Mutliplayer  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Mutliplayer  RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Resident Evil Re:Verse Review — If I Could Turn Back Time Tue, 01 Nov 2022 17:59:02 -0400 Daniel Solomon

I love Resident Evil. Perhaps a little too much. I even find merit in the series’ many wonky attempts at multiplayer. Resident Evil 6 can be an absolute blast in co-op if you have a friend willing to sit through all 20-odd hours of it with you. Resident Evil Re:Verse, however, is not one of those attempts I’ll be returning to despite my near-infinite goodwill for the series. 

Resident Evil Re: Verse stems from a sound concept: a competitive multiplayer shooter based on the franchises’ iconic characters and locations — all with a twist. When you die, you resurrect as a zombie and have another go at your opponents. The monster you revive as is random, and they come in tiers, determined by the amount of T-Virus elixirs you collect while still human. There are some heavy hitters here, but they don't hit very hard. 

The combat feels weightless and floaty. Gone is the series’ trademark hefty gunplay, which has been refined to some of the best-in-class for survival horror across recent entries. What shambles out of the darkness is instead an approximation of the mechanics in the Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3 remakes, with the same over-the-shoulder perspective and slowed movement while aiming. Because of that, everything feels uncannily incorrect. 

The characters offer some variety in playstyle between them, but only insomuch as their fixed loadouts differ. Leon has a shotgun, Ada her trademark crossbow, and the others an assembly of pistols and semi-automatics with familiar names. Each has a pair of unique abilities, too, which are often a kind of buff or an attack. 

You’ve long had to play intentionally while aiming down the sights in a Resident Evil title, but the cursor here just zips about wildly with a mind of its own. It’s imprecise to the point of sheer frustration, and it made me question whether I actually liked the gunplay at all. After once again booting up Village for a test — cue the Principal Skinner meme — it is, in fact, Re:Verse that's wrong. 

It’s no better as the undead, either. You’ll first flail about with an assault rifle as Chris Redfield, then flail about trying to punch people as a Bioweapon. What should be the real strength of the game is janky and half-baked. 

The two headliners are the Super Tyrant and Nemesis. Each feels fairly similar to play, and save for their respective abilities of various big punches vs a rocket launcher and some tentacles, they're of the same size and speed, relying on melee attacks while waiting for their abilities to cool down. They're not even all that different visually at a glance. 

While the Bioweapon characters have definitively more damage output than their human counterparts, the disparity is offset by a constantly draining health bar, meaning no one can reign supreme indefinitely. And it makes sense in an attempt to balance the game, providing you don't get stunlocked into a corner, which is easily done by pretty much any of the characters spamming a standard attack or a few rockets. 

There are no atmospheric changes when the big bads show up, either. There are no music cues, nor is there a change in lighting. It's simply another player out there somewhere stumbling around trying to make sense of it all. And while it's reasonable given the game's pace, the sum of these errors strips any tension out of the experience.

It's a surreal thing to see characters that haunted you in previous games reduced to buffoons. 

The absence of content, too, is so stark as to compare it to a void. At launch, there are only six playable human characters, five monsters, two maps, and one game mode. One. There’s no promised team deathmatch or anything beyond a free-for-all either in Resi 2's RPD station or the Baker’s house from Resident Evil 7

There’s nothing to the stages beyond fan service, the novelty of which falls away almost immediately. Where things could have been interesting — for example, letting you play as members of the Baker family on their homestead or introducing more of William’s G Stage variants for the RPD station — you get the same beige offering at both locations. All the pickups are the same across the stages, too, and there are no interactive environmental elements at play to break up the monotony between them. 

Having a battle pass for such a mess, regardless of a promised roadmap, is unfathomable. I can say with some confidence that it will be a road less traveled; only a few days after launch, even with crossplay enabled, it took me around a minute to join a match, and only five other people are required to start one.

Steam Charts paint a more damning picture, one where the total player count a mere four days post-launch is around the 250 mark, with an all-time peak of 2,000. Compare that to Village’s own peak of 15,000 for the launch of the Gold Edition. Even players who own the game seemingly aren’t interested, and more power to them. 

You have to wonder why we got this over a co-op addition to mercenaries mode, which by all accounts, people actually like. 

Resident Evil Re:Verse Review — The Bottom Line


  • The two stages are well-realized, and it's fun to see them outside of their original context. 
  • The matches themselves are mercifully short.


  • The characters handle like steering melting butter around a frying pan.
  • You'll see everything the game has to offer in about 15 minutes. 
  • And honestly, pretty much everything else. 

Had Re:Verse simply been a curiosity accessed from the in-game menu in Village, it would have still been met with a resounding sigh and swiftly forgotten. But following a seemingly pointless 18-month delay, shoehorned microtransactions, and a shockingly sparse amount of content, this low-stakes imitation of the classic series should have been left on the cutting room floor. 

It all adds up to a feeling akin to watching a young local band fail at covering a classic song. You almost want to applaud them for trying. Almost. 

[Note: The version of Re:Verse included in the reviewer's purchased version of Resident Evil: Village was used for this review.]

Battlefield 2042 Review: Battling for Relevancy Fri, 19 Nov 2021 12:16:37 -0500 John Schutt

Battlefield 2042 is a mess. It can be an enjoyable mess or sometimes a hilarious one, but it doesn’t so much have rough edges as it has rough everything. Buried far underneath it all is a solid shooter whose fundamentals are a great starting point for a full-featured next-gen shooter.

That isn’t what we have, though. Battlefield 2042 is instead a hodgepodge of disparate ideas, some of which work, some of which don’t, and others that currently serve no real purpose. It’s also unbalanced, buggy, unoptimized on PC, and attempts to chase trends instead of blazing new trails.

I also can’t stop going back to it. No other series creates the cinematic “Battlefield moments” at such sheer scale or frequency. In Shooter Season 2021, there are better games to play. There is a backlog that needs trimming. There are Skyrims to mod.

Yet here I sit, hopping into 2042 every night despite myself.

Battlefield 2042 Review: Battling for Relevancy

The gameplay in Battlefield 2042 is very good, taken in isolation. The gunplay (when the hit detection and bloom are on your side) feels satisfying. The movement, too, has more depth than “sprint in a direction.” Understanding how to approach a particular portion of a map demands care and experience. Even the Specialist system, while not as series-defining as having specific classes, unlocks more freedom while still allowing you to fill a particular role in a match.

I’m willing to forgive the lower number of available guns so long as they’re all fun to use. I don’t mind some gun imbalance if winning at a disadvantage gives me a feeling of overcoming long odds — quality over quantity.

Here’s the problem: only a few guns are actually fun to use. The ones that are fun to use are either laughably broken or genuinely balanced, making them good at almost nothing but bad at even less. Success with the bad weapons isn’t enjoyable either. You have to work much harder with a lesser gun to accomplish half of what a good one could do.

Balance and fun factor aside, mechanically, the weapons in Battlefield 2042 are quite nice to shoot. There’s plenty of punch when you fire, there’s plenty of recoil, and only a few guns feel impossible to control. The crunchy feeling when you get a kill and reload for the next fight is intoxicating. Taking down a vehicle also provides a shot of endorphins whether you’ve done it once or a hundred times.

Then, when you’re actually in a vehicle, you have the opportunity to feel like a god. Helicopters, tanks, hovercrafts, LAVs — all of them can mulch dozens of enemy troops in the span of a few minutes. I think 2042’s vehicles are the strongest they’ve ever been. You could get away from, or even juke, a tank or a helicopter as infantry in previous games. 

Not so here. If you have the frequent misfortune to be on foot when any vehicle rolls up, you are dead almost every time. That goes for air or land-based vehicles. Helicopters have vast supplies of missiles, and their machine guns will shred you about as fast.

That’s not to say you can’t counter vehicles as a footsoldier. Every specialist can equip explosives, but you don’t get many, and vehicles seem sturdier in 2042 than in previous entries. Their ability to regenerate armor like a soldier regenerates health doesn’t help matters.

In previous titles, vehicle supremacy was tempered by static spawns. In 2042, you can summon light and heavy tanks, hovercrafts, and armored trucks anywhere on the map. Battlefield 2042’s maps might be bigger than almost any in series history, but vehicle dominance tends to be suffocating.

The maps themselves aren’t particularly good, either. There are only seven available at launch, and half of them boil down to “big field with occasional stuff scattered about.” The others offer some more verticality and variation in engagement types, but their size all but mandates vehicles to get anywhere at any workable speed.

Compounding the issue is the dearth of game modes. In core 2042, there’s Conquest and Breakthrough. The first is as you’d expect: capture points, kill enemies, and have the most tickets at the end. Breakthrough is an evolution of Operations from Battlefield 1: sets of capture points must be secured in sequence. A solid idea if it weren’t for troop concentration.

Conquest works with 128 players on a map. Objectives are widely spaced and take long enough to capture that even if 30 people are on a point, they won’t be in a few minutes. In Breakthrough, once there’s only one objective left to take, suddenly 128 people are fighting over a small garden. It’s as chaotic and poorly planned as it sounds.

128 Problems and Player Count is Just One

Breakthrough, like so much of Battlefield 2042, works so much better on paper. There are a lot of interesting, or at least novel, ideas present in the game overall. Very few of them work in execution. Or they could work with more thought and time put into them.

Start with weapon balance. The SMGs are incredibly powerful up close, and the PP-29 is so out to an absurd distance, but they become useless much past their intended range. And remember that most of the maps are giant fields with little cover. Enter sniper rifles, right? Nope. Snipers of any caliber are only one shot kills from the upper chest and up, or through headshots only for the faster firing ones.

Add in the SVK, a two-shot DMR from effectively infinite range, and it’s hard to justify using almost any other gun in 2042. You can even make it a close-quarters weapon by changing the sight. If your aim’s good enough, the SVK will carry you no matter where on the battlefield you play.

The on-the-fly attachment concept is another issue. Locking yourself to a specific loadout was part of the game in previous entries. Now you can set yourself up to be viable at any distance, in any environment. As we covered in our attachments guide, the additional menu creates significant complications for larger loadout swaps. The idea, like all the ones we’ll talk about next, is simply half-baked.

Over Battlefield 2042's Early Access period, a lot’s been made of the Battlefield Portal feature. I’ve wanted a return for Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 3 for years, but there are two problems with the current implementation.

First, as with the main game, there is a severe restriction on game modes. At launch, you can only create a custom server with Rush, Conquest, and Conquest Large. Perhaps the greatest sin 2042 commits with Portal is adding back Noshar Canals but not letting us play Team Deathmatch from the start.

DICE seems to have also not considered how players will use whatever means necessary to bypass leveling systems. Within hours of 2042 going live, Portal’s server browser was full of “Fast XP” servers where you could level up quickly and get access to everything for use in the base game.

Now opening a game in the same server browser offers no experience for your weapon or otherwise. You’re playing on a minimal selection of old maps for no other reason than nostalgia. You can play the matchmade playlists for XP, but you won’t be able to level up any of the core game’s weapons, removing another reason to play.

Nostalgia is, of course, Portal’s reason for existence, but it suffers from many of the same issues plaguing 2042’s standard modes. 

Perhaps worst of all, none of the weapons, maps, or animations have as much style or character as the previous games. The XM8 Prototype, maybe the best SMG in BC2, looks better in the original game than it does in 2042. I should mention that Bad Company 2 came out in 2009. The same is true of the Battlefield 3 assets. The M16 and M4, both flagship weapons for that game, look, sound, and handle worse in Portal.

Of course, DICE has never been one for flashy animations, but their sound design has always been world-class. Once again, not so, at least in Battlefield Portal. The punch and feedback of the main game aren’t present in any of the classic remasters. Tanks and choppers don’t sound intimidating, and they couldn’t even get something as common as a reload sound right.

Don’t get me wrong. I love playing on Arica Harbor, Valparaiso, Caspian Border, and Noshahr Canals again. These are maps with variety, unique aesthetics, and fantastic flow. 2042’s maps, like so many AAA shooters of the past few years, focus on reimagining and reinventing the design philosophy that created the same classics they’re now relying on for content.

Hazard Zone technically exists to try and mix things up, combining a little bit from Escape from Tarkov, a little bit from Warzone, and a fair bit from 2042 itself. I wish it were as engaging as its premise, but it has none of the pressure of Tarkov, none of the looting experience of Warzone, and all the problems of Battlefield

Battlefield 2042 Review — The Bottom Line


  • Solid gunplay
  • The return of classic maps


  • Lacking content
  • Unbalanced, unoptimized, buggy
  • Much of it lacks purpose
  • Too many ideas that work better on paper

My greatest fear for Battlefield 2042 is that it will only take up space on people's hard drives. There isn’t enough exciting content here to last more than a couple of months, with some players already at level 60+. The early part of next year is packed, and unless the next 30 days bring some significant updates to 2042, it will be relegated to a momentary blip on the radar. Another disappointment with good ideas quickly squandered.

It’s a fun game if you can look past all the needless changes and poor execution. The potential for something great exists, hidden beneath a couple of miles of smoldering debris.

In short, I don’t recommend buying it now. Come back in three months. Or play Elden Ring then. That works too.

[Note: EA provided the copy of Battlefield 2042 used for this review.]

Friday The 13th: The Game -- Camp Counselor Survival Guide Fri, 26 May 2017 09:15:01 -0400 Ty Arthur

It may (sadly) not be in VR, but Friday The 13th: The Game still lets you experience a slasher horror movie from the perspective of the terrified counselors desperately seeking to escape an unstoppable killer.

With seven counselors battling against one player in the role of Jason, it would seem like you have a huge advantage against the serial killer in this asymmetrical horror game, but there isn't actually much safety in your numbers.

If you want to stay alive and make it to the end of the match, you'll need to follow our Friday The 13th counselor tips and tricks below.

The Basics of Staying Alive and Surviving as a Counselor

Jason gets visual and auditory cues on his screen that alert him to the direction of counselors based on their speed and fear levels. To remain hidden, don't ever run until Jason is right on top of you and there's no other option.

Jogging with the X key is a good middle of the road option for when you need to cover a long distance but don't want to attract a lot of attention. But slow motion walking is still the best way to go.

When your fear level is up, you get gripped easier and Jason gets various perks that let him notice you more quickly. There are several ways to reduce fear:

  • Don't run at full speed
  • Crouch down and stay hidden for a few seconds
  • Enter a lit building (watch out for Jason's ability to destroy power boxes!)
  • Keep a weapon in hand at all times
  • Stay near other counselors

That final bullet point is important, but even if you are spread across the map, be sure to stay in communication with rest of the team throughout the match so that each of you endures to the end. If you've got the car keys or found a vehicle repair part, let your other counselors know so you can formulate a strategy on how to get away and how to distract Jason.

Finally, when confronted by Jason with no immediate means of escape, there's an extra mode that's easy to forget: switch to the combat stance by pressing the C key! 

In this mode, you can dodge left, right, and back to avoid attacks that are normally deadly. If you are armed, a well-timed strike will slow Jason down so you can get to a window or look for a good place to hide.

Who will live and who will die?

Exploration Is Key in Friday The 13th: The Game

Always explore any cabin you come across, but use windows as entrances instead of doors. Leaving a door open for Jason is just lazy and practically asking to be hacked to death.

In fact, beyond not opening doors, always barricade doorways when you have time, as Jason must spend valuable time breaking them down, alerting everyone to his presence -- possibly keeping more members of your group alive. This is the most reliable way to keep Jason away from you and your group while you pick up equipment. Don't forget, though -- Jason can still throw knives through open windows, so they aren't fool proof protection.

If you come across a functioning phone while exploring, be sure to use it immediately! Before a phone will function, other players must first repair the phone boxes located outside randomized cabins.

The police distract Jason with noise pings and can keep him stunned for long periods with sustained gunfire. It takes 5 minutes for the police to arrive, however, so continue trying out other methods of escape in the mean time, such as repairing the car or boat.

When the countdown timer is nearing 40 seconds or so, make a beeline toward the bridge exit where the police arrive.

Calling for backup from the boys in blue

While exploring cabins, always pick up anything you find. You absolutely always want something in your hand, whether it's a pocket knife or screwdriver for a surprise escape after Jason grabs you, or a baseball bat or wrench for slowing Jason down while your fellow counselors repair a vehicle.

Other horror movie staples can be found in out of the way places. For instance, the incredibly useful flare gun can fire a shot to keep Jason stunned for a set amount of time. A handful of healing items can also be found for bandaging wounds if you've been injured by a machete swing.

When searching through a cabin, always be on the lookout for keys that are frequently found in drawers. These are in randomized locations, so keep looking through everything. When the time comes to flee, you want to be the one controlling when the car or boat leaves.

Boo Yah!

Besides weapons, there are environmental factors to activate while exploring, such as the boom box. Turning it on creates a permanent sound ping on Jason's HUD that is indistinguishable from the noise of a normal counselor -- until he gets directly on top of the sound.

This adds some confusion for the player who is Jason and sends him chasing his own tail for a while. Besides the boom box, you can really turn the tide by using the CB radio to call in Tommy Jarvis, who brings back a previously dead or escaped character, which has high stamina and a powerful shotgun.

The shotgun only has a single shot, but knocks Jason down for a significant amount of time. Just don't miss! You can hit your fellow counselors with friendly fire.

Choosing A Counselor Load Out in Friday The 13th: The Game

A new player immediately starts off with a free 500 CP for your counselor build, so go ahead and roll a random perk before starting your first match. You never know what you might get. 

Perks that give access to starting items should be prioritized, as these are typically more useful than minor boosts to stats. In particular, fireworks are your friend, as they give a quick and easy way to stun Jason while you flee.

Rolling a first randomized perk

Although some counselors don't become available until leveling up significantly, there's still several solid choices at level 1, so you want a gameplan ahead of time for who to pick.

First and foremost: Vanessa exists solely as bait. She has a Speed of 10, a Stamina of 10, and a Stealth of 1. Literally just walking normally alerts Jason to her presence, but she can keep running for long periods of time. This is not the character you want to play as a newbie unless you are really keen on being the sacrificial lamb that lets the other counselors escape.

To first learn the ropes, Kenny isn't a bad way to go, since he has a perfect medium 5 in every stat. Playing Kenny gives a good baseline of how the game works, and from there, you can try out characters with uneven stat distribution to find how you best like to play a counselor (focusing on repairing objects, staying stealthy, etc.).

Any character with Composure 10, like Jenny Myers, can escape Jason's grabs much more easily -- and stay alive longer. If the current Jason player is fond of specialty grab kills and not standard machete swings, this can be a huge boon.

With the right stats and items, you can even escape this

Killing Jason in Friday The 13th: The Game

The big question, of course, is -- can you kill Jason in Friday The 13th? The answer is a frustrating "we don't know yet!" The developers have been and continue to be very coy as to whether it's actually possible or not.

Players have theorized Jason's mask must be knocked off and then he must be bear trapped and axed in the shack with his mother's head, but this strategy hasn't actually worked yet in any of the pre-release matches.

When we have a definitive answer to that question, we'll update this article with the process!

 If movie lore is followed, surely this room will be involved

Those are all the basic strategies you need to know to get started surviving as a counselor in Friday The 13th! What other tips and hints would you recommend we try out in our next match at Crystal Lake?

Make sure to check out our review of Friday The 13th: The Game if you want to learn more about the game. And if you're looking for more tips, tricks, strategies, and walkthroughs for PC, PS4, and Xbox One, make sure to check out our Friday The 13th guides

The Nintendo Switch Brings the Gamer Out of Everyone Thu, 23 Mar 2017 12:00:01 -0400 Tinh Nguyen (Tinhn778)

When I picked up my Switch on March 3rd I thought that I would use it mostly in handheld mode -- because I’m out all the time. I realized quickly that it wouldn’t be the case, after two and a half weeks I found myself and most of my friends using all the modes the Switch offers. Nintendo delivered on the core concept of the Switch -- a home gaming console that you can bring anywhere to play with friends.

One of the many questions I had before launch was how complicated it would be to change from mode to mode. I have friends that want the Switch and are not the biggest gamers, seeing how many parts this system comes with worried me that non/casual gamers might have a difficult time wrapping their head around the modular factor of the console. Of course, everything about the Switch is quick and simple. After a couple of hours playing Nintendo’s new console me and my friends had a breeze switching from mode to mode, on top of all that simplicity it’s just fun and satisfying removing/attaching the Joy-Cons.

With every new console purchase, I try to show my friends what the thing can do. I did it when I bought my PS4 and showed some Destiny. Some of them were floored with how pretty games in 2014 could be. With the Switch, it was a completely different experience. I don’t know if it's Nintendo magic or the fact that the Switch can be played in both handheld or TV, but everyone wanted to have a go. With a new toy, it makes sense that everyone wants to have a turn, but the Switch has been out for two weeks and they’re obsessed with it -- more specifically with the Puyo Puyo Tetris Demo.

Puyo Puyo Tetris, Tetris

Puyo Puyo Tetris was released in 2014 (only in Japan) for all consoles. Puyo Puyo Tetris will come to the west in April and I can’t wait. I’m not the biggest fan of Tetris, but I love watching players going head to head -- the game gets heated quickly. My friends love this game -- well half the game. Because Puyo Puyo Tetris is only available on the Japanese eShop I downloaded the demo there, so I had to fiddle with the menus to understand which prompt is which. After playing the base version of Puyo Puyo Tetris -- which switches from Puyo Puyo to Tetris on the fly -- they hated Puyo Puyo and loved Tetris (like most gamers do). Eventually, we figured out how to play a match without Puyo Puyo. After that discovery, my time with the Switch has decreased, but I don’t mind. Watching my friends play the Switch is fun and interesting, because of my knowledge of the game industry, playing games is different. To me games are an expression of art and creativity, to my friends, it is another source of entertainment.

Puyo Puyo Tetris isn’t the only star, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild also hit a chord with some of my casual gamer friends, one of which has played all 3D Zelda games. He is just absolutely dumbfounded by the number of things to do and the new direction Nintendo took with an open world approach. Watching him felt like watching a whole new game, every direction he took seemed like there was something new I discovered. I can’t say this enough; this game is magical. This game raise the bar for new open world games.

Nintendo has done it once again, giving a gaming experience with friends that no other consoles can offer. Yes, you can play with friends on any platform, but Nintendo caters and excels at multiplayer experiences -- on top that the Nintendo magic is always apparent. I love what Nintendo is doing, by giving a gaming experience not just to the kids anymore, but catering to the teens and adult gamers too. At this moment, Nintendo is doing really well, and I’m glad that they have buzz around them again. Everything is looking good!

Uncharted 4 Double Relic Weekend Starts Friday Thu, 04 Aug 2016 04:41:38 -0400 Angie Harvey

Starting this Friday, Naughty Dog is hosting another Relic Bonus weekend in Uncharted 4's multiplayer. The bonus weekend will last from Friday, August 5th at 11am PST/8pm CEST until 11am PST/8pm CEST Monday, August 8th, where players will be able to earn an additional 50% Relic Bonus by completing challenges.  

These Relics can be used to unlock a number of cool items such skins, weapons, characters and taunts. This is your chance to splash out in the in-game store and deck out your characters, as no chest will ever provide duplicate items.

Along with the announcement, Naughty Dog has rolled out a new live update that helps continue to balance the game's multiplayer. The most notable changes are the reductions to both the Blindfire and Recoil mods to specific weapons, price changes to Sidekicks and Mysticals, and also the heavy weapon, Harbinger -- which will now straight KO on a headshot!

Full details on the update and bonus weekend can be found on Naughty Dog’s official website.

Halo 5 Doesn't Feel Like Halo: Multiplayer Experience From PAX East Mon, 09 Mar 2015 05:19:12 -0400 Ryan Mayle

Halo has been a series that I have been heavily involved with for well over a decade. It was a huge jump for multiplayer console shooters and it's very easy to bring back fond old memories whenever someone brought up the name. However, I'm not quite sure I like the direction that the game is going in with its newest installment, Halo 5: Guardians.

On the PAX East show floor, I had the opportunity to try out some Halo 5 multiplayer. The game mode we got to play was a domination match. This means that kills didn't bring much to the table; there were just three points in a small boxed canyon that you needed to control. You got to start with two weapons, the Auto-rifle and Battle Rifle. It was Halo, but there were a few roadblock I was having issues getting over.

Aim Down Sights

This is the staple of games like Call of Duty and Battlefield. However, this isn't necessarily a mechanic that fits for Halo. I understand using a scope for the Battle Rifle, Sniper Rifle, or any weapon that has a scope. But the Auto-Rifle just doesn't feel right when you look down its "sights."

It takes away from the run and gun nature of Halo and makes it feel like every other FPS in the genre. Once this mechanic is added to a game it has to be used, otherwise your pretty much gimping yourself by not making your targets larger on your screen.


Something that caught me off guard was the ability to do a slight boost dash to the side. The first time I did this was on accident hitting the X button. Once I learned that this was a game mechanic I started to realise I wasn't playing Halo. I was playing Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare with a new skin on it. I started to feel less like a Spartan and more like a soldier in an Exo-suit.

It's difficult to figure out ways to make Halo feel new and refreshed without following the footprints set by other games. Maybe it's just my rose-colored nostalgia goggles, but this just didn't feel right.

Everything has a Timer

One of the things that separated the good from the great was knowing spawn timers. For example, knowing when the rocket launcher was going to spawn would give you one of the greatest advantages in the Halo series.

Now your teammates will automatically alert you in the game 30 seconds and 10 seconds before something like the rocket launcher will spawn and when I say teammates, I mean the characters that are being controlled by humans. This is an automated process within the game and doesn't need any input from a player. 

It's Not All Bad Though

I do have a laundry list of issues with Halo 5, but I can't completely disregard the game over them. The visuals were great and the audio felt immersive and had great fidelity. I also never got an opportunity to try out any vehicles or see any campaign, so those could be top-notch. 

For now, I have to remain skeptical. Maybe 343 will show more details on Halo 5 soon, but I won't be going out to pre-order this game just yet.

On the Battlefield: A Rebuttal in Defense of Solo Gamers Thu, 21 Nov 2013 02:03:06 -0500 Brian Armstrong

Today I read an excellent article by my fellow GameSkinny writer, Jay, on how playing games solo has gone out of style, and he made some excellent points. Xbox Live, Steam, free-to-play MMOs, and social networks like Facebook and Twitter, have all contributed to making multiplayer gaming more popular and accessible than ever before. But here's the thing: the solo gamer isn't gone, and I would argue not even out of style. The multiplayer gamers are just that much louder.

Screaming for Vengeance

I don't mean loud as in yelling all the time or inclined to scream and shout about their games. I simply mean that multiplayer games and modes get the most attention from the media and fans. With good reason, because games like Call of Duty, Battlefield, and RIFT are incredibly fun to play with friends. But focusing solely on the multiplayer aspects of games does a complete disservice to an entire population of gamers.

The Epitome of Solo Excellence

Take, for example, the Elder Scrolls series. Yes, there is an MMO version of the game coming out, but The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim wasn't incredibly popular and successful simply because people thought Bethesda might  someday make an MMO. People loved getting immersed in an epic world, endless quests, and the ability to make the world exactly what they wanted it to be. People put hundreds of hours into this game, and never spent a single moment playing it online with friends.

Heck, even MMOs are beginning to cater to the solo players more than ever. Star Wars: The Old Republic, while often criticized for not having enough of an end game, has an amazing leveling experience, something that is completely do-able and captivating as a solo player. Sure there are other players in the game world, but the story and the gameplay experience can be largely done all by yourself.

Solo Games Aren't Perfect

One area where single players suffer is in first-person shooters. Some of the genre's biggest games have single player campaigns that are incredibly weak. Call of Duty and Battlefield have had their overall scores affected because of a weak campaign mode. The games are often incredibly linear and the stories are sometimes predictable, lackluster, or even lame.

But, regardless of those issues, the solo player is alive and well. Sports games, while fun with friends, are incredibly playable and entertaining by yourself. Indie games like Flower, Dragon Fantasy, and Sound Shapes are addicting and encourage you to keep playing to find new content or beat your own high scores. These games don't need friends or online opponents to be exciting or long-lasting.

I don't deny that multiplayer games are on the rise and are bigger than ever, and I have nothing against Jay; he wrote a fantastic article. But I had to speak up for all the solo players out there and let the world know to not give up on single player games. Sometimes they are more epic, more exciting, more beautiful, and more captivating than anything you'll ever find online.