Yesterday I recieved an awesome email that I had been selected to join the Battlefield 3 Alpha on PC.  I only play Battlefield on Xbox 360, but hey I’m not gonna throw away my chance to test out my most anticipated multiplayer game of 2011!  Sooooo I gave it a shot, it was a fairly quick download via Origin (EA’s answer to Steam) but my desktop PC is running Windows Vista (I know, UGGGHH!) so when I tried to install BF3Aplha I was running into all sorts of errors.  Mainly because of Vista’s horrible “Are you sure you want to allow this?” which constantly caused the install to crash, and after about 10 – 15 attempts, it finally installed correctly.  But now it was installed and I was excited to start it up. All I had to do was click the “Play Game” button.  My excitement was suddenly shattered… launching the game opened up my brower to BF3′s Battlelog Site - the Battlfield Facebook.  This page is basically your main game hub.  It’s where you find your friends, check your stats, and launch/join a game.  It also requires an add-in, another download, that you need before you can click the “Launch/Join Game” button.  It took some effort to get that installed right, I accidentally cancelled the download, and then I couldn’t access the download link anymore so I had to clear my broswer history, cookies, and cache.  But finally I got THAT installed.  So now I was able to click the button “Launch/Join Game”  Below is a dramatization of what happened next:

 Wooo, ok here we go, awesome, yes! 
*Click*
*Loud Windows Error Sound* accompanied by “Your video drivers are out of date you need version 2.75″
Whaaaaaat?!  I just updated my friggin’ drivers a week ago!
*proceeds to check the Nvidia drivers page – which informs that drivers are up to date, version 2.33″
Son of a!  My video card sucks balls!  It’s most updated driver is still below the requirement!  ARG! Well, that was a fun 2.5 hours of my life. Gone.

So the only thing I can offer you is my thoughts on the Origin service.  It’s annoying.  I don’t like that I launch the game and then need to… LAUNCH THE GAME.  No, I have to log into a website that launches the game.  I’m sure it’s to battle piracy, which is fine, but there has to be a cleaner, faster, smoother way of doing it.  The majority of the time I spent trying to get this game to run last night was waiting for my PC stop freezing.  I’ll admit that I don’t have the fastest PC, but honestly, if a web page is causing my PC to hang, that’s just ridiculous.  Logging into a website shouldn’t demand 80% of my system’s resources! To be fair, I haven’t played a PC game since Star Wars Galaxies so I’ve been away from the pains and struggles of PC Gaming for awhile.  And as much as I would LOVE to upgrade my system, I just don’t think it’s going to happen.  At least not until Star Wars: The Old Republic.  I’m sure Amber will be happy when our PC is upgraded because then SIMs 3 will stop crashing on her.  That has to be annoying, and I always feel bad for her when she puts in a good amount of time building something and then POOF!  Gone.  To me Origin feels like EA was looking at Steam and saying “We need one of those” and throwing together what they can.  I have no prior experience with Origin, nor do I know how long it’s been around, but I’m not a fan so far.  Get it together EA.