Monday, September 26, 2016

Why Current Gen Video Games Suck: Bad Multiplayer lobby design!

I'm sick and tired of not being able to play a game with a friend in the same room!  I'm tired of having to plod through layers of unnecessarily complex game user interfaces just to accomplish simple tasks.  I'm tired of basic settings being hidden and I'm especially tired of unreasonable player requirements designed for the benefit of the game publisher rather than the player.

In short I'm tired of the Bullshit.

All I want to do is play a game without having to attend a college course first or go through the digital equivalent of boot camp!

Check this...

Monday, September 19, 2016

Latest Freebies and what I've been up to.

The question isn't, " Have you played anything new since the Battlefield 1 Beta" Rather you should be asking yourself if I've been doing anything interesting since then.  Remember not everything that's new is interesting nor is everything with a price tag worth playing.

BTW, No i'm not doing a pre-order on ANYTHING including Battlefield 1.  The Beta was fun but I know the release will be garbage just like Battlefront, Hardline and BF4 before it.

So what to do...

It's mid-September meaning we're in that dead time between the summer announcements and the fall releases.  A time where the pickings are pretty slim and the action is pretty tame.

What's left then?  For me it's simple.  I look for the best deals I can get ( meaning Free ) from places you may not expect.

For example, This month found the "Free" release of Ubisoft's Need For Speed World clone, The Crew: Wild Run. Which remains free to everybody until October 14th.  It's supposedly in celebration of the 30th anniversary of Ubisoft.  I don't care so long as it's "Free" when I installed it and remains so 3 months later when I look at it again.

It's currently a Free to Play racer that only recently entered the category.  That being "Free"  Of course there are limits like equipment, cars, etc that are only available with a "Season Pass" but as I don't intend to get too involved with it I'm perfectly happy to just run around and annoy other players who are taking this thing way too seriously.

I found it while downloading an update for Rainbow 6: Siege.  Yet another game that I've let languish as I've found more interesting things to do like play the Battlefield 1 Beta or Act 4 of Path of Exile.

Another hidden gem was the giveaway last week of the Government Simulation game Tropico 4 from the Humble Bundle folks.  They offered the Steam special edition of the game for free if you were wise enough to take advantage within the few days it was offered.

I've never been a big fan of "Sims" type games but this one has intrigued me.  Maybe it's the Caribbean settings, the muted tones of Latin rhythms in the background or the humor of little details like the screams of peasants when you drop a new government building on top of their shanty's....

Maybe I'm saying too much there.....


Without going into a long winded tome about how I've happily filled those down hours till something interesting happens in the next few months I can at least say that I've managed to keep myself reasonably entertained.  Check out what I've been up to below...

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Battlefield 1 Open Beta

I'll be honest, I'm not that excited about Battlefield 1.

I still think it's an unimaginative and uninspired addition to the series and so far I'm not seeing anything that's going to change that opinion.

That said, it's not a bad game, even in Beta.  It plays well, seems to have better game balance than any of its predecessors and it's visually appealing.

Of course I felt much the same way about most of the Battlefield Betas including Hardline and Battlefront.  BTW  Yes, I consider Battlefront part of the family and looking at Battlefield 1 that position is justified.

If you're good at Battlefront you'll be good at Battlefield 1 mostly because Battlefield 1 looks and plays like a re-skinned Battlefront from the combat, weapons, and vehicles to the leveling system.

That's not necessarily a bad thing and it was kind of cool to ride a horse but it seemed more like a gimmick than a new combat dynamic.  It's really not that different from riding a motorcycle aside from the rhythmic bouncing of the screen and even that can be cured by switching to third person view.

I wouldn't do a pre-order.  I don't see anything here worth the $60 buy in and definitely not any more than that.

Maybe someday I'll pick it up but not at full price.  Even in the Beta players are already figuring out how to glitch the game to their advantage and finding favorite camping spots.  In fact the map used in the Beta, Sinai Desert seemed tailor made for campers.

The nice thing about this Beta is that you have an opportunity to try out everything.  Hand to hand, Air and ground vehicle combat ( including the horse ) offer a good sampling of what to expect on release.

As for the system requirements....

Technically my rig isn't supposed to be able to play this game but as the video below shows, it's possible.  I've got an old Core I7 860 with 8GB of RAM and an AMD Radeon 6970.  I had to do a registry hack to fool the launcher into thinking I had a newer version of the AMD driver than I was actually able to install.  The game wants the AMD Crimson 16.20 or above but the 6970 tops out at the 15.7 driver.

I had no issues with gameplay or framerate either.  The video may seem to contradict that but it was the fault of my streaming setup not the game.  During play everything was smooth and I experienced no crashes.

Which pretty much disproves that new games demand new video hardware.  In my case the limitation was artificial.  Yet another example of how marketing ruins gaming.

So that's it.  Check out the video below and try to ignore the freeze-frame spots.