Just When I Thought I Was Out…
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.