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      September 28, 2011 7:41 PM

      It's way better than I was hoping for, honestly.

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      September 28, 2011 8:20 PM

      awesome, good to hear. thanks, garnett

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      September 28, 2011 8:41 PM

      yay!

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        September 29, 2011 8:27 AM

        I just played the beta and it was awesome!

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          September 29, 2011 8:28 AM

          On 360, and the graphics were nice! More importantly, the animation and feel of the movement was perfect. It's very responsive.

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      September 28, 2011 10:44 PM

      4,294,967,295 points to add the beta DL to xbox360 as of sep 29th glitch maybe resetting xbox doesnt work or logging out and back in

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      September 28, 2011 10:46 PM

      it also sucks ass on PC right now, you need origin + web plugins + flash + all sorts of garbage.

      it's a disjointed clusterfuck but it might work at launch. it was tripping BALLS on firefox 7 but it worked in IE 9.

      this is like installing some freeware shit and needing toolbars and everything as extra payload. we really are taking steam's simplicity for granted. this origin shit and BF3 web crap is BALLS so far.

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        September 28, 2011 11:03 PM

        It really isn't that bad at all. Origin, flash, and web plugins aren't a big deal. You should always have flash installed (99% of websites use it), Origin isn't the end of the world its just like steam. I could do without the Battlelog though, it is kind of annoying to get into a server, usually takes me 20 minutes to join one.

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          September 29, 2011 6:27 AM

          99% of websites use flash - Fan-fucking-tastic.

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          September 29, 2011 7:48 AM

          it's going to be a support nightmare. instead of coming up with a fluid system, it's disjointed and erratic.

          do you need to reboot origin? your browser? keep flash up to date? what about cross browser issues?

          it's fucking stupid. a huge step backwards. All Seeing Eye was a superior external server browser and joiner and that was what, 10 years ago? didn't need all of this bullshit and it worked.

          now we have bloat on top of bloat and it will launch multiple versions of the game if you have trouble in the web plugin. it's extremely shoddy.

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            September 29, 2011 7:56 AM

            No it's not stupid, they've said they'll be able to update it faster, it's a fuckin flash plug-in for christs sakes, the same reason this game wont work on XP is the same reason other games should use this to launch games and have stat tracking, get with the program you old fart.

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              September 29, 2011 8:00 AM

              It works pretty well, given it's beta nature. None of us have had issues with the website in terms of doing what it should do.

              The UI could be improved. The best would be to just have this all in game by using Steamworks, but since this is EA, that is not an option. I'd feel bad for DICE, but they have had a history of wanting to roll their own (and always failing at it), so I have little sympathy for them.

              Having said that, the website works fine.

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                September 29, 2011 5:44 PM

                They should have gone with GameSpy tech, everything would be in-game and seamless.

                BF2 has been running fine for years on the GameSpy Tech platform.

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              September 29, 2011 9:31 AM

              other games should use this? update it faster? which parts? in what order? if this constant toggling back and forth from web to game to origin to game to web to whatever the fuck is the design of the future, I hope people are executed publicly.

              steam has spoiled me rotten and now I'm finally understanding why people are wary of this huge clusterfuck that EA is forcing down our throats.

              it freaked out at "matchmaking..." in firefox 7 for a while and then I tried IE 9 and it launched a game into windowed mode despite maximizing it prior.

              this is in fact stupid as fuck until they show me otherwise. if I can't join on friends successfully I'm going to rant like no one has ranted before.

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        September 29, 2011 10:15 AM

        works great for me on FF7

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      September 29, 2011 2:37 AM

      I use my aging machine to play the cool indies and the oldies which i never had the time to play (Baldur's gate to Witcher 1.. damn you GOG) while the xbox gives me the access to latest AAA games (at a 6 months delay which do wonders to pricing).
      However, I recently prepared myself mentally for the upgrade of my PC. As a long BF2 fan i was very excited after seeing the BF3 videos and hailed that game as a 'PC upgrade' worthy game. Skyrim was the icing on the cake.
      Then came the prices..
      I don't need a full PC but buying an I5, ram, mobo, 6850 or 6870 GPU and a PSU is somewhere around 700-800USD.
      The XBOX is 300.
      And i already own an Xbox so for me its not even that right now..

      I played the Beta on the xbox and noticed the blemishes and I am fully aware that the PC is the strongest gaming machine but I suddenly have difficulties justifying to my self that the extras (more players, graphics galore, mouse and keyboard) and the cons (22" monitor on a work desk rather than a 50" TV with home cinema) worth all that money..

      With all that said - I love the kind of problems that i have right now.

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      September 29, 2011 2:41 AM

      Have to disagree with you in terms of Graphics.. Texture quality is unusually low, particle effects are horrifyingly bad and whilst the lighting is very very good, it shows off just how bad some other areas are.. Apparently according to a tweet by an official, graphics are supposed to be far better in the end product. Which in turn makes perfect sense as the BETA was only a 1.3gb download..

      Other than that, I think the game is good, animation is solid.. I've not seen anything quite like it before. It feels a lot smoother than BC2 on the controller. One big gripe is that the sensitivity of the aiming feels very high even on a low setting. Someone on the forum said this is down to dead zone locations on the thumb sticks? Not too sure myself. It really does play well (when you have a decent team to back you up) and with more polish after the beta this could very well end up being one of my all time favourite team based shooters.

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        September 29, 2011 4:30 AM

        Just tried the x360 beta 15min or so before leaving to work and wow, i was suprise at how not good it looks, the textures are horrible... Especially on player models, BC2 looked bettter than that! Beside the lightning its pretty meh (graphic wise).

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        September 29, 2011 6:27 AM

        thats the thing folks dont realize, on the 360 the multiplayer is getting its own disc, there is plenty of room there for graphical improvements over the beta

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      September 29, 2011 5:32 AM

      i heard it blows

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      September 29, 2011 6:18 AM

      Garnett, I am sorry but you cannot be trusted. You are affiliated with Gamefly, whose sole business is to rent console games, and your opinion should only be seen as a variation of viral marketing. I played the Alpha on a beast gaming PC I built myself, and am now playing the Beta on the PS3 - and the console version sucks so bad I am considering cancelling my order, and reordering the PC version even though I have five friends that I will not be able to play with if I purchase the PC game. I am also considering not purchasing BF3 at all - and I cannot express how disappointed I am. I have not played the Xbox 360 version, though I do own one, but the PS3 version is the ugliest game I have seen in a long time. I won't touch on the bugs because it is an Alpha, but they are numerous! Considering the game will be released in less than a month, I am beyond apprehensive of this game.

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        September 29, 2011 6:24 AM

        the game looks as good as BFBC2 on the 360, and I am fine with it. I game on consoles and I accept the technical limitations that come with that. You make it sound like the game is unplayable and unbearable to look which is not the case. I realize that the best version of BF3 will be on the PC, but folks like you just annoy me with your hyperboles of doom.

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          September 29, 2011 6:40 AM

          I could care less if I annoy you. Clearly you accept the consoles limitations because you have not seen what a true gaming PC is capable of. The Alpha is borderline 'unplayable and unbearable', anyone that does not agree with that has been playing too much Homefront on consoles.

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            September 29, 2011 7:44 AM

            The term you were looking for is "I couldn't care less" and not "I could care less". By saying you could care less means you actually care at least a little bit, which by the sound of it is not true.

            BF3 on PC is excellent - even the BETA. There are a few bugs, but then I think this build is at least a few weeks old and a lot of the bugs have already been fixed. Can't comment on the console versions of the game as I've not tried them - I just can't get used to using a controller in an FPS game :)

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              September 29, 2011 8:40 AM

              The term you both were looking for is "I couldn't caress" now lets kiss and make up!

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              September 29, 2011 12:52 PM

              Wow - I feel like I am on Reddit with your 'the term you were derping derpitty derp'. You are correct, however. I am a victim of colloquialisms. Also, I am at work and was seeing red, so I typed, and made errors, and you pointed that out, and I love you for it.

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            September 29, 2011 8:08 AM

            Or like me, I accept playing on the 'inferior' xbox simply because I can't drop $600-$1000 on a gaming rig right now.

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              September 29, 2011 8:12 AM

              No no, like he said, you just haven't witnessed the majesty of his mighty opinionthe true gaming PC experience!

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                September 29, 2011 8:16 AM

                Well also I kick ass on xbox 360 mp, but I'm not that great on the PC. Examples like COD and BF:BC2, I kick ass with a controller because it's easy.

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                September 29, 2011 8:24 AM

                Onomatopoopah's douchery aside, the PC's versions superiority is an indisputable fact.

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                  September 29, 2011 1:37 PM

                  Maybe I was harsh. Maybe I was a dick. I was seeing red after playing last night. I was so disappointed. Then, I was lying in bed reading Shacknews on my phone, and this article touched me off. I still believe what I wrote is true, however. All I wanted was for others that have not played the game to look at the fact that this guys 'report' is not entirely impartial. I really wasn't trying to be a douche, or to attack anyone. Perhaps I should not have written a post when I was so heated - I get pretty fired up. Sorry people.

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          September 30, 2011 10:29 AM

          This game isn't near the state of Bad Company 2 yet. Me and my buds got tired of BF3 and went back to BC2 in less than 2 hours.

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        September 29, 2011 7:49 AM

        You do realize that this whole site is affiliated with Gamefly, right? Not just Garnett.

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        September 29, 2011 7:58 AM

        i agree, stuff like this wreaks of promotion

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          September 29, 2011 8:06 AM

          If you feel that way then that's the risk of a site that says "GAMEFLY MEDIA" at the bottom of the page.

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            September 29, 2011 8:25 AM

            Yes, but we are in the 'Chatty' section of said website, where posts come from individual gamers like you and I. Posts from anyone actually affiliated with the website are almost guaranteed to be shilling.

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          September 29, 2011 7:46 PM

          sad sad days...The Shack has sold out., Battlefield is getting killed for how crappy it looks on the Xbox360...

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        September 29, 2011 8:10 AM

        We never really landed on the moon, it was all staged

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        September 29, 2011 8:11 AM

        LOL have you considered that maybe the PS3 version and the X360 version are different? Or maybe you are just not capable of unbiased comparison? Garnett is a console-first gamer and has been since long before he worked here, he's not shilling for Gamefly. When he doesn't like a game, do you think Gamefly docks his pay? You live in a world of conspiracies.

        I am a PC-first gamer and I've played the PC beta and just tried the X360 beta and I agree with his review. The fact is that the X360 beta actually works better right now and is closer to release IMHO, but the PC will clearly be the best platform for graphics, lag, number of players, controllability, etc. once the bugs are ironed out.

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        September 29, 2011 8:42 AM

        Lol, would you people just fucking go away and die in a corner. Holy fucking shit.

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        September 29, 2011 9:22 AM

        Considering your playing an old build of the game, and the sole reason for this public test is for EA to get a rough idea of how fucked they are going to be at launch when 2 million people sign up for new accounts... I wouldn't be too worried about the state of the game you are playing.

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        September 29, 2011 9:31 AM

        [deleted]

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        September 29, 2011 9:39 AM

        So far, everyone has been nice to you. Im here to break that trend by letting you you're a fucking idiot.

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          September 29, 2011 12:45 PM

          I don't care if anyone is 'nice to me'. I was not trolling, I was stating my opinion. Choke on a phallus and die.

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          September 29, 2011 12:55 PM

          Also, before telling someone they are a fucking idiot, maybe ask Mommy to proofread your sentences, because you sound like a chin drooling dullard.

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        September 29, 2011 9:39 AM

        lol @ "I am sorry but you cannot be trusted"

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        September 29, 2011 9:43 AM

        Are you for real?

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          September 29, 2011 9:47 AM

          Jesus christ if this is what bringing in new readership does, I'm all for a Gamefly bankruptcy.

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        September 29, 2011 9:52 AM

        That is not their sole business. Shit right now I could buy BF3 for the PC directly from gamefly with the new beta they have launched.

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        September 29, 2011 1:25 PM

        IT'S A CONSPIRACY!

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      September 29, 2011 8:08 AM

      How are the controls and options for the PC version? Does a joystick worth without having to edit config files? Is the option for toggle crouch/ADS available as well as hold button to do the action? Independent vehicle and infantry mouse sensitivities in the X&Y? Can I easily turn off bloom, shadows, DOF, distortion, and other graphics effects? Skippable startup movies?

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      September 29, 2011 9:26 AM

      How big is the file to download?

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      September 29, 2011 10:22 AM

      I dont know what game you were playing but the textures looked sub par. Lighting and sound was good tho. After playing the 360 beta I'm firmly convinced on getting it for PC.

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        September 29, 2011 12:48 PM

        SANITY! Sweet Lord Jesus, another sane person that is not hypnotized by the console propaganda machine!

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        September 30, 2011 7:14 AM

        Like I said in a previous post. DICE have confirmed that the graphics in the beta are NOT from the final product and according to an official tweet, they look "Far better".. If I had a gaming PC I would be doing the exact same though

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      October 1, 2011 9:24 PM

      I played this on PC first and found it to be one of the most intense games I've ever played. However when I played it on 360 it was nothing. The graphics looked terrible. My teamates were idiots. The other team...well they were idiots too! The intensity was gone and it felt like the usual run and gun stuff I get on consoles.I still plan on getting this for both the pc and 360 but at the moment The PC version is the only one I'm really looking forward to.
      Just to explain the difference! In the PC version When I was in the Metro station I remember it being silent...All of a sudden BANG! The tiles off the wall next to me explode! I drop to cover as my team does the same. A couple of my teamates start firing toward a hallway off to the side. I look up and see some flashing lights and fire in that same direction. suddenly everything around me starts to fall apart. There's smoke and debri everywhere and I don't know What's going on. I go into cover and shoot blindly into where I think the shots are coming from. I take down some guy and my team shot up the place really well and everything seems to finally settle down and we advance forward. Well on the 360 version it takes place like this.
      It's silent in the metro. A shot rings out I fire and hit the guy and get an assist. we shoot some other guy and advance... Yeah that's about it!
      Hopefully the final build will be better but right now my experience with the pc version was far better than with the 360 one!

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