danbambridge / Member

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A Field of Death

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.