Now, this one came out of nowhere. After being teased at Gamescom ’11, nothing has been heard from EA regarding this game, but then here it is, and is a lot different from the Gamescom build.
For a start, it is no longer a wave based shooter, but is now an online only team deathmatch shooter. Is it a change for the better? No, but then it isn’t really a change fore the worse, either as this is simply a different mode. It is more a change sideways.
The game is a free download, and also doesnt have any freemium options, so you get the whole thing, but the big problem is that there really isn’t much to this at all, and what is there is plagued with problems and bugs.
A first person shooter based on the big console and PC franchise, Battlefield 2 Aftershock actually plays a lot like the iPhone version of Battlefield: Bad Company 2. The touch controls are similar, and the feel of the game, as well as the movement is a lot like B:BC2. The graphics here look a little better, not so much in the characters or level textures, but the gun models, particularly the reloading animations, and the lighting are much improved.
There is only on level to battle it out on, and no single player mode whatsoever; you can’t even battle bots. You have four weapons, or five if you manage to unlock the gun you are rewarded with for watching a trailer for the upcoming movie Act of Valor, although I didn’t receive the gun after watching. If you download this game then get ready to be seeing a lot of that movie, as it is plastered everywhere. It is obviously the reason that EA can make this game available for free, so I suppose we shouldn’t complain too much, but after a couple of hours you will be sick of the site of images from the film.
The game is completely online only, so if you don’t have an active internet connection then you can’t play at all and can only mess around in the menus. You will also need to log into your EA account, if you have one or create one if you don’t. It is free so there is no issue with that.
What I do have an issue with is the level of quality control that could allow this game to be released in it’s current state. The game is laughably bug ridden. Every classic online bug in the book is here, from characters suddenly standing completely still and becoming utterly invincible, to soldiers running around inside the ceiling or appearing ten feet to their left, it is all here and it happens in almost every game. There are also far more serious issues, such as the match just booting you out or losing connection in-between matches.
It happens all the time, in fact almost every game I played ended with connection problems. It does seem to be a server issue, so it makes me wonder what the experience will be like when there are millions of iPhone gamers logging online(at the time of writing, the game only seems to be available in certain countries).
When you can get a half decent game, it is a pretty decent shooter, albeit only played on one map with four weapons. The map is large and well designed with some good cover-points and natural bottlenecks. There are maybe a few too many areas where spammers get the upper hand, but nothing too major to complain about here.
This is a hard one to score. On the one hand, it is a bug ridden mess with just a single level and a pitiful amount of weapons to select from, but on the other it is free, and not freemium either but ad supported. However, this is supposed to be a Battlefield game, and a major franchise should never be represented in such a state. A free game should still be relatively free from bugs and should run as intended, if nothing else. Battlefield 3 Aftershock is a massive disappointment, especially when you consider the effort put into Bad Company 2 for iPhone.
Even if it didn’t run like a dog, such a meagre offering is troubling, and one can only hope that EA have the real iPhone version of Battlefield 3 hidden and waiting, with full multiplayer options and a single player campaign. Battlefield 3 Aftershock is a buggy mess at the moment, so I can’t even recommend it to die hard Battlefield fans.
UPDATE: This game has now been removed from the App Store.