I was so put off by the promise of 'we're supporting Left 4 Dead for a real long time' and then 364 days later, 'here, buy our new game.' That just ensured I was not going to get the sequel. Plus, co-op is my least favorite form of gameplay.
Turns out I was completely wrong at the end of my last blog. Didn't enjoy Battlefield 3 at all! Thankfully the game was only 6 or so hours long as I meant I could blitz through it extremely quickly. The story was dull and almost non-existent so I just let the cut scenes play out and then got back to the action. This was the kind of story I expect from a military shooter. MW3 just excelled in the story department, especially compared to this.
As is now expected from a Battlefield game the graphics are amazing. Along with Rage this is up there with the very best the 360 has to offer. In some respects the game was overly realistic. I can't really put my finger on what I mean by that but I think I prefer my games a tad rougher round the edges. Sounds stupid I guess but I prefer more colourful games and at times it was hard to distinguish where the enemies were. It does spell out how good looking games on console can be and can only assume they'll get even better for next gen. From what I've read and heard it's way better on PC and I'd quite like to check that out if I had a PC capable of maxing it out!
I was pretty impressed with the locations in the game which beat out MW3 hands down so it's a shame I mostly didn't enjoy what I was doing in them. There were a couple of decent levels where it was an enjoyable experience such as the pool house/villa towards the end but mostly it just felt really generic. The vehicle missions were even worse than normal as they dragged for at least twice as long as I'd have liked. The jet fighter mission was one of the dullest missions I've ever played in a game.
For an online shooter game I wasn't all that impressed with the shooting mechanics. A few times it felt a bit hit and miss if you hit the target or not. Maybe I just didn't spend enough time honing my skills but it didn't feel anywhere near as good as on MW3. There's a decent array of weapons on offer but the default mission weapons weren't really worth switching out for anything else.
I can imagine the multiplayer is a great experience but as ever I skipped over the multiplayer. The way the scenery can be destroyed must make for some great games as cover is gone in seconds if fired upon. Not sure how it plays but I assume it's a slightly slower, more tactical game than COD is which I think I'd prefer.
I ended up with an average Gamerscore for this type of game with around half being online/co-op achievements. I decided on a rather generous 7.5 for this game. The graphics bumped it up a bit but having not tried it online, it definitely didn't deserve anything higher. I really enjoyed the previous game so felt a bit let down by its sequel.
Left 4 Dead 2 was next up and after a positive first game I thought I was in for a treat. The game was released very soon after the original so I expected more of the same which was no bad thing. I played them a couple of years apart so was a bit fresher for me when I came to play it.
I quickly came to realise how aimed towards co-op it is with the single player being a bit of a disappointment. The locations were amazing and although they don't stray far from the norm for this type of game I never get bored of them. I wasn't keen on the swamp level but I always love a carnival level in a horror/survival game so that more than made up for it. The campaigns were all pretty short though and were easily possible to sprint from one end to the other on anything but the hardest difficulty setting. I completed the last couple in about 45 minutes each and I didn't feel I was rushing. If I had other people to play with I think there'd be more excitement in exploration but when you're playing on your own I didn't feel it was worth it.
The gameplay is very strange to get used to as you expect zombies to be slow which is completely reversed in this game. I suppose they aren't technically zombies but infected humans (I think anyway!) so you just have to think of them like that. I would've preferred more adventuring to 'find' zombies rather than just standing in one place whilst you get hit by wave after wave. The one good thing you can say about the AI is that they are actually very useful at dispatching enemies. You never really have to worry that you're playing on your own as they more than make up for it. The flipside of this is that they can often be too helpful and you never actually get to do anything. Unless you run ahead they can often clear an area of enemies before you even have time to react. That was my own downside is that you often feel like a passenger your own game and you don't really get to do anything.
The weapons are very run of the mill with nothing that really provides any real thrills. I generally prefer standard weaponry so I was happy enough with this but a lot of the weapons felt the same and didn't provide enough variety. The melee weapons are brilliant though and match anything I used in Dead Rising for thrills. I do think I prefer Dead Rising as a game but this has its benefits. It's also one of the few games I've played lately where it doesn't have regenerative health. It seems strange to say that it was actually quite refreshing to play this way. Having health regenerate by staying out of the action isn't overly exciting. This way you have to manage your health and you actively have to hold back or push on ahead of team-mates depending on how much health you have and how much they do.
I really wish I'd given it a go online as I think you'd get a totally different experience to what I've had offline. Some games are just made for multiplayer which I think is great. I can imagine having 3 friends to play this with would be an amazing experience. Cranking it up to expert and putting realism on and then taking it to the enemies is an experience you probably can't match in many games.
I've given the game an 8.0 as I don't think it's an awful game by any stretch of the imagination and with the multiple games modes and co-op on offer I think it's a great package all round.
Next up for me are The Darkness II and then Dead Space 2 so am pretty hopeful about both of them. The Darkness was a surprise hit when I first played it and Dead Space is still one of my favourite games of this generation, I'm not sure what else has been better apart from maybe Bioshock.
BF3 is a multiplayer game first and foremost. The single player campaign was just tacked on and it was very obvious. It doesn't even use many of the game mechanics that they have in place.
@flammable_zeus It's a shame it doesn't use everything available in multiplayer. I can't see how it's difficult to just make a half decent single player as the game mechanics are already in place and they just have to create new scenery...sure it's more difficult than that but it's not a show stopper to just make it better.
Totally bizarre to play these games single player imo. The single player side of these games is meant as a tech demo so people can see what it looks like before they jump in online. I remember when Quake came out and it was probably the worst single player game ever made but every magazine gave it a massive score because they were all playing it online in the office. People rushed out and bought it thinking oh wow another great FPS from ID no wait... what is this crap?
Games that focus on multiplayer will always be abysmal in single player. I'm amazed at the scores you gave to the single player 'experience' when effectively there isn't one lol.
@blueinheaven Haha, well although they are a better multiplayer experience they're not technically bad single players. They just pale in comparison in the single player. I thought a 7.5 and an 8.0 are pretty average for me. The shooting mechanics aren't terrible, the graphics are good, and nothing is actually broken so although they aren't aimed at single player they are still better than most other non-AAA single player experiences.
These are two massively popular games so would probably have got 9.0/9.5s if I played it online. If a game that got a 7.0 focused mainly on multiplayer then I'd expect to be giving the single player campaign a 5 or 6 max.
Off the subject, there are a few new games that I really want to be made. A new Nightmare on Elm Street should be awesome the different ways Freddy pops out and shows up in different places and different ways would make for some great scare moments and I don't understand why the only one that was made was for Nintendo (which I still loved). Even a new Friday the 13th game. Probably most that I would want is a new Beavis and Butthead game just because I would love it no matter what lol.
@timdogg42069 Have to say out of all the games you could possibly want made those seem to be a really obscure choices! lol A new horror game that can go back to the old days of actually scaring the player would be nice. Games have covered pretty much everything now so there's nothing much that can come as a surprise.
BF3 is a great online multiplayer game and all or mostly FPS are focused on the online multiplayer mode rather than the Story mode and thier SELLING point has always been the online mode not the story if you like to play a Shooter game with great story then try TPS games (Third Person Shooter) they have better game play and more soild Story and grasp your interest better if your looking for a good game with a story.
P.S Bf3 is better then CoD in all in all aspects when it comes to the multiplayer mode have Black ops2 all what happen is either your doing respwn kill or getting respwan kill 70% of the time in the game that is.
@OB_Shah I play pretty much all games whether the story is good or not. This blog just happens to feature two games that were online centric and I played single player. Might not have got this sort of reaction if they weren't both in the same post! :P The story doesn't always bother me as long as the game play isn't dull and the shooting mechanics are good.
BF seems to be a more refined experience that rewards tactical gaming over the more frantic nature of COD games. It seems to offer more variety than COD and by the sounds of it it's a less frustrating experience.
Yep CoD kind of is really Frustrating with its score streak there have been so many times that you get respawn kills after respan kills in B-Ops2 coz some guy got his score streak going on and you will be getting bombed from a Drone non stop and beside that the maps are so small that people just hide in every conner and wait for some one to pass by and and they just kill them (Campers) and lastly B-Ops2 some how promotes all this Camping and respawn killing coz most of the Score Streak has something to do with the Mini Map
The vast majority of FPS games are multiplayer-centric nowadays. I can't help but miss the days of Wolfenstein 3D and DOOM, and games like Marathon, because there was more story and gameplay in a lot of those than there are in most modern shooters. Nowadays if you don't have a bunch of buddies and a good online connection, it can be difficult to get full enjoyment out of a FPS game. Even though I enjoyed playing Halo alone sometimes, I really did enjoy the experience even more when I had other people to play with, too.
RedLegZeff made a really good point, though. There have been some decent single-player FPS games in recent years, and all three of those were pretty acclaimed games. I still can't help but wish that there were more FPS games with good stories and more to them than shooting other players. But social FPS games will continue to be in the majority because they are easy money for publishers/developers.
@Ovirew Yep you're pretty much of the same mind set as me. I prefer to be able to immerse myself into a game world and zone out. I don't like the online scene with constant abuse and the need to team up with other people who probably don't want to. Getting full enjoyment out of an FPS is nigh on impossible if you don't have 2/3 other people who want the same things you do which you don't often get with random strangers. If I had people to play them with I'd be all over multiplayer games but I don't so I don't get to.
It's definitely easy money especially as most of the big hits are already established and they can just tweak the game each year and still rake in massive profits. That's why I'm pleased like games such as Dishonoured can still come out and achieve success as it means we can still expect decent new game series that don't rely on deathmatch and capture the flag etc.
@Sikrion Basically because I was lent them by a friend and just wanted to give them a go. I'm not really playing multiplayer games as if they are single player games as they both offer a single player experience. It may not be the developer's focus but they still include a separate single player campaign and that's what I played. If I played the game online as if I was playing the single player I could understand your question as I would be doing it completely wrong.
As I've said though I've got no doubts the multiplayer is amazing but that's just not my thing. I would never buy these games for the single player but as I was able to play them for free from a friend, I thought I'd just give them a go.
@Coco_pierrot I don't quite agree with that. I'd say military shooters these days are multiplayer centric for the most part (although there will always be exceptions). A lot of other shooting games have great single player experiences as the replies to your post points out. Dead Space, Bioshock, Gears of War, Metro 2033, Resident Evil 4&5, Rage, and Ghost Recon/Rainbow 6 to name just a few games/series I've played in the past couple of years that have been great in single player in my opinion.
I never go into a COD or Battlefield game expecting a good single player but I still like to play them. I don't have to give it a great review but I always specify that it's based on single player as that's all I like to play.
lol They were talking about FPS you pointed TPS games but i agree with you military shooters are mainly fouce on the ONLINE multiplayer and that has been thier selling point and they mainly market thier games for online multiplayer
@OB_Shah Shhh, maybe nobody will notice... I'm gonna say my point still stands, they are good games out there, I just didn't name any! lol Whether or not you can see your character or not though, they should still be able to make a decent single player.
@Coco_pierrot perfect dark (the original for the n64) had an amazing single player campaign with equally fun multiplayer modes. but they don't make as many games like that anymore...
@Coco_pierrot Spec-Ops: The Line offers an excellent single player story, though the shooting mechanics are nothing special.
@Coco_pierrot Actually some fps are great single player games...he just didn't pick any. I'd definately put the half lifes, bioshocks, and farcrys in the great single player variety.
@WTBG I can imagine in that situation it's a perfect game. It's the type of game you can have a proper session on with friends and you can work together as a team. I kinda wish I had that going on but not many people I know play games. The one person I do know lends me these games anyway so I can't play games with them!
Skipping the multiplayer of BF3 really is denying yourself the best that game has to offer, the same could be said in the case of L4D. This is the first blog of yours I've read is there a reason why you skip online play?
@xxBenblasterxx It's the same with the COD games for me as well. I've never really been a fan of online gaming. Whether people understand my reasons or think they're valid is another story! I spent a hell of a lot of time on MW2 but after a while it just felt like the same game over and over with different gamers shouting abuse at each other. I never really got any new gaming experiences and people are unfortunately just not that friendly online.
I prefer to play as many different games as possible and getting sucked into multiplayer just doesn't allow for that. In my eyes it's not something worth dipping into. You never get good at it online and you still don't get the full experience. MW2 is the only game I've ever bothered with online and I don't feel hard done by when player multiplayer centric games' single player campaigns.
To add to that, I just can't see someone enjoying themselves much in single player. It would be like trying to play a game of baseball with only one person. The game is designed with multiplayer (and particularly versus) in mind. The maps are designed for both survivors and infected, and the relatively short campaigns are meant to be played over and over and over again in a competitive environment with the survivors and infected dueling it out for points.
@Poodger You're right and that's how I think it came across in my blog. The campaign definitely have a lot to offer but the way I played it didn't allow for that. I've not reviewed it though as if it's a bad game as a whole, just as a single player experience. I know it's not meant for that but it technically has a single player campaign which is what I played.
@Poodger Single player FPS today yes but FPS games of yester year I had alot of fun playing on my own its just too bad everything that deals with gaming is turning to social gizmos nowadays.. I miss them days of 007 goldeneye and Rot (predecessor of Doom) even tek wars was pretty sweet back in the day.. Gosh I'm getting old lol..
@BlackBaldwin @Poodger I think Poodger is talking specifically about this game's single player. I'm 24 and missed the Goldeneye era of gaming with the Playstation being my first console. There are loads of decent single player games out there though, and Poodger's right that you just have to pick the right ones. The Doom games are great single player experiences and it would be nice for them to do one for next gen.
Left 4 Dead 2 was essentially L4D1 x 3. It offered everything plus more. Really, L4D1 was like a demo for the second game. Also, the Left 4 Dead games are best played in versus, the game mode the game was designed for. Left 4 Dead 2 is a multiplayer game, and should not be played with a single-player mindset.
@Poodger Yeah completely agree, it's just a game I wanted to experience and I knew I wasn't likely to get the best out of it. I don't have many actual gaming friends and don't feel the same way playing with strangers online. As I borrowed the game from a friend I just wanted to give it a go and see what it was like.