CodyLoco's Random Rants… A little bit of everything…

17Oct/080

Resistance 2 MP beta hands on: an MMORPG grind?

Those that either pre-ordered the game or got ahold of Qore Episode 3 should have received their Resistance 2 Public Beta beta keys by now.  Now that the 2.2GB download is finished on my PlayStation 3, I have finally been able to log my own hours in the game's surprisingly lag-free multiplayer.

The beta gives you access to both major multiplayer modes: cooperative and competitive play.  I tried cooperative first, and after two and a half hours I have to admit I'm not very impressed by the gameplay.

Upon entering the game, you are joined by seven other allied players and given assignments in order to move along the game within the map.  The idea should have worked, but in the game, you immediately feel like you are grinding through some kind of MMFPSOG (or MMO-FPS?) instanced dungeon, except you only have one or two abilities at your disposal unlike the depth an MMO provides.

Take a look at the screenshots and you'll see the obvious similarities (and I appologize for them being iPhone pictures!): you gain XP for the amount of damage you cause an enemy and when you take them down, ammo pickups (items, which one of the three classes drops for you) has a distinct-loot glow to it, enemies have health bars and, believe it or not, stars above their head to indicate difficulty/boss, and while playing you often find yourself standing in place unloading clip after clip (kind of like a melee tank spamming your one attack ability) as if it were your assigned task for the evening...

The experience you gain apparently does allow for some unlockables.  You seem to randomly pick up or aquire some kind of tech currency (can't remember what it's called right now, sorry!) which is required in order to purchase upgrades for your classes such as armor and abilities.  Weapons appear to become available automatically as you level up as well.  As a soldier, you start out with the Wraith, a 1,200 round-per-minute gatling gun with a 200 round clip.  When you take into consideration the spin-up time and fact that it seems like your crawling if you move while firing, it really feels like you have no choice but to stand there and take the abuse.  Then again, the game does even call the Soldier class a Tanking Class!  Once you hit level 2, you are awarded with a rather unimpressive double-barrel shotgun which while more manuverable is rather weak.

In my opinion, the fact that there are only three classes: a Healer, which obviously revives and heales, a Spec Op, who's main job is to snipe and provide the squad with ammo, and the Soldier, who is the tank and can generate shields, makes for a rather shallow gameplay experience- especially since they obviously took so many queues from MMORPGs.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention: the enemy AI is embarassing at times.  Bosses will take turns in order shooting at a single player for a set amount of time, then move on to shoot the next.  While there can often be a surprising number of normal enemies on screen at a time, they don't seem to do much other than stand there and shoot and I have often seen them stuck walking at a wall until they decide it's time to switch to target a new player.

Of course, many will say that the game is still in Beta... but it's almost out and refining these kinds of details last minute would probably cause more harm than good.  That said, let's move on to competitive mode.

One of my biggest griefs with any online game is lag.  I can't stand it- if it's laggy, I won't play.  After about an hour of playing an endless competitive match with fifty-nine other players I realized something quite impressive: I forgot that I was actually playing over the internet.

I didn't see a single hint of lag the whole time.  This means I myself didn't lag at all, and incredibly, it also means I didn't see anyone else lagging at all.  That's impressive for a game that puts sixty players on two teams against each other (Chimera vs Human of course) and is still in beta nonetheless.

Gameplay is faced-paced and surprisingly fun.  The match I joined had the two teams playing a team deathmatch, but at the same time kept a steady flow of objectives that kept the battle focused and offered goal to fight towards.  Over the course of my hour's gameplay, I saw two different objectives: a fairly common hold-the-point or king-of-the-hill with one strategic point on the map, and a VIP

defense objective where one of our players became the VIP and he had to survive for at least two minutes on order to succeed.

Quick respawn times and fast paced, lag free action will probably make Resistance 2' competitive play one of the most popular online games when it comes out, but unless something changes drastically I don't think you will see me in the lobby waiting for a new cooperative match to start very often.

Again, sorry for the iPhone pictures of the screen! 😀

16Oct/082

How to make text readable on bright PS3 themes

Seemed like almost every theme I would download to my PS3 had way too bright a wallpaper which would cause the text from navigation options hard to read if it was white-on-white, so I would end up going back to the original colored monthly wallpaper.

Turns out though, you can actually lower the brightness of the wallpaper making it MUCH easier to read text on most themes. This is a great plus I find since Sony just recently finally introduced the moderately decent looking premium themes.

If you want to change the brightness on yours to see what I mean, go to Settings -> Theme Settings -> Background -> Brightness.

As I mentioned earlier, I didn't notice this until update 2.50 so I couldn't tell you when it appeared for sure. Actually, it has probably always been there it jus took me this long to notice it...

On a side note, just got my access to the Resistance 2 beta so I'll update on that once it's downloaded, assuming there is no pesky NDA attached!