Black Ops 3 – A tale of two betas

Black Ops 3 betaThe Black Ops 3 beta has had rocky and mixed results. The PS4 seemed to have a fairly smooth launch and even got an extension due to the first day having some issues. I already wrote my thoughts about the beta on the XBOX One, and it was overly positive. The biggest issue we dealt with on Thursday and Friday was periodic lockups and freezes when creating or exiting lobbies as a group. While I was pretty disappointed in such ground level features not working properly, it largely made me thankful they were doing a beta. Then the weekend arrived, and everything changed. In my first impressions I said my fear was that lag compensation and in-game lag could be patched in later as my friends and I were having a similar experience of dominance that we had in MW2 and MW3. I think the primary reason things ran smoothly before the weekend is the smaller player pool and that we were playing so early in the day. So what happened? Continue reading

Black Op 3 Beta – Hesitantly Excited

Call of Duty Black Ops 3As a longtime fan of Call of Duty I’ve been pretty vocal about how bad I think the franchise has become. After a decent amount of time in the Black Ops 3 beta, I still stand by my opinion that this game has lost its soul and identity. For those who have been playing since the inception of the franchise there is no getting around it, this game is completely new and worlds different than most of the previous COD titles. They have stripped down the game into a very fast paced, arcade-esque, quick twitch shooter. There is no depth here, nothing vibrant or dynamic. The game still primarily consists of players quickly darting around the map, running around corners or hiding around them, doing their best to find the quickest builds and guns to get the drop in the hundreds of gun fights that await them. Someone in my stream said the environments look like they are designed by IKEA and I had to laugh, because it does all look so pristine and modern that the game feels neutered and bland, like the abundance of overly clean special effects and green screen obsession in Star Wars Episodes 1-3. But, I simply cannot deny it, the game is still incredibly fun, especially with a team that is working together. Continue reading

Halo 5 may improve all multiplayer games

halo 5Anyone who has played a multiplayer game online knows how frustrating glitches or bugs can be. One of my primary concerns about future next-gen titles that utilize PVP modes is that they will continue to use old mechanics and methods while repeating entrenched problems. Sure, new games may look amazing and add new content, but if the online arenas aren’t cleaned up from lag or exploits, many of us will continue to feel it’s a fruitless endeavor. News from the devs over at 343 Industries has me hopeful for the future of online multiplayer, specifically PVP. Continue reading

Black Ops 3 already let me down

black ops 3 next genThe cinematic trailer for Black Ops 3 had me singing its praises and excited for the story arc and campaign in the next Call of Duty. As I said before, it clearly displays creativity and innovation, even though someone pointed out on my YouTube that has similarities to the story arc of Deus Ex. I do want to quickly say that the “human-tech-hybrid-our-technology-will-destroy-us” idea isn’t exclusive or original to Deus Ex, so I think it’s fair game. Treyarch wasted no time capitalizing on the hype surrounding their teaser to have a reveal where they outlined details and showed some gameplay. I was excited to hear there would be a beta, but was then quickly disappointed when I heard the only way to get access to the beta is by pre-ordering, which ironically defeats any consumer benefit of a beta test. My disappointment continued when I saw the gameplay trailer. Continue reading