Battlefield 4 First Impressions: Deep Impact, Big Crashes

 

 

battlefield 4 beta

The Battlefield series has been my shooter of choice since the original release of Battlefield 1942 in 2002 (Shh, Call of Duty 4; our love affair will remain forever a secret). I remember the thrill of hopping into a plane, strafing real players on the ground, and then parachuting out if need be to return to the battle. There wasn’t anything quite like it at the time, and there are very few games that do it as well as Battlefield to this day.

So the burning question on my mind is how is the Battlefield 4 beta? Is it the next evolution in the series, more of the same, or a step backwards?

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BREAKING NEWS: Battlefield 3 Caspian Border Map Returns, High-Res Texture on Xbox 360

So the title pretty much says it all, but to clarify: for PC gamers, you have one more chance to play Caspian Border on Battlefield 3 before the beta ends. In this final weekend, Caspian Border will be available to play, no password-hunting required. The servers are up now (I’ve checked) so get on it!

 

More info after the bump!

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Medal of Honor (2010) Beta Impressions

Medal of Honor 2010 beta

Medal of Honor is a well-known first person shooter series that dates back to November 11, 1999; released on the PlayStation 1 console. Created by Steven Spielberg, the series created various spin-offs and expansions over several different home gaming consoles, PCs, and Macs. This most recent Medal of Honor title is scheduled to release on October 12, 2010 across various platforms (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC). Developers have decided to ditch the setting of WWII in favor of a more recent setting; this time around it is set in Afghanistan–complete with modern day technology, modern day weapons, and modern day vehicles.

For this closed beta, there are only two available game modes that can be played, as well as two different playable maps. First, there is mission mode, which is akin to Battlefield: Bad Company 2’s “rush” mode where certain objectives must be accomplished before the attackers can advance further into the map. Then there is team assault… which is, well, exactly like team deathmatch. Available maps on the closed beta include Helmand Valley (mission), and Kabul City Ruins (team assault).

Aside from a slightly different controller button layout, this game basically feels and controls much like Battlefield: Bad Company 2, but that’s really where their similarities end. Most importantly, the hit detection in the MOH closed beta could definitely use some fine tuning, as well as the minimal amount of recoil that each available weapon has. The weapons just don’t have a “lifelike” feel to them in this early version of the game. Luckily for those interested in the upcoming MOH, the game won’t be released until the middle of October – so there’s a lot of time for the developers to tighten this up.

Having been mentioned several different times on the EA forums, the MOH closed beta is prone to having game crashing freezing issues. More times than not, and for some strange reason, this issue of freezing almost always happens to those people playing on the Taliban’s side once they get a multi-kill streak, mostly after three consecutive kills. Although while I was playing the beta for several hours yesterday afternoon, I started to notice the same kind of freezing would happen while playing on the U.S. team. Yet another glaring weakness of this closed beta would have to be the underpowered explosives. If you hit a tank from behind with two RPG rounds in BFBC2, the tank’s destroyed. If you hit a tank from behind with two RPG rounds in MOH, the tank’s still functional. If EA plans on selling more than four copies of their newest first person shooter game, I really think they had better straighten out these game breaking issues before its scheduled release in October.

Medal of Honor beta 2010

Another issue that I noticed while playing the MOH beta is the fact that you are unable to have settings saved in the options menu of the game. Undoubtedly this major issue will be fixed before its October 12th release, but I think it’s worth mentioning now for those people who want to play this once it becomes an open beta. It should also be noted that you’re unable to pickup other people’s weapons when you run low on your own ammunition. Here’s a warning for all the MOH snipers out there… your rifles will feel very, very underpowered. Upon first use, they could very well make the sniper rifles in Socom: Confrontation seem beastly than they actually were when that game first launched, almost two years ago.

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Skate 3: It’s a Grind

As I think back, I have very fond memories of shredding the “Brennan Banks” near my house as a long-haired rebellious teenager. My friend Andrew and I would hit those banks everyday, popping a few nollie heelflips and pissing off the old lady across the street. The first Skate brought me back to these memories in a few vivid and creative ways. Skate 3, however, falls short in almost every one of those ways.

One of the best points that the first Skate had going for it was that it wasn’t a Tony Hawk game. While Tony Hawk pumped your excitement by making you grind power lines, Skate fed you adrenaline by having you grind down a stair rail. This more realistic approach was well executed and really gave the player a feeling similar to what you experience in real life.

Fast forward 2 sequels into the future. Skate 3 still isn’t a Tony Hawk game, but the luster is almost completely lacking now. By this point, there is very little you can learn if you aren’t new to the series. You know most of the controls and you know most of the tricks. The game still has you grinding down stair rails and jumping gaps, but the only way to justify a third installment seems to have been to make it all more ridiculous. In Skate 3 you will find yourself jumping over absurd gaps or racing down the side of a cliff. You know, things that every skater does in real life. This takes away from the game in big way, as it diminishes the sense of realism and makes me feel like I am playing a video game again.

This paragraph will be a short one because there is basically no story. The “story” is that you are a legend skateboarder who misses a big ridiculous trick and decides to make his own skateboard team after his sponsors pull out. That is it. Your goal is to sell boards by accomplishing goals. There is no plot to speak of past the opening cinematic (BTW, the live action opening film was completely awesome. It had nothing to do with the game, but was cool regardless). I had no sense of interest or connection to my character or the world. I felt like Keanu Reeves when he acts.

Happy.

Ok, I lied. That paragraph wasn’t that short. Moving on. The character customizations were okay. Not a lot of choices as far as hairstyles, but the face can be changed pretty extensively. The clothing didn’t impress me. Granted, skater styles has changed since I was rambunctious kid wearing an Element hoodie and ripped up jeans, but it seems like all you have to choose from is ugly plaid shirts and T-shirts that don’t quite fit the way I like them. Nothing really fit my character right. I couldn’t understand why everything was so big. There wasn’t much to choose from anyway though so shame on you, Skate 3.

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Don’t Drink the Bungie or EA Kool-Aid (NSFW)

I’m sick and tired of us gamers allowing the big companies to push us around.  I’m looking at you, EA and Bungie.  Recently, both companies have made some questionable moves in my opinion, and everyone seems willing to just bend over and take it.  It’s time we realize we’re better than this and don’t have to sit in a circle and drink the red kool-aid in unison.

First of all, Bungie.  Do you really expect us to believe this is actually a beta and not a huge marketing machine?  Obviously you would never put out a buggy and possibly unworking version of anything having to do with your cash-cow that is Halo.  Of course not. This “beta” is as polished as the real thing.  “Oh no, the grenades are too strong, I must see this change before launch!”  Gimme a break, how is this beta any different than the retail version?  Just release a patch, or don’t–who even cares?  Halo has always been a more arcadey shooter than most others, so why complain now when the grenades are unrealistic?  Too late asshole.  And all you’re doing is making Bungie think it’s okay to call this a beta when it’s really just a demo.  Let’s call a spade a spade here.  This is the Halo Reach demo.  They can document changes on their site all they want. I’s just a front for what is clearly a demo.  This is way too polished to be called anything else.

Way back in the year 2002 I was a part of the Sims Online Beta, and you know why you probably didn’t know that? Because IT SUCKED!!!! The game was buggy as hell and it was work to test that piece of shit, and that should be the point. In a real beta, by the time the game has all the bugs worked out you should be so sick of seeing it you never want to see it again.  And that’s exactly what happened.  Clearly Sims Online didn’t do that well, but the point is, I steered completely clear of it on launch.

So then why should Bungie make such a mass production for a beta that could potentially turn away the market for your game?  Simple: it won’t because it’s a freakin demo that’s already been beta-tested!!!  Wake up and stop pretending you’re impacting the game development process, you sheep; you’re not.  Bungie knows exactly what they’re doing and you’re playing right into it.

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