Thoughts on Battlefield 3
In the wake of the 50% off sale of Battlefield 3, I put aside my skepticism and went for it. Being a huge fan of Battlefield 2, I had high expectations.
My first match wasn't exactly the nirvana infused nostalgia I was hoping for. For starters, and I'm sure this is nothing anyone hasn't said before, I was disappointed by the lack of a defibrillator in the medic/assault class until it is unlocked. I'm sure this is to prevent the overuse of grenade launchers that far too many Karkand matches suffered from, but I religiously played medic in BF2 so I didn't appreciate seeing dead teammates whom I was helpless to revive.
In terms of map design, I prefer BF2. Although I did have fun in metro and some other tightly packed maps once I unlocked the defibrillator, everything seems less focused. Perhaps I'm just not playing with the right people, or on the right servers. I just miss when, no matter what server I joined (with a few notable exceptions), there was always at least one squad that was really serious about being creative with tactical decisions. Perhaps I'm wrong to say this, but I have a suspicion that the HUD, with all the control points and (sometimes) dozens of player triangles, is making it harder for me to just focus on the finer details on the screen.
I don't enjoy seeing A, B, C, D, etc. everywhere I look. I'd like to actually take time to look at the map and figure out which way to go and the best way to get there. Giving the player everything they need to know with a quick glance around 360 degrees just leaves me feeling a little annoyed. The only thing I can't see in my HUD is the sniper that killed from on top of some building or something, because I was too blinded by all the other icons.
Last thing. I hate kill notifications and the numbers that pop up on the bottom of my screen. I know you could say, "Go play red orchestra then," but I like the core game of Battlefield, I really do. There are just way too many things that get in the way of me actually looking around and thinking about the game. At the end of a round, I end up being happier with my score than what actually happened, because I'm constantly reminded of how many points I get for doing things that I would've done anyway. Instead of doing something really awesome and then being subconsciously forced to do the math of what that something awesome has awarded me with, I'd rather leave it as the fact that I did something awesome. Period.
So, I know there's probably a mod to turn the HUD off, but then I'm quite handicapped against anyone who has it on. The less the players know, the more they band together to figure it out.