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So, before finding out that the Beta for Battlefield 3 is actually a fairly old build of the final game, I have to say that the beta has been nothing short of infuriating for me, primarily because I hate, and I do mean hate, Operation Metro. The map would be a godsend for Call of Duty. But this is not Call of Duty. None of the shining Battlefield elements are in the map. No vehicles, very little destructibility, and as many CQC battles as a typical Call of Duty game. It feels like Modern Warfare with a 10 second respawn timer and a few bonuses here and there. I did not want a Call of Duty-esque experience, I wanted a Battlefield experience.
In terms of weapon handling, it feels fairly good. Definitely not zero recoil, but it makes getting kills much more rewarding. However, the damage is on par with CoD gun damage. You die in the blink of an eye.
Customization is awesome. I've been having fun messing around with all the different combos you can do and it's been a ton of fun. Turned the AKS-74u, a short range carbine, into an LMG-sniper with the PKS-07 (The default SV-98 scope), a Bipod, and a Heavy Barrel just for kicks. I was definitely surprised when I only died because I had to fall back on my pistol because I had run out of ammo and it was time to head into the subway because my teammates didn't know how to hold circle next to the bombsite. Ended with an 8 kill streak nonetheless along with about 6 suppression assists. Yes I raged hard at my incompetent kill-crazy teammates, but it was fun. Same thing happened with the M4A1. I have to say I'm in love with the two default carbines to be honest, having unlocked up to the Russian Holo for the M4A1 (?) and American Red Dot for the AKS-74u. I guess eventually you can unlock the other faction's attachments, that was definitely a surprise and a relief, the Russian Red Dot is terrible and the American Holo sight needs a Tac Light in the subway, which is basically a death sentence.
Overall, impressions of the beta are not good, but picking up as I get more things unlocked. If I'm able to get a game in with my clan, it'll definitely be a lot more fun since the teammates I usually get paired up with redefine "terrible" and can't defuse/plant M-COMs, throw ammo/medkits, revive, spot, or do basically anything team-oriented. I'm hoping that the final release will be a lot better.
And have a working "Join" button as well.