Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Force is Weak Sauce

It's been a long time between blogs. Bob's work has been on the back burner whilst I was dividing time between an hour intensive job and toying around with World of Warships for it's instant fun factor. Working for a living really does impede a disciple of Bob from carrying out His work, but I've managed to make a few sacrifices in His honour with the limited time I've had, the most amusing of which was this exploration Curse I stumbled upon in a neighbouring Wormhole.

The past week has been well and truly devoted to the open beta of Star Wars: Battlefront. It's something I and many of my friends have been eagerly awaiting as unashamed Star Wars nerds. The trailers have been spectacular and the prospect of a Battlefield 4 like experience but within the universe of Star Wars was something I was sure would see my POS run out of fuel from neglect. What you expect and what gets delivered however, are rarely the same.

The postives: 

It's utterly gorgeous and instantly fun. The models for the vehicles, infantry and scenery are all top shelf and very much in line with Star Wars canon. I often found myself just viewing the battlefield from range, watching the AT-ATs and AT-STs stomp through the snow and Tie fighters, X-Wings and and the like battle it out overhead. The ground is alive with red and green laser fire from all directions and it very much resembles the scene from the attack on the Hoth base in the Empire Strikes Back. It's the visuals more than anything that keep me going back.

Playing as Luke or Vader is a blast. Both are appropriately badass and have their strengths and weaknesses. I hate that they're on a timer but they are great fun to use.

The negatives:

I'll start with infantry. The gun play is pretty good for the most part but I am unable to understand why you're able to crouch and look down sights but still get no reward to accuracy for doing so. The result is a bunch of people left-right strafing and shooting from the hip like they're playing Unreal Tournament.

Air vehicles are Bob awful. As someone who sank way too many hours into the X-Wing series of games in years gone by I didn't expect that level of immersion, but this is less involved than Rogue Squadron was. It's very basic, unrewarding, awkward to use and ultimately ineffectual to the outcome of battle.

Ground vehicles aren't much better. I've known for a while that the AT-AT Walker would be on rails and I've made my peace with that. What's so disappointing is that if you're lucky enough to stumble upon a token that lets you control the weaponry of the beast, it only lasts 60 seconds before you're booted out. The AT-ST isn't much better. It initially feels a bit like the Battle Walkers of Battlefield 2142 but you're locked in a 3rd person view and the aiming reticle is inexplicably vague. Your shots never go where you think they'll go so you're forced to just stomp around and spam lasers, hoping for the best. The same applies to fixed emplacement turrets around the map. Horrible to aim with and they do little damage to vehicles anyway.

All that said and done, I'll probably drop the cash on this game but the way the game has been made, to make it really easy to jump into and do well from day one, has sealed its fate already when it comes to long term playability. For instant gratification it's great, but I think the modern gamer wants more than that, for the most part.