There’s this shiny new shooter game thingy, Battlefield Bad Company 2. It’s a really nice game and does oh so many things right. This, however, is not a game review. It is merely a rant about how bad the game’s launch goes.
There are quite a few problems that, for me, make it nearly impossible to play a game that I would really like to play – on a very freshly installed Win7 box that works flawlessly otherwise:
- On the European launch day, the EA servers went down. And stayed down for several hours, making it impossible for quite some players to play their freshly acquired game.
- Now still, days later, the EA servers regularly show “connection failed” error messages, some friends of mine have not got the game to work yet at all (hi Ratty and Mooseman).
- PunkBuster – apparently, it consequently fails to boot up. I updated, deinstalled, reinstalled it, without effect. It seems that currently, I’m not the only one with this problem, as everybody seems to be kicked from the servers in regular intervals.
- The server browser, while a neat thing overall, has quite a few problems:
- It’s slow, very, very slow.
- It lacks crucial filters (can’t filter by ping range, can’t filter by player number, or by whether the server is in hardcore mode or not).
- Even those filters it has – it does not store which ones you set on your last search when you start the game anew, meaning you’ll have to re-enable them all again.
- It regularly shows servers as having spots left when apparently, they’re full (and give an error to that end when you’re trying to join them).
- Occasionally, the connection to the server you want to join gets lost in nirvana, just like that – with an appropriate error of course.
- Regularly, when trying to join a server, the “please wait” popup box just disappears, and neither do you actually join the server nor is there an error message of any kind.
- Once, it happened to me that after clicking to join a server, the game hung itself up and kept showing “please wait” for 10+ minutes (I went to get a coffee meanwhile).
My game also apparently got a minor case of file corruption at some point, which I had to fix with Steam’s repair feature (no errors anymore now), but that’s a minor issue compared to the things above and was probably my hardware’s fault (or, what I believe, due to a crash I had before this corruption thingy, and then causing further crashes). There’s other people who have regular total system lockups from the game.
Dear EA: If you release your games bugged like this, people like me will, when the next good game or expansion is released (in my case DoW2:CR), stop playing your game. They will no longer play your game by the time you release an expansion, and consequently probably not buy that. They will also not promote your game mouth-to-mouth.
Keep in mind that at some point, the PC version of BFBC2 had more players than either of the consoles it was also released on. But if this does not improve, things will change and yet again naysayers will believe that “PC gaming is dying”. Well, if things don’t improve, it just might. Us PC gamers like to have games that are actually playable you know.
While writing this, I’ve been trying to get into a game for 3-4 hours, without any success. You know what I think I’ll do tonight after dinner? I’ll play TF2. Because their multiplayer, including VAC (speaking of PunkBuster), just works, and did so on release day already.