Clan leader John Strike charges into the Battlefield 4 beta to find out what’s new, old, better and broken.
Why was I nervous? It wasn’t like I was at a job interview or even meeting my girlfriend’s favourite dog for the first time. Yet here I was sitting at the computer at 8:55 AM, my bottom chewing on my underpants in apprehension at the beta release of Battlefield 4.
I’ve poured 900 hours into Battlefield 3. As a clan leader, I couldn’t help but fear for my ruthless band of buddies should Battlefield 4 not cut the mustard. Casting my mind back to Battlefield 3’s beta some two years ago I knew what problems to expect: connection problems, performance problems, clipping problems. I feared that the beta might collapse harder and faster than Seige of Shanghai’s destructible skyscraper. At first, it did.
At 9:02 I logged into Origin successfully. Bish!
At 9:03 Battlelog started up. Bash!
At 9:05 the game launched and I was away. Bosh!
By 9:15 I was in game with 3 frames per second and frantically looking for the returns policy on my GTX 680 that I’d installed the night before.
There’s no denying my first few hours with Battlefield 4 were terrible, and as clan mates logged in and out we were all too eager to condemn it as a disaster. Comments about the dire framerate, lag and log in issues rippled across the servers and forums. Many wondered if this was what we’d be left with for the next two years. When you’re so committed to a series as I’d been with BF3, panic sets in when you’re not immediately compelled to play your game’s sequel, particularly when it’s a game in which you’ve invested time and forged friendships.
I went to bed. By mid afternoon the next day there were new AMD and Nvidia beta drivers. I was straight on the case, and the fighting began in earnest.