The review embargo for Battlefield 3 lifts this week, on Tuesday the 25th of October. I'm doing our review. It won't be ready for Tuesday.
It can't be. Circumstances out of our control mean that a deep, well-considered appraisal of Battlefield 3 will be impossible to produce within the time available, so I just wanted to write this post to explain what's going on, why, and when we expect the situation to be sorted out.
Battlefield 3 is getting a day one multiplayer patch, and as such, review copies have been held back until we can play the game in full retail conditions. Thus, copies of the game have only just arrived in the office. Obviously there's no way I could smash through the campaign, and then play enough co-op and the all-important multiplayer (always the crux of Battlefield) to in all good conscience review the game for tomorrow. So I'm not going to. I'm going to wait until the end of the week and do a proper job.
I doubt everyone will, but that's their decision. Personally though, despite having played a lot of Battlefield already at preview events, I wouldn't be happy rushing this one out. As regular readers will know, I attended a full afternoon of multiplayer a couple of weeks ago. The original plan from EA was for that to cover the multiplayer side of reviews. I am though, glad that said plan has changed. I noticed nothing untoward in that build of the game (it was, apparently, "finished"), but obviously, given the announcement of a patch, there were improvements to be made.
Perhaps new issues have been discovered. Perhaps the patch is to impart an extra level of polish after the misguided gamer backlash at the beta (unfortunately what happens when gamers become so used to a 'beta' actually being a polished demo that people misunderstand what the term really means). I don't know. But whatever the patch is for, I'm glad that EA are giving us the chance to properly review the game under real-world, retail conditions, and I'm going to take full advantage of that opportunity. More time with a game, particularly one so focused on deep, nuanced online play, is always better than less. I'm going to be hell of a lot happier taking that time over the review than I would have been otherwise. I hope you guys understand.