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3rd impressions

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  • 3rd impressions

    After beating the first map (demo map) and getting far into the second, I have some more impressions of the game.

    We had a full four player coop game going on the second map.

    The game is fun, without a doubt.

    The game is extremely cinematic. my team and I fly into a hot LZ, bullets richocheting off the chopper, jets flying over. I jump out and slide down a rope while strikeman snipes targets from the chopper above me. Then I dive behind cover, opening up with the saw, which makes the tangos drop down behind cover, allowing the rest of my team to rope down. Before the dust has settled, my crosscom lights up with a view of the commander telling me he sees a convoy moving to my position.

    The good:
    The cinematic nature of the game makes you feel like your in your own little "black hawk down" movie the whole time. Armor coming in? No problem, your crosscom lights up and you have an apache inbound to help you out. Jets can be called in to take out anti air positions, etc. These are very realistic scenarios, wrapped around a realistic damage model, realistic physics, and realistic gameplay. Not to mention the missions change half way through, VERY unexpected things happen, changing the storyline of the game, which is told through well scripted and well voiced-over crosscom videos. You get amubshed, you can quickly go from offense to defense, mission roles change quickly.

    Picking your gun DOES affect completely how you play the game and the role you play in your 4 man team. Strike was tasked with taking out dangerous threats from a long distance with his sniper rifle, while I laid down covering fire. I also was wrong in my 2nd imrpession thread regarding the usefulness of the guns. They are actually all well balanced and fit into the game. The M8 doesn't zoom very well, but kills very quickly, etc. There was actually a part in the second map that required one of the ghosts to do a task that put his life at risk. He was completely vulnerable while doing this task and his life depended on the 3 other ghosts being able to effectively cover him and kill his assailants. Cool.

    The bad:
    The same thing that makes the game really fun also is going to seriously crimp it's replayability. The first time through a new area is absolutely awesome. Noone knows what is going to happen, or which direction the enemy is going to come from. Something bad happens, everyone gets wiped out, you start over - from the beginning. Well, it's about half as fun the second time. The third time is about a third as fun, and the trend continues. The game is VERY VERY scripted, stepping into this area cues this event, or chain of events, here comes the car with the bad guys, etc. You start to know where the threats are, where they will come from, and can just setup ambushes. At some point you start going through the motions.

    I think a way to alleviate this would be actually have save points in the coop levels. I know this might sound cheesy, but not having to start ALL the way at the beginning of the map (complete with annoying 45 second blackhawk ride in (it's not just the demo map)) would go a long way to KEEP the player in FRESH areas of the game. I understand this would dramatically cut down on how long it will take to finish the game, but I'd rather have a high level of fun for a shorter period of time than monotony over a longer period of time. That being said, I wouldn't make the game any easier at all, it's challenging and I like it like that.

    This game will last until just about the time I beat it, and thats it. As soon as that happens I hope there are some user-made maps already starting to come out. I think this game will serve to be a fun, albeit non-replayable, hold-over until armed assault comes out. If the mod tools do in fact come out, I'm sure I'll have a reason to return to it though. Actually, if they just included a firefight mode with randomly placed groups of enemies to engage and took out all the scripted events completely, the game would have alot more replayability. The problem is the levels are way, way, more linear and less open than original ghost recon maps are. So, I don't really think this would work quite as well.

    There are some bugs with the game as well and some annoying interface issues. The SL can give detailed orders with waypoints, etc, but there is no visual or audio cue that you've gotten an order. You actually just have to spin around and look for a waypoint in your 3d view, it doesn't even show up on your tac map. I also disagree with the design decision that the SL has to stay alive or it's game over for everyone. It just ends the game prematurely sometimes, they should have made it an option.

    Anyway that's all for now, had a blast playing coop last night though. I expect the same level of fun to continue all the way through the game.



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