Perhaps I hadn't been keeping close enough watch on the chatter surrounding the PC beta test for Battlefield 3, but the last thing I expected upon launching the game through EA's Origin was to wind up on a web page.
But that's where I wound up. EA's Battlelog web page is what pops up once you launch Battlefield 3 from either Origin or directly from your Windows games menu, all bright and friendly and requesting you install plug-ins that may or may not work with whatever browser you're using.
More fortunate than some players I read about in the Battlefield 3 forums, my plugins installed for Firefox without fault, and I was able to watch it work its magic as it automatically selected my server, attempted to join, and then disconnected several times before finally placing me in a match.
Once in a match I tried in vain to find the options menu in order to tweak my graphics. Later I discovered that the options menu can only be accessed when you're in-game and alive. That means in order to change your audio, control, or graphics settings, you have to find a safe place to hide first.
More option menus should work like this. Hell, more drive through menus should work like this, bullets whizzing over your head as you super size your Big Mac meal, just like downtown Atlanta.
Many PC gamers are upset by the web-based interface, especially when it comes to server switching. Once you're in the game proper, you're stuck on a server until you exit out, hit up the web page, and reselect. It seems like we're taking several extra steps to do something that could have just as well been handled in-game.
Though now that I recall the menu systems from previous Battlefield titles, perhaps that's not the case here.
Either way, we're only in beta test. They haven't even gotten all the people they promised to let into the beta test in yet, so there's plenty of time to dry those tears and help us move on.
Oh yeah, and I totally shot that guy.