All About bazzatuk
I really do like that more and more Public Betas are arriving these days. The Internet has made this possible and even if the developers are using these Betas as promotional tools then so be it. If it can ultimately improve a game before its final release, then that's even better. These public Betas are only a good thing so I hope more do follow.
In the last few weeks since my key arrived I have been playing a lot of the COD4 Online Multiplayer Beta. Overall it keeps the action fast and furious, with very little noticeable lag except the occasional game. It looks impressive from a graphical stand point and helps with the immersion. There are lots of great aspects, the ranking system for example is a nice addition, but gives the more experienced players an advantage with better equipment which does seem unfair. The customisation that you are allowed with your weapons and being able to save your selections in various custom categories is fantastic, once you are happy with your setup you just select your custom load and away you go. Overall the customisations are great, from weapon selection, to scope, to what type of grenades you choose there are all sorts of additions to suit every players tastes.
The maps seem relatively well balanced, but overall quite small. The map size does have some advantages, mostly the games keep moving, you rarely run into any stalemate situations. The campers who like to snipe will mostly find themselves in trouble when people sneak up behind. A great addition is the Radar, which shows up enemies when they fire, so you always have an idea of where to head next and most of the maps have several routes through, so should someone stay in one place they can rarely point their gun in one direction, you have to cover several directions to avoid an ambush. The Radar making them even more vulnerable when they appear constantly in the same location.
If you stay alive long enough it awards you with some fantastic awards. If you kill 3 people in a row you get the UAV which shows up all enemy locations, 5 in a row and you get an airstrike which lets you choose where to deliver the payload, 7 kills and you get the best of all of them, a Helicopter which is absolutely destructive and will rack up a number of kills for you, however it can be shot down with well placed fire or more importantly well placed RPG fire. These additions however do feel a little unbalanced at present, the winning team will always find themselves with an advantage, especially once the helicopter gets airborne as it can decimate your team in no time and can even pick you out inside buildings or through walls.
It's really on these points that COD4 seems a little unbalanced. There have been many a time while playing I have been pitched against 4 opponents and only me on my team, or 7 against 4 and so on. How it picks the teams I don't quite understand. Once a team is in front it can be hard to come back, especially when you factor in the almost random respawn points that put you right back where you died several times, quite often right in the line of fire meaning you get killed the instant you respawn. The most annoying of all additions however is the Deep Impact perk. When enabled this will allow you to shoot through walls, not just thin walls but brick walls, concrete, you name it as nothing seems taboo. Worst of all the shots that come through hit with some impact and can easily kill without problem making it that cover rarely actually exists within the game.
However the positives far outweigh any niggles but the experience is soured slightly when you end up on an exceptionally weak team and you spend most of the time watching the Kill Cam. The Kill Cam is an absolutely fantastic method keeping the flow going and can really help you understand where you went wrong and in a way learn the maps quicker. Several times I have thought there's no way they shot me from there, only to find they didn't and it was someone else shooting me down.
It will be interesting to see how they clean up the online play before the release of the game. My biggest suggestion is do away with the Deep Impact option or at least make some wall types impenetrable, and secondly make it harder to obtain the Helicopter, make sure that at least 10 kills are required before that thing comes out. Some bigger maps would also be a nice addition too, it's great being as frantic as it is but after a couple of hours it would be nice to see the odd slower paced tactical game.
Overall I think it has been great to be part of the Beta and I look forward to seeing what the developers do with the valuable information and suggestions the community will surely provide for them. This is definitely on my must have list this year.
I recently suffered the 360 RRoD scenario. After 18months of owning a 360 I came home one night to see my machine fail with the glorious indication of failure that has become 3 Red Lights. It still worked for a little while after some persistent powering on and off sessions and the towel trick actually does give it a little more lifespan. I held off sending it as long as I could, especially as everywhere, I read horror stories of five week waits and horrible call centre staff.
In my case this isn't a story of woe. Its a story of a satisfied customer, besides it actually developing a fault I cannot complain about the service I received. I called the repair line for the UK and was dealt with promptly and the fault was raised with minimal wait getting through and no real hassle when I got through. So I posted it off, luckily I had a box already suitable to send the Xbox away, so there was no waiting for that. I was fully expecting to have to wait 5 weeks, they said as much on the phone that it could take that long. However here I am, just two weeks later with a replacement unit. So provided it doesn't fail tomorrow I am actually happy to report overall, my Xbox repair procedure was one of satisfaction rather than miserable waiting around.
I need some assistance in understanding why on earth you have to install a game demo on your PS3 console. I have an Xbox 360 and once a demo has downloaded you just play it. Having to install the demo wouldn't be so bad if it didn't take so long, on occasion I have sat 5-10 minutes before the demo has installed. Combined with the background download feature that only allows you to download while you are on the main menu (pretty pointless) and its just another thing I hope Sony improve in a future firmware update.
Right, rant over. I am off to play the Folklore demo which has just finished installing.
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