I honestly don’t know where to begin. I wanted to do a proper review of Battlefield 3, but I can’t see past the blind rage I’m feeling at the moment. It’s my own fault. I should have known better. I caught the “Crysis” bug and bought a game that, while visually appealing, was bound to have some problems. I thought by purchasing it for a console (PS3 in this case), I would be minimizing my headaches with hardware, drivers, Windows and the whole “it’s on Origin” bullshit. I was wrong. Fair warning, NSFW language ahead.
Right off the bat I need get the obvious out of the way. The game is BEAUTIFUL. The engine is fantastic, the lighting, the textures, it’s all brilliant. It’s one of the most visually appealing games I’ve ever played. The sound is fantastic as well, everything feels authentic. The game also plays exceptionally well. The actual process of looking down the sights, pulling the trigger and dropping a guy is extremely enjoyable. It’s well polished and feels very Battlefield-esque. It’s very much Bad Company with an engine upgrade. That’s not a bad thing, I’m just stating the obvious.
So, if the game looks great, plays well and is generally enjoyable… what’s the problem? Everything else.
EA Games has taken a gem from DICE, dipped it in chocolate bullshit and is hoping you don’t notice. My personal woes extend all the way back to the beta. Being published by EA, every game they put out requires you to enter in an “EA login” at the beginning. Why? Because they’re fucking retarded. Some tiny insignificant portion of the game has some sort of online component (like watching videos in Skate, or downloading DLC in Mass Effect) that require some login to they’re bullshit system. The EA.com system had been broken for at least 5 years and instead of fixing it, they just glossed over it and created a new one called Origin. I signed up for Origin with a DIFFERENT email address than my primary one. Why? To avoid problems exactly like this. I didn’t want my 7 years worth of unlocks, perks, preorder bonuses, gun club exclusives and other stuff to get messed up. I played using a backup email address and when the beta was over, I deleted all the game profile information from my PS3. It should also be noted that my master EA account, all 7 years worth of games, all my bonuses, the “Gun Club” exclusive program, the “Battlefield Veterans” program, my PS3 and my Xbox are all under my primary email address. Nothing, and I mean nothing, was under my backup email except the beta.
So, release day arrives, I hurry home, put the disk in and start playing and it just jumps right in. No EA login? Hmm, that’s weird. Oh well. I keep playing all night, really enjoying the game. Then, when I’m all done for the night, I click “right” on the D-pad to check out my “Battlelog”.
“Account inactive, please sign up at battlelog.battlefield.com”
So I go to the website and sign in with my PRIMARY email address. Nothing. “You account is unable to login”. WTF? I open my ea.com account, nothing about a playstation, at all. Nothing listing BF3 as ever having been played.
The next day I give them a call. I go through FOUR customer service reps, each one telling me a different line of bullshit. One tells me it’s the server, one tells me it’s just the website being slammed, one tells me to re-enter my online play serial number, all sorts of excuses. I KNOW what the problem is. I KNOW it’s still tied to my other account, even though I deleted it. I finally get someone who understands the concept I’m trying to explain to them and she says she can take care of it. Awesome, finally, I can get this all straitened out. She asks if I’d like my alternative email account added/linked to my primary one, so that way the stats and the battlelog will work and I won’t have to change anything. “Yes, that would be awesome” I say. A couple minutes later and she says I’m all set and that I’ll have to play some more so that it has a new stat to sync and then it should be good to go. So, I play for a couple minutes, just a single round, disconnect and go check out the Battlelog. I can’t login. My primary account is now GONE. Toast. Deleted. I get a sinking feeling in the bottom of my stomach. I try my backup email address as the login. It works. It has stats, it has my name and that’s about it. It has NO RECORD of my games, my purchases, my addons, my history, my bonus items, my gun club or my veteran status. I had a level 7 Veteran status. 7! That’s means I have played every single Battlefield game EVER MADE. It’s all gone. Everything is gone. She merged my blank, empty backup account with the online access code to BF3 and wiped everything else.
I can’t even put into words how completely and totally bent out of shape I am. I’m fucking furious. I was about to completely rage quit and throw the fucking thing out into the backyard and go all Office Space on it, but I realized it really wasn’t the PS3s fault. It’s EA and their fucking retarded online account system. Then I realized, you know what, I don’t have to take this bullshit. I should be treated better, as a consumer, than to be shit on like this.
The only analogy I could think of was, let’s just say you’re a traveler who has hotel reward points and airline miles. After years of trips you have enough points and rewards for an entire vacation that you don’t have to pay for. You book it and the day you’re going to leave the airline loses your ticket information, then the hotel loses your reservation, and the rental car too. All those miles and points you saved up were for nothing. You got NOTHING out of being a good customer. Nothing. The giant mega-corporations literally don’t give a fuck about your existence and have no desire to make it right. That’s how I feel right now.
Fuck that. You wouldn’t stand for that as a traveler. Neither should we as gamers. This account bullshit has got to stop. No more online accounts to play games. No more preorder bonuses. No more retailer exclusives. It’s all got to go.
Sadly, it’s not the game’s fault, but it’s going to take the blame for it. I honestly think I’ve lost the will to play it, and that’s a shame, it’s actually a pretty good game. If you have no previous links to EA’s online clusterfuck extravaganza, by all means, pick it up. If you’re like me and have the slightest bit of of history with the franchise, make sure you’ve been using the same email address since kindergarden, otherwise EA is likely to bend you over and have it’s way with your account.