Last week, I was wrapping up my Prestige 7 on COD:MW3 and thought how nice it would be to look for another multiplayer game to waste more weekends with. I had put off buying Battlefield 3 for a long time (since late 2011) as my brother had it on PC and told me that the multiplayer component spawns more campers than MW3. He is a seasoned campaigner of most things existing in virtual reality so his words count for a lot.
After growing quite irksome of the monotonous multiplayer gameplay on MW3, I watched some Youtube videos on BF3 and just opted to take the plunge. I paid out RM175 for a Region 3 new (unmolested) Battlefield 3 PS3 game and couldn’t wait to take on online foes. I had been careful enough not to purchase the US version (which cost me my ‘Jimmy’s Revenge’ redemption code for PS3 simply because 2K Czech were too stupid to include this for the Asia region as well) and after some deliberation, went for the Asian version. My previous bad experience with Electronic Arts also came from my purchase of the recent ‘Need for Speed Hot Pursuit’ game where I had some problems with the ‘Online Play’ redemption codes not being valid and recognized despite being in the relevant region. So, lesson learnt – or so it seems.
By the way, local Malaysian game stores selling PS3 games are a rarity and this particular item sold out pretty fast, so I had to look online for my purchases.
Anyway, the game was delivered to my home yesterday morning and I couldn’t wait to finally try it out.
This is the English / Chinese version disc which I bought from an online retailer from Hong Kong. The update patch (to 1.05) was initiated – some 1310 MB of it and I waited pretty long for the whole damn thing to finish downloading and installing. Then, the agony started.
I saw the online redemption code printed on a pretty darn important piece of paper and at the main menu, I selected the ‘Store’ from the main menu of the game and wanted to redeem the codes by pressing the ‘triangle’ button on my controller. It turned out that the option to redeem the code has been blanked out (can’t be selected) and the obscene message of ‘There is no downloadable content at the moment’ greeted me. Shit! EA had better not be doing this to me a second time!
I went to my PS3 browser and consulted online for some technical advice on this. So, I went to create an account on Battlelog and so on. It did strike me as pointless but it was already 11 pm at that time and with still no clear-cut workaround for this issue, I was then sucked into information overload to the point that I couldn’t rationalize as to which troubleshooting pointer to believe or not. One forum instructed troubled gamers to create a new PSN account for reason that the code may only be recognized in its ‘home region’ but it doesn’t apply to me as this is a Region 3 disc and my PSN address is tied to Malaysia.
Another forum post suggested that people facing the same problem could go to their PlayStation Store to redeem the codes instead of doing so within the game itself. I went there and wasted another five minutes on a futile exercise. The codes simply won’t work – the same stupid message along the lines of not being valid and please check the entries.
Now as I type these, I’m convinced that a solution is indeed possible but having exhausted all avenues, the anticipation to play this game on multiplayer had gone. Time is at a premium for me and once my interest in something is over, it’s gone for good. RM175 is not terribly expensive but at the same time, it’s not about the value of the game but of how much importance the company (EA Games) is dedicated to fixing the issue. It’s not like the multiplayer problem is only unique to me – there are tons of people out there still without a proper solution on this issue and the company is ignoring their pleas for assistance. Before you label me as a rage quitter of some sort, I did try out the single-player campaign and thought that the graphics were very nice although the enemy AI was dumber than your nuts. In the second mission where a firefight had broken out in a carpark, I was up against the enemy’s wall (where they were presumably spawning) and all ran blindly into my rifle’s shots for easy pickings. The only time I could recall such laughable AI was ‘Delta Force: Black Hawk Down’ where enemy militia very occasionally blundered into walls and other minor obstacles or went swimming in nearby virtual water after being flash-banged.
By comparison, and it’s very important to note this – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 gave me no problems playing online, except for the occasional lag and server maintenance but that is reasonable and expected. Best of all, I could place the MW3 game disc into the PS3 system and within ten minutes, I was playing my first Team Deathmatch on MW3. Don’t talk crap to me about how beautiful Battlefield 3 is and how MW3 pales in comparison etc. – as a customer, I do expect next to no problems in enjoying the game within my own legitimate expectations. At least MW3 delivered the goods whereas for EA it’s all bullshit and empty anticipation.
As highlighted above, I’ve had previous problems with the NFS Hot Pursuit redemption codes before and I was quite pissed off the first time that happened to me. It didn’t put me off EA’s products entirely but it was enough to cause alarm bells. This is in line with EA’s recent achievement of being named worst company in America (and in the video game universe, worst in the world as well seeing as America is the biggest video game market there is). It’s not that the customer service is rude and all that – the fact is that faulty (or insert whatever expletives you like) redemption codes for online play should not even be an issue in the first place. If you are a BF3 gamer and you have had no problems with all these: congrats to you. But at the same time, it is a problem for me and it should not have been so, especially I was able to see for myself that rival companies are able to provide many hours of great multiplayer gaming with little to no fuss.
So far, I’ve sent out a report to the folks at EA notifying them of this problem and I would be looking out for them to give me (by way of their usual troubleshooting procedures) another set of codes that won’t work or give me sage advice to set up another PSN account. However, if I do receive a proper solution that works, I’ll let all know.
For now I’d be sticking to good ol’ MW3, I guess. It could have been so beautiful with another good game.….