Well, it's bound to happen isn't it. Most new games and sequels have some initial letdowns and disappointments. Multiplayer is this, options are that. It's probably a good idea to temper your initial reactions. With time, the game is sure to grow on you and reveal fun aspects that might not be obvious at first. With that said, I do have some thoughts about what I'm seeing from release (remember, I did not preorder or buy so my impressions are strictly second-hand - or third person depending on the vernacular!)
In regards to graphics, the lack of options continues to underwhelm. At this point I would imagine that most people, with continually updated hardware, can easily play the game at max or high since this is designed for Xbox 360 despite the few graphical upgrades to PC (and at time of this writing, no dx11 at all available.)
Controls. Now this is a serious letdown. You would imagine that such a core fundamental would get first rate treatment by what is supposed to be a "Triple A" corporation. They even farmed out the project to a third party, so you know there were eyes designated to work on the port, just the port and nothing but the port. And alas, here we are at launch, and there are no customizable controls. Even the simplest (although not all) indie games have customizable controls. So I really have to say there is zero excuse, someone on the production side is either being cheap, or they are legitimately inept.
Once again it seems that this will be the saving grace of the game- perhaps as intended. Ironically, all the players I've ever heard or read agree that the real draw of the game is the multiplayer and co-op, so a good developer would focus on making those aspects the draw, not the single player. Perhaps they had an obligation to Hasbro on this. In any case, this means little to the consumer of the product paying for it... I didn't see a lot about single player so I'd like to hear more thoughts on it. Was it as good as WFC's? Better? Worse?
This is the primary draw of the game. No need to get into how bad WFC's experience was, but that is the backdrop for reception of FoC's. Unfortunately, it seems the server / hosting issues are still quite bad, and I don't know that any company has ever improved server hosting policy (for example, added dedicated servers) after a release- so you're probably stuck with what you got. This is a bad thing.
The gameplay is what really counts right - and while opinions are certainly mixed (and I did read Noss' post), the majority of what I'm seeing is "underwhelmed," "disappointing," and even players reverting to going back to play War for Cybertron multiplayer! Is this really what you played 60 or 70 dollars for, to be so put off by the game that you abandon it after half a day? Yikes. I think most people wanted it to be exactly like WFC multiplayer, only with better features, balanced classes/weaps, and solid server support. I personally didn't think WFC mp was perfect, but it was fun when it worked. From what I'm reading about FOC, server support is not good, balance has been tilted poorly, and it just isnt as fun this time around.
Things like negative countdowns, players being assigned to "neutral" teams (lol), and games being unjoinable after they begin - these I consider to be small issues that might actually get patched.
Co-op (Escalation): Again I don't know enough to be sure at this point. But limiting the pool of playable bots for a given escalation is a slap to the face for those of us who had fun choosing our own teams carefully. Personally this is a big deal for me, and puts me off a great deal.
$10 dollar multiplayer DLC on day of the launch - this can only be interpreted as a big, fat middle finger from HMS & Activision, to you.
So is it too early to say? Has the proof of the pudding been fully digested? I'd love to hear your thoughts. As for the balance, servers, and options, we can only guess at this point. The precedent for this series is that it will NOT be patched. But they may yet. Personally I am very, very highly doubtful for any major improvement from these people. In the end, this is to me yet another case proving that pre-ordering anything is always a mistake. That 70 bucks I didn't spend on this game feels really good right now. Really really good. Incidentally I spent about that amount on the Steam Summer Sale and got about 32 games, many of which are awesome. And hate on the hats all you want: Team Fortress 2 is still an incredible game with great graphics, amazingly solid and customized servers, near perfect balance and, oh yea it's free. You can upgrade it to premium for the whopping fee of forty-nine cents. CENTS. Kind of puts things into perspective.
More than just the game itself, this is a community thing. I miss playing with some of my peeps and wonder what I'm missing - is it a blast despite the problems? Should I wait for a sale at some point? Is it not even worth a sale price? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
In the meantime, I implore those that care about the series to contact the devs and... whoever, to request the fixes/ changes/ additions you would like to see from the game. But let's be honest, they're probably too busy doing this to care: (can it be denied?) (although, interesting that it never broke into the top 5 Best Sellers on Steam at launch, and barely broke into the top 10.)