Recent posts: Battlefield: Bad Company 2
Rent-a-servers have finally arrived in Battlefield 3, as the patch of a lifetime has finally gone live as of today on Playstation 3. The controversial and highly anticipated patch brings with it a massive amount of tweaks to virtually every gun, gadget and vehicle in the game, most notably the nerfing of the USAS + Frag Rounds combo and the elevator trick with the MAV. What it also brought with it is the ability to give DICE and EA your money for lots of new things. You’ll be able to take a look at the full patch notes and other details with video after the break.
Mass Effect: Infiltrator is the latest EA game to get in line on the iOS device bandwagon. Like Battlefield: Bad Company 2, RAGE, Dead Space and Battlefield 3 before it, EA has dedicated a team of developers to making sure they can milk the hell out of their franchises across all platforms. Working with Bioware on this one was a company called Iron Monkey Studios and I have no idea who they are or where they came from, but it terms of the overall aesthetics of Mass Effect: Infiltrator, they did a solid job. Below and/or after the break, you will find some video footage of the game along with some screen shots of the action, as well as some of my brief thoughts about the whole experience.
One of the coolest aspects of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is the melee attacking. Sure, everyone likes to get a random knife kill here and there in the world of first person shooters, but the folks at DICE turned the act into an art, because in the world of Bad Company 2, when you stick a knife in someones back… you take a little piece of them with you. Namely, their dog tags. As an example, let me show you this shiny set of dog tags I personally own from someone who may kind of, sort of be familiar:
He’s not mad about it or anything, though. OK I may get kicked off the site for this, but before I go, you can check out my stats for more confirmation here.
Anyway, the developers at DICE are having a community playdate this Wednesday where they are putting their tags on the line. For more information, you can check out their blog post here... or directly below:
Wednesday Frag Night with DICE
If there was an opportunity for you to knife the developers of Bad Company 2, you wouldn’t resist right? Imagine having DICE dogtags in your collection. At least five of them.
Well, now is your chance. Go ahead and make it happen. The Game with Dev event is now coming to PC and we are bringing five DICE -players with us. Always wanted to knife Demize99? How about blowing Bazajaytee up with a Carl Gustav? Epic roadkill on zh1nt0?
Other players are Romeo DICE (special guest) and Stormonster.
The time of this event will be Wednesday the 28th of July 18:00 – 22:00 CEST.
Servers will be announced as soon as the event starts. This is to make sure everyone has a chance to jump on the servers as soon as we start.
In order to see where we are playing, check out our twitter channels:
So, take some time off work, leave the children with someone else, say goodbye to your significant other because this Wednesday is going to be awesome.
Finally, after a month of delays, pre-order drama and ridiculousness, the multi-player beta for the reboot of the Medal Of Honor series from EA is downloaded on my harddrive. I have been pretty excited about this game, as it really looks like EA and Danger Close have been going all out to make sure Medal Of Honor reclaims its thrown as the king of the first person shooter. Adding to the excitement is the fact that that the developers from the Battlefield series, DICE, were brought on board to handle the multi-player aspects of the game. Considering how addicted I am to the entire Battlefield series, and especially Bad Company 2, this should have been great. After sitting down and spending an hour fiddling around with the two maps and game play types available here on the beta, I think I can safely say… that whole reclaiming the crown thing… yeah, that’s not going to be happening.
There are two game modes available to play as part of the beta: your normal Team Deathmatch on the streets of Kabul and a team Objective based game in Helmand Valley, Afghanistan that plays a lot like Rush on Bad Company 2. I am normally a team objective kind of guy, but Team Deathmatch is the vastly superior game mode of the two featured here, and it certainly gives Modern Warfare 2 a run for its money.
I want to start by saying that aesthetically, this game is outstanding. The graphics are amazing, the level design is incredible, the HUD system is done very well. Everything is in place for this to be outstanding, no doubt about it, and I think that is the most frustrating part about all of this. Then the game play actually starts and it is nothing but frustration. Realizing this is a beta, I am going to try and be constructive in my criticism. Initially, I was ready to take a drive to rip city, but I forced myself to play a few more rounds and decided to take another approach. Here are the major issues I have with this beta:
– It can be nearly impossible to see your enemy at a distance. I understand this is the purpose of camouflage and that Danger Close is trying to make this realistic, but there has to be a way to mark the enemies from a distance. As it stands, one of the few ways you can see them is when they fire their guns, and even that is iffy. I have found myself shooting blindly at areas I think people are shooting from and getting kills with no skill involved. This isn’t fun. I’ll take it, but the whole thing is stupid. In Battlefield, your teammates could spot enemies by pushing the back button and a red triangle pops up over their head. Something like this is necessary. There is just no two ways around it.
– Bullet damage makes no sense. Case in point, using the default settings on the sniper rifle, I was in a game of Team Deathmatch when our own DJ Krome rounded a corner straight at me. Dude had time to send a text message, light a cigar, punch my dog and beat off to a picture of Lebron James before he realized I had already shot him three times and decide “meh, guess I’ll make Jay blow a gasket” and killed me in one shot. I have no problem with people killing me, but it should at least make sense.
– The tank is totally broken. There is literally zero splash effect to the cannon. I am having a hard time understanding why I need to get a direct hit on someone four times with a tank cannon in order to kill them. It is stupid, it makes no sense and it needs to be fixed. The turret also seems to be very loose and moves way too freely. Maybe I am just too used to every other tank I’ve ever driven in where it feels like a piece of machinery is trying to rotate instead of someone praying and spraying, but I digress. I mean, the RPG’s have splash, why the hell wouldn’t a tank?
– The sniper class is lame. I realize this only effects the first few matches you play in, but I just can’t wrap my head around why in the world they would start the sniper class with a red dot. You are literally not capable of legitimate ranged attacks until you reach level 2 in the sniper class. I have used a red dot on a sniper rifle before, but when you are trying to rush up a hill with people constantly hiding behind walls and rocks, you kind of want guys on your squad capable of picking shooters off as you rush up the hill.
– The sites are so counter-productive. What is the point in having an iron sight that impedes on your view of an enemy? Why the second I look down the barrel of whatever gun I am using, I have this huge iron ring blocking a god portion of my line of sight. I have a hard time believing that guns are designed so that they make it hard for the user to see what they are shooting at, so why is that the case here? I realize it is possible to get kills with the iron sights, but I think they are horrible. They are just way too thick. I also think the red dot is poorly designed, too. Why isn’t it clear? I’m already having a hard enough time seeing people at distance, why am I looking through a yellow tinted red dot site? The execution here is just terrible.
– The whole thing is just a camp-fest, especially team objective. There is definitely teamwork involved on both fronts, but I was in a situation today where a well-placed grenade could have scored at least eight kills because everyone was so bunched in together, but when you are going up the hill towards the last tactical location, there is strategically no other place to go. The game plays so close quarters that it can be very frustrating at times.
I can understand and appreciate Danger Close and DICE trying to stay true to reality and make this an accurate portrayal of real combat, but it’s just not going to work if they want to be anything more than a niche video game. Operation Flashpoint already tried this and they fell right on their face. As awful as it sounds, this game needs to be dumbed down a little. EA needs to look at their target audience. The Modern Warfail fanboy will play that game religiously until their fingers fall off. I legitimately see zero possibility that this group of fans would switch over to Medal Of Honor, regardless of how much better the graphics and map design are. It’s all about the action, and for better or worse, the Call Of Duty franchise has some very addictive elements to it. I put myself into a voluntary hiatus from the series until Black Ops comes out, but at this point in time, if I was given the choice between playing Modern Warfare 2 and Medal Of Honor, I’d probably go with Modern Warfare 2 every time. Considering EA is claiming that they want to take back the lead in the first person shooter race, this is going to be problematic.
The thing I am really trying hard to keep in mind here is that this is a beta, and there will be plenty of opportunity to improve upon the short comings that are very evident. I will definitely still be buying this game, because I think EA and Danger Close have an amazing single player experience in store for us, but as presently constituted, I don’t know if the multi-player will be enough to get me off Bad Company 2. I know it may be unfair to constantly compare Medal Of Honor to the Battlefield series, but that is the risk EA took in bringing in DICE to handle the multi-player. I went into the experience expecting it to play a lot like Battlefield, and it just doesn’t. The potential is there, I just don’t know if there is enough time to correct the issues I think are present, or if Danger Close is even remotely interested in what I have to say. But right now, it is very clear to me that EA’S claims of reclaiming glory are going to be all for naught.
Ever since Al Gore took the initiative to create the internet in 1992, the information superhighway has been improving the lives of users worldwide in a multitude of ways once never even imagined. Gone are the days where little Jimmy from down the block had to come over with his controller to get in a killer session of Techmo Bowl, as through the advent of the world wide web, an entire universe of gamers are now connected to each other from the comforts of their own home. The internet has changed the face of gaming as we know it, bringing our imagination to a new level of euphoria and offering hours and hours of replay value to most of the games in our gaming liabrary.
While there is a lot to love about the role the internet plays in today’s gaming world (like, you know, the fact that it even exists), there is definitely a dark side to the whole concept at play, for better and for worse. Below you will find what I feel are the top five ways that the internet is ruining gaming as we know it.
5. Developers Gain New Ways To Steal Your Money – This is a bit of a catch 22 situation. On one hand, I have seen the life of many of my favorite games extended with the advent of downloadable content. On the other, I have seen games essentially released incomplete, even asking for people to pay for content that is already loaded on the disc. This has left me with mixed emotions, because a lot of times, the rewards out-weigh the bullshit.
I think of a game like Borderlands as the classic example of how downloadable content can enhance the gaming experience. All three expansion packs for the game have been outstanding in their own right, completely different from the main story and totally worth the price of admission. I think it is awesome that Gearbox found a way to extend the life of the game before hitting us with a sequel. I know other games like Fallout 3, Grand Theft Auto IV and more recently, Red Dead Redemption have offered similar experiences, or will in the near future.
Then we have the latest batch of bullshit that is Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Now I am all for new maps, and up until the sixth release of the game, the map packs involved with the Call Of Duty franchise had pretty much been a positive experience that I looked forward to. It kept the game fresh, and for many World At War players, added an entirely different game mode that they would love and adore. The they decided to jump the shark. To call the Stimulus and Resurgence packs anything but a total fucking joke would be an understatement. Yes, I realize that between the two, there are six new maps, and that is all well and good, but nothing will ever change the fact that Activision has charged gamers an extra $10 combined for gamers to download four maps that were readily available on Call Of Duty 4. There is absolutely no excuse for this. It is a total cash grab, and they are doing it because they know the lemmings will pay it. Now there are even the constant rumors of a subscription based service. Where will it end? This is just the beginning of the Pandora’s box that has been opened.
Another one that really pissed me off was in Madden 2010. EA just had to get in their piece of that sweet DLC pie with the biggest sports game in the industry, didn’t they? Thus we have the Legacy Pack, a complete joke of a DLC that was released to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the AFL by adding throwback uniforms and a retro feel to games played between original AFL teams. This is the type of shit that should come standard on the game. I could understand if they asked you to win the Super Bowl in career mode or something like that to unlock it, but to actually charge people $7 to own it is a total slap in the face of everyone that has made that franchise what it is today. I have personally owned every Madden game that I can remember being released, going all the way back to the Sega Genesis. I am totally OK with the fact that I pretty much buy the game for updated rosters and slightly enhanced graphics year to year. I can live with that. Don’t insult me by making me pay for simple shit like this. Adding insult to injury, EA didn’t stop there, as they also unleashed the “Elite Status” package on their faithful fans. Are you ready for a new level of bullshit? For five extra dollars, you can unlock All-Madden mode! That’s right, on top of a bunch of other BS, EA actually had the balls to charge their fans extra for the hardest difficulty in the game. This is unacceptable.
Now we have the latest trend sweeping gaming: VIP status, and guess who is right in the thick of it… that’s right, Electronic Arts. It pretty much started with Dragon Age, moved on to the Cerberus Network on Mass Effect 2, took over the Battlefield on Bad Company 2, and now has moved on to Project $10 with the EA Sports franchise, starting with Tiger Woods. I didn’t play Dragon Age, so I don’t want to speak ignorantly about it, but I can talk about the Cerberus Network, and how it basically is there to penalize people who buy games used. Somewhere in their greedy little heads, EA decided they are entitled to make money off of people in the after-market, which is probably a debate for another time, but as it stands now, these little programs like Cerberus were created to give “free” content to fans who purchased the game. With Mass Effect 2, this “free” content included a playable character named Zaeed, who was pretty badass and totally on the disc already. So somewhere out there, there are people that don’t connect their XBox 360’s to the internet who are playing a game that is totally incomplete, at no fault of their own. On top of that, anyone buying the game used is forced to pay $15 for the Cerberus Network in order to unlock content that is already on the disc. Adding further insult to injury is the fact that EA has already made their money off the game you may have just bought used, and now they are milking it for more. Again, that’s probably an entire article in and of itself, but it still totally grinds my gears, and I say that as someone who purchased Mass Effect 2 brand new at 10:00AM on the day it was released.
But is free really free? To my knowledge, just about everything that has been part of the VIP program with Battlefield: Bad Company 2 has been sitting, waiting right on the disc. On top of that, none of it has been actual original content, it has all been simple ports of existing maps into alternate game modes. Shouldn’t this stuff be available from day one? And if it is already on the disc, why should someone have to pay $12 to become a “VIP” to have access to it if they had the audacity to buy it from someone else that already used their VIP code? People can correct me if I am wrong (and oh boy, I know they will), but on Dragon Age, isn’t one of the perks you gain from whatever that game calls its “VIP” package a chest that you can store extra loot in? Isn’t this the type of stuff that should be completely standard?
Now we have EA thinking that they will charge for the use of their shitty servers. Don’t buy Tiger Woods 2010 used if you plan on playing online, or you’re going to be adding on an extra 10 bucks to your purchase price. I might be OK with this if EA could guarantee they could keep me connected to their games, but as we all know, that is definitely not their forte. Another promise I’d like is that they are going to keep their servers going for these games they are making people pay to play online, because there are more than a few games I have bought used that are no longer supported online, rendering some of the achievements completely unattainable.
In general, I think the advent of downloadable content has been far more positive than negative, but the negative really just seems to stick out so much more. I could probably go on and on and on with examples of both, but I think you get the point.
4. Avast Matey, Yarr There She Blows – Just about everything about pirates is cool, except the whole stealing part. Piracy in gaming has been as bad as it has been in any industry, causing many a studio to fold, and even sinking an entire console. It has given people this new sense of entitlement that I never thought I would experience, and never seem to have the right answer to combat.
The Sega Dreamcast is the first console that I can remember being so easily modded, and I know a ton of people that still have one today. As a matter of fact, anyone that actually still owns a Dreamcast today probably does because of the massive collection of bootleg games they have to go with it. This was one of the biggest deathblows to the system, which is unfortunate, because it really was a revolutionary little machine. Not only did it kill this in particular console, but it almost destroyed Sega entirely, as they would never make another console again, and now spend their days as a third party studio developing games.
With this generation of consoles, the XBox 360 and Nintendo Wii have faced a severe level of piracy, as have some of the hand-helds. Both consoles have fought vigilantly against pirates, with Wii offering new firmware on a regular basis, and Microsoft having random banwaves from time to time. No one really knows exactly how they track modded consoles, and I doubt anyone ever will. One famous little sting operation run by Microsoft was with Forza 3, which resulted in a ton of gamers getting their gamer tags banned for playing it early. Again, I don’t know if they could track the legitimacy of the game or not, but I am pretty sure just about everyone playing early was playing it on their favorite brand of dual layer.
If you ever want a healthy dose of comedy, try listening to the excuse wagon that piraters roll out whenever they are called on it. Oh, games are too expensive, I like to try games before I buy them, I thought it was going to suck, wahhhh wahhh wahhhh. Please. If you can’t afford the game, you don’t deserve to play it. It is legitimately that simple. If you don’t want to pay for the game, you deserve to play it even less. The ultimate kick to the balls is that not only are these people playing the games for free, but they are generally playing them days and sometimes even weeks before those that do. In their minds, because they have the ability to do something, it is obviously OK that they do. Internet providers not only do nothing to truly combat the practice, but they essentially encourage it in their advertising. I have even heard reps use it in their sales pitch.
Piracy is slowly killing off the PC gaming community as well. Some companies are finding ways to weed out legitimate copies of a game from the bootlegs, but it is still a constant struggle to survive, and the hackers always seem to have the upper hand. Hopefully companies like Steam will be able to keep the dream alive, but the ultimate reality is there are tons of smaller developers that are the ones really getting burned here.
I don’t know what the ultimate answer to this problem is. 1000’s of people are losing their jobs because of it, and there is absolutely nothing that can be said to justify the action. I don’t know if the video game industry has truly been ravaged the way the music industry has, and for our sake I hope it never is.
3. Server Overload In 3, 2, 1… – I started to touch on this in #5, but now we are going to expand on it fully. The most important part of the entire multiplayer and peer vs. peer experience is the ability to actually connect for a game. I think that pretty much goes without saying. There are a number of ways to make this happen, either through dedicated servers or by designating a host player based on internet connection. Neither scenario is perfect, as both tend to offer an equal level of frustration.
My favorite punching bag for dedicated servers has to be EA. I simply can not remember a game being launched without a plethora of problems on launch date. Whether it was the confusion of Cerburus Network or the inability to connect to games on Battlefield: Bad Company 2, right down to the laundry list of problems that plagued the launch of Skate 3, it seems that EA always finds a new way to get caught with their pants down. This is the same company, by the way, that wants to charge users for the privilege of using their servers. Yeah. On top of problems connecting to games, there have also been severe lag issues, with character rubber banding all over the place. Nothing is more frustrating than being in a first person shooter and having your target bounce around the map while you are trying to bust a cap in them. EA loves to tell anyone that will listen that Battlefield 1943 is the highest selling downloadable game in the history of ever, but what you’ll never see in the press release is just how utterly frustrating it could be from time to time actually getting into a game.
This problem isn’t exclusive to EA, as it can be experienced in just about every franchise that offers the multiplayer experience. The Call Of Duty franchise picks a host for the game before each match, and if the host is having internet issues or quits the game, it can send the whole match all to hell. Generally the game will try to find a new host, but every once in a while you get booted completely. Connectivity issues have plagued one of my favorite games of the year thusfar as well, as Transformers: The War For Cybertron is on the brink of extinction with the service they are offering. I can’t even tell you the amount of times I have either been unable to connect to a game completely, or been booted mid-game when someone quits. Unlike Call Of Duty, Transformers does not look for another host, the game simply ends, and up until recently, any XP you may have gained goes right down the crapper. I love the multiplayer on Transformers, but I almost completely stopped playing it because I was sick and tired of losing connection. Considering the low number of users online at any given time, that is definitely a cause for concern for the game moving forward.
Another major issue is the rage quitters. I don’t really play randoms online on games like NBA 2K_, Madden or any of the NHL series, but I know that one of the most frustrating aspects of the game for those that do are the DNF’ers of the world, especially with there being so many developers emphasizing online play in the achievement process, because while someone quitting at halftime while I am destroying them with my Boston Celtics may count as a win for me, it doesn’t in context with the 100 online wins I may need for some massive achievement. I’d insert jokes about certain members of Analog Hype that may or may not pull this tactic when playing Trill or Marcus, but who am I to judge?
Nothing is more frustrating than being unable to connect to a game. There is a growing population of gamers that play the game almost exclusively for the multiplayer experience, and they are counting on developers to have their shit together when it comes to keeping the games flowing.
2. Racism, Bigotry and Tears, Oh My! – I can pretty much guarantee that anyone who owns a microphone and a headset and has played games across any platform has experiences some form of jackassery or another during their time online. It may not have happened to you directly, but you have been there where words were said that were so ignorant, divisive or just downright childish that it totally ruined the experience.
It seems this sense of anonymity has given a new breed of douche bag the ability to hide behind a screen name and say whatever they want. Two of the biggest breeding grounds for this new class of Mensa candidates has been the Call Of Duty and Halo franchises, where general retardation reigns supreme. That’s not to say you can’t go into the lobby of either game and have a good experience, it’s just a pretty rare occurrence. I’d use this as another opportunity to pimp the superiority of the Battlefield series, but I digress.
Queer, homo, faggot, fag, Jew, Nigger, spic, dirty Mexican, bitch, asshole, pussy, douchecock, get fucked, I fucked your mom/sister/grandmother/dog, that’s not what your girlfriend said last night, pole smoker, slut, whore, ass munch, cockface, Yankee fan, shithead, Eurotrash, noob cake, cum guzzler, fucking clownshoes, ape, dill weed, fuckface, whore, get AIDs, I’m going to kill you, gook, beaner, cunt, Clay Aiken, gringo, tryhard, bloke, camel jockey, butt fucker, dickhead, cake eater, flamer, fudgepacker, eat my balls/dick, porker, no, this is not a list of things you might hear in a voice mail from Mel Gibson. These are things people think it is OK to say, and when it usually starts, and never seems to end. I understand the competitive nature of peer vs. peer gaming, but I never in my wildest dreams would even consider speaking to people in real life the way some of the people I have come across online think they can while they hide behind a console and/or keyboard. Where did this false sense of bravado come from, and why is it so seemingly encouraged?
Taking it to a new level are the people who go online with the sole purposes of fucking with others. We’ve all see a Youtube video or two of some poor little kid being driven to tears over some of the lamest garbage. Sure, in some cases the little twerp may deserve it, but sometimes it can just be overkill and sophomoric. As if experiencing these shenanigans in lobby chat rooms is not enough, there are the halfwits that decide to take it to another level and send a multitude of messages, or try joining your party that you have created to escape all the nonsense because you had the audacity to be better than them.
It’s not just the level of hatred that can make the entire experience bad. There are people with bad mics, who, unbeknownst to them, cause huge levels of feedback that blows up your ear drums. There are people that think it’s cool to play loud music or serenade you with their favorite Milli Vanilli song. You haven’t lived until someone sings you “The Humpty Dance” on XBox Live. Then there are the gamers that just can’t handle their emotions and feel the need to scream and yell every five seconds. While I am sure we have all been guilty of this from time to time, most of us don’t feel the need to make everyone outside of our neighborhood deal with our frustration.
The unfortunate part in all this is the fact that cross-game chat can be very vital to the multiplayer experience. I’ve had some very positive interaction in my time in these games, and even made new gaming buddies because of it. This is the way the system was intended to be, and it is just unfortunate that people don’t know how to handle themselves when online. I don’t know what the answer is or how it can be changed, but I guess it ultimately starts with me and you, the reader. Yes you. We all know this is a problem, so if everyone takes it upon themselves to be above it all, maybe we can put an end to all this nonsense that has no place in gaming. Then again, probably not, but I’ve always been a bit of a hopeless romantic.
At the end of the day, this is why I own a dog.
1. Quality Control Bites The Dust – More than anything else on this list, the biggest problem I have with the role the internet has played in gaming is the overall sense of laziness it has created amongst developers. Costs are up, so the first thing to go has seemed to be quality control. In the old days, developers had one chance to put out a game and impress the masses. Any kind of bugs or glitches could be a death sentence for a title, as once the game hit the market, that was it, for better or for worse. Now, with the advent of the internet and services like XBox Live and the Playstation Network, all of your problems are just a patch away. While most people look at patches a positive, since the end result is a game that is hopefully fixed, I become infuriated that the need was even there to begin with.
Let’s face it, a game being patched is an admission from the developer that they fucked up. While I can appreciate the fact that they are owning up to their mistake, why is it even getting to this point? Why are these errors not being caught during the development phase? I am not OK with this release it and fix it later mentality. NCAA Football 2011 is being released today with the first patch already waiting. How did this happen? How did someone in development not catch the fact that the quarterback could escape, untouched every single time they run a quarterback sneak?
And don’t even get me started on the glitchfest that is Modern Warfare 2. There is a new problem with that game every day, and that is one of the main reasons I no longer play the game, and you know what? That is really sad. I am at a point where I am questioning whether or not Black Ops will be worth the investment for me.
Red Dead Redemption may win game of the year, but it has been one of the biggest offenders of being an incomplete game so far, as it was plagued by Free Roam issues from day one. I know somewhere in the archives we have a picture of our own DJ Krome riding an invisible horse, and I know that I am not the only one that was completely reliant on auto-aim to get me through a shootout at Pike’s Basin against invisible enemies.
The worst part about this is that it can all be avoided, and there is no reason it has not been. I can understand a little issue here and there slipping through the cracks, but the level of error that actually hits the market is absurd. MLB 2K9 is one of the most broken games that has ever been released in the history of gaming. I love baseball games, but after my experience with MLB 2K9, there is no way I am touching 2K10 at 60 bucks. I don’t even know if 2K took the time to fix 2K9 because I unloaded it the first opportunity I got. Now we are at the All Star break and for the first time since I don’t know when, at least the early 90’s, I still do not own a baseball game for this year. Yeah, all you PS3 fanboys can save it with your taunts about having The Show. I’ve already written enough without bitching about exclusives too.
And while just about everyone these days has their consoles hooked up to the internet, what about the people that don’t? Why should they be stuck with broken games that don’t work the way they are intended to? How about the Boise State fan that lives just a little too far outside of town and can’t get high speed internet? What is going to happen when he is playing an option team in the Mountain West Conference and their QB scores a TD every drive? I used to sell satellite internet, and you wouldn’t believe the areas of the country that still do not have access to high speed that tried to go the satellite route just because they were gamers. I really felt their pain.
We all deserve better than this. We all pay good money for these games with the expectation that they will work properly. There is no excuse for a game to have a major patch waiting for it on the day of release. Again, I am happy for the fact that broken games can be fixed once they hit the market, but I am sick and tired developers exploiting it as a reason to rush games to the market.
Today may be the greatest day of my… well, week. It’s Sunday after-all. Anyway, after years on XBox Live, I have finally attained the greatest achievement of them all: hate mail. Finally, I have played a game at such a level that it resonated deep into the soul of another player, affecting them in a way that was so profound and life altering, that it prompted them to actually send me a message in a fit of rage. Now if I was being an asshole and glitching or stealing some dudes AC-130, or any of the other stupid shit you can do in that inferior, knock off camp fest game, then I probably would have let it slide. When some little noob-cake sends me a message because I am owning his ass while he uses the cheapest tactics possible and gets burned doing it, that’s where I draw the line. Let me break it down for you.
I’m playing with a buddy from my clan, The Outlaw Army. We’re on Arica Harbor as defenders playing Rush. This other team is awful, and we are pushing them way back into their own spawn. Every tank they try to get into the MCOM area is biting the dust before it even reaches the gates. My platinum mines have already added yet another Anti Vehicle Efficiency AND Explosive Efficiency pin. Even though we have them in a strangle hold, every so often I hear a voice say “Alpha is taking a lot of heat” and then eventually “We’ve lost Bravo.” Confused, I came to realize what was going down: C4 on the UAV. Now for those of you who don’t know, a cheap tactic to blow up an MCOM station is to strap C4 on the UAV and have a pilot fly it over the MCOM while you destroy it. It takes two people and a little bit of coordination. I’ve done it before, but not until I’ve been desperate and close to being out of tickets. It’s one of those things you do when you get around… 10 tickets. Not from the start of the round. This is where it all started.
I tried bringing a tank as far into enemy lines as it would let me go, but I found myself getting into tank battles and not able to get a good shot at the UAV station. Realizing that, it was time to break out my GOL sniper rifle. I went up on “the hill” (if you’ve played Arica Harbor, you know the one) and realized I probably should have thrown on the 12X scope, but I digress. Sorry, I am way too busy playing the game to be bothered with you wusses who like to hide in the hill and take potshots, but I can with the best of them. Anyway, I finally found where the MCOM is through all the smoke, sand and rubble, and I spot the two dingbats at play. I see the UAV going in and start shooting. About the third shot, I figure out the right bullet drop and BAM, headshot, bitch is DOWN. Little did I know, the battle had just begun.
At this point, I’ve kind of forgotten about the UAV, and I am more concerned with the the tank that is annihilating MCOM B from the hill instead of driving down and rolling over my tank mines. Sneak up on it, drop the mines right by it, step back and shoot the mines… bye bye tank. Needless to say, these guys must have been going to town on A with the UAV, because before I knew it, both MCOM’s were gone and I was totally trying to figure out how. Maybe it was because outside of myself and WhaLio, our team was a bunch of cum dumpsters, but again, I digress.
So anyway, this is where everything comes together and the hate starts permeating in this kids brain. I have made a decision that I want to steal the enemies tank, which on this set of MCOM’s, is located at the bottom of the hill by the first unfinished build/parking structure thing. As I creep up on it, I notice there are FOUR dudes at the MCOM, three loading it with C4. As I am licking my chops and turning them into a pile of bodies, someONE happened to jump into the tank and I pretty much go on a suicide run with my mines knowing I am dead anyway. At least I took the tank with me. This is when it all starts clicking in my head, so I am on a mission now to attack that UAV station. So any time I die, I roll right on back over there and would end up taking out dudes as I went down in a blaze of glory. I probably did this at least five times. I had nemesis pins for both dudes I was torturing, so that sounds about right. That is when the first message came in, and WhaLio got jealous of the hatred I had created. Now before this message was sent, I had just killed one or two of the three dudes lurking at the UAV station, and the one that killed me proceeded to unload a clip on my dead body and t-bag me while I laughed at the kill cam, knowing… it was on:
So this is where the confusion kicked in. Fkin stop!!! what? Stop strategically taking out the guy on the UAV station? Why would I do that? It’s the only reason your team is advancing… well, aside from the fact that there are only two members of The Outlaw Army in this game, but for the third time in this article, I digress. So I send him a message back saying “Learn to play the game.” Because clearly, if your only enjoyment in the game is throwing C4 on a remote control helicopter and blowing it up at the base, you’re doing it wrong. There is so much more to this game. There is literally no way I would go through the motions of playing this if that is all I was going to do every time I was attacking. Again, I understand the strategy, and I have used it with my team when desperate times call for desperate measures. But the Jihad class is only meant for two things:
2. To be an asshole.
Rolling in on an ATV strapped with C4 and blowing up a tank… that’s awesome. Blowing up C4 with a UAV is lame. As long as you know what you’re doing is lame, I am OK with that. This cat clearly did not:
Yes. I am doing much better. Because I am running around racking up my points, putting myself in the line of fire, and taking out punk ass bitches like you. All of your points are from lurking in the background afraid to break a nail or get your pretty blouse dirty. Now this is where things get epic. At this point, my team of retards has gotten us pushed all the way back to the last set of MCOM’s, but I am still on a mission. Little does this clown know that I am currently swimming to him, all the way around everything, right up on the last UAV station at the bottom of the bridge. Why? Because I know that’s where they will be. So as I sneak up from behind to give them the surprise butt sex (no homo), I notice that both of them are motionless. Now this second message above had not come in yet, so it dawns on me… DUDE IS SENDING ME A MESSAGE! It’s time to get some dog tags. First dude, ||Pwnisher||, dog tags are mine. Second dude, as I creep up on him “New Message from SPARTACUS7457.” Well buddy ol pal… here’s a message for you: “thanks for the dog tags.” Now after I spun around in a circle over his dead body, which by the way, is WAY cooler than t-bagging, I managed to take both him and his buddy out a second time when they respawned before getting myself killed. It was so worth it. This is way cooler than the two times I got DJKrome dog tags. WAY COOLER. This prompted the next two messages, sent before right in a row without response:
This is when the yucks start flowing in. I message the dude back with “lol, you’re the one crying about a video game.” There were a million other things I wanted to say, but didn’t have the patience to type out. It’s like… dude… just play the damn game. I don’t cry to every single person who shows me their pimp hand. Just deal with it. Sometimes those are just the breaks. Not everyone was meant to play Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Clowns like this should clearly just stick with Modern Warfare 2. Because apparently being called a “tryhard” and being told to get shit on didn’t cut me deep enough, our little Shakespere decided to hit me with one more verbal jab:
Yes, I would block me too if I sucked as bad as you. Fortunately, I don’t. Yeah, I can see where you would get annoyed when someone plays the game the right way and kills you constantly while you try to act like a little bitch. Little did you know, I was about to make your ass famous. The only thing that would make this better would be if I had a capture card to throw this up on Youtube, but alas, it just wasn’t in the cards. If you are ever playing… well, any game for that matter, don’t be this guy. It’s lame, you look dumb, and you never know who you are dealing with. I leave you with the 277th trophy in my collection, and by far and away my favorite in the collection… that is until I finally get TOA Obelysk, TOA WhaLio and/or DrkAssassin777… but they’re just too good!
I must have ruined this kids life or something, because he rage quit the game, stewed about his house, probably drank some protein shakes, jerked off to a picture of himself and ate a box of douche, and he’s still pissed as holy hell at me. I present to you, this little gem:
Now since I am sure most of you are confused… no, a five in one is not the amount of dudes he just took up his cornhole. It is getting five kills at once. You see, when someone on your team actually has the balls to plant an MCOM and the other team rushes to deactivate, it is not uncommon to be able to blow up a UAV that has been flown in from a distance and take out all the dudes that happened to be there, especially MCOM A in the city on Arica Harbor. This would be like saying “yeah, well I fucked Jessica Alba at Madame Tussaud’s place in New York City.” The ignorant will be like “oh wow, really?” and not believe a fucking word you said, but everyone that knows about the place will laugh at you for putting your dick in a wax doll. I don’t think it was possible for this story to have a more epic ending… but I am about to find out:
Ah… silly kids.
Because some people just don’t learn:
Oh no, the no friends card has been played! Whatever will I do? The least bit “assulting?” Pardon me while I am blown away by your ginormous grasp of the English language. I’d explain this to numb nuts, but leaving it be is much more hilarious. What is absolutely hysterical is the fact that this dude went on with his life for five hours since his last message, told me I was getting blocked, yet still kept me around long enough to send one last verbal blow to my tiny ego. *Sniffles* his words! They, they, they cut so deep! So far, I’ve been called a tryhard, a no life, I have no friends, been wished to have feces put on my person and disappointing (one S). What’s next? Cucka pooey head? Doo doo face? I’m rubber, you’re glue? Thanks buddy. You’re the greatest.
While updating this article with update 2, I received yet another message, unprompted:
The only thing cooler than that is the fact that on top of sending this article to him, I’ve gone ahead and forwarded it to XBox Live Support. I am sure they will find this blatant misuse of the messaging system HIGHLY entertaining. Keep the fan mail coming, buddy!
Well here is the surprise of the day! Maybe I hadn’t been paying enough attention to the menus in game, but it looks like Map Pack 4 is out today for VIP members of Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Included in this map pack is Port Valdez on Conquest mode and Atacama Desert on Rush. Things just got interesting! I can’t wait to see them for myself. Here is what DICE had to say about each map, along with a video for both:
Atacama Desert Rush mode – A Russian Naval Group is preparing a massive amphibious assault. Defending the shore are 3 U.S fortifications and a string of artillery defenses. Deteriorating weather and sandstorms, U.S. Command has consolidated all available forces to meet the Russian threat.
Port Valdez Conquest mode – Russian Forces are poised to attack the harbor in an attempt to seize the Trans Alaskan Pipeline. No fallback exists for either side, this engagement will decide the outcome of the war.
If you haven’t gotten on board the Battlefield: Bad Company 2 bandwagon, what the hell are you waiting for? This game is simply the best first person shooter experience on the market. The entire Analog Hype crew likes to squad up and lay waste to everything that gets in our way, and since teamwork is so important to the Battlefield experience, I couldn’t think of a better crew to run with. Building off that teamwork mentality, BF:BC2 developer DICE has recently released their first premium expansion pack in the form of a new game mode called Onslaught. Priced at 800 Microsoft Points or $9.99 on the Playstation Network, Onslaught pits a squad of up to four against waves of computer AI in an attempt to take over several checkpoints, and in the process, completely changes your entire Bad Company 2 experience.
There are four maps available in Onslaught Mode, and all four should be familiar to you if you have played the multi-player for any length of time: Nelson Bay, Isla Inocentes, Valpariso and Atacama Desert. All four maps are exactly as they are in Rush or Conquest mode, just at different times of day. Nelson Bay is during the day and feels a lot like White Pass. Isla Inocentes is at sunrise, so you deal with a little bit of glare and haze here and there. Atacama Desert is at sunset, so as you progress through the map, it slowly gets a little darker and the sky gets redder. Valpariso is at night, so it feels a lot like the Nelson Bay Rush map without the snow. One thing that I would love to see as part of the VIP program is for these maps to be filtered into the rotation on Rush and Conquest, kind of like how in Call Of Duty: World At War they have Makin Day and Makin Night. I generally hate playing Nelson Bay at night, but it is much more tolerable during the day.
There are four difficulties that you can play on: easy, normal, hard and hardcore. The first three are what you can expect, I’ll spend some time going over hardcore later. Because I have already unlocked all of the weapons available in multi-player, I am not sure if you can only access what you have unlocked or if the Onslaught mode gives you access to everything in the arsenal. Because all of the classes are set to how I have them in the other game modes, I am guessing that it may be based on what you unlocked. There are also a few new vehicles that come into play as well for both the user and the AI. On the two maps with water vehicles, there is a new PT boat that can mess with you if you get too close to the shore. There is also a new SUV looking vehicle that has a TOW missile launcher instead of a machine gun. I would love to see these added to the other multi-player formats as well, especially the PT boat.
Each map has a very distinct feel to it, and enemies will come from all directions to attack you. You will even see them parachute from the sky in a number of places. There are all kinds of vehicles that come into play, so the rule of thumb is to try and co-ordinate with your squad mates on the classes you are going to run. It is probably a good idea to run at least one medic, one assault and one engineer. The medic is obviously to heal and revive, the assault is so you don’t run out of ammo and the engineer is to take out vehicles with rocket launchers. As the owner of nearly double platinum anti-tank mines, I can tell you they tend to be a little useless here. Recon certainly has its purpose, but in general, I wouldn’t recommend running it here.
Did I mention that Onslaught is completely dependent on teamwork? Yeah, all you lone wolfs out there, either stick with the program or save yourself 10 bucks. Running around by yourself will only hurt the team and get yourself killed. It is very important to stick together as a team, because if all four members die, the game is over and you lose. The respawn time is four times longer than it is in the other multi-player modes, so if you die, and you will, you will want your teammates to be around to either revive you or stay alive long enough for you to respawn. Having been the last surviving member on more than one occasion pretty deep into a round, it can be a lot of pressure.
One thing to keep in mind is that the flags at each location will not move until you have pushed back the enemy from every location. They will keep spawning in the distance and come at you while the flag is lowering, but if you feel like you have taken out everyone that was there from the start and the flag isn’t moving, there is someone hiding somewhere. An example I would use would be the time I beat Nelson Bay on hardcore. We were at the second flag location for a while, and the damn thing just wouldn’t move. We were bunkered down the big communications building at the edge of the cliff, and my teammates were just trying to last. Finally, realizing that there had to be someone out there, I took a chance and dashed to the other side of the map where the two double decker trailer looking things were and found a few medics over there. When I realized the flag still wasn’t going down, I tried looking around, only to realize there was an enemy standing on top of the building we had been hiding in (which by the way, was practically wall-less at this point). So after putting a bullet or two in his head with my Abakan-94, the flag started moving right away and we were able to proceed.
The computer AI can be pretty tough to play against in any mode. I have played all four modes, and with the first three, there are varying degrees of differences there, but all in all it’s about the same. Hardcore is an entirely different beast. There are eight achievements in the game, and four of them are for beating each map on hardcore. The first thing they do is take away your HUD. They also take away your crosshairs and the ability to spot enemies. You have to keep your head on a swivel, because no matter where you are or what kind of cover you have, the AI knows exactly where you are. A classic example of how I learned this the hard way would be on Atacama Desert. When leaving one checkpoint to proceed to the other (essentially like going from A to C on Conquest), an engineer on a TOW missile station spotted me right when I got to the beached boat in the middle. It hit me once and I started to hear the caution sound you hear when you’re about to blow up. Because the HUD is off, I was not able to see what percentage of health I had left on the tank. So I popped it in reverse and went flying all the way back to the last checkpoint in hopes of repairing. When I got there, I got nailed from all the way across the map by another freaking TOW missile! In most games, the AI would have forgotten about you until you moved back up on them, but in Onslaught, once you announce your presence to the AI, they never forget about you until they are dead.
My only real complaint is the same complaint I have about most of the multiplayer maps, and that is the fact that the elements have way too much impact on the gameplay. Especially haze. The haze in this game is just way too strong and the range of effect is way too close. On Isla Inocentes, it can be very difficult to see enemies that are just a short grenade throw ahead of you. This is especially true when you get to the second flag location and enemies start coming from the woods. It got to a point where I was simply blindly shooting onto a path because I knew guys would be coming from there, and I would aim at hit markers when I got them. With the haze, there was just no possible way to see them coming, and I just don’t buy it. I can buy the snow drift and visibility issues on Nelson Bay, and maybe even some of the sand squalls on Atacama Desert, but the twighlight effect is much more brutal then the sand on that map. It is manageable, though, which is evident considering I am not 1180/1180 for achievements on the game.
All in all, Onslaught is not for the faint of heart. Everything about it is intense and really adds to the Battlefield: Bad Company 2 experience. Even the music is epic and really seems to kick in at big moments. If you are a fan of the game and already have a group of friends you like to play with, I would definitely recommend this expansion to you. Even if you don’t, I have been able to get in on quite a few rounds with a bunch of randoms with mixed results. Hey, you win some, you lose some. This bad boy is definitely highly recommended and even upon nailing down the eight new achievements, offers tons of replay value simply for the fun factor.