My beef with FPS.

I love a good war game. From Call of Duty to Killzone to Battlefield; I love running and gunning! BUT my love only goes so far.

This week I played the single player of Call of Duty : Black Ops. Needless to say it pissed me off. Many of you may be shocked to know that I do not believe that Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops should be the standard with FPS’s. I bored quickly with them. But this is not a rant about that. It is something that every FPS has in it.

Why do you have to follow someone throughout the single player modes in many of these games? In many cases these characters or NPC’s get in the way, do not help draw fire, or help with the “enemy” situation. They yell at you, slow down the gameplay, and in general get you shot.

So, please, please game companies making the next and newest FPS, knock it off. I don’t want to follow Sgt. Blah. Give me the mission and let me make my own path. In many cases, the easier, stealthier path.

Also, stop with the dramatic knife in the back scenes. We get it, you can kill with the knife. Do not make it seem as though you have taught us how to use a lightsaber. Unless of course it is a lightsaber.

Alright, that is all…for now.

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Medal of Honor : DICE Multiplayer Beta = not Battlefield : Bad Company 2

I was able to pre-order Medal of Honor through Gamestop the other day. With a pre-order I was given a key code to try the multiplayer beta. The Beta is going on from June 21st-July 18th. I am also a part of the EA Gun Club so I got to get in before June 21st. Sometimes it pays to be part of every side group with a game.

Anyway . . .

DICE is trying some different things with MOH’s multiplayer. Some of it is concerning. They did such a wonderful job with Battlefield : Bad Company 2. I almost want to shake them and tell them to stop changing the wheel!

The first thing that is different is the controls. Now, I know this is a BETA and that nothing is final, but why have different controls for something that the bulk of your players are still on another game (BFBC2) and use to that scheme? If it offered something different, I would say sure. But not in this case.

I did not see any actual team play. Mainly just people running around and shooting. Very COD if you ask me. I like the team work aspect that they did in BFBC2. I hate to keep bringing up Bad Company, but it is a great multiplayer system!

The graphics are sharp. The ragdoll animations are a little stiff. The weapons , though few offered, looked great. There is some learning curve to the use of them. The strength of a light machine gun feels almost the same as a AK. That does not make sense and needs to be fixed. Grenades need more power. I also, want to say this about all FPS – IF YOU GET HIT BY A .50, IT SHOULD BE A ONE HIT DEAL. I am so tired of shooting guys with tank guns/heavy machine guns and them running away.

Bottom line is that DICE really needs to use these next few months to implement ideas from their successful Battlefield Bad Company and make this the game that would make any Call of Duty fan weep. They have a lot of work in front of them.

Also, if you are running a PS3, it crashes and freezes a lot. DICE knows that and are working on it.

Bioshock 2 : You can never find a decent plumber in Rapture.

Bioshock 2 is a return to Rapture, an underwater metropolis that went, well, crazy. You take the role as a Delta, a big daddy, trying to find his daughter and take down his “wife”. Sounds like a bad case of domestic abuse, but it is fun!

The story sets 10 years after the events of Bioshock. Sophia Lamb is now in charge of Rapture. She is crazy. Plain and simple. She sends her army of Big Sisters to take you down so that you can find the remaining little sisters.

Little Sisters? Creepy little girls that help you search for ADAM (blood), so that you can change your genetic structure and evolve. Evolve? Gain mutant like powers, such as shoot fire, electricity, and bees from your left hand. The right hand is an assortment of weapons, ranging from a drill, machine gun, shotgun, etc.

I did not find this game as creepy as the first. Sure there were a couple of moments that made me shiver but overall it seemed more like a haunted house at the fair. I got tired of repeated lines from the Splicers. Splicers? Humans that have mutated and now living in rapture with nothing to do but repeat the same 6-8 lines of dialogue.

Speaking of Splicers : Hey 2K! Why did you make them more powerful than some of the main enemies. I could take down another Big Daddy or Sister no problem, but a splicer could hit me 2-3 times with a wrench or shoot me with a pistol and I died. That was annoying.

Ok, back to the atmosphere of Rapture. Dark, wet, and bodies all over the place. Great look all the way around. Nice detail on everything.

The controls were okay. I had to tweak a couple of things. Everything was responsive though. There was never a “I HIT THE X BUTTON!” deal.  I did wish there was a “sprint” action for Delta. He lumbered around and it slowed down areas that really should have taken less time.

I will not go into any spoilers for those that have not played it yet. There are moments where you have decide good or bad. It does make the outcome of the game change. There are multiple endings just like the first Bioshock.

I felt that the last section of the game stretched on and on and on and on. Some areas seemed to be time wasters and make the game just a little bit longer. There was some back tracking that was annoying.

Overall the story, characters, and gameplay were great! I enjoyed the game even with the minor things I have mentioned. I can not see a reason for a Bioshock 3 though. There is a multiplayer aspect to the game. I touched on it briefly. It did not spark my interest. I am glad that the single player game was satisfying and worth the time spent! You hear that Infinity Ward and Dice? Give the single player campaign some time! Not everyone is about multiplayer all the time!

Go rent this monster or wait till the price drops. It is a good 16-24 hours worth of underwater goodness.

Battlefield : Bad Company 2

Ahhh, March 2, I will remember it well. Snow coming down, covering the road, myself, I was sick with a stomach virus, but I was determined that Battlefield : Bad Company 2 would be in my sweaty palms. Worth every penny and slide on the highway.

Of course comparisons to Modern Warfare 2 will be thrown against the wall. Some will stick and some will fall flat. Both games have their flaws. But this isn’t about MW2. It is about a bold move for DICE. The gamble of forced squad tactical playing.

The single player campaign is tight, linear, and fun. Bad Company is back for round two. Quite simple : Russians are in search of a new weapon. You have to stop them before they invade the US and take down the head honcho. The story has been played out in hundreds of games, so no points for originality. Still, the globe trotting adventure brings in a types of great environments. This really sets you up knowing that there will be some awesome multi-player maps.

With most games, the AI is confusing! They either see you right away or never see you, even if you are standing in front of them. The most problematic area is that no matter if your entire squad is firing, all enemies will focus their attention on you. The other three guys in the squad just stand there shooting and getting shot, blown up, and beaten down. They never get a scratch on them. You? Well, you will die a lot. Dudes with shotguns have accuracy of sniper rifles. Sure your squad will take care of some of the baddies, but it mostly lies in your hands. That is fine, but if it is a “squad” based game, DICE could have made it more interactive. I would have loved to been able to tell certain squad mates to stay put or go to point A.

The action is frantic at points and you will have to rest sometimes from the white knuckle firefights you will encounter. By the final level you would think that the enemies would be tougher. The final dealio is more of a hold down the trigger and eat through the bullets than a use your head play tactic. On top of that, you end the game with a “That should have been bigger.” Still a great ride though.

The real star is the multi-player. Twelve on twelve teams, broken down into 3 squads per side. You team up with your friends or are randomly placed into a squad. You are able to stay with the same team mates until one decides to leave. I have played on the same squad with two players for 5 hours straight. We got to know our playing styles and really started to turn into a machine of hot death!

You chose from 4 classes : Assault, Engineer, Medic, and Recon. Each class holds an important function for victory. If your squad is a bunch of recon (snipers), you are going to suck. Yeah, everyone likes to hide and kill people. That might be fine in Modern Warfare, but not in this game! This is a team effort and lone wolfs are lame. Another key to success is to “spot” for your team mates. This function calls out the position of the opposing side and makes it easier to take them down or change battle plans. Be prepared to change roles often during a match. You may start out as a medic but end as an engineer, and that is ok.

One of the best features is the use of vehicles. From ATV’s, tanks, to helicopters, there is a wide variety to get the upper hand on the other side. It is nice though that just because your enemy might have a tank, it doesn’t mean that you are not able to take it down. Once again, understand what each class does in battle and use that to your advantage.

Bottom line, I loved the game! It will stay in the PS3 for a longtime. If you are not a multi-player fan, I would rent it. You will get a good 2 days worth of playing. For those that love to kill online, get it! You will become addicted.

DICE has answered Activision with a solid runner for the crown. And since Infinity Ward is now off the Modern Warfare project, it would behoove DICE to pick up that team to work on upcoming Battlefield releases. The two companies could really turn out an amazing game!