I have a bad feeling about this..

by · October 18, 2011

If Star Wars has given us anything, its the phrase I am using for title of this post. Nothing sums up my geek worry better than ‘I have a bad feeling about this’ in the voice of Obi Wan. So anyway, I have a bad feeling about Battlefield 3.

This morning, I got sent a link to this article. by one of my Twitter followers (Thanks Mac11m)
The article states that EA Norway sent out a form for the media to fill in before they got BF3. Mac11m also wrote a follow up for Gamers-Daily.com. Read it here.

The gist is that EA have decided to only send pre-launch review code to a very, very small section of the media in each territory. I have been informed by a trusted source that only a few outlets in the US will get the game this week & I myself have been told that I will not get a review copy till ‘early next week’. Given that the game launches at midnight Monday night here, that makes it impossible for me or ANY journalist not on the ‘special’ list to be able to formulate decent opinions on the title before it hits the hard drives of consumers.

Now some of you might say that I am just throwing a hissy fit because I have to wait for my review code, well that is definitely not the case. Not getting the game till launch day does not impact me much as my next NBC segment is not till the 30th, giving me enough time to evaluate the title. In the grand scheme of things I am small potatoes, but there are dozens of journalists and outlets out there who people depend on for games buying advice, and those folks are getting hosed.

If a journalist gets the game on Monday, he/she has to play through SP and put some serious time into MP before they can write a review that’s any use before BF3 goes on sale at midnight. If they get the game at 9.am Monday (which never happens), 6-8 hours are taken on SP (at least) then another 6-8 hours on exploring every aspect of MP (which for a game like this is vital) Then spend a few hours writing the review etc and suddenly you are posting in the wee small hours of Tues morning while the most hardcore fans are already playing the game! That’s the BEST CASE scenario by the way. Worst case? Reviews hitting 3 or 4 days post launch when a lot of people have spent their hard earned cash.

For this to happen with such a huge release stinks like a 3 week old dead tuna. Add to that the outcry over the much maligned ‘beta’ that came out a few weeks ago and the only conclusion I can come to is that the game is poor. I have spoken to a few people that I trust in the industry and the general buzz on the game revolves around two words…. ‘buggy’ and ‘bad’.

If this is the case, then I for one am gutted. Battlefield 3 was my great hope to end the domination of Call of Duty and bring a smarter, more varied experience to the military shooter genre. If the game is a turkey, then EA knew there were issues months ago and should have pushed the game to next spring, but instead they were too busy getting mouthy with Activision.

I really hope I am wrong about this, but my PR experience is kicking in like a spidey sense and just won’t quit. I so want this game to be brilliant, if I am wrong then I will dance a happy jig and praise it to the world.

If I am right, then it could well be that EA’s ego and desire to smack talk Activison may have just killed one of the best gaming franchises out there.

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