In my last post about Premium Content Subscriptions, I talked about the dangers they pose to gaming. They give publishers free reign to distribute whatever they want without the filter of a XBL or PSN marketplace. Though not required reading, I suggest you check out my last post to give this article more context.
Considering my, and a lot of other gamers’, apprehensions concerning Premium Content Subscriptions like ELITE and Battlefield Premium, it might come as a surprise that I bought and freaking love Battlefield Premium. I don’t have an ELITE Premium subscription, and we’ll get into why in a minute. For right now, let’s just talk about BF Premium:
First, if you include the B2K DLC (I don’t because I pre-ordered BF3 and got B2K for free), BF Premium ($49.99) saves you $10 off the total cost of buying each DLC release individually.
Second, you get that DLC 2 weeks before non-premium players.
Third, you get substantive exclusive content like weapon & player camouflages, dog tags, BTS/Tips and Tricks videos, double XP, and the ability to reset your stats, among other things.
Considering ELITE Premium offers basically the same content and in a similar fashion to BF Premium, why don’t I have both? Well, because MW3 and it’s DLC, in my opinion, sucks. Don’t get me wrong, I love COD. I’ve been playing since WAW and I’ve loved just about every game since. In fact, BF3 is the first Battlefield game I’ve ever played, so you can save your fanboy argument for someone else to ignore. It’s not that MW3 is a “bad game” in and of itself, it’s that when you compare it to previous COD titles, MW3 doesn’t stand up against them very well. Hell, most people still think COD4 is the best COD ever. But buying into a premium subscription service is like saying “good job” to the developer of the game. Considering how I feel about MW3, I think not buying ELITE Premium was a good way of saying “better luck next time, thanks for the let down,” to IW.
What makes MW3 suck to me is that it has balance issues on par with MW2’s (OMA+Danger Close Noob Tubes), terrible network management (lag comp), broken spawns and spawn logic, and is just overall too noob-friendly (support killstreaks) to cater to my level of experience. The clan ops are slightly redeeming, but still, you’re competing with the general player population, not an elite or highly-skilled selection of players (like in Game Battles/MLG). Again I’m not saying you should think the same way I do, just that I don’t think MW3 lives up to the COD standards of quality or does much for the franchise overall, which is why I also think Treyarch’s upcoming Black Ops 2 has a lot to prove. You can read more about my thoughts on that subject here.
BF3 on the other hand, has a lot going for it in my mind. EA gave DICE the ok to take some major risks with BF3’s development because they wanted to directly compete with Activision and COD. BF3 runs on a substantially upgraded (basically new) engine, it’s a relative overhaul of the BF franchise from both a visual and gameplay perspective. And its DLC is downright ambitious. Aside from new guns and vehicles, BF3 DLC has included maps that are fundamentally a complete 180 from the stock maps. The Close Quarters DLC maps look, feel, and play in a totally new and different way than BF3 has played since it released, which is something that MW3’s DLC has yet to do. Armored kill also looks to be offering a new and different feel with it’s massive maps and new vehicles.
That’s why I’m willing to pay for BF Premium. The DLC for BF3 is more than just new maps, it’s a new experience. Don’t get me wrong, BF3 does have some big issues like a busted party system and the rent-a-servers are typically setup with absurd ticket counts, which makes finding a quick game of rush a chore. But overall, I just enjoy BF3 more than I do MW3. Between it’s core design, continued support, and game-changing DLC, BF Premium is worth the extra $49.99 to get all the content DICE has to offer. One other thing of note is that BF Premium is a one-time, game-specific service and charge, unlike the annual ELITE Premium service renewal. That may or may not be a good thing depending on whether or not you want the services premium offers for each game.
Now, some people might not like the Close Quarters maps because they’re designed for run and gun (and camping) infantry combat, but that’s my point. It’s so different from the stock BF3 experience that even some diehard BF3 fans don’t like it. How many MW3 maps are like that? To me, the MW3 maps all feel like MW3 maps. The CQ maps don’t feel like BF3 maps and I can almost guarantee that the Armored Kill maps won’t either. What about the Face-Off maps? Well their limitations (player count/playlists) make them not nearly as dynamic as a full-scale map, which makes them get old fast. Aside from a lack of vehicles, CQ doesn’t have much in the way of limitations.
I’m not opposed to premium content subscriptions but I’m not going to pay for content I don’t want. I waited until the first paid DLC releases happened for both MW3 and BF3 before buying into the premium services, and I’m glad I did. I let the games prove their worth before buying more content for them. While EA and their Origin service might have made a sport out of screwing gamers over, BF Premium is worth the money, in my eyes. ELITE Premium, on the other hand, doesn’t seem worth it because the DLC for MW3 is pretty stale and boring.
But that’s just my opinion. Do you feel like Battlefield and/or ELITE Premium are worth the extra money? Let us know in the comments.
Thank you for reading.