Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Destiny Diaries: April Update Review

I went in to this with little or no expectation. I had been giving Destiny a break to play Far Cry Primal and catching up with some oldies. So I was ready to come back. The first day with the update was an utter disappointment. I'm an all round Destiny player. I like the PvE as much as the PvP. So I jumped straight in to the new PvE content seeing as Bungie had been bigging this up for PvE fans who were complaining that there had no new PvE content for quite a while now. One mission. That's what we got. One new mission that lasted a couple of minutes in an old part of the Dreadnought. One collecting resources section and then a very short and very easy new strike in an old part of the Dreadnought. The whole thing realistically probably took one person a week to put together. Pathetic.

I thought I was done, but my old team perked up their interest and I managed to prise them away from The Division for long enough to give the Challenge of Elders a go. Now this is more like it. It's strange. Everything I say I like about games in general, is the complete opposite of what Destiny multiplayer is. And yet I love it. Challenge of Elder is just about my level of difficulty. The recommended light level for the final of the three bosses which are on weekly rotation, is 330. I was playing with a 306 character and so found it suitably challenging yet perfectly doable with a bit of persistence. I've run it four times now and got some great loot. Nothing near 335, but then I'm now only 310 and I think you get drops that are related to your current light level. But I think Challenge of Elders is my new favourite activity.

Sterling treasure. Quite frankly, who cares? I was worried to begin with when I heard that it would be available to buy with real money from Eververse. But that quickly faded as I found it was all crap. I don't give a damn about Chroma. I think all the new armour looks boring. I much prefer going down the old timey RPG style armour route. I don't want my armour to have under lights like a rude boy's Astra. The only thing I'm interested in is the Taken armour set, so I will still be opening my Sterling treasure in the hope that I will complete the set and get the free Taken jitter emote.

I've yet to fully explore the Court of Oryx tweaks and Strike playlist, but all in all, I'm impressed. It's a small free update that's worth playing. Worth coming back to Destiny for if you've been away for a while. It's not going to keep your interest for very long, certainly not until the next big update drops in September. I just wish Bungie would stop throwing the PR kitchen sink at things that really don't warrant it. Tell it like it is. This is a nice little stop gap.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Doom and Battleborn BETA Reviews

I'm desperate for a new game at the moment. I've cancelled a few pre orders recently due to lack of funds but because of my need, I've gone back and had a look at a couple to see if they could persuade me to buy them. Helpfully two prospective games launched BETAs recently so I could try before I buy.

Out of all the cancelled near misses, I was looking forward to this the most. I was totally sucked in by the E3 reveal and all subsequent trailers. Doom was probably the first 3D game I ever played. It came free with my first ever PC. I played it to death, mainly with all the cheats, coz I was only little and rubbish at games (I still am).

Wow, what a disappointment. I started off searching through the customization options and immediately felt let down by the graphics. Everything felt like it was made of cheap plastic. Nothing had weight to it. Looked like a cheap knock action figure rather than some demon-butt kicking bad ass (since writing this, I've seen a video of character progression and future customization options and they look pretty good but the graphics and shinyness are still an issue). Some of the customization sliders didn't work very well and the render didn't update straight away and sometimes not at all. Okay so this is a BETA, but graphics don't usually get much better from a BETA onwards, if anything they may even get worse if recent releases are anything to go by.

The actual gameplay was very smooth and very fast. It was way too fast for me, but that's not a complaint but maybe a warning that this game is going to be for the pretty hardcore. It's not for everyone. The actual game modes just don't seem to sit in the Doom universe. They don't seem to have a story. There's just no substance. I just don't care about it. There's nothing to care about. Your character has literally no personality. Why am I doing any of this? Who knows... It's not enough these days to simply be playing a Doom game. You need something to pull you in and it's just not there...

I haven't played the single player, but recent trailers would suggest the graphics have actually got worse since the E3 reveal. And if the single player game feels anything like the multiplayer BETA, then I'm not interested. Sorry ID.

Battleborn is a MOBA. I don't know what a MOBA is. I mean I think it stands for Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, but I don't know what that means. I think it's what people who "do" e-sports do. I don't know what e-sports are. I don't think I'm alone in this ignorance and Gearbox Software who make Battleborn are well aware of this.

Battleborn is therefore an accessible MOBA which seems to be something of a developing trend. I've played the BETA which unusually for a BETA, contained a few single player missions. But as far as the MOBA part is concerned, I still don't know what one is but I know it's quite enjoyable. It's a bit like a team shooter but there seemed to be more to it. Some thing that everyone else playing the game seemed to know about but I didn't have a clue. Despite this it was still quite fun. 

Looking at it from a team shooter point of view, it's a solid team shooter. The game mechanics are all very solid, it's fun to play. The characters are great with back stories and very different ways of playing each one so it doesn't get boring very quickly. In single player there is a lot of humour that actually had me laughing out loud. Not surprising from the makers of Boarderlands.

But the problem is, I still don't know what a MOBA is. As far as this accessible MOBA is concerned, I'm interested, I want in. I want to be part of this world, but it's not quite accessible enough. I really like the design and the characters and the gameplay but I'm not going to buy this game, because I don't really understand what I'm buying. It's a shame, but this attempt at getting us gaming plebs in to the elite tier, has failed. I'll be looking at what Overwatch can do as the next in line of upcoming accessible  MOBAs.