I was looking for something to pass the time until BFA on Monday, so I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to install and try out the Call of Duty Black Ops 4 open beta. I always have the itch to try out the newest Call of Duty game, though I’v resisted that itch for the past few iterations.
The itch goes back to my CoD4-MW2 days when I’d log between 200 and 400 hours without breaking a sweat. That’s pretty good for me in a shooter game. I wasn’t half bad at them back then, either.
My first impression of Black Ops 4 was that it was really involved. I was going to say complicated, but that’s the wrong word — involved is too. There’s just a lot going on. CoD used to be a really pure experience. You get in, you pick your guns you want, you maybe put on attachments if it’s one of the newer ones, then you just run around and shoot. That’s changed quite a bit.
I'm really, really shocked how much I'm digging Paladins. Graev and I are able to play together seamlessly on the Switch by simply forming a party via Nintendo friends. So slick to just pull out the Switch while on the go and jump into a match.
Now that I have nearly a week under my belt, I have some more feedback on the Switch version.
Daybreak’s recent layoff shakeup caused a lot of people (myself included) to sincerely doubt the future of their portfolio. Inevitably, whenever layoffs like this occur, some people take to the internet and do a little “tell all” — usually on Reddit. This has been no exception.
An unnamed ‘leaker’ took to Reddit with a post about what’s happening with EverQuest, Planetside, H1Z1/Just Survive, etc.
Here are the highlights:
Okay. Let’s get real here for a second.
Battlefront 2's Night on Endor Update went live today, and with it the new Ewok Hunt game mode. From what the news says, this game mode is for a "limited time." In fact, that wording is everywhere they mention the mode, so they're either trying a little hard to get us to play quickly, or it really is going to disappear fast.
The Ewok Hunt mode is really fun! I ended up streaming it for about an hour tonight.
Tomorrow the patch will FINALLY come out that addresses the infamous Star Card progression system. Assuming there might be one person out there who didn’t follow the drama, let me explain why it had to change.
Star Cards were previously obtained in loot crates which were purchased with real life monies, though they could also be purchased with in-game currency too. The gripe was how players could spend RL money and obtain a significant gameplay advantage. Fair critique.
When the outrage happened — before the game even launched, mind you — EA turned off all transactions, essentially making the crates only purchasable with in-game funds. The system felt broken, and rightfully so.
With tomorrow’s patch, the Star Card system is changing entirely.
Deep Rock Galactic is a co-op-centric sci-fi FPS that just came out into early access. DRG features a group of awesome dwarves in a 100% full-destructible and procedurally-generated world.
Here are the key features:
Before I jump into a quick explanation of how the game works, and a cool story from this evening's session, you can watch the video below to get a feel for what a mission is like. This is Graev and I playing online tonight.
The first wave of DLC for Star Wars Battlefront 2 is now available, and as planned it's free for everyone who owns the game.
In this installment of DLC, we get more single-player campaign missions and a new multiplayer map for ground and starfighter play.
Warning: Spoilers for the DLC are ahead, but they DO NOT spoil The Last Jedi. DICE clearly stated that there are no spoilers in the DLC, and having completed everything I can confirm
The campaign picks up around the events of The Force Awakens, which means we're far enough in the future for Iden to have gone grey.
Right in the opening moments we see Iden's husband, Del, executed by Hask. We knew this was coming having completed the main campaign already. Iden and Del's daughter, who so many of us thought would be Rey given all the annoying hints, turns out to be nothing more than a random character with a nose stud. Super let down by the anticlimactic reveal.
The DLC missions are short, and very reminiscent of the main campaign. In fact, the missions themselves feel so familiar that I went back and realized that they are almost just reskinned missions of levels played in the main campaign.
The DLC itself is also very, very short, coming in at just over an hour of actual play. For being a free addition to the game, I suppose we can't complain too much.
What I disliked more than how short it was is the storytelling here. I was let down by how these missions didn't add anything to the actual story we left after the campaign. They didn't do anything with the child, what Luke was looking for, or anything. In fact, this was nothing more than Iden chasing after Hask with her daughter and friend.
In the end, Iden dies awkwardly and Zay joins the resistance. It just didn't feel right because there was no resolution or real continuation of the story.
We did learn (though I feel like we already knew this) that the First Order has been taking children and turning them into Stormtroopers. They have a huge fleet with a Juggernaut which just looks like a bigger equilateral triangle Star Destroyer. Perhaps there's more on this growing threat in The Last Jedi.
Rewards for completing the Resurrection Campaign missions were meh.
In all, disappointing campaign extension.
The multiplayer map, however, is pretty cool for Galactic Assault. It's a sniper's paradise, which is right up my ally. I've really taken to headshots in Battlefront 2, and any chance I get to fight on a map where it's a promoted form of gameplay is fine by me.
I really like the atmosphere of red dust being kicked up by blaster shots and walker feet as the First Order progresses toward the Resistance base. As the Resistance, you feel almost helpless against all these walkers inevitably pushing you deeper and deeper into your hideout.
I'll reserve high hopes for future DLC releases to resolve this lackluster addition to the game.
I played the new "temporary" 50 vs. 50 Battle Royale mode tonight. Before I tell you about my experiences, let me show you how they advertised it during the VGAs.
From the look of it, that's an awesome battle with two big forts and 50 players facing off another 50 in an all-out warfare.
Reality is slightly different and less... cool? But still very much a right way to go for the genre and the game.
In Battle Royale 50v50 you're playing the game 100% exactly like you would in a normal solo queue or squad game. You can fill a squad or not, and get dumped into a game. Where you bail, with or without your team or squad, is entirely up to you. How you guys organize is completely random.
If things happen like my first match, it's just the same mad dash for guns in the beginning, except half the people aren't trying to kill you -- just trying to get the guns first.
If things play out like my second game, eventually when it comes down to 25v25 or so you'll start to see bigger bases build up and the all-out mayhem begins. We won a round I played this evening where both side were racing toward the circle building walls and shooting at each other while we all ran for our lives. It was awesome!
What this mode showed me was that I really think the game needs an almost Battlefield-like mode where there's an area in the middle and the teams spawn on either side. Using building materials and forts you basically have to take over the middle and fight until you accrue points or the last man stands or something. This mode falls a bit flat due to still bailing out of the party bus and having to congregate.
Overall, a very cool mode that I enjoy A LOT more than solo or squad. I have a feeling this 'temporary' mode is here to stay.
EA announced a fairly big update this afternoon for Battlefront 2 that aims to address some of the problems impacting players like myself who actually enjoy playing.
Chief among the updates an increase to the amount of credits gained at the end of a round based (overall and performance based), and an increase in the amount of crafting materials from the daily loot crate.
I tested these changes out tonight, which according to the BF2 blog update are supposedly live now, but saw no sign of them being in-game yet. Perhaps they will come tomorrow with the start of the new "season" of content.
Speaking of the new season content, check out the schedule below.
Tomorrow we get to pick a side to fight for and earn specific rewards. I'm hoping I don't choke and pick the losing side like always.
On the 13th is when things start to get interesting with new chapters for the singleplayer (which had a fun story), maps, and other in-game content. Stoked for that to come.
Overall I just hope they fix the credits at the end of the round. Sorta bumming to get a killer round in a ship on Galactic Assault with 20k+ points only to get a tiny bit more than I normally get for sniping the whole map and getting 6k points.