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Just When I Thought I Was Out…

June 16, 2015
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Some of you are already saying, “Oh, shit ‘Suns!”  And you are right.  But, first, let me explain the secondary reference in the title of this post.  I thought I would be able to say that The Division is completely off my radar.  However, after watching the MP Reveal trailer, reminiscent, no doubt intentionally, of DayZ where trust is the currency that makes any and all activity meaningful, I have decided to continue tracking this game.  The beta, if I can try it, will make future decisions very easy.  I am completely cooled off, by not closed-minded.

Now for the meat of this post.  I played lots, lots of Gears of War Ultimate Edition Beta last night.  Kenny is gonna laugh at this because having stayed up most of the previous night to watch the MS Conference, I was tired and headache-y when I got home from work.  Fortunately, Cornie had checked my XBL messages and had already downloaded the Beta for me.   I played it with Kenny and Frenik listening in party chat, enjoyed myself thoroughly (and becoming a bit of a nusance, I think), and then went to bed.  But I didn’t.  Thinking I could put my desires to rest by getting Cornie to give it another try, our conversation went something like this, “Yes, Cornie, you can play games tonight if you re-download the Beta and play that.  I want you to give it a fair shake, because I know you could dominate even with shenanigans.  You don’t need to play more Destiny tonight.”

But just knowing that he was playing wasn’t enough.  After about an hour of pretending, with my head still pounding, I got up again and played more.  Hours more!   Of course, even playing Team Deathmatch, nothing gets my blood pumping and makes me shout louder or laugh harder than hip-firing the gnasher and witnessing the results (for good or for evil).  Within a half hour or so, I got the “SHUSH!” and the angry face from previously-sleeping Chiiko.  How long has it been since that happened?!  And Cornie and I burst out laughing when I fired 2 rounds into a COGs face (not his back) and… nothing!  In Gears One that would have been funny/enraging.  In the UE, at 60fps in HD Unreal 4, it was absolutely hilarious because there was no stuttering, or bouncing or anything.  There were no excuses, just in-your-face, full-on shenanigans!  When this game goes on sale, “Not on my screen!”  will be replaced by, “Xbox, record that!.. XBOX, R e c o r d  t h a t!

I didn’t end K/D positive for the night, but I had quite a few rounds where I took two or three down in a row.  It was always thus for this Double D gamer.  All I ever needed was just that one clutch kill, or those rare rounds in which I ran around like Super Mario killing the whole enemy team.  That always had me saying, “Just one more.” 

It was so hard to quit for the night.

GoW:UE is not Gears One, but more importantly, it is not Gears 2 or 3 either.  I suppose with the 60fps and the dedicated servers, and with toggle-able options (more on that later) it is the closest thing we will ever get to Gears 1.5.  It was very cool.  I am sure I will be “trying it out” again tonight.  As you probably guessed, I plan on buying this game, jumpin’ ahead, as it were.  I can see myself playing GoW:UE even alone, as I do PvZ:GW and I did BF:BC2.    Hearing that it will be $40 ($50? CAN) is just a huge help.  This, and backward compatibility will give me my Gears fix till Gears Of Four releases.

How was that for a mid-day Snicker’s Bar, Kenai?  😉

Hit the jump for some detailed, feature-specific feedback/impressions of the game.

I think that some people don’t fully realize the importance of 60fps.  It doesn’t just make the game look smoother, it makes gameplay and hit detection more accurate.  With the shenanigans still intact, the only explanation I can make for some of those in-your-face misses is the “crit-hit” randomizing X-factor.  Regardless, the beauty of 60fps HD is that you can see clearly what happened and where you got cheated.  Saved films is going to be hilarious!

The benefit of dedicated servers cannot be overstated.  No longer is a single person running around in invincibility mode.  (The Super Mario mode thing I mentioned earlier is because of hit detection problems, not because someone is shooting with ammo that is different from everyone else’s.)

Toggle-able everything.  In addition to the features that have already been mentioned as binary, we need to be able to turn off spotting and red/blue glow, and melees (lancer excepted) if we so choose.  Note: playing with randoms without mics is the reason why those two features are fantastic additions to the game.  Now, at least that much information can be conveyed without voice.  Good stuff!

Dedicated servers for custom (but not necessarily private) matches.  If Microsoft doesn’t want to provide serving for every little wacky 1 or 2 player private room that people want to set up, I understand.  But how about if we are willing to open our custom games to the public.  If it happens that we are able to fill the room on our own with our friends, then we deserve a dedicated server.  If our room isn’t full, then in order to secure a dedicated server, we have to open it to the public.   I think that would be an excellent compromise, and it would have two side benefits for gamers.  First, gamers could play the game they way they want without a client-server penalty.  They would be happier, which adds to longevity to the game.  Second, because the custom rooms would be filled to capacity with randoms if spots were open, it would give gamers a chance to experience custom settings that they might not have tried on their own.  It would be great for recruitment for communities. NOTE: I am not requesting a server browser. But allowing some game parameter choices for joining a game would be great.

One more thing, following PC tradition, the custom game settings need to be displayed on a splash screen before randoms jump in, so they know what to expect.

And that is my feedback thus far.

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23 Comments
  1. Blankman permalink*
    June 16, 2015 11:18 pm

    “Yes, Cornie, you can play games tonight if you re-download the Beta and play that. I want you to give it a fair shake, because I know you could dominate even with shenanigans. You don’t need to play more Destiny tonight.”

    LMAO Listening to you ranting before you actually tried the MP beta was hilarious, Suns! Remember that I was the voice of reason before you jumped into the beta to experience it for yourself. I love ya, brutha.

  2. June 16, 2015 11:43 pm

    Suns, you had me at “Hello”. 🙂

  3. June 17, 2015 12:26 am

    Played some Canals, and the potential is massssssive. Xbox official news site indicates that all game modes would be coming back. Also, the game is very pretty, but not UE4 from what I understand.

    Custom games is a must. I already tweeted Rod (not expecting a response). If we get custom games, and lots of options, this could possibly be a more “fun” game for us than GOW4 lol.

    Regardless, I am drooling all over the content on the official site and can’t wait to get lost in the world again.

  4. June 17, 2015 12:59 am

    Any game is worth it at the right price. I haven’t played the Beta yet, still got stuff to do in Destiny and Payday before I can mess around with the shenanigans. However I did fire up the Gears 1 on the 360, and it was awesome. Execution is what I loved Gears for, and the maps, movement and Gnasher.

    I still think Trials of Osiris has spoiled me with great elimination round base carnage, and having a super as part of the strategy as well as heavy weapons intensifies the already intense loot driven high stake of winning.

    But Gears was different. It was the ability to pull off something great in the midst of all the shenanigans, it was almost welcoming the 3v1 scenarios, or going toe to toe against host shotgun and owning. Those highs made all the lows worth it.

    I think there’s a place for it, and I think I would still play it every now and then. They just have to put it at the right price and I will own it again.

  5. RoBBins permalink*
    June 17, 2015 1:56 am

    After playing some more tonight, theres no way I CANT buy this. Not only does the nostalgia of the good ol’ days hit me in the feels, but as expected, the Gears 4 beta will be included with each copy.

    I had so many nice headshots and a few blindfires where i squealed like a little girl, but completely forgot about the record option on the One 😦 So unfortunately I couldnt capture them in all their glory. Oh well, maybe next time!

  6. June 17, 2015 8:00 am

    It’s great to be talking about Gears of War again! I’m loving the beta and hope everyone else is too! 🙂

  7. June 17, 2015 1:59 pm

    loved it but…. there’s a few things that irk me badly. Teams do not change, if i am playing solo I want this. You can spawn camp like crazy (Only a problem if there’s no execution) and the aim is different. However like I said before the highs are worth it. The boys told me it was $60, i would pay $40, so i’ll wait.

    • RoBBins permalink*
      June 18, 2015 3:02 am

      Gears Ultimate Edition is $40, not 60.

  8. June 17, 2015 4:40 pm

    Hey Numb!

    Frenik, the price is $39.99! So, ….you’re in!

    Played another 2 hours and Canals is definitely not made for Team Deathmatch, but I had a great time.

    • June 17, 2015 8:47 pm

      Thanks for the heads-up, Zos. Great news. I also heard that the new One dashboard will be faster.

  9. June 18, 2015 12:51 am

    I don’t know how, and I can’ imagine it will be immediately, but I think that I might just have to get one; raise my k/d from 0.63 to 0.067.

    And GoW:UE is coming to PC! That is good news for the community.

    IS THIS TRUE?

    The game will, as promised, run at 1080p and 60 FPS, will have remastered 7.1 audio, and its online play will have dedicated servers, even for private games. Private games will be more customizable than in the past, too, as you will be able to turn on and off certain mechanics like the bonus from an active reload if you want a purist multiplayer shooter experience.

  10. June 18, 2015 3:39 pm

    Played way too late last night, incredibly fun (even with randoms). I got some saved vids I think, brought the pain.

    OT: M$ confirmed xbox 360 games can also stream to windows 10 PCs and Oculus Rift

    • June 18, 2015 4:45 pm

      Yeah, I played another couple of hours last night. I am still working on breaking old habits, center screen aim being the biggest challenge. I successfully “Rolly Roped” several times, but one of them got me two kills high side by tree in Canals. It was utterly epic and almost worth the whole evening. I could feel the ghosts of The Stranded cheering me on.

      I also tried KOTH and it was a refreshing change from TDM, which those maps are not made for, War Machine especially. The maps are incredibly beautiful!

      For the sake of a smooth launch, this beta should not end. The game should go on sale now, and they should take the next 3 months to ensure ALL systems work at launch. It will release with many systems broke out of sight. I’m going to post on Reddit today and get my thoughts out there. It won’t make a difference, but I will have done all that I could.

    • June 18, 2015 5:16 pm

      Dedicated servers for private matches confirmed. And AR downs, Down times, weapon swaps etc all toggle-able.

    • June 18, 2015 6:40 pm

      Thanks for confirming, Zos. I hope that MS doesn’t renege on that, because as is, we are getting almost everything we ever wanted. I will hold off until the game releases, but this is looking very much like how 343 took over Halo and gave us the best Halo.

      Now, I have added my comment in Reddit, just requesting that we be able to toggle the red/blue, and asking for another extended beta (or the sale the of the game proper for testing until launch day) so the game doesn’t launch with all these untested systems, broke out of sight. Please click it and reply if you don’t mind.

      http://www.reddit.com/r/GearsOfWar/comments/3a82iz/ue_beta_discussion_v3/csb8pkh

      EDIT:

      All weapon skins will be available to all who have played the beta on at least 2 of the 7 days. BUT, the Cole Train (who takes what he wants) will only be available to those who play Sunday morning with me. LOL (Sat 2:00 – 5:00 PM PDT)

  11. June 18, 2015 10:19 pm

    Left my reply dawg

  12. RoBBins permalink*
    June 19, 2015 1:43 pm

    Is anyone else trying to record clips during the beta and then finding out that they werent actually saved and recorded? Has happened to me at least 5-6 times.

    • June 19, 2015 6:58 pm

      RoBBins, as far as I know, only screenshots are available for the beta.

    • RoBBins permalink*
      June 20, 2015 3:28 am

      Yeah I just thought about that being the case a few minutes ago when I jumped off of the beta for the night (before reading your comment). That’s a bummer though. I’ve had some REALLY nice clips I would’ve loved to upload onto my XBL profile.

      I’ve only used screenshots a couple times but it’s been to show how shitty my team was, or just for something weird that happened. Oh well, I can wait until August for game clips 😉

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