This past weekend the Division beta finally gave us a glimpse into the long-gestating title that Massive has been working on. The hype train for The Division has been a long and strange one and it felt good to finally get my hands on the game.
While the beta was fairly limited to one mission and the Dark Zone, I had an awesome time taking on the gangs throughout New York and going rogue against others agents to steal their loot. I played on PC and the game was fairly well optimized for a Ubisoft-published title. While there was some concerns about the “bullet-sponge” nature of the enemies from pre-beta impressions, I didn’t really notice it too much at the time. Continue reading Testing the Division Beta on PC
Last week the Battlefield 4 beta launched, featuring the map Siege of Shanghai with the modes Conquest and Domination. Being the outspoken Battlefield advocate that I am, I selflessly took it upon myself to dive headfirst into the beta and bring you a report from the dust-choked battleground of Shanghai.
I’m playing the beta on PC, and thankfully I haven’t been impeded by the weird technical errors that seems to have stymied some users. Battlefield 4 looks absolutely gorgeous on a decent rig as DICE has done away with most of their weird aesthetic choices from Battlefield 3 (like the super-nova sun and the blue tint). The war torn streets of Shanghai have a lot of interactive features as well, like the ability to close store shutters to keep enemies out or raise bollards to stop a tank from rolling across a bridge (at one point I was able to use a blinking metal detector to locate an enemy that had rounded the corner and escaped my line of sight).
It’s crazy to think that Relic’s World War 2 RTS sequel Company of Heroes 2 was supposed to be out already; indeed, it was to be released day and date with StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm. Thankfully for gamers (and not so much for employees) THQ went under so Relic was not forced to meet their earlier deadline and their new masters at SEGA pushed the release date back until late June. This is good, because while the game is a ton of fun, it isn’t ready yet.
Crysis 3’s multiplayer beta opened up last week and I spent a little time leaping around as a nanosuited operative, trying out the two availible game modes: Hunter and Crash Site, the latter of which returns from Crysis 2.
In Hunter mode, a team of ever-dwindling CELL soldiers has to survive against invisible, bow-wielding predators, and every kill the Hunters get adds to their own ranks. While this may sound like it makes for a tense multiplayer mode, the rounds are fairly short and the Hunters seem a little too over-powered, considering they’re invisible and the new bow is a one-hit kill. At one point I went on a five-kill streak with the bow when I was standing about ten feet from a group of enemy players, so oblivious were they to my presence. While the CELL team gets motion trackers and EMP grenades, the abilities given to the Hunters more than outweighs this puny advantage.
Crash Site, for those of you who didn’t play Crysis 2, is a territory control game type, where alien pods will land somewhere on the map and one team has to hold down that location to gain points. While this mode is a lot more fun than Hunter, there are several balance issues that need to be worked out before release. Continue reading The Hits and Misses of the Crysis 3 Multiplayer Beta
Everyone on here knows that I love Battlefield just as much probably more than the next guy, but it’s not a game the benefits from having a successor so soon, considering that the latest version was released under a year ago. Add in the fact that Battlefield 3 Premium meant that customers bought the game twice, advertising the fact that there will be a Battlefield 4 Beta included with a Medal of Honor: Warfighter pre-order is a bit much.
I tried to grab a screenshot of this myself, but EA’s crack team of monkies running Origin seemed to have nipped this in the bud. The Internet is always quicker than you think, though, as Reddit user krov grabbed this screenshot of the Battlefield 4 Beta being advertised on Origin. Add this to the fact that IGN has their own screengrab and it’s looking like EA accidentally spilled the beans on Battlefield 4.
It’s fairly obvious that EA is positioning Medal of Honor and Battlefield to trade off on a yearly basis, but seeing one of my favorite franchises essentially working the digital street corner is disheartening. I try not to fall pray to the whole “gaming is ruined” thing, but it’s looking pretty ugly out there. What do you guys think about this? Is it actually legit? Should EA at least wait until Medal of Honor: Warfighter actually comes out before pimping the next Battlefield?
Somehow, I feel like I’ve stepped into a time warp. I’m not really sure how or when it happened, but gaming has taken me back about 12 years or so. I look a little bit older, I know only a couple of more things, I’m about to be a father, but the mouse and the keyboard still feel the same: every satisfying click fires another round, sends another SCV, marks another target or claims another piece of loot.
In a trend that’s becoming far too common in the games industry, Betas are being used to promote a game rather than their proper form of stress-tests and bug finding. Three high profile games this year, Battlefield 3, Gears of War 3 and Uncharted 3 have all used Betas to lure people into pre-ordering the games or buying a different title.
While all of these games did make good use of their respective testing phases (Gears 3 had a lot of map layout changes, for example) the fact still stands that Betas are increasingly becoming a marketing tool, one that may harm the industry if overused. How can we fix this? Continue reading Your Beta is Not a Demo
While the Battlefield 3 Beta does go public today, I’ve been playing it since the 27 thanks to my pre-order early access (and the fact that I bought the Limited Edition of Medal of Honor). I haven’t been hiding my anticipation for Battlefield 3 at all and I’ve been eagerly awaiting a chance to try the game out before release. Since I’ve already pre-ordered it, I’m kind of locked into the full retail version, but I wanted to give those of you still on the fence a little taste to help you decide whether or not to jump on this train.
The only map currently available in the Beta is Operation Metro in its Rush variant. Operation Metro is a very linear map that progresses from a park to a subway tunnel and then out onto a wide promenade. The other map, Caspian Border, is currently locked behind a password, but that’s the more traditional BF map with wide open areas and combined arms warfare. Metro is strictly an infantry combat map in this form, and it doesn’t exactly carry that Battlefield feel that people might be expecting. Continue reading Battlefield 3 Beta Impressions
Now that the post E3 haze is finally starting to lift and the summer gaming season is in full swing, another distraction looms over us all: Uncharted 3’s multiplayer beta drops tomorrow for PSN Plus members, which should be everyone out there with a PS3, thanks to Sony’s Welcome Back program. So no excuses. I expect to see you all out there so I can shoot you in the face just like all my friends.
For those of you who didn’t bother trying Uncharted 2’s MP, take it from me, it’s pretty fun. A neat combination of Gears of War with the vertical element of Uncharted’s climbing mechanics thrown in for good measure, I always had a blast. Eddy joined me for some co-op and I believe he can attest to this as well.
The details of the beta are as follows:
Starts tomorrow, June 28th for PSN Plus subscribers, July 4th for the rest of PSN and runs until July 13th.
Co-op and competitive maps will be rotated throughout the beta, as detailed in the link below.
You will receive rewards for playing the beta that will carry over to the full game upon it’s release.
I have to say, I’m pretty excited. Now I have to rush and finish Half Life 2 ASAP, so I can start on this. Check out the link below for more details, including some information about the MP features, which is awesome because being clueless about what the hell is going on always annoys me about betas. So… who’s with me???
Today is a big day for EA Games as they not only drop Dead Space 2 on us, but also unleash the multiplayer demo for Crysis 2 on the Xbox 360 and Bulletstorm on both consoles (no PC, sorry fellas). Since there’s really not much else going on in the world of gaming (and I’ve got a lot of free time) I decided to check out both demos and report on them for you. Ain’t I thoughtful?
The first one that I tried was the multiplayer demo for Cyrsis 2. I played a lot of the original on the PC, including some very fun stints in the multiplayer mode. While the original version emphasized large-scale maps with vehicles a la Battlefield, the sequel drops you into small arenas like those found in Call of Duty. Both teams are equipped with the series’ iconic Nanosuit and there are several load-outs to choose from, unlocked via ranking up through the in-game progression system.
Gameplay wise, it’s exactly as I imagined Crysis would be if I played it with a gamepad as opposed to a mouse and keyboard system. As an old-school PC guy, the mouse and keyboard set up is far superior for fast-paced gameplay, so I ended up with more deaths than kills. Watching everyone else use their suit powers to leap around the map and absorb bullets was pretty wicked though, and the game definitely looks gorgeous. Crysis 2 on the 360 doesn’t look anything like the videos parading around on the Internet, but it is one of the better looking game I’ve played in recent memory. Suffice it to say that, while it was fun, I’d much prefer to get it on the PC come release day. One thing that did irk me about the graphics is that the level I was playing on, Skyline, features a lot of brown textures, and the opposing team was decked out in brown colored Nanosuits. Seeing as my team was wearing white, this struck me as a little unbalanced. Hit the jump for my thoughts on Bulletstorm! Continue reading Tuesday Demo Overload With Crysis 2 and Bulletstorm
Sackboy and his Sackbot’s have struck again, with another gem that makes me feel inadequate about my creativity. Using the beta, an adept gamer has created “Sackfighter Dogfight”, a game that owes more than a little to Sega’s classic jet-fighter shooter. Complete with barrel rolls, cinematic camera movements and even a gun that can overheat, LBP 2 just shot up high on my want list. Take a look at this:
What say you? Impressed yet? This thing isn’t even out of beta and it’s making that calculator from the first game look like child’s play. Anyone going to get this? Do you have any game ideas you want to share?