Well…

Yes. A resounding, well enunciated yes.

That is, after a few server issues, the main one being that EA’s servers were apparently hacked and left hundreds of players (including yours truly) unable to play for a few hours. But, through perseverance and waiting for Origin to figure itself out, we were in.

And, by Jove, it’s wonderful.

From the oddly attractive voice who tells you what objectives are being contested or captured, to the familiar gunplay and unfamiliar literal battlefield. Everything works so well; it feels more life-like, more intense and above all, more finished. The beta as it stands could be released as a full game. The map that is currently available is the Sinai Desert, in a skirmish between the Brits and the Ottoman Empire.

I managed to get a look at all the things the map had to offer, including the sandstorms, the armoured train, and the horse combat.

We’ll start with sandstorms, and by extension the graphics and style of the game.

Similar to Battlefield 4, this game keeps as close to realism as possible. No one expects Arma III level of realism when it comes to Battlefield but the detail put into things like uniform and the weapons would make you think otherwise. Everything is so beautifully stylised, it’s a delight to look at. I have had zero bugs in my three hours of play time so far, and am getting an average of 80FPS on an NVIDIA GeForce 960. The storms add a depth that was somewhat lacking in previous games. It changes the battle. Fights become grittier as you start to become blinded by sand and grit.

That leads us nicely into the ever-changing state of the skirmish. With BF4 there were a few things that worked. Snipers always worked. Carbines were decent too, and shotguns owned everyone.

But in this, that’s not exactly the case anymore.

Each weapon has its merits. And you’ll need to switch up if you’re going to adapt. So for example, if you were to be in the middle of a storm as a Scout, with your sniper in hand, you’d be useless. So, you switch to your pistol or pick up someone else’s class, and suddenly you can be of use with an automatic weapon. The battle always changes. Which is a step up from BF4’s rather formulaic maps and battles.

The horse combat I found to leave much to be desired, but to make the horseback any easier would make it too easy. The armoured train is awesome. But not invincible. The power of it is immense and can easily just decimate an entire segment of the map. The only way to properly do damage to it would be to carpet bomb it from above using the many planes available.

All in all, it’s pretty darn good, and I’m looking forward to the full game.

Nice job EA. Nice job indeed.