I was extremely disappointed in the beta released for this game just weeks before it launched. I went from hyped up to let down. I went ahead and purchased it anyway because a few of my friends were getting it, and am I glad that I did. Why EA/Dice chose to use Rush Mode - Operation Metro for the public beta is a business move I will never understand, because it was misleading in a bad way. There were no vehicles to be found, the combat was shallow and generic, weapons did way too much damage and on top of that many feared the bugs in the beta would not be ironed out by release. They were wrong, and so was I.
It turns out I personally don't care for Rush Mode, it is very similar to Demolition (not to be confused with Domination) from the COD series where you have an offense side trying to invade the enemy base and plant a bomb in 1 of 2 locations. This mode to me seems very partial to the defending side and I just don't care for it. This was the mode presented in the beta along with the party issues, the ridiculous damage (which was changed in the retail - you no longer die in 2 bullets), screen flicker, infantry only map, camping, etc. It is no wonder the beta made so many people sceptical of the finished game.
Now enter Conquest Mode, the bread and butter of real Battlefield roots. This is what Battlefield games are about. This is much more akin to (again) COD's Domination mode, although Conquest has been around much longer. You capture various flags across the maps and try to keep the enemy team from taking them. You have a set amount of points or tickets that slowly drop as the match progresses, the first team to reach zero loses. Once a flag is capped you can spawn in that area. You can also spawn on anyone in your squad at any point during the match as long as they aren't in a vehicle that is full.
There are vehicles of all sorts, from boats and amphibious to choppers, fighter jets, tanks, hummers, there are multiple ways to navigate the maps. There a 4 classes to choose from - each having a unique set of abilities and they all have a purpose that benefits yourself and your team mates. Unlocks galore from class specific to universal (can be used with any class). Even the vehicles have multiple unlocks to open as you gain XP from using them. You will not see everything this game has to offer for a very long time. The game can be played lone wolf and still be enjoyable but it rewards team players more with squad bonuses. The maps vary greatly in size from the infantry only Operation Metro to the large scale battles of Caspian Border. The destruction is toned down slightly from the Bad Company series, but there are plenty of walls/buildings/obstacles that come apart throughout the match progress.
The online play is silk smooth and offers filters for everything. If you only want to play a specific map, you can. You can filter player count, gametype, maps, and best of all, DEDICATED SERVERS! No host advantage, no getting screwed over by some guy who is 100 millseconds ahead of what your seeing on the screen, what you see is what is happening. You can filter the servers by region and see what your ping is to any of the servers before you join a match. BEAUTIFUL! Why can't other games have this option? There is no excuse for big name titles any more to ignore what we have been asking for FOR YEARS on console games.
If your on the fence because of that nasty beta, please give the full finished retail game another go. It really is a great game so long as you have internet, the campaign is a one and done deal and not worth the price of admission by itself. Battlefield has never been about single player though, in fact BF2 didn't even have a single player option. Think of it as a bonus to the multiplayer - the real reason to buy this fantastic game.