Dota style games are renowned for their difficulty to get into, in an old piece I wrote I mentioned that in many cases going it alone in a MOBA is not a smart move as the domain of public matchmaking is a treacherous place to say the least. Thankfully if you are not willing to put the hours in to getting good at Dota or LoL there are games further down the lane pushing game list that are much easier and welcoming to newer more casual players and thanks to the latest Humble Bundle, I have finally gotten into a Dota style game that a) I’m not terrible at b) doesn’t have people yelling at me for the smallest mistake. c) Doesn’t require a pre-built team that are on the same page as me to succeed. Continue Reading
State of the Game is a series where we look at the recent changes and updates brought into a game and the effect those changes have had on the meta of the game. In a day and age of Early access, game changing updates are becoming common place and it pays to know what they do.
Whilst it hasn’t been classed as a Beta for some time, Planetside 2 has been in a constant state of development since it supposedly became a full release. Go to the Planetside website and you’ll find a roadmap of the planned updates and content patches Sony Online Entertainment plan on rolling out over the course of the year making for some interesting reading. Continue Reading
As I have been playing a lot of Planetside 2 lately, I felt it was only fitting to write a somewhat satirical war coverage story of last nights engagements in the style of my faction of choice, the Terran Republic.
Greetings loyal citizens of the Terran Republic. I am pleased to report that the ongoing war on Auraxis continues to go well for our devote Terran forces.
Last night, Terran high command issued orders to capture and control all 9 Bio Labs across the surface of Auraxis. The squad I was stationed with began their operation on the continent of Indar, where their objective was to seize control of the Alatum Bio Lab from the Rebel forces of the New Conglomerate. Needless to say the NC were ill prepared for the arrival of our elite forces and were forced to retreat within a matter of minutes. Yes it would appear clearing this Bio Lab was more an act of pest control than assaulting an enemy military confirming the rumours our spies had curated whilst infiltrating the NC ranks. From there it was a simple matter of securing the surrounding area, as to ensure the rebels could not enter the Bio Lab without alerting us to their presence. Continue Reading
The end of 2013 may comes as a relief to some in the games industry, the chance to start again with a clean slate and put the past years mishaps behind them. But before we gain any momentum in this new year let us host the customary award ceremony that not only awards games and developers for their achievements in the past year, but also their mishaps, in this regard we shall present the awards in the sandwich method so as to cushion the the blow of those who receive their just desserts and finish off with the usual coveted awards of worst and best game of the year. Continue Reading
If you can believe it, we are now at the tenth iteration of the Call of Duty Franchise. Yes the first person shooter juggernaut is nearing Final Fantasy levels of sequels. Yet the question remains, have we had ten years of good, solid development?
Well, to put it bluntly, no. Infinity Ward have again presented us with a first person shooter that is adequate. The gun play is the same as previous incarnations and again we are presented with a side show campaign and the main meat of multiplayer. Although Treyarch’s turn at the series last year seemed to make some progress in terms of developing the gameplay, Infinity Ward seems to be stuck in a time warp when it comes to their turn at the helm and it is evidently reflected in the game they have produced. Continue Reading
Free to Play games all have one thing in common, time investment. If you intend to play a F2P game without spending a single penny, you will generally have to invest a significant amount of your time into a game to get the most out of your experience. It is no wonder then that most F2P games revolve around a co-op/ teamwork feature in an attempt to reduce the monotony of the inevitable grind that must take place. That’s not to say free to play games are tedious, I have had some great experiences from a lot of F2Ps, the most recent being Warframe. Continue Reading
The internet is a cruel, petty and easily offended place and as such appears to have shot down the next-gen Xbox before it has even had the chance to be officially announced. Whilst everything we have heard about the new console has been pure speculation and rumor, it hasn’t stopped people voicing their opinions on the subject.
It seems the majority of negativity has originated from the idea that the new console will employ an always on line form of DRM. Now unless you have been living under a rock for the past month, you will know that the subject of always online has been at the center of discussion in the gaming world, thanks mainly to the release of EA’s Simcity, which has succeeded in helping the company win the internet award for ‘Worst company in America’ for the second year running, did I mention the internet was a cruel unforgiving place. Thanks to the DRM requirements, the launch was a train wreck of connection issues and server demands, resulting in apologies and appeasements that rivaled Nick Clegg. So if a single game cause this much calamity, imagine what a console will do. I understand that Microsoft wants to combat piracy, but is this really the right way to go about it. As we saw with Simcity, ruining the experience of the average player just so you can delay those who pirate games from getting the product for free didn’t really work out, it created a PR nightmare. If you have a perfect internet connection the notion of always online shouldn’t phase you, but spare a thought for those who don’t have the luxury of at least 10MB speeds and fibreoptic cables, those who’s internet service is provided by Orange. In a world where our connection can vary so much It seems foolish to rely on something that isn’t always there, it would be like powering your house solely on those solar panels you can have on your roof, you would barley last a day. Continue Reading
If like me you are finding that the current range of First Person Shooters are becoming about as entertaining as a tortoise eating lettuce, yet you still want a first person game to pass the time. have I got the game for you. Put down your assault rifles and sub machine guns and instead pick up a sword and shield and partake in a good old fashioned duel of honour and wits, I am of course referring to Chivalry: Medieval Warfare.
I used to be skeptical about games that didn’t have guns in them, I accepted that the furthest back in time I was willing to go was World War 2 era games, World Was 1 at a push, if a good game released in that era was released. So in retrospect I some what missed out and am now making up for that lost time, playing games like Torchlight and of course Chivalry, which has probably been the most fun I have had from a game in some time. The fun I get in the game originates from running around the map with a war hammer, nothing is more satisfying then charging at a crossbowman as they miss their crucial shot and then bringing the hammer down on their head.
It’s safe to say the combat is infinitely more fun then anything else I have played, whether you just charge in wildly flailing your sword around or you are more precise with your strikes, both strategies can and do work, however the flailing strategy will gain you a lot of hatred from your team as team killing is a constant danger in group skirmishes with horizontal swings being the main cause, people are very apologetic, but I just laugh as a single swing from a vanguard resulted in the death of two of his team and one enemy. You would think that the accidental team kills can be avoided in a free for-all game type, and you would be right, however the game changes from team killing to mosh pits where no one is safe, your one vs one duel will immediately be highjacked by one or more people hoping to score an easy kill while you are distracted. needless to say if you get irate at games i would probably suggest you avoid this title.
Another rather interesting feature in the game is the map design, the most notable being an attack/ defend map that takes place in what can only be described as a lava/ volcano fortress. You know a team is evil when they have a base located on a piece of real estate that even Sauron would consider prime. The Mason’s whilst being the evil side arguably have the better objectives, such as defending the volcano base and pillaging and burning villages. Nothing says medieval theme like pillaging and burning.
The only problems I can really find with this game originates from the server browser. A variant of the Valve system it is somewhat temperamental, if you want to set filter parameters it will think about it and then probably freeze or give you no results that fit your search. You can just ignore this feature by just accepting the results the standard search gives you.
All in all, one problem in a game that has so many redeeming qualities makes for a worth while purchase, with this being a PC title you will only be paying at most around £15 on both Steam and GamersGate and even then it will probably be on sale at some point. So not only is it more fun then games like Call of Duty, it’s cheaper too and any updates are free. Now if you don’t mind I have some filthy peasants to oppress.
So EA announced Battlefield 4, well when I say announce, I mean confirmed another of the industries worst kept secrets since the unveiling of the PS4. If your not skeptical about this announcement then you should be, EA has confirmed that it is planning to release a new FPS every year and since it drove the Medal of Honor franchise of a cliff into shark infested waters during a maelstrom caused by the end of the world it leaves the Battlefield franchise with the back breaking burden of yearly releases.
So how do you announce one of the greatest multiplayer shooters? With a single player demo of course. It seems EA is determined to continue to shoe horn a single player element into a game that, historically speaking, has been multiplayer focused since its origins. Yes it looked impressive, the Frostbite 3 engine really shows what it can do in this environment, but you get the feeling that this is what this is all about, showcasing the engine. The singleplayer element is not there for your benefit, it is there to show off what D.I.C.E’s latest engine can do, with some fancy set pieces and scripted events creating a sense of awe, you get the sense that this would be better used in a film, yes it’s pretty but did anyone come here to see a rendered building collapse or did they come here to look at what would hopefully be a Battlefield game that is going back to what it does best
Battlefield 1942 and Vietnam got by fine with no single player campaign and Battlefield 2 is still considered by some to be, in terms of gameplay, better than Battlefield 3. Personally my favorite is still 2142, it has mechs and what war game wouldn’t be improved with the addition of mechs? Plus the addition of the Titan game mode which adds a whole new element to objective gameplay. Each Battlefield game had something about them that made them memorable, from the beach landings of 1942 to the sky diving off of a Titan in 2142, 100% of the development time was focused on making a pure multiplayer game and it showed. All this history seems to be disregarded by one of the people presenting the unveiling, saying “Social persistence to increase replay value… A single player game true to the Battlefield franchise.” I assume you jumped into the Battlefield series around the time of Bad Company then, either that or you are suffering from a serious case of selective amnesia.
All in all I think we may end up seeing the death of the Battlefield franchise and judging by EA’s current track record it may make it a certainty. In pursuit of the success of Call of Duty, EA has sacrificed one franchise in the form of Medal of Honor and is looking at doing the same to Battlefield just for the sake of earning more money and pleasing the investors, Battlefield is not Call of Duty, so stop trying to make it like Call of Duty, we already have one and personal I’m not too fond of it.I’m okay with the fancy graphics, just cut the singleplayer crap, get rid of the yearly release plan and focus on what a Battlefield game should be, a well crafted large scale multiplayer game.
Another EA release, another Server traffic jam that can only be likened to navigating the inside lane of the Arc de Triomphe at rush hour, what an appropriate analogy considering the latest cause for EA’s server woes is a Sim City game.
I’ve experienced EA’s lack of foresight on several occasions, most notably Battlefield 1943, where I sat waiting to connect to a server whilst the Battlefield theme tune was played on a constant loop being drilled into my subconscious, I’m sure there’s treaties against that kind of torture but hey, I eventually got to play the game at least, after an hour. Other games I have had issues with have been Mass Effect 2 and 3’s online components, because they totally needed online connections to be playable, right, Battlefield Bad company 2 and Battlefield 3 present the usual connection errors and server capacity issues, Bad company 2 presented the problem of loosing track of my progress, meaning I had no unlocks, so yeah, I haven’t had the best experiences when it comes to the online components of EA’s games.
The odd thing is, the whole EA day one server issues should never really affect a Sim City game, you would think I’ll just jump on the single player and get my worth out of the game there, well aren’t you living in the past, the genius minds at EA have decided that a mainly single player game should be subject to their ‘always online’ DRM system forcing you to connect to the EA servers no matter what game mode you play, and thus here is where the current day one complaints originate from. There has been much debate about the use of DRM in the past few months and most if not all of the press has been negative and here is a demonstration of why.
If your waiting in a server queue, I feel sorry for you, I would suggest contacting EA customer support, but that’s a completely different can of worms to open up and I really wouldn’t recommend it. So instead I would say, just sit back and relax to the soothing sound of the Battlefield 1943 theme tune played on a constant loop.