FIELD OPERATIVE

CALL OF DUTY, BATTLEFIELD & F.P.S. blog

Archive for BFBC2

Field Operative is back! Why BF3 didn’t make it for us, what we have played during the past year and our current passion: Black Ops 2.

It’s been ~1 year that we’ve been off the radar.

The reason why is that except the usual daily grind, the blog has somehow lost its purpose. Indeed, I started out this blog when I’ve been converted from the C.O.D. to the Battlefield series back at the Modern Warfare 2 fiasco. I was enthusiastic about Battlefield: Bad Company 2 which was a fucking great game, and I felt like sharing my enthusiasm, without neglecting to write about other FPS/shooter titles….

After playing BFBC2 for hundreds of hours I highly anticipated Battlefield 3. I have enjoyed very much the beta and played fanatically with my comrades Metro, the only (but memorable) map available.

Unexpectedly enough and after the first few exciting weeks of discovery,BF3 turned out to be less exciting than what it was supposed to be after the promises made by the fantastic Bad Company 2. As I have pointed out back at the time, this comment/critic applies to the console versions where online matches feature smaller teams than on the PC and the action is therefore less intense…

Apparently DICE has succeeded back at the time to come for Bad Company 2 with a formula that offered intense, unmitigated action both for the PC and console versions of the game. Battlefield 2 being a PC game, Battlefield 3 has apparently been built upon the same general framework. I can’t go into details because I have never played Battlefield 2. I am a console gamer, I have never hidden that… I respect PC FPS enthusiasts and I have felt that BFBC2 brought both the PC and console FPS fractions closer together. Too bad that the formula has been broken for Battlefield 3…

[To be continued]

COD:BO Domination Survival Guide is here!

Some might think I’m a COD hater but that’s not true! I just hate the fact that the console versions don’t have dedicated servers. COD4 being my favorite video game ever, I also got fed up by MW2’s glitches and unbalanced camper-oriented gameplay  rather quickly and never looked back.

The truth is that COD:BO is the best COD game since COD4… So, BFBC2 being rather dead by now, with no new maps since Vietnam and extremely irritating players populating the servers (at least for the Xbox version),  I started playing COD:BO again. I even purchased the Escalation map pack which is pretty cool.

I am playing mostly Domination, so I wrote down a Survival Guide. Check it out! And who knows, maybe one of these days I will try to publish my unfinished COD4 Headquarters Guide that I’ve been working on for months!

Crysis 2 (Xbox 360) or the sempiternal inconvenience of host-based console F.P.S.

Crysis 2 multiplayer is lots of fun. Really. I like the armor/cloak gimmicks, I like the weapons, I like the game modes, I like the graphics, I like the maps.

What I don’t like is that Crytek must surely think console players, as opposed to PC gamers, are dumbasses. There is no other way to explain the fact that they dare to claim that they achieved a hi-tech, top-notch FPS when they don’t have dedicated servers.

I have lag most of the time and obviously there is a clear advantage for the host (if you press START and there is just one person with a connection of 4 green bars, that’s him). I even got the host once, which is totally ridiculous because I have a crap 2mbps ADSL connection.

Dear Crytek, DICE & Guerilla pwn you in the console territory. Ask your boss, EA, for dedicated servers next time…

Dear Crysis 2 console player, if you can’t stand to play with lag, there is just one way out: switch to a FPS with dedicated servers.

Dedicated servers means that there is no lag, or if there is a little bit all the players lag the same – there is no advantage for the host.

For a host-based title, the game picks up the player with the best connection and makes him/her act as the server. All the other players connect to him. He has a clear advantage because for example he can see other players before they see him.

If the host quits, then the game must migrate to another host. This procedure is known as host migration and it doesn’t work all the time. Actually it works half of the time at best.

All host-based games do not have the same network code. The C.O.D. games are notorious for having worst netcode than the HALO games or -more recently- CRYSIS 2.

The worst of them all was COD 4: Infinity Ward was supposed to get host migration to work which has never happened. Each time the host was getting pissed off because he was getting pwned (=that’s called “ragequitting”) or because his mom/wife was calling him, the game ended abruptly and the rest of the players were losing the kills they had make and their score. At least in Crysis 2, I observed that you don’t lose the count of kills you made if the match ends following a failed host migration…

For your convenience, you can find below a non-exclusive list with the host-based and server-based console FPS games.

Please do not hesitate to share with us your experience with console multiplayer F.P.S. games.

HOST-BASED CONSOLE F.P.S. GAMES

  • CALL OF DUTY series
  • HALO series
  • CRYSIS 2
  • GEARS OF WAR 1+2
  • RAINBOW SIX: VEGAS 2

CONSOLE F.P.S. GAMES WITH DEDICATED SERVERS

  • BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 1+2
  • KILLZONE 2+3
  • M.A.G.
  • HOMEFRONT
  • MEDAL OF HONOR
  • GEARS OF WAR 3 (supposedly – to be confirmed)
  • RESISTANCE 1+2

Propaganda War Ensemble…

Excellent BFBC2 propaganda poster courtesy of Jimmac @ dontrevivemebro.com forums:

 

 

Battlefield Bad Company 2 Reborn As A Tabletop Game

KOTAKU: Battlefield Bad Company 2 Reborn As A Tabletop Game

BFBC2 Animated Comic [VIDEO]

Life after BFBC2 aka a recap about present and future FPS

I haven’t played much to BFBC2 lately, that’s why I haven’t posted much. I have been a little bored of corpse, but it’s mainly because I had to take of other things and have seriously reduced  gaming.

+++ I still maintain that late Vietnam is an amusing expansion for a short while, but boring and less meaty in the long term.

+++ Map Pack#7 is possibly the best map pack released so far. All the maps are great and Oasis a personal favorite of mine. Thumbs up!

Life after BFBC2, huh?

+++ HALO: REACH. Well, I have never been initiated to Halo multiplayer and I gave it a try. It’s a great game really, but not my style – I’m more of a military FPS fan. Eventhough it is host-based, its netcode is far more solid and robust than COD’s – which is a joke.

+++ MEDAL OF HONOR was good, amusing and had dedicated servers for the console versions. But overall it failed to fill the gap between COD and BFBC2: it wasn’t fast/arcade enough for the COD crowd and it wasn’t deep enough for us BFBC2 players. It also didn’t have enough guns, and its realistic/modern setting proved boring in the long term. Plus the gamewas ridden with bugs (especially concerning spawnkilling) that haven’t been adressed fast enough.

++++Call Of Duty: Black Ops has been fun for a few weeks, but as far as console FPS go, having enyoyed the benefits of dedicated servers it’s impossible to go back to host-based games. having said that, COD:BO is the best COD since COD4.

What comes next?

+++ CRYSIS 2. My only desktop is a vintage Pentium II PC from 1998. I have never played Crysis for more than a few minutes, and I have been one of those console gamers who have been waited for a port.  Here we go now… I have played the open beta on Xbox 360 for many hours. The game is cool. It has top-notch graphics and interesting gameplay. I’d say it’s somewhere between Halo and COD. The invisibility cloaks, shields and holograms are fun gimmicks to play with. But for a game that pretends to be hi-tech and on the edge of the current generation, it is unacceptable that it doesn’t have dedicated servers. No serious man should buy a game which pauses your multiplayer match in order to migrate the session because some fucking kid (or fat adult for that matter) ragequit. FUCK YOU!

+++ KILLZONE 3. I liked Killzone 2, I played it for quite a bit. Recently I even bought the map packs – too bad almost nobody is  playing them. The game has been strongly  influenced by the Battlefield series. It is part of what I would call the N.W.O.S.F. (New Wave Of Swedish FPS) – any heavy metal fans reading? 🙂 I just downloaded the beta today and gave it a try. The game seems ultracool, but to be honnest I haven’t seen any major differences from the previous one. I like the fact that it’s possible to swap R1/R2 and L1/L2 because I am using the XCM cross battle adapter: the Dualshock is simply not for FPS, and I use my Xbox 360 controller instead on the PS3, which is perfect for that with its real triggers and everything. Version 1 of the adapter, which I have, doesn’t give the possibility to configure the triggers, and for games like KZ2 you’re forced to shoot with the bumpers instead of the triggers.  So yeah, I will buy and play KZ3. Great graphics, deep gameplay, more varied settings and locales than KZ2 (the snowy “Frozen Dam” map of the beta resembles to KZ2 maps though) AND DEDICATED SERVERS!

+++ HOMEFRONT. Made by a team of notorious ex-Battlefield modders (the same people who made the cool Frontlines: Fuel Of War), this one will be a winner and will take for sure a part of the BFBC2 crowd. From the videos it looks great. Reportedly it’s easier to pilot a heli than it is in BFBC2, and this certainly sounds good to me! Drones seem cool tool. The weapons appear very MW-ish, so the transition from the COD/MW will be possibly smoother to some. Can’t wait…

+++ BATTLEFIELD 3. One of my friends on XBL, who has a PC gaming background, always tells me how BFBC1+2 are shallow compared to Battlefield 2. He is also telling me that is impossible to reproduce the authentic Battlefield experience to console. According to his comments, DICE have quite a challenge in front of them. Being an avid BFBC2 player, I am certainly ready for an even more strategic and deep experience. We’ll see what the Frostbite 2 engine will be up to! For the moment there’s not an videos or information disclosure whatsoever, DICE just declared that it wants it to be the biggest BF ever. Which is normal I guess. At the end of the dat, there has been a good thing with buying M.O.H.: it will give me access to the BF3 beta…

BBFC2 Vietnam plagued by MW2-like glitch!

BBFC2 has had until now few glitches and overall they were minor and haven’t spoiled the fun we have.

Less than a week after its release, the Vietnam expansion has been plagued by a glitch that reminds us of the Modern Warfare 2 days, when a new glitch appeared every two weeks making the game unplayable.

I won’t divulge much details in order to avoid spreading it… Let’s just say that if you keep getting shot by invisible underground boats, you’d better quit the current match in order to keep your sanity! The glitch happens mostly to Hill 137 and Cao Son Temple. It concerns all 3 platforms (PS3, Xbox 360, PC). You’ve been warned!

Field Operative Performance v0.9.3

Version 0.9.3 of Field Operative Performance is now available. You can download it here.

Change Log:

* BFBC2 – Field Operative Performance [v0.9.3]:

– Dogtags tab page is now working and accessible.

* BFBC2 – Field Operative Performance [v0.9.2]:

– Characters “-” and “_” are now acceptable.

BBFC2 Vietnam: disappointing [UPDATED]

It is an irony that Battlefield: Bad Company 2 being the best online shooter of its generation, has so disappointing paid DLC: first the infamous Onslaught mode and now Vietnam.

If you’re not a BFBC2 afficionado but more like a casual player,  you will be surprised to read this since theoretically Vietnam has everything it takes to make a successful expansion:

  • new settings that look gorgeous,
  • new weapons,
  • new vehicles,
  • new achievements/trophies,
  • gameplay tweaks:
    • weapons except sniper rifles aren’t scoped so the action is supposed to be closer and more intense,
    • snipers don’t have motion sensors anymore but instead they are equipped with both explosives (TNT instead of C4) and mortar attacks,
    • there are no UAV’s,
    • helicopters can be brought down by regular bullets,
    • tanks are also more fragile and take significant damage from grenade launchers.
  • last but not least, an excellent soundtrack from the period including the Rolling Stones and Richard Wagner’s hyper-bombastic “The Ride of the Valkyries” (which was also featured in “Apocalypse Now””s sountrack).

What’s wrong then? Well, quite a few things that make it less fun than the original game, pushing most BFBC2 veterans to play it just enough in order to unlock the extra achievements/trophies.

Maps

On first sight the maps look good, even impressive. Hill 137 climaxes to a napalm-scorched earth hill that is possibly the closest we’ve been to inferno in an online shooter. Sniping barricaded in the rice paddies on Vantage Point is definitely cool. And so on…

What you quickly realize, is that as good as the maps might look, they offer the ground for less intense satisfying combat than the regular game. You have less ways to approach the objectives and there’s a few chokepoints (such as the Vantage Point’s first two Rush objectives) who are good for grenade spamming, which very disappointing since this is the kind of Call Of Duty features that we BFBC2 players loathe.

Straight from the beginning of my Vietnam experience I had clearly the impression that the expansion felt quite a lot like Medal Of Honor. Visually, another hint in the Medal Of Honor similarities are the flashes that accompany the explosions, a typical M.O.H. effect not present in BFBC2…

Weapons

In the regular game all weapons are good, you just have to find out when you have to use the right one. In Vietnam at least half of the guns are useless and you have to stick to the few that are good.

  • Assault rifles.

You have the choice between the AK47, and automatic versions of the M16 and the M14. It took me 5′ to realize that I had to stick with the AK47. It simply is more powerful and efficient.

  • SMG’s

You have the choice between WWII’s PPSH (familiar to COD:WaW players), the MAC10 and the UZI. They are fun for a while but they don’t pack enough power, so I have switched back rather quickly to the powerful and reliable good old Thompson.

  • LMG’s

Things are better here. The M60 is the beast you know it is. Since I was familiar with it and it is quite a “noobish” weapon, I played initially with the XM22 which feels like the M249 SAW. But it lacks power: you spray the opponent with bullets from a close distance and the motherfucker just won’t die, so I switched back to the M60. The RPK is not reliable: you often hit the ennemy but he doesn’t take any damage.

  • Sniper rifles

M40, the only bolt action snipe rifle offered here, is very powerful, actually many players complain it is TOO powerful. I find it very fun. The M21 and the SVD are semi-automatic and are not bad, but rather useless unless you are a) a noob sniper and want to spray through a scope, or b) playing hardcore.

  • All kits

handgun-wise you have the good old M1911 and the TT33, which sucks. The M2 flamethrower is badass in close quarters, and it is only recommended in some specific spots. The M1 garand is not really recommended unless you play hardcore, because it is not automatic, and the M1 Thompson is excellent as always.

Balance

To put it simply, in Vietnam you kill more easily and you get killed easier. A couple of bullets with an AK47 and you’re done… I cannot comprehend why the balance from BFBC2 has been altered instead of preserved.

The helicopters are very easy to take down, the tanks too. Driving a vehicle is not fun anymore, and you will take them just for a short while if the situation demands it. Actually, it would have been better if there were no vehicles at all!

Gameplay/fun

What is the final nail in Vietnam’s coffin is that in 99% of the matches you score less, make less kills and have a lower K/D ratio than in the regular game. But it’s not just the numbers, you have less fun in general. You have less freedom to apply your tactics and improvise. The maps advantage more basic/dumb gameplay versus more intelligent/tactical one.

R.I.P.

Vietnam feels more like Medal Of Honor than BFBC2. Actually, they are supposed to have been developped by the same team @ DICE, which makes perfect sense.

Vietnam doesn’t live to the high standards that BFBC2 has set with less polish and inferior craftmanship. Playing it feels less like fun and more like work. Most BFBC2 veterans will stick to it for a couple of weeks then switch back to the original or wait for another quality FPS to be released  (Homefront for example).

UPDATE: I gave Vietnam a try in Conquest mode, and it’s a lot more fun than in Rush mode. Most of my evaluation still applies though. It’s an interesting expansion giving players a break , but it’s not as good as the main game.