Monday, November 26, 2012

Battle Veiled Pay4Fee - Battlefield Play4Free Review

   Battlefield Play4Free is an MMOFPS developed by EA Digital Illusions CE and Easy Studios, and published by EA. The game is apparently a modified version of Battlefield 2 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2, and makes me glad I never played Battlefield before Battlefield 3. However, I've heard BF2 and Bad Company 2 were actually pretty good. This just isn't a good representation of them. I personally really hate EA for various reasons, and this game isn't changing my mind.


   It is almost a standard Battlefield experience, with all of the annoyances that come with it, but butchered. Once you're done getting wow'd by all of the vehicles and jet fighters, you start to see the game for what it really is. Crap. As usual, however, let's first discuss what the game doesn't do badly...
   RIGHT
   Vehicles: Atmospheric
   There aren't too many games that can't be vastly improved with vehicles, especially air vehicles. You can run slowly to a destination miles away, or you can jump into a tank and ride in style. Yet, while tanks are cool, helicopters and jets are what make Battlefield what it is. It's hard to beat that stunned feeling you get when you're rolling along and a helicopter just crashes into a building right in front of you.
Please don't let this be that helicopter.
   What makes it cool is that those kinds of things tend to be scripted events in other games. When a jet fighter crashes into a mountain in Battlefield, though, you know there was actually another player that was in that jet that flew into that mountain. Not just some computer that was programmed to do that. When you climb into a helicopter and your pilot is good, you know it's a player that is actually good at piloting that helicopter. You aren't on rails, and that's what makes it amazing.

   Size: Pretty Big
   Bigger maps can hold up to 32 players. We are currently at a point in history where Planetside 2 exists, however, so this isn't really a big deal. I still think this deserves a mention, though.

   Teamwork: Strategic
   Battlefield Play4Free includes the well-known "spotting" system. It's a bit harder to do than in Battlefield 3, where it was default to only have to press Q once. In this game, you have to hold the button down and click on spotting in the Q menu. There is a fix for it, though.
   Other than that, all of the classes have tools to help other teammates (I'll discuss classes in the next section). The medic can heal others, the engineer can repair vehicles, and any good pilot can help transport teammates to their destination. There is no benefit to leaving your team behind, so don't be like the many people who jump into a jeep and immediately drive off. Check the map and hang for a second in case someone wants to come with you. Of course, I'm sure I don't have to tell any of my readers about being a team player.

   WRONG
   Classes: Strict
   This isn't to say that the classes themselves are bad or don't make sense (Note: I've only played Engineer). The problem is that you can't switch classes. When you start, and you have to start from the game's website to make your character and launch the game, you will be given a choice between four classes: Assault, Medic, Engineer, and Recon. When you choose a class, you're stuck with it unless you make a new character. This also means that you can't switch classes in-game. This can make gameplay a bit repetitive and stops you from evening out team compositions.

   Skill Tree: Ugh
   I'm really starting to wish skill trees would just disappear from all games outside of RPGs. They always imbalance the game and this takes it to a whole new level. How? Because you need skill points to unlock basic functionality that is taken for granted in every other shooter.

And there's a tier system, because why the hell not?
   Here's a few examples (Note: This is the Engineer tree):
   - Frag Grenade: You can't use grenades unless you have this skill.
   - Grenade Combat Awareness: You can't see the grenade indicator unless you have this skill.
   - Tactical Reflexes: You can't see the direction damage is coming from without this.
   - Helicopter Piloting/Jet Pilot Training: Can't fly an air vehicle without these.
   - Engineering Damage Assessment: Allows you to view current health of occupied vehicle.
   - Grenade Toss-Back Combat Skill: Press E to toss nearby enemy grenades.

   I'm hoping you see what the issue is here. You only get one skill point per level up. Now, imagine the amount of things you simply can't do when you first start the game. You can drive ground and water vehicles and are given a free license to get owned at every opportunity until you level up multiple times. And this is also a Battlefield game, which means you also start off with crappy guns. Enjoy.

   Pay-to-Win Status: Positive
   This was almost a hard decision to make, since everything that directly helps you can be gotten with normal in-game currency. But then I remembered I'm not an idiot.
   Without a credits boost (and even with a credits boost), normal credit gain from matches is very slow for the prices in the shop. Being nice, let's assume an average of 60 credits per match. I go into the shop and check out the P90. Price advertised? 150 credits. Sweet, I have that much, let's b- oh. That's only to rent it for 1 day. A note says "In order to use and save this weapon with customizations, you need to buy it permanently." The price to buy it permanently? 17,500 credits. Seems legit. You now have the choice to either play that long or pay up $7.00 in cash and buy the weapon that way, which also allows you to ignore rank limits.
   There is also a booster shop. However, unlike a normal booster shop which merely sells credit and exp boosters, this shop also sells defense boosters, which reduce damage from all sources, though it doesn't say by how much. Unlike the gun shop, though, the credit prices here aren't as lenient. There is an armor buff for the player and separate ones for every vehicle type, and an RPG damage boost, to name the most influential ones. The personal armor boost costs 2500 credits for 1 day of usage. The cheapest boosts are the vehicle armor boosts which cost 350 credits for 1 day of usage.
   Do I need to go on, here? Sure they are attainable, but they aren't sustainable.

   Respawns: I Must Have Missed Something
   You are going to die, especially if you only just started the game. You will die frequently and consistently, and this is what you will see.

Pl-, le-, m-, mo-, eh-, fu-, fu-, fu-
   If I understand this correctly, the game doesn't load other players' customizations until you die, and then they do it while you're respawning. During this time, the game will start stuttering, making it harder for you to deploy in a different spot if you want to.
   On that note, I'm wondering why there are only two places I can deploy at. "In battle" or "At Carrier/Base". When I'm on the winning team and we're controlling more points on the map, it would be nice to have more control over which point I'm spawning at. "In battle" is more than a little vague.

   Final Score: 2 out of 5

   It was hard to get any real fun or satisfaction out of this game. You join, you die, you join again, you die again, and you keep doing that over and over again until you get powerful enough to feel guilty about how many noobs you're destroying with your skill tree. However, I can't say that the game is completely terrible. Vehicle combat is a cool thing to behold and parachuting out of a helicopter shortly before it crashes into a mob of enemy soldiers can be a nice experience. But since the game has a pay-to-win aspect to it, I do wonder why everyone who spends money on this game doesn't just go and play Battlefield 3.

Bonus screenshot! Check out those AMAZING GRAPHICS!
   Extra Things to Know
   - Infinite sprint!
   - You are given points for everything, so make sure to help teammates and fire at everything you see.
   - Vehicles are made of tin foil. Avoid non-soldier obstacles.
   - There is fall damage on water. Don't ask me why. I guess soldiers just aren't aerodynamic enough.
   - There is a "Daily Draw" where you win a free prize every day when you log in. Can potentially give permanent items. Don't give in to gambler's fallacy, though. They let you pay cash to draw more than once per day.
   - There are healing items, but they are consumable.

16 comments:

  1. Play this game longer you will see it is much better than this review!

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    1. That has been accurate exactly zero times in my life, but thanks for the comment.

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  2. Everything you said was true, but tell me a better game I can play for free on a crappy computer.

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    1. Well, you got me there. Most of the shooters that come to mind at that require a better computer, and the rest are actually worse than this game.

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  3. One more problem: Battlefield 2 and Bad Company 2 are awesome games. Battlefield Play4Free is not an accurate reflection of those two games.

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    1. This does deserve to be said. I'll modify the post a bit.

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  4. There is also an option PAY to CHEAT

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  5. pay to win... right, I have not paid a single cent and yet it happens that I'm the best player in some servers paying doesn't make you a more skillfull player.And there is the sponsorpay option to earn free funds.

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  6. You just suck at the game. If you got to know it, It is a really fun game.

    The "Vehicles are made of tin foil" post you made, NOT TRUE, Just like most of this.... :P

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  7. Little information to modify in the review : You can create 2 soldiers per account for free, after that, you must pay (2 or 3€) to add new slots (or do a new account) Also, when in-game, you can switch between your differents soldiers on you account... in the menu of the game not in-game infortunately :/

    +

    You should play a little bit more on this game (like reach the lvl 15) to really see his potential :) Because I suppose you haven't tested all the game modes and maps :D Also, it's important to say that the game receive many updates wich includes : Weapons, customizations, new features, new gamesmodes and maps, etc...

    Bye :)

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  8. see that boat you just jumped off thats called an aircraft carrier. hit the water from that height and guess what it behaves just like hitting a nice big pile of rocks.

    i say we take the warning labels off everything and nature will take care of all the stupid people like you.

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  9. Well written review but certain things that feels to be written only with blind hatred towards the EA.
    You can rent gun for one day for about 150-300 credits, won round grants you from 55-130 credits and lost round somewhere around 30. If we think you will win exactly 50% of your played rounds on that day you will need to play only couple of rounds and you're done. Great perfomance in round doesn't give you higher amount of credits. One day rental gun is cheap as fuck, literally. And when you want gun permanently you can either pay immediately high price or reach to required lvl to buy gun in around 1250 Play4Free Funds. Idea of system in encourage to keep playing to get cheaper price to permament weapon, many F2P Shooters doesn't even sell this cheap permament weapons NEITHER with Free currency.
    Boosters were back in last Christmas insanely overpowered, later they got incredible nerfs and currently only optional, you do very well without them.
    Skill tree complaint is pretty funny in my opinion, think as developer and you'll notice that skill tree's point is encourage to keep playing and eventually become better. The most major skilltree unlocks can be gained around lvl 12, after that this also becomes less major choice.

    Tough I've nothing to say poor map you got as for the start, Oman is terrible map for starters to get hang out from things, but this is where automatic matchmaking yet cannot choose from.

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  10. Actually, many shooters do sell permanent weapons for free currency, and the permanent prices aren't as high.

    Fun should encourage players to keep playing, not a skill tree. Most all shooters get by fine without a skill tree to encourage their player base. And the few that do have that kind of system don't abuse it as much as they have here.

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    1. Indeed there's coming more and more games with permament rent time option, but there's still many shooter games where permanent weapons aren't option isn't possible. ;) Logic behind this is, you can either pay 10€ to get gun immediately or play more and get gun with with about 1,2€. I'm sure you can notice the price difference.

      This what I agree, player should have fun while playing to game, no doubt from my side!
      Game wanted take some character leveling from Battlefield Heroes which allows you to spec character in way you wish it, in today's games you will anyways spec yourself in way or another, even in CoD you've perks what you first need unlock to get usable, and starting loadouts are usually awful.

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  11. I would give a long hearty comment since I suggested this (Luzoto here :D), but I clicked preview and it rid me of my entire comment, so in short, the longer you play, the less Pay2Win and awesomer it is. But it takes like a month for you to really see the effect. And you get used to losing those basic things like grenades and hit detection and class changing surprisingly well after half a week. Still sucks compared to BF3, but BF3's a pay game and this is 'Play4Free'.

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  12. I completely agree with everything in the review. I don't have a very good computer and there aren't many good shooters for my system that are also balanced and fun. I really wish they would take the systen from Battlefield 3 and put it into a new free game. It will make it more balanced by allowing you to get new guns and attachments by gaining experience, not wasting money.

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